Emergent Spelling Skills: A Case of Contingency Adduction
Abstract (Summary)Contingency adduction occurs when separately established behaviors recombine to form new behaviors. The knowledge of contingency adduction provides understanding for how some complex behaviors may come to fruition. Also, it may lead to education and social practices that benefit a great majority of people (e.g., making new discoveries, learning curricular material in less time).The purpose of the present experiment examined whether establishing five separate behaviors (a) see/say letter names, (b) see/say letter sounds, (c) hear/say/do segmenting words into sounds, (d) see/say letter names and letter sounds, and (e) hear/say/do segmenting words into letters, would combine or demonstrate contingency adduction. Four students in kindergarten, one girl and three boys, served as the experimental participants. The experiment took place in a rural school.The method used for promoting contingency adduction, frequency building, called for establishing high rates of responding in the behavior elements (i.e., see/say letter names, see/say letter sounds, hear/say/do segmenting words into sounds, see/say letter names and letter sounds, and hear/say/do segmenting words into letters). A multiple baseline across behaviors formed the experimental design to analyze whether learning the five element behaviors produced a contingency adduced spelling repertoire in eight dependent variables, (a) correct and incorrect hear/say spelling real and nonsense words made from instructed letters, and (b) correct and incorrect hear/say spelling real and nonsense words made form non-instructed letters.One student received all five experimental conditions and demonstrated a contingency adduced spelling repertoire. She could spell real and nonsense words made from instructed letters with a high degree of accuracy though the experimenter never provided formal spelling instruction or feedback on the student's spelling performance. The other three participants did not receive all five independent variable conditions, and none of those students demonstrated a contingency adduced spelling repertoire. The data from this study demonstrate a method for producing contingency adduction by using frequency building with element behaviors.
School:The Ohio State University
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:01/01/1999