Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education



First Reader/Committee Chair

Congdon, Marissa


Reinforcement is a way to help students acquire and maintain skills and appropriate behaviors. This review of literature focuses on a variety of educational studies on students who have special needs. A majority of these studies discussed the types of reinforcers and assessments utilized in either these students’ classrooms or in the researchers’ offices.

All educators should find a variety of reinforcers for their students; in order to avoid a student’s satiation (when they are bored of a specific reinforcer) for a specific item. The most productive way educators can avoid a student becoming satiated with a specific reinforcer is either introducing new reinforcers to the student that are similar to that student’s previous preferred reinforcer(s), or assessing the student to find another preferred reinforcer the student will work for. This review of literature will define what preference assessments are, and also looks at the benefits of using various forms of reinforcement with students with disabilities. This review of literature will explain the types of preference assessments educators can utilize to help create an effective reinforcement system within the classroom.