O autorrelato de crianças expostas a contingências de competição e cooperação em atividades computadorizadas
Oliveira, Marlon Alexandre de
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The present research investigated whether contingencies of competition and/or cooperation, that could be set up on two distinct tasks (music and computer game) would affect the levels of accurate and non-accurate reports by typical children about their performances during those tasks. “Do” consisted in requiring children to play a computerized game or naming musical melodies while “say” consisted in reporting if the trial terminated with a hit or with a miss. Twelve typical children with ages ranging from seven to 11 years old were assigned to two groups with three kids for Experiment 1. Experiments 2 and 3 comprised one group with three children each. During baseline sessions from all the experiments points were presented contingent upon performances on both tasks. After the baseline, the competition contingency was on for Experiments 1 and 3 while cooperation contingency was on for Experiment 2 for its related task (music or game). Baseline contingency was still on for the other task. After some sessions the competition or cooperation contingency was set up to the other task too, thus an inter-task multiple baseline was achieved. On Experiment 3, cooperation contingency was set up for both tasks simultaneously. The points earned for correct responding on the competition contingency was exchanged by tokens that could be exchanged by gifts at the end of the session in depending of the child’s place on a rank (first place, second place and third place). The child that obtained the first place was given the chance to exchange tokens for the most preferred among the other reinforcers that were available. Children that obtained the second and third places were given chance to exchange tokes for the less preferred reinforcers only. On the other hand, the cooperation contingency specified that tokens could be exchanged by the most preferred reinforcers only if children consented in putting their tokens together. For four out of six participants the say-do correspondence decreased when the competition contingency was set up (Experiment 1). But, when cooperation contingency was set up on Experiment 2, the say-do correspondence increased for three children. It is important to notice that the increase on the levels of correspondence was observed only when cooperation contingency was set up for both tasks and not when this contingency was set up for only one task, while the other was under the same contingency as for baseline condition. Performances on the tasks and the levels of say-do correspondence were disturbed by the competition contingency during Experiment 3. This means that levels of say-do correspondence was altered while the accuracy on both tasks decreased. And the onset of the cooperation contingency resulted in increase of say-do correspondence for only one participant (music). It seems fair to assume that shifting a competition to a cooperation contingency can affect the performances on the tasks. But because of the variability on the data obtained on Experiment 2, it not possible to infer to which extent the disturbance in say-do correspondence can be attributed to shifts on contingencies or to the deterioration on task performances. In general, data from all experiments strongly suggests that the levels of say-do correspondence tend to be different when these behavior are measured under competition or cooperation contingencies. Future studies should verify the measurability of say-do correspondence in different experimental designs that could permit a more stringent experimental control over critical variables.