Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

August 1981


The purpose of this study was that of determining if intelligence quotient mean test scores of middle school students of different races, sexes, and socioeconomic classes could be significantly increased through the use of tangible and intangible rewards of money and praise. One hundred and thirty-five students from lower and middle socioeconomic classes were randomly assigned to three groups. The stratified groups, two experimental and one control, contained approximately the same numbers of male and female students. The students were identified as lower and middle socioeconomic class whites and lower socioeconomic blacks. A counterbalanced design was employed for the study. Two treatments were used, a spoken verbal praise treatment, and a money treatment. All members of the groups were tested three times using the Otis-Lennon Mental Ability Test, Forms J and K. All three groups were pretested with Form J. One week later, before the administration of the second test, Form K, one-half of the experimental test subjects was promised $2 for each improved test score. The other half of the experimental test subjects were administered the spoken verbal praise treatment as an incentive to improve their test scores. One month later, during the third and final testing, the money and praise treatments were alternately administered to the first and second halves of the experimental groups. The experimental groups which received the praise treatment first was administered the money treatment, and the experimental group that received the money treatment first was then administered the praise treatment. Form J of the Otis-Lennon Mental Ability Test was used for the third and final test. Ten study hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of statistical significance. After analyzing the data, the following findings seemed especially important: (1) Significant increases in the intelligence quotient test scores of lower class blacks were dependent upon monetary reward. (2) Significant increases in the intelligence quotient test scores of middle and lower class whites occurred when spoken verbal praise was administered. (3) The sequencing of money first and praise second led to significant increases in the scores of lower and middle class white females and middle class males.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access