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July 1969

The Token Economy: A Motivational System for Therapy and Rehabilitation.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(1):121-122. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740190123026

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The advent of behavior therapy was heralded by the appearance of Wolpe's book Psychotherapy By Reciprocal Inhibition in 1958. In contrast to freudian psychotherapy, behavior therapy did not arise out of empirical observations in the clinical situation from which a theory was then induced, but rather from a deliberate attempt to apply to the treatment of patients laboratory-derived learning theory which has so preoccupied American psychology for 50 years. Wolpe, as might be expected from a physician, worked largely within a framework of pavlovian learning theory and his technique or systematic desensitization has earned a solid place in the treatment of neurosis. However, the more recent developments in behavior therapy, especially with psychotic patients and children, have involved the application of that peculiarly American branch of learning theory—operant conditioning—and, in the process, behavior therapy has undergone a change of name to

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