Punishment As A Form Of Behaviour Modification

2326 words - 9 pages

Punishment is a process through which “the consequence of a response decreases the likelihood that the response will recur” (Gray, 2002, pp.115). Further, punishment can be seen as an effort to decrease the response rate to stimuli by either removing a desired stimulus or presenting one which is undesired (Gray, 2002). Recent studies suggest that punishment can be an effective method of behaviour modification. However, as reported in Lerman and Vorndran (2002), there are a number of limitations to punishment as an intervention and subsequent negative side effects. For this reason, certain principles upon which the implementation of a successful punishment is dependent must be adhered to. In accordance to these findings, this essay will contend that whilst there are alternative means to operant conditioning, certain punishment techniques have been proven to be effectual and in some aspects advantageous.

The effectiveness of punishment
     “Punishment is one of the most used, but least understood and badly administered, aspects of learning” (Luthans, 1977, pp.300). As mentioned earlier, punishment is anything which weakens behaviour and tends to decrease it in subsequent frequency. Positive punishment is the method of administering negative consequences upon the occurrence of an action whereas Negative punishment involves the termination of positive consequences. In order to work, either case must weaken and decrease the behaviour which preceded the application or withdrawal of the stimuli. Skinner (1953) stipulated that we must defy the urge to label a form of stimuli as “desired” or “undesired” as a whole but rather to identify them by their effect on the observed subject.
Whether punishment is effective depends on the criteria applied or the objectives to be achieved. That is, before we can say it is useful we must ask whether we desire an immediate or a lasting effect, and at how high a cost. There is some evidence to suggest that when punishment is administered in the form of aversive stimulation, it acts to suppress behaviour temporarily. When it is withdrawn, the punished behaviour rapidly gains strength. If the punishment is more severe and given consistently, it may act to suppress behaviour for a longer period of time (Skinner, 1953). Historically, the efficacy of punishment has been appreciated only in the past few decades. Early experimentation with punishment was restricted by a reluctance to inflict pain. For this reason, experimenters such as Skinner and Thorndike either chose not to resort to punishment or to implement relatively minor stimuli as punishers. These constrained techniques allowed for the eventual return of the performance that was being disciplined, once the punishment was discontinued. However due to the recent use of more intense punishers, proof of the effectiveness of punishment has emerged, thus reversing the prior negative conclusions (Lieberman, 2000).
Certain case...

Find Another Essay On Punishment as a form of behaviour modification

Operant Conditioning: A Behaviour modification program

9992 words - 40 pages 293 William Glasser 10 Reality Therapy William Glasser and Robert E. Wubbolding Reality therapy is a method of counseling and psy- chotherapy developed originally by William Glasser, a psychiatrist. Control theory, which serves as the basis of reality therapy, regards human beings as motivated to survive and to fulfill four basic psychological human needs: belonging, power, fun, and freedom. Human behavior is seen as based on choices. Reality

Prostitution as a Form of Deviance

836 words - 3 pages Prostitution as a Form of Deviance In sociology, the term deviance refers to all violations of social rules, regardless of their seriousness (Essentials of Sociology 136). Deviance is an individual or organizational behavior that violates societal norms and is usually accompanied by negative reactions from others. According to a sociologist S. Becker, he stated that it is not the act itself that makes an action deviant, but rather how

Humor as a Form of Cultural Expression

1284 words - 5 pages Humor as a Form of Cultural Expression How can one look at a culture and understand its origins, its values, its accomplishments and failures? Through art, poetry, or other literary, or scientific advances? Maybe even in its political standpoints? All of these methods are acceptable. There is one I did not mention in the above list however. It can be considered trivial by some, but I think it is also important. Perhaps we can understand a

Dancing as a Form of Adoration

2579 words - 10 pages our love and adoration to the Lord? This research will show how dance is and should be more encouraged as a form of adoration. The dances of the Old Testament were not a personal pleasure as a means of showing enthusiasm, they were full of gesticulations, violent leaps, or hopping in a circle, rather than graceful poses or soft rhythmic movement (MacDonald, 45). That type of movement characterized Jewish dances both of ancient and medieval

War as a Form of a Dialog between Cultures

1061 words - 4 pages ended, because if there is something that men like more than competing with each other, it's sex. So, as I have shown, war can be described as a form of a dialogue between cultures. And as we can see and hear form the news every day, it's still seems to occupy a major place in modern system of communication. The ancient patterns of human behaviour are woven into our culture so deeply that the core of our mentality, which lies beneath a subtle layer of modern society, is basically the same now as it was at the beginning of time. Even though we like to think that we are smarter now then we were thousands of years ago, we really aren't.

