This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Evaluating the Effects of Omission Errors during Token Economies




Luna, Odessa

Type of Degree

Master's Thesis




A token economy is a differential-reinforcement of alternative-behavior (DRA) procedure that can be used to decrease problem behavior and increase appropriate behavior and involves the delivery of tokens on a specified schedule following appropriate behavior. When implementing token economies, the behavior-change agent can engage in treatment integrity errors, including omission errors (i.e., failing to perform a component of the protocol). During a token economy, omission errors occur when a practitioner fails to deliver a token following appropriate behavior. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the extent to which differing levels of omission errors (100%, 80%, 60%, 40%, 20%, and 0%) influenced the efficacy of token economies across fixed-ratio and variable-ratio schedules of reinforcement on appropriate and problem behavior. As levels of integrity decreased, participants engaged in increases in problem behavior and decreases in appropriate behavior. However, this pattern was not replicated within subject for one participant. The outcomes suggest that omission errors within a token economy can be detrimental to treatment outcomes for individuals who engage in escape-maintained aggression.