Throughout the week I implemented a token economy system of points for each time I exercised. Each time I exercised I would receive a token and every time I did not exercise a day during the week I did not get a point. By the end of the week I needed to have four points which would mean that I could exchange those points for a big dessert. Throughout the week I saw an increase in wanting to go exercise because if I did not I knew that I would lose that point. By the end of the week I was able to get four points and on Friday I went to Baskin Robins and got myself an ice cream sunday. I only used the reward of ice cream and Baskin Robins because it is a huge reinforcer for me. I love ice cream and chocolate and I would do anything to get it, but I know how bad it is for my body so I used the points system and exercise to get that reward.
When I was younger my parents would use a token economy on my brothers and I all the time. We had a chart on the wall and each time we did chores or got good grades we would get a sticker to go put on the chart. If we did not do chores or get good grades we would either get no sticker or have to go to time out for a while.
From this activity I saw an increase in wanting to go exercise. I would not hesitate and ask myself if I wanted to go today or not, but just go work out instead. I actually worked out five out of the four days instead of the minimum four days that was needed to get the ice cream. The only lack I could see from this activity was that if the reinforcer value was not as high as it was I would not care if I got points. This activity would have not worked if I hated ice cream and it was my prize at the end. Fortunately, I choose a reinforcer that was out of my reach unless I got those points for exercising.
This activity would be very useful to use among anyone, but it would work very well among children. Children love stickers, points, tokens, etc. They would work harder and love what they’re doing more if they knew they all their hard work was going to pay off in the end. After they reach their goal of certain points they are able to win a prize they have been longing. I also see this technique to be very useful in therapy to change the behavior of certain people. People will change their behavior when they know that all their hard work will pay off in the end.