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What Is Punishment, And Does It Really Work?

929 words - 4 pages

"Speaking generally, punishment hardens and numbs,it produces obstinacy, it sharpens the sense ofalienation and strengthens the power of resistance."--Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900),Punishment is but one of many means of ensuring discipline. Punishment can be defined on a fundamental level as a penalty imposed for a wrong doing - breaking of rules, regulations, laws or policies. A more focused definition would be a learning theory as s reduction in the likelihood of a response due to the presentation of an aversive stimulus or in the case of negative punishment - removal of reinforcing stimuli. (Liberman. 1993)Discipline is necessary to ensure the orderly conduct of a team or unit. Within a disciplined group, regular, predictable patterns will follow. Punishment and discipline are not the same thing, punishment is only one means of influencing the action of discipline.There are three forms of discipline; Imposed Discipline, Self Discipline and Collective Discipline.Imposed discipline can be defined as steps and procedures. This would be the introduction to a routine or system of doing something. For example a new recruit is told how to correctly wear a uniform, as time progresses he or she no longer needs to be told this, it becomes part of their Self-Discipline.Self-discipline is a persons set of built in or added routines or systems. They have known this for a long time and it had become a second nature. Self discipline for example would be manners, how to correctly speak to people, once this would have been instructed to them as imposed discipline, but now they just know how to speak.Collective discipline ensures consistency in a team. Such discipline happened under the good leadership of their leader, through the establishment of goals and parameters.Morale and Esprit-de-Corps are two factors, which directly relate to discipline, all three are interlinked, and dependant on one-and-other.Morale is a state of mind, an attitude of confidence and well being in the minds of individual's whey they identify themselves as a team and accept the team's goals. The leader must realise that many factors influence morale. The most important of these are: effective leadership, unity of purpose, discipline, sense of belonging, comradeship, mutual confidence, comfort and well-being.Punishment has been used through out the entire history of man kind as the fundamental enforcement tool - from the earliest primate ostracism, to modern day wars and imprisonment. No matter how effective the means of punishment, no matter how much we create positive behavioural environments, mankind seems to have a primal urge to miss behave, act up, and break the rules. This is normally not acceptable, and as such leads to punishment of one way or another.There are two types of recourse for bad behaviour - consequences and punishment. The primary difference between consequences and punishment is that consequences aim to develop the persons knowledge, skills and attitudes...

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