Effectively and efficiently identifying reinforcing stimuli

Preference assessments are procedures used to identify potentially reinforcing stimuli. Preliminary evidence has shown a single-session multiple stimulus without replacement (MSWO) preference assessment to be an effective and efficient method for identifying reinforcer hierarchies. The present study further evaluated the efficacy and efficiency of a single-session MSWO preference assessment with three adolescent special education students. Following a single preference assessment session, a reinforcer assessment was conducted to evaluate the resulting reinforcer hierarchy. In addition, two additional reinforcer assessment sessions were conducted over a period of a week to examine the stability of the MSWO reinforcer hierarchies. Results from the single operant reinforcer assessment sessions indicated reinforcer hierarchies were accurate for all participants and stable for 2 out of 3 participants.