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Chapter 22

ch.22 token economy.docx

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Zachariah Campbell

CH.22 THE TOKEN ECONOMY - Token economy’s purpose is to strengthen clients’ desirable behaviors that occur too infrequently and to decrease their undesirable behaviors in a structured treatment environment or educational setting - Each point received by the adolescents for desirable behavior is a token which is delivered to a person immediately after a desirable behavior accumulated by the person and later exchanged for backup reinforcers. - Because token is paired with other reinforcers, it becomes a conditioned reinforcer that strengthens the desirable behavior it follows. Backup reinforcers can be obtained only by paying for them with tokens and tokens can be obtained only by exhibiting desirable behaviors. Backup reinforcers are chosen b.c they’re known to be powerful reinforcers for the clients in the treatment environment. - Essential components of a token economy: the desirable target behaviors to be strengthened, tokens to be used as conditioned reinforcers, the backup reinforcers to be exchanged for the token, a reinforcement schedule for token delivery, rate at which tokens are exchanged for the backup reinforcers, and a time and a place for exchanging tokens for backup reinforcers. Optional: a response cost component, in which the undesirable target behaviors to be eliminated are identified, together with the rate of token loss for each instance of these behaviors IMPLEMENTING A TOKEN ECONOMY - Defining the Target Behaviors - Identifying the Items to use as Tokens: must be something tangible so the change agent can deliver immediately after each instance of the target behaviors ex: point card - Identifying Backup Reinforcers - Deciding on the appropriate schedule of reinforcement - Establishing the token exchange rate - Establishing the time and place for exchanging tokens - Deciding whether to use response cost: a response cost component is not always used with a token economy. If the goal of the token economy is to strengthen desirable behaviors and there are no competing problem behaviors, token economy will not include a response cost component. If there are undesirable behaviors that compete with the desirable behaviors, response cost may be included in the token economy. Response cost only effective after tokens are conditioned reinforcers, response cost is used only if the change agent can get token back - Staff training and management: staff members must receive training before conducting the program. They must: discriminate each instance of all of the targ
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