Date of Award

12-1993

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Alan Poling

Second Advisor

R. W. Malott

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

The present study evaluated a systematic method of identifying potential reinforcers for three persons with profound mental retardation. The potential reinforcers were identified by observing subject approach responses to 16 various sensory stimuli, and preference for particular reinforcers was determined. A second experiment was conducted with the same subjects to determine if the preferred stimuli actually functioned as reinforcers by presenting them contingently on correct responses. Results indicated that the potential reinforcers were in most cases actual reinforcers.

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