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EVALUATION OF A SELF-INSTRUCTION PACKAGE FOR CONDUCTING STIMULUS PREFERENCE ASSESSMENTS

Authors


  • This study was completed by the first author in partial fulfillment of requirements for the PhD degree in behavior analysis at Western New England College. We express appreciation to Gregory Hanley, Rachel Thompson, and Eileen Roscoe for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript.

Address correspondence to Richard B. Graff, New England Center for Children, 33 Turnpike Rd., South-borough, Massachusetts 01772 (e-mail: rgraff@necc.org).

Abstract

Research suggests that inexperienced individuals cannot accurately implement stimulus preference assessments given written instructions alone. Training that includes written instructions supplemented with feedback from a professional with expertise in conducting preference assessments has proven effective; unfortunately, expert-facilitated direct training may not be widely available. In the current study, we used multiple baseline designs to evaluate the efficacy of an antecedent-only self-instructional package to train staff members to implement two methods of stimulus preference assessments. Accuracy was low when participants had access to written instructions alone. When access to enhanced written instructions was provided (i.e., technical jargon was minimized; instructions included pictures, diagrams, and step-by-step examples), inexperienced staff accurately implemented the assessments. Results are discussed in terms of opportunities to disseminate behavior-analytic technologies through self-instruction and print resources.

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