Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

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Symposium #197
CE Offered: BACB
Advancements in Preference Assessment Research
Sunday, May 26, 2024
8:00 AM–9:50 AM
Convention Center, 100 Level, 112 AB
Area: DDA/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Cynthia P. Livingston (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Discussant: Samuel L Morris (Louisiana State University)
CE Instructor: Samuel L Morris, Ph.D.
Abstract:

This symposium highlights the continued advancement in preference assessment research in applied settings. The first study (Elliott et al.) will describe an empirical evaluation of a direct correlation between the results of preference assessments and the identified stimuli’s reinforcing impact in behavior change procedures. The second study will describe a systematic replication of Hanely et al.'s (2003) response-restriction free operant preference assessment with children who exhibit problem behavior (Barall et al.). The third study will describe the replication of procedures by Clark et al. (2019) to systematically vary the duration of access to preferred leisure items previously displaced by preferred edible items to identify the switch point in which the participant demonstrated a shift in preference to the previously displaced item. The final study in this symposium will explore the potential relationship between a stimulus preference assessments and delay discounting to measure changes in individual preference as a result of delayed access.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): preference assessments, reinfrocer assessment
Target Audience:

Basic

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1): Describe several preference assessment formatss (2): Describe the data collection procedures for a variety of preference assessment formats. (3): Describe when different preference assessment formats should be utilized.
 

Further Evaluation of Multiple Stimulus Preference Assessment Without Replacement (MSWO) and Paired Stimulus Preference Assessments: Assessment Consistency and Reinforcer Potency

Nora Seward (University of Georgia), TYLER-CURTIS CORY ELLIOTT (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia)
Abstract:

Preference assessments are often used in behavior analytic treatment to identify reinforcing stimuli (Tullis et al., 2011). Therefore, empirically determining that a direct correlation exists between the results of preference assessments and the identified stimuli’s reinforcing impact in behavior change procedures is critical. In Experiment 1, the researchers compared the agreement between results of paired choice (PC) and multiple stimulus preference assessment without replacement (MSWO) preference assessments conducted with eight elementary aged participants in a classroom setting. Half of the participants exhibited near perfect agreement upon visual analysis between the preference assessments. The other half of the participants exhibited inconsistent results, indicating discrepancy in the suggestions of the preference assessment. In Experiment 2, the researchers compared both preference assessment results to a progressive ratio reinforcer assessment (PR), which yielded inconsistent results. Neither PC nor MSWO accurately identified reinforcing stimuli in the PR assessment. Results are discussed with respect to the validity and implications of the information gathered during preference assessments.

 

Replication of Free Operant Response-Restriction Preference Assessment for Individuals With Severe Challenging Behavior

BECKY BARALL (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kenna Reilly (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Amaya Rocheleau (Munroe-Meyer Institute), Jordan DeBrine (Kennedy Krieger), Colleen McGrory (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Cynthia Livingston (University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Abstract:

Utilization of reinforcement is necessary to effectively increase the frequency of socially valid behaviors. Free operant response-restriction (RR) preference assessments are often utilized with the goal of determining a preference hierarchy while yielding minimal problem behaviors. A replication of a RR assessment (Hanley et al., 2003) with individuals with disabilities and a history of severe challenging behavior extends literature on the effectiveness of this form of stimulus preference assessment (SPA) to show differentiated patterns of preference. Our procedures replicate Hanley et al.’s five rules for identifying activity preference and subsequent restriction, including item restriction after a demonstrated 60% or more intervals of interaction across 2 consecutive sessions. In this study, we measure additional dependent variables including clients’ indices of happiness, assent to engage in the assessment, rate of problem behavior, requests for other items, and active vs. passive item engagement. This presentation will discuss potential variables for clinicians to consider when implementing a free operant RR assessment for individuals who engage in severe challenging behavior. In addition, we discuss ways to incorporate measures of assent and indices of happiness within preference assessment data collection, and the impact of this data on our evaluation of idiosyncratic preference rankings.

 

Effect of Delay on Stimulus Preference

EMMA PRESTON (Utah State University), Milad Najafichaghabouri (Utah State University ), Ray Joslyn (West Virginia University ), Tim Slocum (Utah State University )
Abstract:

Stimulus preference assessments (SPAs) are often used to identify potential reinforcers for behavior change procedures. However, these assessments always provide stimuli immediately upon selection. In practice, it can be very difficult to provide reinforcers immediately, and some reinforcers may be delivered more quickly than others. Therefore, there is a need for an assessment to account for delay. The goal of this study was to explore the potential relationship between on stimulus preference assessments and delay discounting to measure changes in individual preference as a result of delay. Five typically developing children aged 8-11 completed a paired-stimulus preference assessment (PSPA) to establish a hierarchy of preference. These results were used in a 30-trial delay assessment across three sessions evaluating delays of 0 s, 30 s, and 60 s. Four out of five participants retained preference hierarchy across three sessions. Additionally, four out of five participants increased preference for an immediately available moderately preferred item as delays to a highly preferred item increased. This indicates that delays to reinforcement may be a parameter that should be considered when identifying preferred stimuli to use for behavior change procedures.

 
Changes in Reinforcer Magnitude to Displace Edible Preference
MADELINE GRIFFIN (University of Georgia), Kevin Ayres (University of Georgia), Joel Eric Ringdahl (University of Georgia)
Abstract: In paired choice preference assessments, certain types of stimuli may displace others resulting in a limit of potential reinforcers. For example, Bojak and Carr (1999) documented the tendency for edible items to displace leisure items when concurrently assessed in a paired choice preference assessment. Further evaluation of the mechanism responsible for the displacement of certain types of stimuli is needed. This study replicated the procedures as outlined by Clark et al. (2019) to systematically vary the duration of access to preferred leisure items previously displaced by preferred edible items to identify the switch point in which the participant demonstrated a shift in preference to the previously displaced item. The results indicate increasing the magnitude of leisure items through duration of access within a PC can identify the switch point where the previously selected edible is displaced by the leisure item. Systematic reversals of the duration of access demonstrated experimental control of participant choice dependent on magnitude.
 

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