Marriage As A Form Of Justice In Measure For Measure

1505 words - 6 pages Marriage as a Form of Justice in Measure for Measure Measure for Measure has long been defined by critics as a "problem" comedy due to its nonconformity to the typical comedic formula and conventional standards of Shakespearian comedy. Not only is there an absence of romantic love, the usual bawdy jokes concerning sex take on a dark twist, conveying instead images of death and destruction. Even the four marriages in the end do not

Discourse Analysis: PowerPoint as a Form of Communication

2760 words - 11 pages ). These principles do not work in isolation; understanding how each principle relates with the others is central in their application. These four principles allow for the analysis of PowerPoint as a form of discourse. The first principle, language is ambiguous, establishes that what things mean is never absolutely clear. The study of how people use language is difficult because, “people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say

Love as a Higher Form

1212 words - 5 pages Love as a Higher Form      Love has always been a sensation that has both mystified and captured humanity. It is a unique emotion and, while it means something different to everybody, it remains to all a force that is, at its purest form, always one step above mankind. In love’s ability to exist differently from person to person, one can find love to be a conglomeration of different branches. It can be said that there

The History of Capital Punishment as a Deterrent to Crime

2741 words - 11 pages as the people who believed in God, everything and everyone were destroyed. Another example we see in the bible was the destroying of Sodom and Gomorrah, again a consequence of sin, the killing of the Egyptians in the book of Exodus, when crossing the Red Sea, another form of possible deterrence. Although all of these are examples of capital punishment the intention of God was not to be me mean or deprive us but that he valued mankind and

The Death Penalty is an Acceptable Form of Punishment

3297 words - 13 pages feelings of anger toward convicted murderers? Why do they feel that it is acceptable to serve the death sentence on inmates, even though it does not deter crime? And why do Americans, with a sense of vengeance, support the death penalty as a form of retribution instead of punishment? Perhaps the answer lies in simple demographics. While death penalty foes are quick to point out that the United States is one of the few Western countries with

Capital Punishment: An Outdated, Uncivilized Form of Discipline

1458 words - 6 pages judge. They had found out that the prosecutors were withholding evidence from the case. Six years of John's life were wasted on death row; thankfully he still has one. Capital Punishment should be illegal because it takes human life, is an unjust form of punishment, and mistakes are always possible.Capital Punishment and the death penalty are thousands of years old. Capital Punishment is the penalty of death for the commission of a crime

Similar Essays

Parents, Teachers, And Others Often Use Some Form Of Punishment With Children. Does It Work? What Would Be The Best Ways To Change A Child’s Behaviour

1961 words - 8 pages unacceptable. Another example would be the removal of personal benefits or punishing in a psychological or corporal form. As stated by Arthur (2013) Boundaries and discipline are vital in a child’s upbringing, not routinely acknowledging a child’s behaviour, whether it be good or bad behaviour, can be potentially damaging. On the contrary if the punishment given is too severe, this can also possibly be harmful in both physical and mental terms to a

Incarceration As A Form Of Punishment

1756 words - 7 pages Incarceration is thought of as a positive form of punishment, and negative form of punishment. The opinion varies with the type of person, and their experience from jail if they have gone. Most inmates while in prison will tell you it is a horrible place that should be gone. That would allow criminals to be free and that would let them cause harm to others or other illegal activities. Incarceration was not designed to be a paradise, it is a

Capital Punishment As A Form Of Deterrance And Permanent Incapacitation

1216 words - 5 pages Capital Punishment as a Form of Deterrance and Permanent Incapacitation Society has always used punishment to discourage “potential” criminals from unlawful action. Since society has the highest interest in preventing murder, it should use the strongest punishment available to deter murder. The death penalty is arguably the strongest deterrent for murder and the strongest punishment for other unspeakable crimes. If murderers are sentenced to

Operant Conditioning: A Behaviour Modification Program

1710 words - 7 pages modification program will be adopted. The steps to developing a successful behaviour modification program require the target behaviour to be identified, preparing the subject (Claire) for the program, and shaping the desired behaviour by using reinforcers or punishment (Plotnik, 2005). This behaviour modification program will make use of the techniques of positive reinforcement to shape the acceptable behaviour, as well as positive punishment