token economy

token economy

noun Psychiatry.
a method of encouraging desirable behavior, especially in a hospital setting, by offering rewards of token money that can be exchanged for special food, access to television, and other bonuses.

Origin:
1965–70

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World English Dictionary
token economy
 
n
a type of psychotherapy in which the inmates of an institution are rewarded for good behaviour with tokens that can be exchanged for privileges

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