Positive Punishment Examples (List)

This blog mentions various examples of positive punishment. Positive punishment is a concept used in B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory.

Before we move on to positive punishment examples, let’s dig deeper into the concept of positive punishment.

What is Positive Punishment?

Positive punishment is an effort to persuade action by incorporating something unfavorable, whereas negative punishment is an attempt to influence behavior by eliminating something unpleasant.

These strategies are used to affect behavior, but constructive discipline is intended to reduce or decrease “evil” behavior while negative reinforcement is intended to promote or increase “healthy” behavior.

Positive punishment works by introducing an aversive outcome after an undesired behavior is seen, reducing the chance to occur in the future.

Positive Punishment Examples

Some examples of positive punishment are as follows: 

  • The child picks his nose during class (behavior) and the teacher rebukes him (aversive stimulus) in front of his classmates. 
  • A kid approaches a hot stove (comportment) and feels discomfort (aversive stimulus). 
  • A person eats rotten food (behavior) and has a bad taste in his or her mouth (undesired stimulus).
  • Spanking a kid when he throws a tantrum is an example of a constructive punishment. Something is added to the mix (spanking a kid when he throws a tantrum is an example of constructive reinforcement. Something is added to the mix (spanking) to prevent negative behavior (throwing a tantrum). 
  • Screaming at a kid for bad behavior. 
  • Forcing them to do an uncomfortable job when they’re misbehaved.
  • Assigning students who fail to do extra research in their class. 
  • Provide special sensitivity training to staff who insult or threaten others at work. 
  • Implement more laws and regulations when the teen misses a curfew. 
  •  liabilities when the laws are not followed.
  • A software company employee is discovered browsing the net during leisure time rather than checking the inventory. His boss calls him to his office and gives a verbal castigating remarks to the worker. 
  • In a customer service facility, a worker is found to be disrespectful to phone customers. The worker is then sent to the HR department and given additional training on the telephone mark.
  • During a session, the student starts to secretly text his friend. The teacher receives the text and holds the student in custody for violating the law of no texting in the classroom. 
  • A student is caught by a substitute teacher who throws a variety of spit balls around the room. After class, the student must stay and sweep all the spitballs and any other garbage in the room.
  • Two roommates have tasks that must be done every week. If one roommate leaves the dishes stacked in the sink and does not finish the job of filling the dishwasher, they still have to do the washing. 
  • A kid is stealing a toy from a store. The parent sends the child a letter of apology and returns the toy to the store.

What is considered positive punishment?

The definition of positive punishment is found in B.F. In the context of positive punishment, an undesirable action requires the appearance of an adverse outcome or occurrence.

In other terms, a kind of harmful result is intentionally introduced when the subject conducts an unacceptable behavior.

What are some examples of positive reinforcement?

Some examples of positive reinforcement are as follows:

  • Giving high five; 
  • To give praise; 
  • Giving a pat on the back or a hug ; 
  • To give thumbs up; 
  • Claps and cheer; 
  • Telling another person how proud you are of the actions of your child when listening; 
  • Extra rights to give; 
  • And bestowing tangible rewards.

What is an example of a negative punishment?

Receiving exposure to a toy, getting grounded, and receiving tokens of compensation are all forms of negative sanction.

In each case, as a result of the unwanted behavior of the individual, something good is taken away.

Is positive punishment effective?

Positive punishment can be effective if the unwanted behavior follows immediately. Once done regularly it performs better.

As well as other methods, such as positive reinforcement, it is also effective so the child learns different behaviors.

Is yelling positive punishment?

The shouting serves as positive punishment, as the mother in the process of screaming provides (adds) an unwanted trigger.

The pain serves as a positive reinforcement as it is the presence of an uncomfortable stimulus which prevents the individual from walking barefoot on a hot surface in the future.

What is positive punishment ABA?

Positive punishment is evident when after the behavior occurs something is added, and behavior decreases.

For eg, if you go above the speed limit (behavior) and you are provided by a traffic officer with a speeding ticket (consequence: inserted something), you are less inclined to speed up in the future.

This blog explained the concept of positive punishment and mentioned various examples of positive punishment to clarify your concept about it.

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


The Difference between Positive/Negative Reinforcement and Positive/Negative Punishment

12 Examples of Positive Punishment & Negative Reinforcement by Courtney E. Ackerman (2020)

Real-Life Examples of Positive Punishment



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