Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

Allan Berman


Si x teen hyper-kinetics on medication (H:D), 18 on no medication (H:D), and 20 normal control Ss (NC) (N=54) were randomly distributed between verbal and material reward groups in a 2 X 3 factorial design.

One purpose of this study was to examine one aspect of Wender’s (1971) hypothesis that hyperkinetics as a group are less responsive to positive reinforcement than normal controls and that as a group, hyperkinetics on drugs should be more sensitive to reward than those off drugs, This study demonstrated that group H:D learned the task, “Golf-Ball-in-the-Hole" more efficiently than group H:ND, i.e., their performance was more similar to group NC.

Another purpose of this study was to examine the relative efficiency of verbal as contrasted with material reward with hyperkinetics, and it was predicted that hyperkinetics off drugs (H:ND) would perform more poorly under both reward conditions than groups NC and H:D. The results were suggestive: groups H:D and NC appeared to perform better on material as opposed to verbal reward; but the interaction was not significant, a finding that might have been due to excessive variability in the verbally rewarded H:ND group. However, when this latter group was discarded and groups NC and H:D were collapsed and their combined scores for verbally and materially reinforced groups subjected to a t test (one-tailed), those fs rewarded materially performed better.

The results were discussed in terms of how they compared with previous findings, in terms of implications for future research and in terms of practical applications.



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