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

Mindfulness Is Not Always Positive

By Art Markman Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in Ulterior Motives
It's everywhere these days. Mindfulness reduces stress and helps people clear their minds. Can it also reduce thoughts related to criminal behavior?

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child?

By Asa Don Brown Ph.D. on November 16, 2017 in Towards Recovery
Spanking a child is about the parent not the child. The child will learn more from positive correction than physical manipulation.
eric maisel

What You Can Expect From an Authoritarian, Part 2

Based on research on authoritarian wounding, learn what you can expect from authoritarian contact and how you can heal the wounds inflicted by that contact.

Seasonal Stalking: How Ex-Lovers Turn Rejection Into Revenge

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 13, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Tis the Season. Jilted, persistent paramours and lonely ex-lovers view the holidays as the season to turn rejection into revenge. Recognize when holiday blues become red flags.
eric maisel

What You Can Expect From an Authoritarian

Based on Dr. Maisel's primary research on authoritarian wounding, learn what you can expect from authoritarian contact and how you can heal the wounds inflicted by that contact.

Consumed by Anger Long After the Marriage Ends

Abandoned wives say that they hate feeling angry all the time but they can't stop. They seek revenge and wish they could make their ex-husbands suffer what they have suffered.

Logical Consequences: Helping Kids Learn from Their Mistakes

Punishment breeds resentment and retaliation. Logical consequences, when they're imposed with kindness and attention, can help kids take responsibility for their actions.

Today the Disease Theory Is Argued in Court

By Stanton Peele Ph.D. on October 02, 2017 in Addiction in Society
The Massachusetts Supreme Court commences today deciding whether addiction is a disease that removes the capacity to choose. What would be its implications for decriminalization?

Who Will Guard the Guardians?

If twisting a magic ring could make you invisible and you could get away with anything, would you twist it?

Empathic Limits in Action: Script for Leaving the Playground

Limits give children essential practice in shifting gears between what they want, and something they want more--which is to cooperate and contribute.

My Child a Bully? Never! Well Maybe…

By Janet Hicks Ph.D. on August 28, 2017 in Raising Parents
How can a parent help their child when he is bullying others? A few suggestions to get to the heart of the problem.

Crime and Punishment (and Twitter)

Scientists are exploring what social media can reveal about patterns of wrongdoing.

Trump's So-Called Victory

By Judith Eve Lipton M.D. on August 09, 2017 in Peace and War
Why might Russia and the Alt-Right join forces to support Trump? Maybe it was revenge for destroying the USSR, a gamble. Now nuclear war threatens both Empires.
Ellen Kirschman

I'm a Police Psychologist: What was I Doing at San Quentin?

By Ellen Kirschman Ph.D. on August 05, 2017 in Cop Doc
I work with cops. Spending a day with prisoners was a new experience.

How to Interrogate a Criminal Suspect, a la Dostoyevsky

Law enforcement officers assaulting violent criminals, as Donald Trump suggests they do, is exactly the opposite of the best interrogation techniques for convicting criminals.

The Psychology of Revenge (and Vengeful People)

By Peg Streep on July 19, 2017 in Tech Support
Is revenge really sweet? And what makes people vengeful? Does playing tit for tat make you feel better? Or not? The science of revenge.

The Power of Total Isolation: Why We Hate Being Alone

By Kevin Bennett on July 12, 2017 in Modern Minds
The pain of extreme isolation results from a conflict between evolved social mechanisms and impersonal modern environments containing built structures that cut us off from others.

Marijuana Legalization and Answers to Our "Drug Problems"

Drugs & drug policy evoke strong opinions. At stake are issues of personal freedom, public health, racial equality, public safety, costs, & large financial profits.

Committed: The Battle Over Involuntary Psychiatric Care

No other issues in mental health seem to ignite flames as great and persistent as do liberty and privacy.
Pixabay

Why Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

By Neel Burton M.D. on July 05, 2017 in Hide and Seek
The psychology and philosophy of forgiveness.

Behaviorism at Work

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 03, 2017 in How To Do Life
A “The Eminents” interview with Manuel Rodriguez

Black Hearts and Punishing Prostitutes

What do playing cards with red spades and black hearts have to do with your desire to punish people or to defend your political views?
wikimedia commons, Lizzy Borden

Graduate Student's Revenge (Corrections in Red)

By Lee Jussim Ph.D. on June 27, 2017 in Rabble Rouser
On the inherently exasperating nature of relationships between graduate students and their advisors, and the even more exasperating nature of scientific publishing in psychology.
Praeger

Will This Angel of Death be Released?

With the approaching release of a suspected healthcare serial killer in Texas, old cases are being reexamined for possible new evidence against her.

Interviewing a Criminal: Who Is Interviewing Whom?

Criminals case others out for their own purposes in all sorts of situations.

The Full Moon Effect Takes Another Hit

Additional evidence that the full moon does not influence criminal behavior.

Live-streamed Violent Criminal Acts

Should we discourage live-streaming of violence by punishing online witnesses who do nothing? If not, do we become the bystanders?

The End of Guilt

By Peter Toohey Ph.D. on June 06, 2017 in Annals of the Emotions
Has shame taken over from guilt as the marker of American culture? Or was guilt never very important in the first place?

The Criminal's Use of Everyday Words

You may believe you understand what an offender is saying, but think again!

Why Shaming Doesn't Work

Many people consider shaming an acceptable way of changing behavior. Is shaming effective? Research reveals that shame is a complex emotion.