(redirected from Theories of Punishment)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Encyclopedia.


a stimulus that leads to a reduction in a behavioural response or, more generally, a stimulus that an organism seeks to avoid or escape. Often erroneously referred to as negative reinforcement. See also conditioning, reinforcement.


the use of an undesirable stimulus to modify or prevent an undesirable behavior.

Patient discussion about punishment

Q. Last week my younger son Frank, was punished in school because of kicking and throwing things at students... This is Donald, Last week my younger son Frank, was punished in school because of kicking and throwing things at teacher and on a few students. I don’t know why he behaved like that. I got tensed when I heard about this. What to do with him?

A. Well I think it depends whether or not this is a constant behaviour by your son, or it was only a one time event that he had an explanation for. If he tends to get angry and use violence a lot, you should take action, and let him know this is not acceptable by any means. Counsling might work best. If this was a one time thing, you should let your son know this should not happen again, and try preventing him from day to day activities such as meeting friends or using the computer if this happens again.

More discussions about punishment
References in periodicals archive ?
Retributive and deterrence theories of punishment treat
The existing theories of punishment view the rules of evidence and the rules of criminal procedure--not the substantive rules of criminal law--as the legal vessels charged with protecting innocent defendants.
Other aspects of particular theories of punishment might provide restraints on the scope of the criminal law, but we will know what those restraints are only by investigating those particular theories in detail.
Beccaria rejects retributive theories of punishment and argues for a system of publicly engineered penalties that would deter crimes and generate greater utility:
Third, to the extent that Murphy's concern here is sound, it would indict not just retributive justice, but likely all theories of punishment.
For recent scholarship complicating the dominant understanding of retributivism, and challenging the strict divide between retfibutivist and consequentialist theories of punishment, see Mitchell N.
However, to claim that no due has been given to the talion is incorrect, especially in light of the considerable work done on the vindictive emotions in respect of theories of punishment and forgiveness, by such authors as Jeffrie Murphy and Jean Hampton.
The principal alternative to retributive theories of punishment, of course, are those theories that justify punishment on consequentialist grounds.
The "scapegoating objection" is aimed particularly at consequentialist theories of punishment.
She then relates these findings to theories of punishment put forth by von Hirsch (1993) and Duff (2001).
expressivist thesis is at home with conventional theories of punishment,
Consequentialist theories of punishment must appeal indirectly to the widespread belief that punishment is deserved for crime, and argue that if the law did not accommodate this belief, then negative consequences for social welfare--self-help, blood feud, and anarchy--would ensue.