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J Appl Behav Anal. 2007 Summer;40(2):327-31.

Antecedent effects of observing peer play.

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  • 1University of Kansas, Lawrence 66045, USA.


The relative reinforcing value of toys was assessed in the absence of, and immediately following, participant observation of a peer manipulating one of the toys. Preference assessments were used to identify preference hierarchies. Reinforcer assessments were conducted with a high-preference item, a low-preference item, and a control. Each participant allocated responding toward the high-preference item during baseline. When reinforcer assessment sessions were preceded by a peer observation period, 3 of the 4 participants shifted allocation to the toy manipulated by the peer. The 4th participant shifted allocation only when the high-preference stimulus was replaced with a medium-preference stimulus. These data suggest that, among preschoolers, response allocation is influenced by observations of peers playing.

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