Token Economy Programmes

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Token Economy Programmes are a form of behaviour modification that are based around operant conditioning principles. In criminal psychology, they are used within closed institutions such as prisons to obtain desired behaviour.

They were originally started in the 1960's, where it was hoped they would be succesful in obtaining desired behaviour due to the success of other learning approach theories. For example, 1960's Allyon set up a year long programme for adolescents and it was this programme that sparked the use of TEP's.

The idea is that once the behaviour is obtained, it will be generalised to the outside world. For example in a prison, law abiding behaviour will occur inside and then outside of the insitution. It is important that there are clear definitions of what is desired behaviour, how frequently the tokens can be exchanged and what they can be exchanged for, as well as how many tokens are to


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