The Effects of Pictorial VersusTangible Stimuli in Stimulus Preference Assessments
Research in Developmental Disabilities
Recent research in the area of stimulus-preferenceassessment has progressively improved the accuracy and efficiency of this technology for predicting reinforcer potency. One way to potentially improve the efficiency of the procedure might be to use pictorial representations of stimuli in the assessment rather than the stimuli themselves. To determine the feasibility of using pictorialstimuli in preferenceassessments, multiple-stimuluspreferenceassessments were conducted with two adults diagnosed with mental retardation using both tangiblestimuli and pictorial cards representing these same stimuli. The tangiblesstimulusassessment produced greater variations in selection percentages than the pictorialassessment. Subsequent reinforcer assessments confirmed that stimuli predicted by the tangiblesassessment were more potent reinforcers than those predicted by the pictorialassessment. The results are discussed in the context of improving stimulus-preferenceassessment technology.
Higbee, T.S., Carr, J.E., & Harrison, C.D. (1999). The effects of pictorial versus tangible stimuli in stimulus preference assessments. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 20, 63-72.