The Pros And Cons Of Punishment Essay

1783 Words Aug 8th, 2016 8 Pages
The Pros and Cons of Punishment and Why Reinforcement is better
First, we need to understand exactly what punishment is. Punishment “refers to any change that occurs after a behavior that reduces the likelihood that that behavior will occur again in the future (Cherry, 2016).” According to Behaviorist B.F. Skinner, there are two different types of punishment, positive punishment and negative punishment. “Positive punishment involves presenting an aversive stimulus after a behavior has occurred (Cherry, 2016).” An example of positive punishment would be if your child were to act up at the store and you would scold them. Negative punishment “involves taking away a desirable stimulus after a behavior has occurred (Cherry, 2016).” An example of negative punishment would be if that same child who misbehaved at the store was told that once he got home, he would not be allowed to play with his tablet as a result of his behavior.
Some believe that reinforcement is a better means than punishment. Again, there are two types of reinforcement, positive and negative. Positive reinforcement “involves adding something to increase a response” (Cherry, Positive and Negative Reinforcement in Operant Conditioning , 2016). An example would be if you were to provide an allowance for performing chores around the house. Negative reinforcement on the other hand “involves removing something in order to increase a response” (Cherry, Positive and Negative Reinforcement in Operant Conditioning ,…

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