Token economy II, response generalization or the effects of T.E. upon nonreinforced behaviour
In this second report of a token economy program with 30 hospitalized psychiatric patients, at the R.P.I. in Eindhoven, we asked ourselves two questions:
1 — the effects of T.E. upon non-reinforced behaviour, or response generalization;
2 — the effectiviness of a T.E. relative to other therapy methods.
First, we examinized the effects of T.E. upon specific, non-reinforced behaviour, using Schaeffer and Martin's apathy-scale. In general, reinforcement of activity in the daily program did not generalize to an increase in activity in the evening hours, except for some specific behaviours as interaction with other patients and nursing personnel. The importance of designing an environment which can maximalize response generalization was stressed.
Second, T. E. was resulted in significant more behaviour modification than two control wards, measured by two rating scales; there was an increase in desired 'normal' behaviours, and a decrease in psychotic behaviours.
Response generalization and change in general functioning of the patients are discuseed, regarding the narrowness of the 'pure' operant model; T.E. has not to be seen as a simplistic operant conditioning procedure, but as a complex social-psychological system, in which a number of factors contribute to the modification of patient behaviour.
Nursing behaviour, patient's role perception and economie behaviour, are variables investigated in the next three papers.