token economy

noun Psychiatry.
  1. 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 of token economy

First recorded in 1965–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for token economy

token economy

noun
  1. 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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