Punishers (or punitive stimuli) can be anything. In ABA, a punisher must decrease/weaken a behavior by definition. If you hear someone saying something like “Yes, I keep scolding my son but he still continues drawing on the walls with his beloved crayons a lot more now—punishment does not work!”  Given that example, “scolding” is not a punisher because the behavior “drawing on the walls with crayons” did not stop. In this example, scolding is a positive reinforcer.

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