Dr. Lewis Johnson is our Chief Science Officer. He brings more than 40 years of experience in education and interventions for students with SR difficulties. I had a chance to sit down with him for a few minutes to talk about the psychology that makes RE-vibe an effective behavioral intervention tool.
LARA: Hi, I’m Lara with Team RE-vibe, and I’m here with Dr. Lewis Johnson, our Chief Science Officer, who’d like to talk to you about the psychology and the science behind RE-vibe.
DR. JOHNSON: This actually has a root in some of what was done early in psychology, sometime in the 1970s with this concept of self-monitoring. The process of self-monitoring, which we all do day in and day out, involves thinking about what we are doing, so our behavior, and then going through a process of self-talk, and then modifying that so we’re changing our behavior based on that. Early on, teachers used to tap on a desk to remind students to pay attention and come back to task, and later we realized that this technique would have some application for kids with attention deficit disorder. With some of the tools that are coming out of it, like the RE-vibe, they have the option to do a variety of prompts and cues, so the student understands that using the cue, they are able to ask that question, and by doing what they are supposed to be doing, they can respond appropriately.
LARA: Interesting, it’s a powerful process that most people don’t realize how powerful it can be, and how much of a difference it can make.
DR. JOHNSON: It’s tied to getting that cue, generating that self-talk, generating that self-reinforcement, and motivation and seeing that improvement in your behavior. In our current research, seeing how trouble with attention deficit disorder, a lot of parents are turning to medication, and some of the latest research coming out in the past few years says that both medication and behavioral, some kind of behavioral program, is the way to go to be able to create a long lasting effect. When the medication stops, the behavior goes back to the way it was, so including a behavioral piece, that self-monitoring, then they are able to produce those kinds of behaviors.
LARA: Very good, one of the things you mentioned earlier, that I thought was interesting, was your research in the past that had to do with self-talk. And the difference between students having that self-talk. There’s a wide variance you found with kids in their thoughts. Tell us a little bit about that.
DR. JOHNSON: One of the things, some of the research we did with younger children and self-talk, all the way down to kids that were five and six years old. You’d find that the kids who were attentive, you can see that the verbalizations are usually task oriented, and they are usually directed towards performance. And then you look at kids that are sometimes behavior disorder, sometimes attention deficit, and you listen and you’ll hear a lot of self-talk that’s not directed towards monitoring or feedback or some kind of direction. And really that’s what we do all the time. We hold this conversation in our head about where am I, what am I doing, how can I do better. And by fostering self-talk, productive self-talk, we carry that through our adult life.
LARA: Thank you so much for your time today, and thank you for all of the research and development. We appreciate your help to integrate the science into the product.
DR. JOHNSON: Thank you.