Negative Punishment Examples


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Page last updated: 11/10/2022

Negative Punishment Examples

Negative punishment is an essential principle in B. F. Skinner’s Operant Conditioning Theory.

The aim of punishment in behavioral psychology is to minimize other undesirable actions.

In the case of punitive retribution, to reduce the frequency of a certain activity means taking away something positive or attractive.

This blog aims to provide you with some of the best examples of negative punishment.

Before we move on to the examples of negative punishment, let’s find out what is negative punishment actually.

What Is Negative Punishment?

Negative punishment, a technique of operant conditioning. It is referred to as decreasing a behavior by removing a desirable stimulus after that action.

Positive, in psychology means adding a stimulus whilst negative refers to having removed one.

But since negative punishment by erasing a stimulus reduces an undesired behavior, the stimulus involved must be pleasurable or important.

The person or animal learns that they must stop the behavior if they do not want to lose their desirable stimulus again.

Because they achieve learning by removing something, negative punishment is also known as “punishment by removal.”

You can also try positive reinforcement in classrooms or at home with children to teach them a lesson without punishing them harshly.

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Negative Punishment Examples

Negative Punishment Examples

The following are some of the best examples of negative punishment: 

1. When two kids get into a battle about who gets to play with a new item, the mom literally takes away the item from all kids. 

2. A young girl stays out for more than an hour past her curfew, and her parents have grounded her for a week. 

3. During class, a boy in third grade shouts at another student, so his teacher deprives him of his “good behavior” tokens that can be refunded for prizes.

4. One teenager has a 10 p.m. curfew. She misses out on 10 minutes of her curfew. Her parents are taking three days off the Bluetooth speaker in her house. 

In this case, parents of the teen take off their speaker (something she values and enjoys) as punishment for missing curfew. They ‘re hoping the teen won’t miss curfew again by taking her speaker off.

5. In school, a teen opens his phone and interrupts the teacher. For the rest of the day, the teacher will take his phone off. 

Here, the teacher hopes that the teenager will not answer his phone in class again by taking away the phone (positive item) as punishment. This is because they do not want to have their phone lost repeatedly punished.

6. A staff member is not listening to adequate phone requests at a customer support center. Calling the worker into his workplace, the manager demotes his salary for his bad results. 

By removing some of the workers’ pay (negative punishment), the employer hopes the employee will improve their performance in the work. If it does not, the employer could attempt another form of negative punishment, such as firing.

7. Cops arrest a drunk driver over. The police officers arrest the man after several sobriety tests and impose his car for breaking the drinking and driving law. 

Governments provide negative punishment if you violate the laws. To the owner, impounding the vehicle is a punitive penalty as they forfeit the car’s beneficial advantage. It’ll be even severe, as the driver will also have to pay a fee to get their car back (money lost).

8. Two sisters fight over a computer game about games. Because of this, their mum takes away the game for the rest of the week. 

The mother takes away the video game to stop excessive fighting activity. The sisters might think about exchanging next time, by taking it away, rather than battling over it.

9. A kid has a tantrum at a grocery store. The Toddler’s mother takes away his blanket (which he loves) until his tantrum is stopped. 

Getting the cover off is the tantrum ‘s negative punishment.

If this happens every time, the kid learns that tantrums mean that his blanket is removed. It may in turn contribute to fewer tantrums.

10. A boy in fifth grade often disrupts the frequency of class; the instructor restricts his right to recess. The aggressive behavior, the beneficial stimulation, ceases when the boy constantly loses recess periods.

11. A driver parks his vehicle at an unauthorized location and is given a $270 penalty. Illegal parking is the conduct that the police want to stop by taking away their money, the pleasant stimulus.

12. Animals too may be subject to negative punishment. A dog barks to attract the attention of its owner. The trainer stares at it attentively as long as the dog starts barking, and acknowledges it. When the dog barks again, its owner ignores it. The barking eventually stops because if it barks the dog understands it will lose the attention of its owner.

The following is a list of some of the best books on psychology that would help you clarify your concept about the types of punishments, their importance, uses and much more.

Just click the book you wish to study and you will be redirected to the page from where you can access it.

  • Psychology: An International Perspective – Page 269 by Michael W. Eysenck – 2004 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
  • Consumer Behavior in Action – Page 468 by Geoffrey P. Lantos – 2010 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
  • Introduction to Psychology – Page 214 by James W. Kalat – 2010 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
  • Introduction to Learning and Behavior – Page 232 by Russell A. Powell, ‎Diane G. Symbaluk, ‎P. Lynne Honey – 2008 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
  • Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy – Page 243 by Gerald Corey – 2008 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions

What is negative punishment?

Negative punishment is a kind of punishment and often focuses on reducing an individual’s occurrence of any particular undesirable behavior.

Where positive punishment involves inserting a reward in the life of the person, negative punishment implies eliminating a beloved object or stimulus from the life of the person.

Is negative punishment effective?

Negative punishment can be very effective in minimizing unnecessary or inappropriate behavior.  

However, each time it happens, you have to be able to provide adequate negative punishment.

After bad behavior, negative punishment must also be doled out instantly.

What are the uses of positive punishment?

There are plenty more ways to use positive punishment to control behavior, such as: Yelling about negative conduct at a child.

Asking them to do an uncomfortable activity while they are misbehaving. Adding responsibilities and tasks when he fails to follow the rules.

Why is punishment not good?

Punishment often adds to a distrust of sanction. This “is not an efficient threat because there is a reasonable risk of getting punished.”…However, punishment may serve as a reinforcement for bad conduct when a child feels neglected.

Therefore, it is easier to use positive reinforcement, rather than punishment.

What are the 4 types of punishment?

The four types of punishment include retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and societal protection.

What is the difference between negative reinforcement and punishment?

Negative reinforcement tends to occur when a stimulus (usually an undesired stimulus) is removed following the exhibition of a particular behavior.

You increase a behavior with negative reinforcement, while with the punishment you decrease a behavior.

This page provided you with some negative punishment examples to help clarify your concept of negative punishment.

If you have any questions or queries regarding this blog, let us know through your comments. We will be glad to assist you.


How Negative Punishment Works – Verywell Mind

Negative Punishment Examples and Scenarios

What is Negative Punishment – Parenting For Brain

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