Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Andrew L. Samaha, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kimberly Crossland, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah E. Bloom, Ph.D.


Children diagnosed with autism often exhibit a limited range of preferred stimuli. This can lead to problem behavior or a decline in quality of life. Recent work has shown that watching peers approach and interact with stimuli can affect an observer’s preferences with respect to those stimuli. Video modeling is an effective intervention component for many individuals with ASD, and may be extended toward increasing the breadth of preferences in such individuals. The purpose of this study is to examine the degree to which video modeling can be used to increase the preference and reinforcing value of initially low-preferred toys in individuals with autism. Progressive ratio (PR) break point assessments and multiple stimulus without replacement preference assessments were used to evaluate intervention effectiveness. Overall, video modeling was effective at increasing preference of least preferred toys but increases in preference were not accompanied by increases in reinforcer value as reflected by frequency of responses.