Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. R. W. Malott

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Using a single-subject A-B-C-D design, this study examined NaCl and sucrose taste thresholds in water, tomato juice, and milk with four 4-year-old children. Taste thresholds were determined by presenting several concentrations of an adulterant (i.e. NaCl, sucrose) in each vehicle, in blocks of ten trials. Subjects evaluated each taste sample by pressing one of two levers (Yes/No response). Detection threshold was defined as the level at which there was 50% correct responding. During Baseline, subjects received no feedback regarding the accuracy of their response. During the differential reinforcement phase, subjects received reinforcement following each correct response. Results suggested that detection thresholds for the sdulterants in tomato juice were lowered following differential reinforcement of correct discrimination of the presence versus absence of a specified adulterant. Similar lowering of thresholds was not obtained for the same adulterants in water. The data also indicated that there was a generalization of training effect to a novel vehicle (milk). Lowered thresholds in tomato juice maintained or improved at follow-up.