The result is the child exhibits the target behaviors occur more often.
The amount of tokens required to earn a backup reinforcer are usually illustrated in a chart form.
Initially tokens are awarded frequently and in higher amounts, but as individuals learn the desirable behavior, opportunities to earn tokens decrease.
(The amount and frequency of token dispensing is called a reinforcement schedule.) For example, in a classroom, each student may earn 25 to 75 tokens the first day, so that they quickly learn the value of the tokens. By gradually decreasing the availability of tokens (fading), students should learn to display the desirable behavior independently, without the unnatural use of tokens.
The premise of a token economy is that a child can earn a certain number of tokens by exhibiting desired behaviors.
For example, a child may be required to earn 5 tokens which can be exchanged for a larger and more preferred item.
It is designed to teach them what behaviors are desired and which are not.
Token economies are used as a method of strengthening a behavior or increasing its frequency.
Special education (for children with developmental or learning disabilities, hyperactivity, attention deficit, or behavioral disorders), regular education, colleges, various types of group homes , military divisions, nursing homes, addiction treatment programs, occupational settings, family homes (for marital or parenting difficulties), and hospitals may also use token economies.
Token economies can be used individually or in groups.