Token Economy: A Systematic Review of Procedural Descriptions

Jonathan William Ivy, James N. Meindl, Eric Overley, Kristen M. Robson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The token economy is a well-established and widely used behavioral intervention. A token economy is comprised of six procedural components: the target response(s), a token that functions as a conditioned reinforcer, backup reinforcers, and three interconnected schedules of reinforcement. Despite decades of applied research, the extent to which the procedures of a token economy are described in complete and replicable detail has not been evaluated. Given the inherent complexity of a token economy, an analysis of the procedural descriptions may benefit future token economy research and practice. Articles published between 2000 and 2015 that included implementation of a token economy within an applied setting were identified and reviewed with a focus on evaluating the thoroughness of procedural descriptions. The results show that token economy components are regularly omitted or described in vague terms. Of the articles included in this analysis, only 19% (18 of 96 articles reviewed) included replicable and complete descriptions of all primary components. Missing or vague component descriptions could negatively affect future research or applied practice. Recommendations are provided to improve component descriptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-737
Number of pages30
JournalBehavior Modification
Volume41
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Fingerprint

Token Economy
Reinforcement Schedule
Systematic Review
Procedural
Economy
Research

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Ivy, Jonathan William ; Meindl, James N. ; Overley, Eric ; Robson, Kristen M. / Token Economy : A Systematic Review of Procedural Descriptions. In: Behavior Modification. 2017 ; Vol. 41, No. 5. pp. 708-737.
@article{83a51562c375436281f42f36317dddf9,
title = "Token Economy: A Systematic Review of Procedural Descriptions",
abstract = "The token economy is a well-established and widely used behavioral intervention. A token economy is comprised of six procedural components: the target response(s), a token that functions as a conditioned reinforcer, backup reinforcers, and three interconnected schedules of reinforcement. Despite decades of applied research, the extent to which the procedures of a token economy are described in complete and replicable detail has not been evaluated. Given the inherent complexity of a token economy, an analysis of the procedural descriptions may benefit future token economy research and practice. Articles published between 2000 and 2015 that included implementation of a token economy within an applied setting were identified and reviewed with a focus on evaluating the thoroughness of procedural descriptions. The results show that token economy components are regularly omitted or described in vague terms. Of the articles included in this analysis, only 19{\%} (18 of 96 articles reviewed) included replicable and complete descriptions of all primary components. Missing or vague component descriptions could negatively affect future research or applied practice. Recommendations are provided to improve component descriptions.",
author = "Ivy, {Jonathan William} and Meindl, {James N.} and Eric Overley and Robson, {Kristen M.}",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0145445517699559",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "41",
pages = "708--737",
journal = "Behavior Modification",
issn = "0145-4455",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "5",

}

Token Economy : A Systematic Review of Procedural Descriptions. / Ivy, Jonathan William; Meindl, James N.; Overley, Eric; Robson, Kristen M.

In: Behavior Modification, Vol. 41, No. 5, 01.09.2017, p. 708-737.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Token Economy

T2 - A Systematic Review of Procedural Descriptions

AU - Ivy, Jonathan William

AU - Meindl, James N.

AU - Overley, Eric

AU - Robson, Kristen M.

PY - 2017/9/1

Y1 - 2017/9/1

N2 - The token economy is a well-established and widely used behavioral intervention. A token economy is comprised of six procedural components: the target response(s), a token that functions as a conditioned reinforcer, backup reinforcers, and three interconnected schedules of reinforcement. Despite decades of applied research, the extent to which the procedures of a token economy are described in complete and replicable detail has not been evaluated. Given the inherent complexity of a token economy, an analysis of the procedural descriptions may benefit future token economy research and practice. Articles published between 2000 and 2015 that included implementation of a token economy within an applied setting were identified and reviewed with a focus on evaluating the thoroughness of procedural descriptions. The results show that token economy components are regularly omitted or described in vague terms. Of the articles included in this analysis, only 19% (18 of 96 articles reviewed) included replicable and complete descriptions of all primary components. Missing or vague component descriptions could negatively affect future research or applied practice. Recommendations are provided to improve component descriptions.

AB - The token economy is a well-established and widely used behavioral intervention. A token economy is comprised of six procedural components: the target response(s), a token that functions as a conditioned reinforcer, backup reinforcers, and three interconnected schedules of reinforcement. Despite decades of applied research, the extent to which the procedures of a token economy are described in complete and replicable detail has not been evaluated. Given the inherent complexity of a token economy, an analysis of the procedural descriptions may benefit future token economy research and practice. Articles published between 2000 and 2015 that included implementation of a token economy within an applied setting were identified and reviewed with a focus on evaluating the thoroughness of procedural descriptions. The results show that token economy components are regularly omitted or described in vague terms. Of the articles included in this analysis, only 19% (18 of 96 articles reviewed) included replicable and complete descriptions of all primary components. Missing or vague component descriptions could negatively affect future research or applied practice. Recommendations are provided to improve component descriptions.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85026798019&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85026798019&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0145445517699559

DO - 10.1177/0145445517699559

M3 - Review article

C2 - 28423911

AN - SCOPUS:85026798019

VL - 41

SP - 708

EP - 737

JO - Behavior Modification

JF - Behavior Modification

SN - 0145-4455

IS - 5

ER -