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ERIC Number: EJ862917
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Pages: 30
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 111
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Token Reinforcement: A Review and Analysis
Hackenberg, Timothy D.
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v91 n2 p257-286 Mar 2009
Token reinforcement procedures and concepts are reviewed and discussed in relation to general principles of behavior. The paper is divided into four main parts. Part I reviews and discusses previous research on token systems in relation to common behavioral functions--reinforcement, temporal organization, antecedent stimulus functions, and aversive control--emphasizing both the continuities with other contingencies and the distinctive features of token systems. Part II describes the role of token procedures in the symmetrical law of effect, the view that reinforcers (gains) and punishers (losses) can be measured in conceptually analogous terms. Part III considers the utility of token reinforcement procedures in cross-species analysis of behavior more generally, showing how token procedures can be used to bridge the methodological gulf separating research with humans from that with other animals. Part IV discusses the relevance of token systems to the field of behavioral economics. Token systems have the potential to significantly advance research and theory in behavioral economics, permitting both a more refined analysis of the costs and benefits underlying standard economic models, and a common currency more akin to human monetary systems. Some implications for applied research and for broader theoretical integration across disciplines will also be considered. (Contains 10 figures.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Indiana University Department of Psychology. Bloomington, IN 47405-1301. Tel: 812-334-0395; FAX: 812-855-4691; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A