B45: Behaviour Modification
Chapter 22: The Token Economy
DEFINING A TOKEN ECONOMY
Token economy- a reinforcement system in which conditioned reinforcers called tokens are delivered to people for desirable
behaviours: the tokens are later exchanged for backup reinforcers.
A token is delivered immediately after a desirable behaviour and is later exchanged for backup reinforcers.
Because the token is paired with other reinforcers, it becomes a conditioned reinforcer that strengthens the desirable
behaviour it follows.
The following of basic components of a token economy:
The desirable target behaviours to be strengthened
The tokens to be used as conditioned reinforcers
The backup reinforcers to be exchanged for the tokens
A reinforcement schedule for token delivery
The rate at which tokens are exchanged for the backup reinforcers
A time and place for exchanging tokens for backup reinforcers
IMPLEMENTING A TOKEN ECONOMY
Defining the Target Behaviours.
•Identify and define the desirable behaviours that will be reinforced in the program.
•The main criterion for choosing the target behaviours is that they are socially significant or meaningful for
the people involved in the program.
Identifying the Items to Use as Tokens.
•Must be something tangible that the change agent can deliver immediately for each instance of the target
behaviour, and it must be practical and convenient.
Identifying Backup Reinforcers.
•Tokens acquire their effectiveness as conditioned reinforcers because they are paired with the backup
reinforcers; therefore, the effectiveness of a token economy depends on the backup reinforcers.
•Backup reinforcers may include consumable such as snacks or drinks, toys or they may include activity
reinforcers such as games, videos, TV time and privileges.