Contingency Contract/Token Economy


The primary purpose of this assignment is to gain experience with development of an intervention plan using either contingency contracting or a token economy in order to increase preferred behavior. Students will identify, research and develop a plan to implement and use either contingency contracting or a token economy.

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General Information

In this project you will use the information addressed in this course to research, evaluate and develop a plan to implement either a contingency contract or a token economy. This is a plan for implementation; you will not actually implement the project. This assignment is worth 135 points and is due in Lesson 5. Include your last name and first initial as the first part of your document name (e.g., SmithA_Contingency_Contract). Please also include your name within the body of the document.


You are to develop and write an original behavior change plan using either a contingency contract or a token economy. This plan should be a maximum of 5 pages (not including an Appendix containing visual supports, data sheets, graph or training handouts). Include section headers (e.g., Part 1) along with headers that describe the material covered (e.g., Participants). Make sure that you answer all questions under each section header.

Your behavior change system plan should include:

1)a narrative description of your plan,

2)visual representation of the completed contract or token economy,

3)one data sheet,

4)one graph, and

5)a handout used for training others.


The data for this project will be hypothetical (made-up) as this is a treatment plan – not the actual intervention report. You will not actually be collecting data on any participants – but rather will create hypothetical data to convey to your reader how data resulting from your intervention could be evaluated. The objective of this approach is for you, as the interventionist, to convey to your reader your understanding of carrying out and interpreting an intervention plan.


Your paper should be of a publishable quality and reflect critical thinking, application, and evaluation of the principles of applied behavior analysis. Your document should be created and refined during this course. You may not submit material designed and submitted in whole or in part, in previous courses. Your document should be written in APA style following the format described below.

Activity Details

Consider each item below as you design your project. If you attend to each of the items, you will have developed a behavior change intervention using either contingency contracting or a token economy. Describe the following components as they relate to your specific project. Be sure to describe your project clearly enough so that anyone with your knowledge of behavioral principles could understand and replicate your study. Â Be brief, yet concise.

Part 1: Introduction

1.Contingency Contract or Token Economy (10 points)

•In one paragraph explain/describe the purpose of either a contingency contract or a token economy. Provide a brief description and purpose – what are they used for (target behaviors), with what population is it typically used (participants, age appropriate), who typically implements it, and in what settings? What is your reason for choosing this system? (5 points)

•In two paragraphs describe how you would conduct a preference assessment / reinforcer assessment in order to identify reinforcers for the system you chose. How and when will reinforcers be used? (5 points)

2.Literature Review (20 points)

•Conduct a preliminary review of scientifically-based literature to find two research articles that implement the use of the behavior change procedure/system you have selected for this project. At least one article must be published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and at least one article must be published between the years of 2010 and 2015. (5 points)

•Write one to two paragraphs summarizing the findings of previous research that used the behavior change procedure/system you have selected. For both articles explain how the behavior change procedure/system was implemented (independent variable), the target behavior(s) (dependent variable) (2 points), participants and settings (1 point), and what the other researchers found (2 points). (10 points total)

•Include these articles in a reference list using APA style. (5 points)


Your literature review must be relevant to your design of an intervention plan for this specific behavior treatment assignment. Though you may have studied token economy and contingency contracting to some extent in your other courses – for this assignment you are to conduct a review of the literature specific to the behaviors and needs of the target individual(s) that you have identified for this specific instance.  Your interpretation and description of the relevant literature must directly pertain to the areas of emphasis detailed in this assignment overview.  You may not re-use literature reviews (in whole or in part) that you have previously developed for assignments in other courses – or that are being used by other members of this course.  A goal is for you to gain experience strategically identifying supporting literature that can directly inform your treatment plan for a specific situation and individual. Rather than providing a generic overview of the value of token economy – you are encouraged to identify – and describe – studies that are of particular relevance to the specific approaches and needs of this particular case.


