A Comparison of Verbal and Standard Selection-Based Preferences Using the Multiple Stimulus Without Replacement Method for Children with Developmental Disabilities
Since DeLeon and Iwata (1996) published their seminal study on multiple stimulus preference assessments, the research surrounding preference assessments utilizing multiple stimuli has grown immensely. This has led to many variations of DeLeon and Iwata’s (1996) original preference assessment. Variations have included preference assessments conducted with videos, pictures, and activities. We compared the results of a standard tangible multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessment (MSWO) to a verbal multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessment with four individuals with developmental disabilities. A reinforcer assessment was conducted following each preference assessment to assess accuracy. Idiosyncratic results were found across participants. For two participants, the verbal MSWO predicted reinforcers more accurately than the tangible MSWO. For the remaining two participants, the tangible MSWO predicted highly preferred reinforcers more accurately than the verbal MSWO. The overall consistency of preference assessment was found to be strong and statistically significant through utilizing the Spearman rank-order correlation. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.