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PSYB45H3 (1,085)
Chapter 22

Chapter 22

3 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB45H3
Professor
Zachariah Campbell

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Chapter 22: The Token Economy
Conditioned reinforcers used systematically to strengthen desirable behaviours or individuals
participating in educational or treatment programs
Example: Sammy in juvenile offenders program, got points for engaging in desirable behaviours
(making bed, showering...), points taken away for antisocial behaviour. Can exchange points for
privileges (watching tv)
Defining a Token Economy
To strengthen clients’ desirable behaviours that occur too infrequently and to decrease undesirable
behaviours in structured treatment environment or educational setting
Each point received by adolescents for desirable behaviour is a token
Token delivered immediately after desirable behaviour and later exchanged for backup reinforcers
Because token paired with other reinforcers, becomes conditioned reinforcer that strengthens
desirable behaviour it follows
Backup reinforcers chosen because they are known to be powerful reinforcers for clients in
treatment environment
Basic components of token economy:
oDesirable target behaviours to be strengthened
oTokens to be used as conditioned reinforcers
oBackup reinforcers to be exchanged for tokens
oReinforcement schedule for token delivery
oRate at which tokens are exchanged for backup reinforcers
oTime and place for exchanging tokens for backup reinforcers
oIn some cases, response cost component, in which undesirable target behaviours to be
eliminated are identified, together with rate of token loss for each instance of these
behaviours
Implementing a Token Economy
Defining the target behaviours
oMain criterion for choosing target behaviours is that they are socially significant or
meaningful for people involved in program
oObjective behavioural definitions of target behaviours ensure that clients know what
behaviours are expected of them
oBehavioural definitions of target behaviours important, so that change agents can record
behaviours and implement token reinforcement reliably
Identify items to use as tokens
oToken must be something tangible that change agent can deliver immediately after each
instance of target behaviours
oTokens must be practical and convenient for change agent to carry and dispense
Identify some other items that could be used as tokens in token economy
oTokens chosen should not be available from any source other than change agent
oMust prevent clients from stealing tokens from one another or from change agents,
counterfeiting tokens, acquiring tokens from other sources
Identifying backup reinforcers
oEffectiveness of token economy depends on backup reinforcers
oBackup reinforcers are not available to clients except for purchase with tokens
oLimiting access to backup reinforcers increases reinforcing value because relative state of
deprivation is established
oReinforcers used must be those that are above and beyond clients basic needs or rights
Deciding on appropriate schedule of reinforcement
oBefore token implemented, must determine schedule of reinforcement for token delivery
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Description
Chapter 22: The Token Economy Conditioned reinforcers used systematically to strengthen desirable behaviours or individuals participating in educational or treatment programs Example: Sammy in juvenile offenders program, got points for engaging in desirable behaviours (making bed, showering...), points taken away for antisocial behaviour. Can exchange points for privileges (watching tv) Defining a Token Economy To strengthen clients desirable behaviours that occur too infrequently and to decrease undesirable behaviours in structured treatment environment or educational setting Each point received by adolescents for desirable behaviour is a token Token delivered immediately after desirable behaviour and later exchanged for backup reinforcers Because token paired with other reinforcers, becomes conditioned reinforcer that strengthens desirable behaviour it follows Backup reinforcers chosen because they are known to be powerful reinforcers for clients in treatment environment Basic components of token economy: o Desirable target behaviours to be strengthened o Tokens to be used as conditioned reinforcers o Backup reinforcers to be exchanged for tokens o Reinforcement schedule for token delivery o Rate at which tokens are exchanged for backup reinforcers o Time and place for exchanging tokens for backup reinforcers o In some cases, response cost component, in which undesirable target behaviours to be eliminated are identified, together with rate of token loss for each instance of these behaviours Implementing a Token Economy Defining the t
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