Is Positive Punishment Actually Positive?

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Positive punishment sounds contradicting. Provided a stimulus, it can diminish the behavior and the likelihood that it will occur again. The question is if it is healthy for humans to be positively punished? The answer isn't very clear, the general answer is, it depends.
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Barbra has a fear of sitting in a room with 400 students for an hour for lecture so she decides to skip her lectures. Every time she skips lecture she has to watch the lecture online and fill out an extra 10 pages of worksheets. The extra worksheets are positive punishment for skipping lecture. The extra worksheets are helpful in getting her to do extra work and comprehending the material.
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Thomas at the age of 17 likes to poop in his pants. His pants contain sensors that detect poop. So now, every time he poops his pants electrocute him to get him to learn to stop pooping in his pants. The electrocution is a positive punishment. This is not healthy because it can cause him stress and physical pain.Although punishment sounds negative, the effects of punishment just depends on what type of stimulus is being presented.

Punishment works but there are a few problems to it such as creating anxiety, or changing the behavior, Thomas takes off his pants and poops on the floor so he avoids the electrocution, and it may cause a child to develop with aggressive personalities. One must remember that because children are punished, it does not mean that it will cause them to be aggressive in the future, correlation doe not equal causation.
According to this article a boy was punished under harsh Sharia law by having his arm crushed under a truck as a punishment for stealing bread. Is this punishment valid? What punishments are actually good for children in the long run, or for anyone?

Here are some articles on positive punishment

http://www.behaviorlogic.com/id110.html
http://phobias.about.com/od/glossary/g/pospunish.htm

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Nice discussion of positive punishment.

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This page contains a single entry by nhulx008 published on October 23, 2011 11:23 PM.

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