Utilizing Token Economies and Contingency Contracts in the Home and School

The token economy is a well-researched behavior change system where individuals earn generalized conditioned reinforcers (e.g., tokens, chips, points) as an immediate consequence for specific behaviors (Cooper, Heron & Heward, 2007). Token economy systems have been useful in virtually every instructional and therapeutic setting in increasing desirable behaviors while decreasing undesirable behaviors. The decision to include a token economy as part of an intervention plan should be based on individual needs and profiles (e.g., usefulness and appropriateness).
This workshop is designed to provide an overview of the token economy to better prepare participants to design, implement, and evaluate token economies.

  • Define token economy.
  • State the advantages and disadvantages of a token economy system.
  • List the steps in designing a token economy system.
  • Discuss considerations for withdrawing a token economy system.