Abstract The conditioned place preference method for measuring the affective properties of reinforcing events was studied using treatments of known affective value. The size of the place aversion observed increased with dose when the reinforcer was injections of lithium chloride. The size of the place preference observed increased with concentration when the reinforcer was drinking sucrose solutions. However, when the reinforcer was solutions of saccharin (that were consumed in the same amounts as the sucrose solutions) no place preferences were observed. This finding was explained in terms of the dual reinforcement hypothesis  which postulates that although sucrose and saccharin both have positive affective properties (based on their tastes) only sucrose has memory improving properties (based on its post-ingestive action). It was therefore proposed that conditioned place preferences depend on the activation of both affective and memory improving processes. This hypothesis was confirmed by the observation of place preferences with a saccharin solution as the reinforcer when the pairing trials were followed by non-contingent, post-pairing injections of glucose or amphetamine (both of which are known to improve memory). Therefore, behavior in the place preference method depends upon both the affective and the memory improving properties of the reinforcers under test.