When Is Negative Punishment Most Effective on Children? Negative punishment plays an important role in behavioral psychology. One of the easiest ways to remember this concept is to note that in behavioral terms, positive means adding something while negative means taking something away. For this reason, negative punishment puisement PDF often referred to as « punishment by removal.
Can you identify examples of negative punishment? Losing access to a toy, being grounded, and losing reward tokens are all examples of negative punishment. In each case, something good is being taken away as a result of the individual’s undesirable behavior. After two children get into a fight over who gets to play with a new toy, the mother simply takes the toy away from both children.
A teenage girl stays out for an hour past her curfew, so her parents ground her for a week. A third-grade boy yells at another student during class, so his teacher takes away his « good behavior » tokens that can be redeemed for prizes. Conversely, with positive punishment, something undesirable is added when an unwanted behavior has occurred. For instance, when a child throws a temper tantrum, she is sent to her room for a timeout.
While negative punishment can be highly effective, Skinner and other researchers have suggested that a number of different factors can influence its success. Consider this example: a teenage girl has a driver’s license, but it does not allow her to drive at night. However, she drives at night several times a week without facing any consequences. One evening while she is driving to the mall with a friend, she is pulled over and issued a ticket. As you might have guessed, losing her license is the negative punishment in this example. So why would she continue to engage in the behavior even though it led to punishment? Another major problem with negative punishment is that while it might reduce the unwanted behavior, it does not provide any information or instruction on more appropriate reactions.
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