Post 1: Negative punishment

     Negative punishment consists of the removal of a certain event following a response, which then leads to a decrease in the future strength of that response. In everyday terms, the behavior results in the removal of something the person or likes, so the subject is less likely to behave that way in the future. I'm sure we all can remember being punished when we were younger. There are two types of negative punishment, one being time-out and the other being response cost. When you send a child for their time-out, usually you send them to their room or a corner for a pre-determined amount of time. Most parents execute this poorly though, because usually it will have the opposite effect on the child. The example the book uses is that if the child does not want to sit at the table, it will act as a positive reinforcement because then the child knows that if it doesn't want to sit there, they will just misbehave again. If using the punishment correctly, it should be very brief and after the behavior that is wanted should be positively enforced so that the child knows how to behave. 

    The other punishment is response cost. This, I'm sure everyone can remember as well. This is when you remove a specific reinforcer and it will result in the decrease in the strength of behavior. The example the book uses for this one is when it is a negative punishment, if a child starts whining after they receive some cookies, the next time they will receive less cookies. Or, the positive punishment version of this is if every time they whine the child gets a cookie taken away from them. Both of the punishments are effective if used in the right way. 

Powell, R. A., Honey, P. L., & Symbaluk, D. G. (2015). Introduction to Learning and Behavior. Cengage Learning.


  1. Your explanation about negative punishment was very eloquent. I remember learning that if I wanted to take a nap during preschool, I would just misbehave and they would send me to my cot!


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