“DoDots is a simple, yet very effective behavior management technique for families! It is easy to implement, simple to maintain and yields very positive results.”
-John D. Livingstone, Ph.D. Clinical Child Psychologist
Under the hood of the DoDots Family System and Program are powerful behavior modification principles and concepts that have been studied for decades and shown to be effective, specifically, those associated with Operant Conditioning. You may have heard of one of the principles within operant conditioning called “positive reinforcement.” It has become a popular term and is used almost everywhere in popular media, but that one concept alone often doesn’t produce the lasting changes that parents want. The DoDots Family System was designed around both positive reinforcement and several other successful behavior management concepts.
The DoDots Family System’s patented combination of a leveling system and token economy is the perfect example of taking researched concepts and turning them into something that is easy for parents to use to motivate children, but without needing to over-incentivize them to do everyday basics.
A token economy is a simple way to improve behavior that uses tokens (or “Tickets” in the case of the DoDots Family System) to reinforce positive behaviors. The tickets can be used to purchase items or activity coupons at a “store” that is created by the parents. The parents fill the store with items and activity coupons that are most motivating to their children. Using the tokens or tickets as the way to purchase things at the family store also allows for budgeting concepts to be learned such as delayed gratification and savings.
A leveling system is a different than a token economy in that the only thing that can be earned is privileges. The leveling system ties the levels to specific behaviors. One of the best parts about establishing a leveling system is that it creates a common language and expectation associated the child’s responsibilities in the home and the associated privileges.
Combining the Two
The DoDots Family System and Program includes each of these concepts, designing them specifically for families. The leveling system reduces the feelings of entitlement that can be prominent among children while the token economy creates motivation and a simple way for parents positively reinforce children.
Further Research Reading
Jones et al. (1992) demonstrated the use of a level system in a psychiatric children’s unit. The level system was used to control behavioral excess and shape prosocial behavior. The study demonstrated that over time children progressed to higher levels, which indicates improving behavior over time.
Mastropieri, Jenne, and Scruggs (1988) evaluated two level systems in a resource classroom. Both level systems reduced talk-outs and out of seat behavior. Assignment completion and accuracy were also increased. This study demonstrated the
effectiveness of level systems on different types of behaviors.
Chance, Paul. (2003) Learning and Behavior. 5th edition Toronto: Thomson-Wadsworth.
Dinsmoor, James A. (2004) “The etymology of basic concepts in the experimental analysis of behavior”. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 82(3): 311–6.
Ferster, C.B. & Skinner, B.F. (1957). Schedules of reinforcement. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. ISBN 0-13-792309-0.
Lewin, K. (1935) A dynamic theory of personality: Selected papers. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Michael, Jack. (1975) “Positive and negative reinforcement, a distinction that is no longer necessary; or a better way to talk about bad things”. Behaviorism, 3(1): 33–44.
Skinner, B.F. (1938). The behavior of organisms. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Skinner, B.F. (1956). A case history in scientific method. American Psychologist, 11, 221–33.
Zeiler, M.D. (1968) Fixed and variable schedules of response-independent reinforcement. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 11, 405–14.