Part 2: Method – Participants, Setting, and Contingency Contract / Token Economy Project

1.Clearly describe the participants (5 points)

•Who are the specific individuals targeted for the behavior change project?  (1 point)

•Why are they included (social validity)? (1 point)

•What eligibility criteria, if any, do they have to meet? If no eligibility criteria, state and explain why not. (3 points)

2.Clearly describe the setting in which the system will be used (10 points)

•Where will the behavior change procedure be implemented? Clearly describe the exact location(s). Is it natural or contrived/analog? Who will implement it? (5 points)

•Why is that setting relevant, important, and ideal for this procedure? (5 points)

3.Clearly define the target behavior(s) you want to increase/develop using the behavior change procedure/system (15 points)

•Operationally define your target behavior/dependent variable. (5 points)

•Include examples of behavior that would meet the definition of your target behavior. (5 points)

•Include non-examples of behavior that would not meet the definition of your target behavior. (5 points)

4.Describe implementation of the project (10 points)

•Provide a thorough description of how you plan to implement the behavior change procedure. State exactly what you will do during intervention sessions.

oWhat will you say/show show the participant(s)? Â (1 point)

oWhat stimuli or materials during intervention sessions? (1 point)

oHow will the participant be able to respond during intervention? (1 point)

oWhat reinforcers and reinforcement schedule will be provided during intervention? (2 points)

oHow long will sessions be? (1 point)

oWhen will the intervention phase end? (1 point)

oProvide a visual representation of either your contract or token system. (1 point)

•Anyone who reads your plan should be able to follow through with what you are going to do. It needs to have enough detail that it can be replicated by anyone. (2 points)

Part 3: Monitor and Analyze Outcomes

1.Data collection plan (15 points)

•What dimension of behavior will you be measuring? (5 points)

•Explain what measurement method will you use. (2 points)

•Include your data sheet at the end of your write-up. (3 points)

•Include a description of how and when you will measure the target behavior.  (5 points)

2.Results (10 points)

•Describe how you will analyze your data. How will you determine if the intervention is working?  (2 points)

•Describe how will you graph your data. (What type of graph will you use and why?)  (3 points)

•Include an example graph at the end of your write-up. (Include all parts based on the type of graph – line graph, scatterplot, bar graph, standard celeration chart.) At minimum, include Baseline and Intervention phases (5 points)

3.Ensuring fidelity (15 points)

•Describe your procedures for training those who will implement the behavior change procedure/system. Be sure to specifically indicate who will be implementing the plan (e.g., parents, teachers, etc.). Your training procedures need to be appropriate for the individuals you indicated would be implementing the system.

•In your description include:

oAn overall procedure. (4 points)

oHandouts for training target individuals. (These should be handouts that you create/author — not copies of handouts that exist for a published curriculum or procedure.) (2 points)

oA description of how you plan to monitor their accuracy and consistency in implementing the plan. (4 points)

•What potential supports will those implementing the plan need? Describe how you will meet those needs. (5 points)

4.Ensuring reliability (10 points)

•Describe how you will ensure your data collection is reliable (e.g., IOA) and what criteria you will set for accuracy in measurement. (5 points)

•Specifically state what method of calculating IOA you will use and how it will be calculated. (5 points)

5.Plan for generalization and fading the intervention (10 points)

•Describe how you will ensure generalization and maintenance of the DV. (3 points)

•Describe how you will assess for generalization and maintenance. (2 points)

•Describe when and how you plan to fade the intervention. (3 points)

•Reference course material that support these techniques. (2 points)

6.Use APA format and proper grammar (5 points)

You should write professionally, clearly, and abide by APA format guidelines as well as use proper grammar. Review your document for typos, spelling errors, and incomplete sentences prior to submission. This is a graduate course and poor writing is not tolerated.

Scoring Grid: Develop a Contingency Contract or Token Economy

A total of 135 points can be earned for this assignment. Points will be assigned for accurate and complete information addressing each question/topic outlined in the activity details (above) and summarized in the Scoring Grid (below). Failure to address a question/topic will result in lost points.

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