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ERIC Number: EJ882174
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
ISSN: ISSN-1539-4352
The Clinical Utility of Two Reinforcement Preference Assessment Techniques: A Comparison of Duration of Assessment and Identification of Functional Reinforcers
Lanner, Traci; Nichols, Brandon; Field, Sean; Hanson, Jennifer; Zane, Thomas
Behavior Analyst Today, v10 n3-4 p456-466 2009
In order to maximize the learning of skills, it is crucial that the most powerful reinforcement be used. Research describes several different methods of reinforcement preference assessments, including forced choice, free-operant, and multiple stimulus array procedures. Researchers have also tested many variables to determine their potential impact on reinforcer identification including setting events, duration of exposure to tested stimuli, and differing schedules of delivery. From a clinical perspective, a major question is, what is the most efficient preference assessment that will produce the most valid identification of potential reinforcers? The purpose of this study was to compare multiple stimulus and forced-choice formats along two dimensions-duration to complete assessment and the identification of stimuli verified to function as reinforcers. Individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities/autism served as participants. Experimenters conducted two types of preference assessments per participant--multiple stimulus array without replacement, and forced-choice, using the same items. Once the most preferred stimuli were identified in each format, experimenters then tested the reinforcing power by making each contingent upon a task that the participants had not yet learned. The study found that the forced choice method was faster to administer and that all tested items actually functioned as reinforcers. (Contains 5 figures and 2 tables.)
Joseph Cautilli, Ph.D. & The Behavior Analyst Online Organization. 535 Queen Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147-3220. Tel: 215-462-6737; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A