Evaluating the relative effects of feedback and contingent money for staff training of stimulus preference assessments

Eileen M. Roscoe, Wayne W. Fisher, Ashley C. Glover, Valerie M. Volkert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Performance feedback has facilitated the acquisition and maintenance of a wide range of behaviors (e.g., health-care routines, seat-belt use). Most researchers have attributed the effectiveness of performance feedback to (a) its discriminative functions, (b) its reinforcing functions, or (c) the combination of the two. In this study, we attempted to evaluate the relative contributions of the discriminative and reinforcing functions of performance feedback by comparing a condition in which the discriminative functions were maximized and the reinforcing functions were minimized (i.e., performance-specific instructions without contingent money) with one in which the reinforcing functions were maximized and the discriminative functions were minimized (i.e., contingent money with no performance-specific instructions). We compared the effects of these two conditions on the acquisition of skills involved in conducting two commonly used preference assessments. Results showed that acquisition of these skills occurred primarily in the condition with performance-specific instruction without contingent money, suggesting that the delivery of performance-specific instructions was critical to skill acquisition, whereas the delivery of contingent money had little effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-77
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of applied behavior analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Behavioral skills training
  • Feedback
  • Organizational behavior management
  • Preference assessments
  • Staff training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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