Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Workshop Details

Previous Page


Workshop #W38
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Conducting Verbal and Pictorial Preference Assessments
Friday, May 27, 2005
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
Marquette (3rd floor)
Area: PRA/VRB; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Richard B. Graff, M.S.
RICHARD B. GRAFF (New England Center for Children), THERESA M. CLEVENGER (New England Center for Children)
Description: Identifying effective reinforcers is crucial for skill acquisition and reduction of challenging behavior for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. Although many different types of stimulus preference assessments have been developed and refined over the past 15 years, most of these methods involve exposing an individual to tangible stimuli and measuring approach responses to or duration of engagement with stimuli. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult to assess preferences for large stimuli or community-based activities. In this workshop, participants will learn about two methods to assess these types of stimuli, verbal paired stimulus (VPS) and pictorial paired stimulus (PPS) preference assessments. First, participants will be taught how to conduct pretests to assess whether the individuals possess the appropriate prerequisite skills. Participants will then be taught how to conduct VPS and PPS assessments, and will practice these techniques with feedback from instructors.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participant will be able to: - Conduct discrimination pretests for VPS and PPS assessments. - Conduct a VPS assessment. - Conduct a PPS assessment. - Generate preference hierarchies based upon the results of VPS and PPS assessments.
Activities: Participants will be instructed on the use of stimulus preference assessments, with particular emphasis placed on the paired stimulus assessment developed by Fisher et al. (1992). Participants will be taught how to conduct discrimination pretests before conducting VPS and PPS assessments. Next, participants will watch instructors conducting VPS and PPS assessments, and each participant will conduct a VPS and a PPS assessment, with feedback provided by instructors. Participants will be taught how to collect preference assessment data, and how to generate preference hierarchies based upon these assessments. All participants will be provided with hard copies of materials and a compact disk that contains all pretests, VPS and PPS protocols, and blank data sheets, which can be used in any applied setting.
Audience: Parents, special education teachers, and professionals who work with individuals with ASD or other developmental disabilities who use positive reinforcement to teach new skills and/or to decrease challenging behavior.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic



Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh