Using a Tablet Device to Examine Effects of Varied Reinforcement and Preference

  • Audrey N. HoffmannEmail author
  • Bistra K. Bogoev
  • Chase H. Callard
  • Tyra P. Sellers
Original Paper


The present study examined effects of providing varied reinforcement versus constant reinforcement using an iPad and applications (apps). Participants included three typically developing children in a school setting. We conducted a preference assessment to identify highly preferred and moderately preferred apps. We then conducted a concurrent chains assessment to examine responding for varied moderately preferred content or constant highly preferred content. Although participants demonstrated different response patterns, all participants responded to gain access to varied moderately preferred reinforcement more than constant highly preferred reinforcement although preference for content alone would not have predicted this outcome. This research has implications for using high-tech devices (i.e., iPads) as reinforcers in educational settings.


Constant reinforcement iPad Technology Varied reinforcement 



The authors wish to thank Stephanie Mattson and Jason Lee for their valuable contributions to conducting this research.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationNorthern Vermont University-JohnsonJohnsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Special Education and RehabilitationUtah State UniversityLoganUSA
  3. 3.Behavior Analyst Certification BoardLittletonUSA

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