All About Punishment

An eye for an eye is one of the strongest human instincts, but reciprocating harm is not always the best course of action. Punishment sometimes works to condition people not to repeat misdeeds, and threats of negative repercussions can act as disincentives, but our ability to rise above our base instinct for revenge and judge each situation objectively and with an eye toward rehabilitation is one of the highest achievements of humanity and of civilization.

Recent posts on Punishment

Peanut Butter's Revenge

By Gregg McBride on July 20, 2016 in The Weight-ing Game
Hell hath no fury like a "trigger food" does for someone with a dieter's mentality. Especially when that someone is trying to eat, live and think healthy.

The Stanford Rape Case

By Guest Bloggers on July 19, 2016 in The Guest Room
Let’s shift the conversation toward understanding the needs of survivors in their healing journey.

Unmanned: An Unnatural History of Human Castration

By Robert D. Martin Ph.D. on July 14, 2016 in How We Do It
Deliberate castration, long used to punish criminals and prisoners of war, has also yielded harem guards and has been inflicted on young boys to stop their voices from breaking.

Sexual Trophies, Murder, And Addiction

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in In Excess
When it comes to the collecting of ‘sexual trophies’, most research relates to more criminal sexual deviance. But what does the literature say and can it be addictive?

Nazi Fetishism

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on June 30, 2016 in In Excess
Examples of Nazi fetishism can be found in both musical content and films but what do we know about it from an academic and psychological perspective?

Susan Silver: Job Justice

By Gayil Nalls Ph.D. on June 28, 2016 in Sensoria
We must help ex-offenders connect "with appropriate community resources to find jobs, housing, substance abuse, treatment, and mental health care."

Why Time-Outs Need a Time Out

In using time-outs parents unintentionally convey that they are unable to contain or tolerate their own feelings.

Ian Anderson’s Progressive Path

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on June 20, 2016 in Brick by Brick
Jethro Tull is considered by many to be one of the greatest progressive rock bands of all time.

Which Way Will Prince’s Death Lead Us in the Opioid Fight?

Common sense and compassion in dealing with addiction can be hard to find, but the defeat of punitive fentanyl legislation offers hope.

Exploring Feelings

We are born with specific innate feelings, which combine with each other and life experiences to form our complex emotional world.
Wikimedia commons, labeled for reuse

Why Every Psychotherapist Needs to Understand Sociology

Psychology on its own presents too skewed of a perspective to truly understand the entirety of human behavior. It must be counterbalanced by other disciplines, such as sociology.

Prince Would Do Prison Time Under Fentanyl Bill

By Jason Powers M.D. on June 14, 2016 in Beyond Abstinence
Senate proposal harkens back to the 1980s, when low-level offenders were locked up for decades.

How We All Contribute to Terrorism

Loss of attachment or emotional bonds gouges holes in the heart that do not remain hollow for very long.

Killing Atheists

By Phil Zuckerman Ph.D. on June 08, 2016 in The Secular Life
Atheists are being murdered in the streets of Bangladesh. Why?

I Can't Eat Steak Anymore

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on June 07, 2016 in Minority Report
If you're a white, male, athlete attending a prestigious university you will get preferential treatment even if you sexually assault a woman.

US Mental Health Care Goes from the Worst To Even Worse

By Allen J Frances M.D. on June 01, 2016 in Saving Normal
Great new report documents the terrible shortage in US funding for mental health and that we are criminalizing the severely ill.

Firemen's Revenge

By Samuel Bowles on May 30, 2016 in The Moral Economy
Homo economicus is in retreat, and the intersection of psychology and economics is booming. A great time for science; a monumental challenge for public policy.

Get a Grip on Guilt in Three Simple Steps

Guilt is natural because your brain is designed to scan for threats, and social threats are survival threats to the brain we’ve inherited from earlier mammals.

How to Avoid Shaming Your Child

If these interactions are repeated throughout childhood, the shame can become toxic; the beginning of a fear of being defective that can shadow us through life.

3 Ways to Predict a Partner Could Be Unfaithful

A partner who is faithful, all other things being equal, is one who will make you happier. This 3-part checklist will help you spot the danger signs.

Setting Limits When Your Child Ignores You

Your child is ignoring your limit because he needs help with the big feelings or unmet needs that are driving his behavior.

Human Information Gathering: How Can We Proceed?

The behavioural and brain sciences can transform forensic, policing, judicial, and intelligence practices, and enhance operational effectiveness ethically.

Even Young Children Avoid Mean People

By Art Markman Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
In order to enforce the norms and values of our culture, adults will give up resources to punish other people. How early does this develop?
Photo / Fox, used with permission

“The Revenant” as Ghost Story

By Madelon Sprengnether on April 01, 2016 in Minding Memory
When I see a movie that really affects me, I want to know why.

The Embryology of Human Development

Human motivation and behavior are powered by our affects initially, with language and cognition quickly becoming part of the complex process.

3 Mistakes Parents Make When Their Own Kids Bully Them

Tired of fighting with your kid? Consider new parenting choices to get your relationship back on track.

Punishment Might Signal Trustworthiness, but Maybe...

By Jesse Marczyk Ph.D. on March 10, 2016 in Pop Psych
New research claims that the function of third-party punishment is to build trust. That same research doesn't support that claim.

Our Enduring Love Affair With Dr. Hannibal Lecter

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on March 07, 2016 in Wicked Deeds
Like our favorite Hollywood monsters and boogey men, Dr. Hannibal Lecter is tantalizing to us because he is goal oriented, devoid of conscience and almost unstoppable.

The Psychology of Naughtiness

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 23, 2016 in A Sideways View
Naughty people enjoy breaking the rules and challenging authority. Should we punish or promote naughtiness?

Moral Responsibility and the Strike Back Emotion

By Gregg D. Caruso Ph.D. on February 21, 2016 in Unjust Deserts
Where does the belief in moral responsibility come from?