The Token Economy Revisited

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(12), 995–997. Reviews the book, The Token Economy: A Review and Evaluation by Alan E. Kazdin (1977). The major thrust of this book is–in addition to giving a historical overview as well as discussions on practical, ethical and legal issues–to review the token economy literature. This is achieved in a very concentrated manner in the book's fourth and fifth chapters and to a lesser extent in the chapters on generalization, critical evaluation, and extensions. The author has done a very painstaking job of pointing up all the populations with which token economies have been applied as well as the objectives sought by the various programs themselves within populations. Kazdin's scholarly review of the data base of the token economy paradigm is a timely contribution to the understanding and perspective within which this behavioral technique can best be appreciated. This book mirrors much of the excitement that exists when well-known behavioral principles are effectively extended to complex human problems. This book should be especially enlightening to psychotherapists as well as to teachers and students of clinical and counseling psychology who are interested in the evidence of the therapeutic effects of the token economy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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