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punishment vs. reward

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libertygrl
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Posted 09/12/11 - 1:47 PM:
Subject: punishment vs. reward
which is the more effective motivator?

any thoughts?
thedoc
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Posted 09/15/11 - 6:50 PM:

This varies a lot with the individual and the age. When I was teaching I attendes a teachers conference and the presenter was whining on about not punishing the student, always praising and being positive, and a lot of other liberal crap. He made a comment about never threaten a student, at which point a teacher asked the question, "Is it alright to promise the student something" to which the presenter gushed that it was always good to make promises to the student. The idiot on stage didn't realize that the teacher ment that he would not threaten to paddle the student if he screwed up, but he would promise that if the student screwed up he would get a paddleing. It just illustrates the confused state of these so called 'experts' who had never been in a classroom but were trying to tell teachers how to handle students. At that point I completely stopped listening to what the fool was saying.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/15/11 - 6:54 PM:

hi doc, welcome.

thedoc wrote:
This varies a lot with the individual and the age.

how so? would you say that people of a certain age respond more readily to punishment vs. reward? could you give some examples?
thedoc
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Posted 09/15/11 - 11:24 PM:

Thankyou, good to be here.

At this point I will only say that with age younger children are more responsive to the physical aspect, such as punishment and reward, and as they age they are more responsive to rational argument. On an individual level some children do not respond to punishment but do respond to reward, but the distinction is sometimes difficult to determine. I'll tell you about potty training my grandson when I'm not so tired.
henry quirk
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Posted 09/16/11 - 8:46 AM:

Doc!

I knew I'd lure you to the dark side eventually... wink

#

I can only speak of two examples...

My five year old nephew responds marvelously to time-outs and (as last resort/final solution) a one-word conversation between Mr. Hand and Mr. Keister.


That is: he is doing, or wants to do, something 'bad'...I explain to him that he will 'stop' (and why) and give him five seconds to self-correct...at the end of the slow count -- if he hasn't self-corrected -- he gets a five minute time-out...if 'that' doesn't work: he and me visit the bathroom and Mr. Hand says 'hello' (one firm swat) to Mr. Keister.

It works.

*As to what motivates me (reward or punishment): neither...I'm 'me', for Christ’s sake, putting me slightly outside 'pain/pleasure' as over-riding motivators.









*sarcasm, which should be obvious... whatever

Edited by henry quirk on 11/29/11 - 11:22 AM. Reason: jassass-nullifying clarification
thedoc
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Posted 09/16/11 - 9:54 AM:

henry quirk wrote:
Doc!

I knew I'd lure you to the dark side eventually... wink

#


HA!

Give me a few minutes and I'll turn on some lights.

Got a match?
thedoc
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Posted 09/16/11 - 10:13 AM:

My grandson was 3 years and about 9 months old and showing no interest in going on the toilet, I was taking care of him 4 days a week during the day. One Wed. I had just changed a messy diaper and had an idea how to get him to get out of diapers. One of his big things was that he was a big boy, and 'big boys' don't take naps. I had not been making him take naps for some time but now I was going to use that. So I told him that big boys go on the potty and don't have to take naps, but since he was still wearing diapers he was a little boy and needed to take naps. I put him on the couch and said he couldn't get up till he took a nap. He fussed and cried a bit, then fell asleep. This continued Thu. and Fri. and then he was home with Mom and Dad for the weekend. On Mon. his Mom said he had gone to the potty all weekend long. After that he had a few accidents but has been using the potty like a big boy since then, He will be 6 in about a week. I guess this would be a combination, the punishment was being a 'little boy' and taking a nap, the reward was being a 'big boy' and not having to take a nap.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/16/11 - 3:25 PM:

what actually inspired this topic was something jonathan haidt had said in the following video:

www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_...idt_on_the_moral_mind.html

in it, he says, "There's a lot of research showing that to solve cooperative problems, it [the threat of punishment] really helps. It's not enough to just appeal to people's good motives, it really helps to have some sort of punishment. Even if it's just shame or embarrassment or gossip, you need some sort of punishment to bring people, when they're in large groups, to cooperate."

