A token economy is a challenging behavior modification technique used as a last resource when other reinforces have not worked. Contrary to other behavior modification techniques that provide the subject with intangible goods, the token economy involves rewarding the individual with a tangible, universal “token”, which he or she can later exchange for any object or privilege of preference. The token earned is similar to money; the person has to collect enough to be able to afford the object or privilege in mind.
The token economy technique imitates the real world and its economics system. It is incentive based, earn, save, invest, donate, and spend. Tokens, work just like money does. They do not lose their value, and they are a palpable measure of a person’s willingness to change. For this technique to be effective, however, the subject should understand the concept, the behavior that needs improvement or eradication, and the behaviors rewarded.
The reason for this technique to be in this report is because of its benefits. The compensations of using this technique are that the individual practices good decision making, the individual selects what to do with the tokens earned. Another benefit is empowerment; the individual is given control over his desire to change. Motivation is another benefit stemming from this technique, there is a reward waiting for keeping the goal in mind and such reward can increase according to the improvement demonstrated.Additionally, the individual practices financial management, tokens are cumulative, therefore, the individual is able to aim at higher challenges and by saving tokens he or she is able to get better rewards. Lastly, it ties the concept of earning and working, the more the person works towards achieving the goal, the better he or she will be rewarded.
Internal motivation is an essential part of the token economy technique, because even when situations seem too difficult to conquer, the individual will continue to perform as contracted to get the token agreed.