Date of Award

8-2004

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

James E. Carr

Second Advisor

Linda A LeBlanc

Third Advisor

R. Wayne Fuqua

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

This study attempted to create a valid pictorial preference assessment without providing contingent access to stimuli. The toy preferences of three 6-year old autistic children were evaluated using multiple-stimulus (without replacement) preference assessments. Pictorial assessments were conducted with and without contingent access to toys. To evaluate the validity of each preference assessment, a reinforcer assessment was conducted immediately afterward in which the toys identified as most and least preferred were presented. One participant displayed differential preferences during the pictorial assessment in which toys were not provided contingent on picture selection. The other participants did not display differential preferences in pictorial assessments, even when access to toys was made contingently available for picture selection. Several methodological adjustments were made to better understand these outcomes.

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