This meta-analysis evaluated 208 variables derived from 98 studies incorporating I music as a contingency for education and therapeutic objectives. Variables were converted to effect sizes (ES) via statistical formulae and compared for determination of characteristics affecting reinforcement value of music. The overall benefits attributable to contingent music were almost three standard deviations greater than control/baseline conditions (ES= 2.90). Results demonstrate that contingent music was more effective than contingent nonmusic stimuli used in these studies and more effective than continuous music. Pairing other stimuli such as food, approval, or visual stimulation with the music decreased its effectiveness as a reinforcer. Uniquely, music functioned as a reinforcer and simultaneously as subject matter, and there was evidence of generalized benefit to other academic and social behaviors that were measured but were not contingently reinforced with music.
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