Advancing the education of low-income adults could increase employment and income, but adult education programs have not successfully engaged low-income adults. Monetary reinforcement may be effective in promoting progress in adult education. This experiment evaluated the benefits of providing incentives for performance in a job-skills training program for low-income, unemployed adults. Participants worked on typing and keypad programs for 7 months. Participants randomly assigned to Group A (n = 23) earned hourly and productivity pay on the typing program (productivity pay), but earned only equalized hourly pay on the keypad program (hourly pay). Group B (n = 19) participants had the opposite contingencies. Participants worked more on, advanced further on, and preferred their productivity pay program. These results show that monetary incentives can increase performance in a job-skills training program, and indicate that payment in adult education programs should be delivered contingent on performance in the training program instead of simply on attendance.
- vocational training
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science