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Comparison of Picture- and Video-Presentation Preference Assessments for Social Interactions


Effective training programs for individuals with disabilities often involve the use of positive reinforcement. Social interactions have many benefits over other forms of reinforcement, but more research is needed to determine how to identify social interactions that serve as reinforcers. In the first experiment, we evaluated the use of two procedures to assess preference for social interactions: a video-presentation and a picture-presentation paired-choice preference assessment among five boys diagnosed with a developmental disability. In the second experiment, we conducted concurrent operant reinforcer assessments to validate the results of the preference assessments among three of the five participants in which at least one assessment indicated differentiated preferences. The video-presentation and picture-presentation preference assessments resulted in the identification of the same high-preferred social interactions for two of the three participants, and subsequent reinforcer assessments indicated these social interactions served as reinforcers. The results of the video- and picture-presentation preference assessments differed for the final participant. The results of a concurrent operant reinforcer assessment indicated the social interaction identified as highest preferred in the video-presentation assessment served as a relatively more effective reinforcer. Results of this study indicate that video- and picture-presentation preference assessment results in differentiate responding for some participants, but not others; however, reasons for these results remain unknown. Moreover, a video-presentation preference assessments may be more effective in identifying social reinforcers, but evidence should be considered; preliminary and future research is warranted.

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Correspondence to Tonya Davis.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Davis, T., Weston, R., Hodges, A. et al. Comparison of Picture- and Video-Presentation Preference Assessments for Social Interactions. J Behav Educ 31, 367–387 (2022).

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  • Preference assessment
  • Reinforcer assessment
  • Social interaction
  • Social reinforcer