Date of Award

Summer 8-2021

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair

Brad Dufrene

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Evan Dart

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Joe Olmi

Committee Member 3 School



Previous matching equation literature has demonstrated variability in student behaviors matching onto available reinforcement rates. While some studies have found that student on-task behaviors matched contingent teacher attention around half the observations (Martens et al., 1990), other studies have found that first grade students’ on-task behavior matched contingent teacher attention more than half of observations (Shriver & Kramer, 1997). However, no studies in the current literature have used teacher behaviors as the primary dependent variables (i.e., B1 and B2 in the matching equation). The current study sought to extend the Generalized Matching Equation (GME) further into the classroom, given the concurrent schedules available for teacher behavior. This study examined the effects of a contrived contingency to alter the rates of teachers’ praise and reprimand statements. Further, this study assessed the extent of biases and sensitivity to available reinforcement. Although there was variability in biases, sensitivity to reinforcement, and variance explained by the GME, one teacher’s behaviors did not indicate bias outside of the contrived contingency in the balanced phase of the study. These results demonstrate that multiple schedules of reinforcement available within the classroom propose challenges to the GME.