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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A video-based preference assessment of social stimuli Service, Lynn


Research on social stimuli preference assessments has largely used pictorial depictions of social stimuli (Kelly, Roscoe, Hanley, & Schlichenmeyer, 2014; Lang et al., 2014). However, social stimuli are dynamic and the use of videos may better portray the nuances of social stimuli (Snyder, Higbee, & Dayton, 2012). The purpose of the current study was to evaluate a 3-step process to identify reinforcing social stimuli (i.e., a semi-structured interview, a video-based preference assessment, and a reinforcer assessment). Six children aged 2- to 7-years old participated in the study. Two participants had a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, one had a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and three were typically developing. The experimenter conducted a video-based, paired-choice preference assessment in which two videos of different social stimuli played simultaneously. The rate of responding for high- and low-preference social stimuli was assessed during baseline and a progressive and/or fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement. Four participant’s participation was terminated before full data sets could be collected due to engagement in problem behaviour. Two participants were able to complete full data sets; however, both required modifications to the original method to do so. The results of the study will be discussed in terms of clinical implications and considerations for future research.

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