Problem Behavior During Preference Assessments: An Empirical Analysis and Practical Recommendations


An experimenter assessed the preferences of two children with developmental disabilities, whose functional analyses indicated that access to tangible items maintained their problem behavior, by using three formats: paired stimulus (PS), multiple-stimulus without replacement (MSWO), and free operant (FO). The experimenter administered each format five times and compared levels of problem behavior across formats in a multielement design. Both participants exhibited problem behavior in PS and MSWO but not in FO. The article discusses results in terms of recommendations for practitioners.


Kang, S., Lang, R. B., O’Reilly, M., Davis, T. N., Machalicek, W., Rispoli, M. J., & Chan, J. M. (2010). Problem behavior during preference assessments: An empirical analysis and practical recommendations. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43(1), 137–141. doi:10.1901/jaba.2010.43-137