Positive Punishment

A procedure in which a behavior is followed by an event/item/activity that results in the weakening of the behavior over time. By definition, the procedure MUST have the anticipated weakening effect on the behavior for the intervention be considered as positive punishment.  A “punisher” or punitive stimulus can be anything as long as the behavior weakens upon its repeated presentation. For example, reprimands, time-outs, losing a token, smiles, candies, high-fives, “good-jobs!” all can be punitive stimuli.  This is a very important concept to understand so it is recommended that you discuss this topic with your BCBA/BCBA-D.

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