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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #265
Preference Assessments in OBM Research
Sunday, May 25, 2014
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
W192b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Byron J. Wine (ABA Technologies)

A small but growing literature exists in Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) on the use of employee preference assessments. Undergirding the need for preference assessments is work suggesting that managers may not always be able to predict what employees will find valuable (Wilder, Harris, Casella, Wine, & Postma, 2011). Based on this research, it has been recommended that formal preference assessments be incorporated into the design of reward systems in organizations. In this symposium, three OBM studies will be presented that utilize some form of assessment of employee preference for one or more aspects of their work environment or an intervention they are exposed to. In the first study, participants were allowed to select type of incentive that was to be delivered as part of a behavior change initiative to improve hand washing in an inpatient hospital. The second study. The second study investigated the optimal intervals for assessing incentive preferences. The third study assessed the unique and combined effects of allowing employees to select task and type of incentive.

Keyword(s): incentives, preference assessment
Improving Hand Hygiene in a Hospital: An Examination of Staff Preferences
REBECCA STERN (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Samantha Hardesty (Kennedy Krieger Institute), Lynn G. Bowman (Kennedy Krieger Institute)
Abstract: Hand hygiene is the single most effective way to stop the spread of disease and infection; however, compliance continues to be substandard in human service settings (Acosta-Gnass & Stempliuk, 2009; CDC, 2007). The purpose of the current study was to increase compliance with hand hygiene among staff in a hospital setting while also examining staff preference of interventions. A large scale, multi-component intervention was developed based on previous research and pilot data obtained on the hospital unit. A survey was distributed to identify preferred reinforcers prior to the intervention and acceptability was assessed following implementation. Results suggest that lotteries and peer monitoring were successful at increasing hand hygiene and no change was observed after the intervention was modified based on staff responses from the social validity measure. Results also suggest that the type of sanitizer product used influenced hand hygiene compliance.
An Assessment of Optimal Preference Assessment Intervals among Employees
DAVID KELLEY (Florida Institute of Technology), Byron J. Wine (ABA Technologies), David A. Wilder (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Previous research has shown that employee preferences for tangible items may change significantly from one month to the next; however, no guidelines exist with regards to how often to assess employee preference. Changes in preference, as measured by two different preference assessments across four different time intervals, are presented. Results of both assessments revealed that a one-week interval resulted in the strongest correlations between assessments. Additionally, only the one-week interval included no changes in item designation from a high-preference to low-preference or low-preference to high-preference. These data suggest that a one-week interval may be the maximum time to wait before re-administering preference assessments.

The Effects of Degree of Choice on the Performance of Employees

BYRON J. WINE (ABA Technologies), David Kelley (Florida Institute of Technology)

While the value of choice has been demonstrated in clinical populations, it has yet to be evaluated in an organizational setting. The rate of office task completion was measured in two employees while four levels of choice were alternated in a multi-element design. The choice variables manipulated were choice versus assignment of preferred reinforcers, and choice of order of task completion versus participant choice of order. Initial results suggest increased responding in the maximum choice intervention for at least one participant.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh