Token Economy Research Paper

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Just as the types of behaviors a token economy enforces are different, so are the ways in which this system is depicted.

Some charts are simply boards with a laminated sheet of paper, a particular number of Velcro strips with stars, smiley faces or other symbols.

Special education (for children with developmental or learning disabilities, hyperactivity, attention deficit, or behavioral disorders), regular education, colleges, various types of group homes , military divisions, nursing homes, addiction treatment programs, occupational settings, family homes (for marital or parenting difficulties), and hospitals may also use token economies.

Token economies can be used individually or in groups.

Data should be collected to support that the implementation is having the desired effect.

It’s also important to remember that though a token economy might seem like a merely fun game to incorporate during therapy, it is a scientifically proven tool that yields remarkable results.

The tokens are collected and later exchanged for a meaningful object or privilege.

The primary goal of a token economy is to increase desirable behavior and decrease undesirable behavior.

If a child engages in aggression or stereotypy, tokens may be delivered during times they are not engaging in these behaviors.

A backup reinforcer is an activity, item or privilege that the child enjoys. The token economy is effective because the child soon makes the association between the back-up reinforcers and the tokens for engaging in the desired behaviors.


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