Token Economy Research Paper

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Individuals receive tokens immediately after displaying desirable 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.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.Conversely, tokens might also be used to discourage other behaviors such aggression.If a child demonstrates a calm demeanor when speaking with teachers, they would receive a token for not being hostile.This was one of the findings from Louisiana State University researchers Jessica Boisjoli and Jonny Matson in their 2009 research paper: The Token Economy for Children with Intellectual Disability and/or Autism: A Review.Simply put, a token economy is a system used in behavior modification to provide positive reinforcement to a child.Reinforcers that individuals would normally encounter in society, such as verbal praise, should accompany the awarding of tokens to aid in the fading process. "Restructuring an Existing Token Economy in a Psychiatric Facility for Children." Child & Family Behavior Therapy 23, no. Advantages of token economies are that behaviors can be rewarded immediately, rewards are the same for all members of a group, use of punishment (response cost) is less restrictive than other forms of punishment, and individuals can learn skills related to planning for the future.

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