Token economies have been extensively researched throughout the last several decades and applied in a variety of settings. Teachers and caretakers have used these systems in general education, special education, and community-based settings. Because of the variety of token-based systems and the ease at which teachers can implement them, token economies are widely used across the nation. The behavioral principles employed in token systems are based primarily upon the concept of operant conditioning (Kazdin, 1977; McLaughlin & Williams, 1988). Within a token economy, tokens are most often a neutral stimulus in the form of “points” or tangible items that are awarded to economy participants for target behaviors. In a token-reinforcement system, the neutral token is repeatedly presented alongside or immediately before the reinforcing stimulus. That stimulus may be a variation of edibles, privileges, or other incentives. By performing this process of repeating presentations of neutral tokens before the reinforcing stimulus, the neutral token becomes the reinforcing entity. As the participants in the token experience the pairing of token and a previously reinforcing items, the token itself may acquire reinforcing properties as a result. The token economy gains its utility and power to modify behavior when the neutral tokens become secondary reinforces. The effectiveness of this process has been noted by Miller and Drennen (1970). They demonstrated that when praise is a neutral stimulus, it could become a conditioned reinforce through pairing it with another reinforcing event.
Here in New Life Hospital we have started token economy to enhancing patient’s positive behaviors with the help of indoor games, and canteen tokens we tend to use this as a part of therapy so that we can make the patients aware of their cleanliness, spoken and most especially willingness of leaving drug addiction.