Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Behavior Analysis and Therapy


Baker, Jonathan C.


For nearly thirty years, preference assessments have been utilized in determining items of interest for individuals afflicted with developmental disabilities. Originally, preference assessments were conducted on individuals with severe and profound disabilities, however over time, preference assessments have been adapted to suit individuals with various levels of functioning, as well as those with physical disabilities. Five primary methodologies have become widely accepted for conducting such assessments, and as new techniques have emerged, researchers have conducted a wide range of comparative studies, in hopes of sorting out each respective assessment’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as identify which specific populations for which each is best-suited. To this point, the strengths and weaknesses of each assessment have largely been isolated, however the picture is somewhat more cloudy when attempting to match the ideal assessment to a particular subpopulation. Future research may continue to work to clarify this issue, and in addition may utilize new innovations in technology to determine preference in populations previously inaccessible to traditional methods.