A consequence that is applied following a behavior to reduce the probability of that behavior occurring again. Punishment can be very mild (a frown or scolding), more moderate (a brief time-out), or very severe (electric shock to reduce life-threatening behavior).
Something which decreases the chance that the behavior immediately preceding it will be repeated. Example: My dog potties in the house and I yell at her and shake her. If her behavior ("pottying in the house") decreases, then the yelling and shaking is a punishment. Another example: my trained dog begins to get up on the sit-stay so I jerk upward on the leash. If her behavior ("getting up during the stay") decreases, then the leash correction was a punishment. Note: many thousands of studies have shown that positive reinforcement alone is more effective than punishment alone; many thousands of dog trainers have shown that a judicious combination is the easiest way to train a dog.
An unpleasant event that occurs as a direct consequence of a behavior which decreases the strength of the behavior or the likelihood that it will be repeated. There are pitfalls to this approach. Punishment has a short-term, rather than long-term, effect when appropriate behaviors are not taught or reinforced at the same time. If punishment occurs frequently and across enough school settings, the student will come to view the whole school experience as aversive. Children with certain disabilities may not clearly link cause and effect; therefore, punishment is confusing and is unlikely to prevent another incident. Back to Resources for Parents and Professionals
An act that occurs immediately after an undesirable behavior it is meant to affect, and causes a decrease in the frequency of that behavior. This can be in the form of the administration of an aversive stimulus or event (positive punishment) or the removal of a desirable stimulus (negative punishment); Anything that decrease the frequency of the behavior it immediately follows.
A consequence that decreases the future probability of a response. One type of punishment involves thepresentation of a nonprefered event following the misbehavior. A second type of punishment involves the withdrawal of a positive reinforcer following the misbehavior.
A procedure used to decrease the strength of a response by presenting an aversive stimulus whenever the response occurs. Note that such a stimulus when applied would be a punisher; when removed, it would act as a negative reinforcer, reinforcing whatever led to its removal. See also negative reinforcer.
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