Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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

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Paper Session #434
Camparing Food Preference Assessment Methods in Brushtail Possums
Monday, May 26, 2014
4:00 PM–4:20 PM
W175a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EAB
Chair: Lewis A. Bizo (The University of Waikato)

Comparing Food Preference Assessment Methods in Brushtail Possums

Domain: Basic Research
Ian Raymond Cronin (The University of Waikato), Therese Mary Foster (The University of Waikato), LEWIS A. BIZO (The University of Waikato)

A comparison was made between paired-stimulus and multiple-stimulus without-replacement preference assessments with the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Both assessments identified similar preferences in foods by individual possums. A progressive-ratio reinforcer assessment showed that all foods identified in the preference assessments functioned as reinforcers when presented in a single-schedule arrangement, including those foods identified as low-preference. In a concurrent-schedule arrangement, the food type that was generally shown as being of high-preference at higher schedule requirements during the single-schedule assessment, was shown to have higher measures of preference again. It was also found that when the concurrent alternative was on a fixed-ratio 50 schedule, the impact upon preference was less than when the concurrent alternative was on a fixed-ratio 20. We concluded that preference is relative to the other alternatives available, and stimuli identified as low-preference when assessed through paired stimulus or multiple stimulus without replacement methods may still be appropriate to use as reinforcers to maintain operant responding.




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