interesting takes, guys, on the child-rearing front. they sound like reasonable approaches to me. i wonder how much the conditioning we receive as children is influential in how effective reward vs. punishment are on our rational decision-making as adults. as for me, i felt my parents handed out punishment a lot more readily than rewards when i was a kid (too much so). as a result, i think i personally am more reward-motivated now as an adult.
Thinker13
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Posted 09/17/11 - 6:34 AM:

One of the most simple examples of my yielding to punishment is: I wear a helmet when driving a bike only and only because I am afraid that I will be stopped by policemen and they will charge me.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/17/11 - 9:59 AM:

what about the punishment of injuring yourself? not a concern?

i have a friend who was hit by a car while riding her bicycle. she lost some of her teeth (when her head hit the pavement) and had to have facial reconstruction surgery. without the helmet, she would be dead now. so... be careful! even if you are an excellent rider there are still other careless people on the road. same principle for seatbelts in the car. heart
Thinker13
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Posted 09/18/11 - 6:38 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
what about the punishment of injuring yourself? not a concern?


Or the reward of leading a happy and healthy life.


i have a friend who was hit by a car while riding her bicycle. she lost some of her teeth (when her head hit the pavement) and had to have facial reconstruction surgery. without the helmet, she would be dead now. so... be careful! even if you are an excellent rider there are still other careless people on the road. same principle for seatbelts in the car. heart


Your concerns are justified. Just to re-assure you, I am not a rash driver and I wear helmet more often than not when riding a bike, still, my suggestion was about the cases where I have to travel only a small distance with almost no chances of accident and I have to wear helmet just because I am afraid that I would be stopped by the traffic police.


This is definitely not a discussion about whether I or anyone else ( no matter how good a rider he/she is) should wear a helmet or tighten a seat belt--but rather about our motivations in doing things.

I never cheated in exams in my student life, in spite of having great chances of doing so at times and in most of the cases, most of my colleagues were cheating ( at times I used to be only person among 100 students!).

This example is taken not to appreciate my integrity but rather to suggest that I am compelled to wear helmet sometimes because of the fear that I might have to pay to traffic police if I am caught without it, and not necessarily because of the security reasons; on the other hand, I never used to cheat in examinations, even when there was no fear of punishment from any external authorities and most of my colleagues were cheating already!


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Posted 09/18/11 - 7:46 AM:

The demarcation between reward and punishment is very thin. I think, at times the reward and punishment go together. When everyone is losing, if you remain constant, that is a reward; on the other hand when everyone is gaining, if you do not gain and remain constant that is a punishment.

To take an example:

I practice Pranayam. Why do I practice it? I practice it to avoid the pain caused by the bronchitis or fevers. If I do not practice it I feel down. This is mostly about punishing it seems, but it isn't. If I practice it regularly, not only it makes me immune to such ailments but also makes me feel good. It gives me more energy than any other activity and it makes me think better. This seems to be the gain part.

For most of the guys who practice Yoga, the motivation is to avoid diabetes, obesity and depression and to look better. Now, punishment is getting these diseases if you do not practice Yoga and the reward is better, healthier and happier life. Rewards and Punishments, as motivating factors go hand in hand.


I do feel though, that there is a role played by awareness when perceiving this reward/punishment thing. I have been inclined to practice Yoga since my childhood and it seems that it works better than anything else for me. If you feel that going to doctor, getting admitted in a hospital is fun ( because you will get attention of a lot of relatives), at a subconscious level; you will not be inclined to practice Yoga or anything else which keeps you robust, whereas if you hate the thought of being disabled, where, you could have been capable, with just a little bit of effort everyday; you will not prefer doctors over Yoga/Exercise.
libertygrl
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Posted 09/18/11 - 9:57 AM:

lots of good points thumb up
praxis
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Posted 10/11/11 - 1:17 AM:

+1 for reward.
libertygrl
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Posted 10/20/11 - 11:48 AM:

Thinker wrote:
I practice Pranayam. Why do I practice it? I practice it to avoid the pain caused by the bronchitis or fevers. If I do not practice it I feel down. This is mostly about punishing it seems, but it isn't. If I practice it regularly, not only it makes me immune to such ailments but also makes me feel good. It gives me more energy than any other activity and it makes me think better. This seems to be the gain part.

