Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Anthony DeFulio

Second Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Peterson

Third Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Pietras


Token reinforcement, conditioned reinforcement, preference assessment, progressive ratio, generalized token reinforcement

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Skinner (1953) stated that the effects of generalized conditioned reinforcers should maintain longer than specific conditioned reinforcers because their effects are not dependent on a particular motivating operation. Tokens easily model different levels of generality because tokens can be paired with one or more back-up reinforcers. In the current study, three types of tokens were assessed that could be exchanged for either salty snacks, food and drinks offered in a small marketplace, or money on a gift card. Token preferences were assessed using a Paired Stimulus preference assessment and a progressive ratio (PR) task. The results of the preference assessment and PR task support that as generality increases, the relative reinforcing value of different types of tokens also increases. The results demonstrate concordance between Paired Stimulus preference assessment and PR tasks in assessing value. Finally, the results support the use of a graded approach to assessing the value of token reinforcers.