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J Sch Psychol. 2014 Aug;52(4):349-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2014.05.006. Epub 2014 Jun 26.

Loud versus quiet praise: a direct behavioral comparison in secondary classrooms.

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Pinecrest Supports and Services Center, USA. Electronic address:
The University of Southern Mississippi, USA.
The University of British Columbia, Canada.


The purpose of the present study was to compare the effects of teacher public (i.e., loud) and private (i.e., quiet) praise on students' appropriately engaged behavior (AEB) and disruptive behaviors (DB). Employing a combined multiple-baseline withdrawal design, the effects of loud and quiet praise were assessed across two pairs of secondary classrooms. Each classroom's mean percentage of observed intervals of AEB and DB across loud and quiet praise intervention phases was assessed and compared. Overall, visual analysis of the data, multilevel modeling, and effect sizes showed that both loud and quiet praises were more effective than no treatment at increasing AEB and decreasing DB. In addition, there were no statistical or clinically significant differences between the loud and quiet praise interventions. The results are discussed in light of appropriate practices and controversies in the literature.


Adolescent; Behavior intervention; Classroom intervention; Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports; Praise; Secondary classroom

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