there's a saying in english, "no pain, no gain". of course, the pain of working hard is very different from the suffering that comes out of punishment. personally, i don't like the idea of punishment. there seems something sadistic about it that puts me off.

on the other hand, i respect discipline and especially the need to deter children from behaviors that will be harmful to themselves in the long run. once we become adults, though, i question how effective things like prison and death sentences are in terms of deterrents. i'm in favor of keeping dangerous criminals in prison strictly for the sake of protecting the general public. do i think it rehabilitates them? it doesn't seem likely. what do you guys think?
Thinker13
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Posted 10/20/11 - 1:55 PM:

libertygrl wrote:

there's a saying in english, "no pain, no gain". of course, the pain of working hard is very different from the suffering that comes out of punishment. personally, i don't like the idea of punishment. there seems something sadistic about it that puts me off.

on the other hand, i respect discipline and especially the need to deter children from behaviors that will be harmful to themselves in the long run. once we become adults, though, i question how effective things like prison and death sentences are in terms of deterrents. i'm in favor of keeping dangerous criminals in prison strictly for the sake of protecting the general public. do i think it rehabilitates them? it doesn't seem likely. what do you guys think?



More than answering your question ( at this point of time!)--I wanted to reflect on a different type of pleasure embedded in the pain. It might well be connected to masochism. I am not sure though.

Dostoevsky suggests in his 'Notes From The Underground' that there is a certain pleasure in pain...when you are broken...totally shattered or in all tears...he has described it very vividly.


Another such pleasure is in the pain of discipline: Exercise regimes; waking up at 5 o' clock in morning and snoozing alarms; all reinforce the importance of bed and increase the relative pleasure of sleep [ Ahh, I am not getting even closer to what I intended to say!!]


libertygrl
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Posted 10/20/11 - 3:33 PM:

Thinker wrote:
Dostoevsky suggests in his 'Notes From The Underground' that there is a certain pleasure in pain...when you are broken...totally shattered or in all tears...he has described it very vividly.

actually, now that you mention it, i'm reminded that this was something my ex-husband used to read about, long ago. he was telling me that there were old photographs of people being tortured, and that they had expressions of ecstasy. whether this represents some kind of masochistic impulse, i'm not sure. perhaps it is simply the mind's way of coping with the pain, in order to survive: by searching for something groundbreaking, something productive that would compel one to grow, something that reveals one's strength.

the etymology of the word "ecstasy" may be of interest:

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ecstasy
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Posted 10/20/11 - 3:34 PM:

Thinker wrote:
Another such pleasure is in the pain of discipline

these pleasures seem to derive in part from the exploration and exercise of will. a random observation...
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 11/02/11 - 4:48 AM:

libertygrl wrote:

actually, now that you mention it, i'm reminded that this was something my ex-husband used to read about, long ago. he was telling me that there were old photographs of people being tortured, and that they had expressions of ecstasy. whether this represents some kind of masochistic impulse, i'm not sure. perhaps it is simply the mind's way of coping with the pain, in order to survive: by searching for something groundbreaking, something productive that would compel one to grow, something that reveals one's strength.



They're doped up on our body's very own harddrug: endorphines. When released in the body, these substances result in pleasure and pain-surpression. They're released in happy moments, but also in stressful or painful situations. For instance:
- Soldiers often don't even feel their wounds until they've returned to safety, because of endorphines.
- Runner's high


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin

Morphine/heroïne: fake endorphines. Or else, endorphines are endogenous morphine. smiling face

It often acts as defense mechanism, for certain, making sure you don't break down in the wrong moments.
thedoc
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Posted 11/02/11 - 2:06 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:



They're doped up on our body's very own harddrug: endorphines. When released in the body, these substances result in pleasure and pain-surpression. They're released in happy moments, but also in stressful or painful situations. For instance:
- Soldiers often don't even feel their wounds until they've returned to safety, because of endorphines.
- Runner's high


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin

Morphine/heroïne: fake endorphines. