Comparison of edible and leisure reinforcers

Tara A. Fahmie, Brian A. Iwata, Kathryn E. Jann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Results of previous research have shown that individuals with intellectual disabilities usually prefer edible items over leisure items. Other research has shown that sensory (leisure) items facilitate response acquisition and maintenance better than edible items do for individuals with autism. The current studies examined preference and performance for edible and leisure reinforcers by children with and without autism. Results showed that edible items were more preferred (Study 1) and resulted in higher rates of responding under maintenance conditions (Study 3) in subjects both with and without autism. Edible and leisure items resulted in similar rates of response acquisition (Study 2) for both samples and for subjects who showed different patterns of preference in Study 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-343
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • edible
  • preference
  • reinforcer assessment
  • response maintenance
  • sensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Applied Psychology


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