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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Social reinforcer preferences of elementary school and college students Ganshorn, Margaret Ruth


In order to assess the differences with respect to the social reinforcer preferences of adults and children, and the consistency of the preferences of the two groups over time and across situations, the rank order of preference of eight social reinforcers was measured by administering a paired-comparisons questionnaire on two occasions, one week apart, and a behavioural task involving the same eight reinforcers in the third week. The results indicated that expressed preference was highly stable over time, and consistent across assessment procedures (questionnaires and wool-sorting task), and that the two groups differed significantly in terms of order of preference. The findings of the present study are related to previous research; the educational and therapeutic implications of the results are discussed, and suggestions regarding future research are made.

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