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Related: corporal punishment - discipline - immorality - naughty - obedience - pain - prison - crime
Punishment is the practice of imposing something unpleasant on a subject as a response to some unwanted or immoral behavior or disobedience that the subject has displayed. The word is derived from the Latin word poena, where it meant "pain, punishment, penalty". It has only been the last 100 years or so that the relationship between punishment and physical pain has been severed and that corporal punishment has dropped out of favor. [Feb 2007]
Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975) - Michel Foucault
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In society, punishment is the practice of imposing something unpleasant on a wrongdoer. Most often, criminals are punished by fines or prison. Children are also punished by their parents, guardians, or teachers.
Michel Foucault describes in detail the evolution of punishment from hanging, drawing and quartering of medieval times to the modern systems of fines and prisons. He sees a trend in criminal punishment from vengeance by the King to a more practical, utilitarian concern for deterrence and rehabilitation.
A particularly harsh punishment is called draconian, after Draco, the lawgiver of Athens.
In operant conditioning, punishment is the presentation of a stimulus contingent on a response which results in a decrease in response strength (as evidenced by a decrease in the frequency of response). The effectiveness of punishment in suppressing the response depends on many factors, including the intensity of the stimulus and the consistency with which the stimulus is presented when the response occurs. In parenting, additional factors that increase the effectiveness of punishment include a verbal explanation of the reason for the punishment and a good relationship between the parent and the child. Punishment can be divided into two types: Positive punishment is the application of an aversive stimulus. Negative punishment is the removal of a desired condition. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punishment [Feb 2005]
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