What Is a Token Economy?

A token economy is a system of behavior modification that uses positive reinforcement to reward desired behaviors. It involves giving out tokens, such as coins or chips, when the individual performs an action that is considered desirable. The tokens can then be exchanged for rewards at predetermined times and intervals. This type of system has been used in many different settings including schools, mental health facilities, prisons and even businesses.

The goal of a token economy is to increase the frequency of desirable behaviors while decreasing undesirable ones by providing immediate feedback through tangible rewards. For example, if someone completes their homework on time they may receive a token which can later be redeemed for something like extra free time or access to special activities. Token economies are often used in conjunction with other forms of behavioral therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and applied behavior analysis (ABA). They have also been found to be effective in helping individuals learn new skills and develop better self-control over their own actions.

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