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What principles are the foundation of behaviour modification techniques?
- The principles of operant and classical conditioning
- Desirable behaviour is reinforced
What is a token economy?
- A system in which positive behaviour is rewarded with tokens
- These tokens can be exchanged for basic commodities such as cigarettes or recreation time
How is behaviour modified?
- Desirable behaviours are learned and undesirable behaviours are extinguished through selective reinforcement
- If the inmate is aggressive or non-compliant then privileges are removed
What was the aim of the Cullen and Seddon study of 1981?
To investigate the use of token economies with people in a young offenders institution and to see how their behaviour could be modified
What methodology was employed during the Cullen and Seddon study of 1981?
- P's were placed on a regime where positive behaviours such as avoiding confrontation with others were rewarded with tokens that could be exchanged for rewards such as confectionary
- Undesirable behaviours, such as hostile behaviour, were not reinforced
What were the results of the Cullen and Seddon study of 1981?
Those placed on the token economy system began to produce socially desirable behaviours
What can be concluded from the Cullen and Seddon study of 1981?
techniques based on the principles of learning theory can be applied successfully to modifying antisocial behaviour
What did Cohen and Filipczak find in 1971?
A token economy group showed more desirable behaviour than a control group in an adult prison and were less likely to reoffend 1-2 years later
How can the simplicity of the program be seen as a benefit?
- It can be administered by anyone as it requires little expertise or training
- New staff or specialists are not required potentially reducing prison costs
What did Hollin find in 1989?
- Although techniques may have short term benefits, they are less effective than other methods such as anger management in the long term
- During the study it was found that, after 3 years, rates of recidivism were the same as before
- This suggests that, although it delays recidivism, Token economy does not impact upon long term recidivism rates
How may the mindset of the prisoners affect the effectiveness of token economy?
- It requires a high degree of commitment from everyone involved
- Prisoners are often lethargic, demotivated and depressed
How might Token economy not be as simple as first anticipated?
- It is simple to operate in controlled conditions but is extremely difficult in an actual prison
- There are many other sources of reinforcement and punishment within a prison such as the approval of other inmates
What did Blackburn find in 1993?
- TE effects have not convincingly been shown to generalise from institutions to real life
- There is little rehabilitative value and behaviour modification just facilitates the management of offenders
How are token economies said to be controversial?
- They may start with depriving prisoners of all non essential comforts so that they are motivated to behave more appropriately and earn tokens
- They are ethical objections to prisoners having to earn 'basic rights'
What did Andrews and Bonta find in 2006?
- TE ignores the reason for offences and focusses on changing behaviour
- A combination of behaviourist and cognitive therapies is preferred as it offers greater success in the long term
- Cognitive behavioural therapies give the offender insight into their behaviour, enabling self regulation of behaviour rather than external regulation
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