Psych M.D. - Punishment

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

April 6, 2009

Term: Punishment
Definition (Myers): An event that decreases the behavior that it follows.
Definition (alternative): Any stimulus that represses a behavior. It is important to note that punishment is not the same as negative reinforcement. Is failing a test negative reinforcement or punishment? If it motivates you to study more it is negative reinforcement (i.e., it increases the behavior of studying). However, if you feel that studying is actually hurting your performance (due to, for example, test anxiety) you will perceive that failing the test was due to studying too hard. Next time, you will not study (i.e., decrease your behavior) so that you will not be punished for it. Now you just need to convince your professor that bad grades are actually causing you to study less. *
Contextual explanation: Punishment takes in two forms: positive punishment and negative punishment. Making an offending student lose recess or play privileges are examples of negative punishment, while extra chores or spanking are examples of positive punishment. The definition requires that punishment is only determined after the fact by the reduction in behavior; if the offending behavior of the subject does not decrease then it is not considered punishment. *
Related terms and concepts:
Reinforcer

-> This video compares effects of punishment and reinforcement in child's behavior.
Punishment M.D. - The Neuron
-> Punishment and reinforcement is often used when training pets. Positive and negative reinforcements both increases the likelihood of behavior whereas both positive and negative punishments decrease the likelihood of behavior.
Punishment M.D. - The Neuron
->Spanking, or adding a punishment, is an example of positive punishment.
Related websites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punishment_(psychology)
-> Visit wikipedia for general descriptions in addition with applied analysis and types of punishment.
http://allpsych.com/psychology101/reinforcement.html
-> Website of Learning Theory and Behavioral Psychology. Includes information of reinforcements, punishments, and extinction.
Edited by: Elaine

More pages