Token Economy

Token Economy



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.




ABC Record A behavior that I wanted to better understand and pay attention to throughout the week was the behavior of going to class.

I kept track of my record each time that I went to class and each time that I missed a class. Before the behavior occurred, also called the antecedent, I did not know any new information that was going to be on the next tests. The behavior which occurred was going and attending class. The consequence was being able to learn new important information that will be relevant towards future tests.

When I missed class the antecedent was the same as before, I did not know any new information that was going to be on the next test. The behavior changed and that time it was staying in my room to watch my favorite show.

The consequence also changed and was that I did not learn new important information that will likely be on the next test. This behavior of watching T.V. instead of going to class quickly changed because missing important work and having to make up for it by doing extra work later was a punishment each time I missed class.

The natural competing contingency of watching T.V. instead of going to class was not large enough to sustain me from going to class. My experience tracking this ABC record throughout the week helped me understand why my behavior of going to class was maintained. It also helped me understand why other behaviors are changing by increasing or decreasing.

Not only did I write down an ABC chart for this behavior, but I also wrote down many other ABC charts for other behaviors as well. A benefit that I recognized for everyday life from this activity is that all behaviors can be changed. Using reinforcement, punishment, escape, avoidance, and many other techniques people can manipulate behaviors into wanted target behaviors.

A lack that I noticed from this activity was that changing behavior is not always as easy as it sounds. Behavior does not change right away, but it takes time and patience and lots of repetition to get to that final target behavior.

This activity could be most useful for parents with bad behaving children, people with mental illnesses, and animal training. This activity could actually be used in many types of setting to change any type of wanted or unwanted behavior.

This is a great tool to be used in a therapy setting when people need help changing for the better because everything we do is a learned behavior that can be changed.

No one does something without some kind of reinforcement or punishment following it.