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Punishment can be divided into Positive punishment (the application of an aversive stimulus, such as pain) and Negative punishment (the removal or denial of a desired object, condition, or aversive stimulus).

Criminal punishment

  • Socio-economical punishments:
  • fines or loss of income
  • confiscation
  • demotion, suspension or expulsion (especially in a strict hierarchy, such as military or clergy)
  • restriction or loss of civic and other rights
  • community service
  • Custodial sentences include imprisonment and other forms of forced detention (e.g., involuntary institutional psychiatry) and hard labor are in fact also physical punishments, even if no actual beatings are in force internally; note that behavioral psychologists do not consider prison a sound punishment because most criminals are repeat offenders, thus, their behavior has not changed. If the behavior does not change then any stimulus that was presented is not punishment just aversive.
  • Public humiliation often combines social elements with corporal punishment, and indeed often punishments from two or more categories are combined (especially when these are meant reinforce each-other's effect) as in the logic of penal harm. In the past, people in some parts of the Western world were punished by being put in the stocks, or by being ducked in water.
  • Corporal punishment. Legality of these types of punishment varies from country to country. However it can be defined more widely:
  • Whipping or caning with various implements and on various body parts
  • Marking via branding or mutilations such as amputation of a finger or arm.

For children

Examples of punishments imposed by educators (parents, guardians or teachers etc.; traditions differ greatly in time, place and cultural sphere; some are considered illegal abuse in certain countries) include:

  • Corporal punishment:
  • Mild forms of custodial punishments:
    • time-outs such as corner-time.
    • detention, often combined with tasks like studying, extra homework etc.
    • grounding in general or specific refusal of permission to participate in some fun activity or to see a friend (usually seen as a bad influence)
  • Temporary (or permanent) removal of privileges, rights, or choices, such as lack of desserts or toys
  • Compulsory activity such as extra chores

Non-corporal forms of punishments for children have come under criticism in recent times. Arguments against non-violent modification of behavior include the issue of ethics, and whether one's will should be forced on children. Positive parenting and Taking Children Seriously are non-punitive alternatives to modifying behavior.


Many religious organizations apply semi-voluntary accepted punishments such as penance.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Caning" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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