Date of Award

August 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Brian K. Martens

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Preference assessments are commonly administered to identify potential reinforcers for use in behavioral interventions. This study examined the effectiveness of a token intervention for increasing compliance during paired-stimulus preference assessments. Three male preschool children with hypothesized tangible-motivated problem behavior participated. For Experiment 1, an ABAB reversal design was used to evaluate the effects of tokens on students’ compliance and problem behaviors. Experiment 2 used a concurrent-operants design to compare children’s choice of concurrent VI-15s schedules of token delivery and exchange at the end of each session versus immediate access to a highly-preferred item. Results demonstrated that two of the three children exhibited an increase in compliance with item surrendering during the token intervention phases compared to baseline. Only one participant demonstrated a preference for tokens over access to their highest preferred item. Implications of the study on the increase in compliance using generalized conditioned reinforcers are discussed.


Open Access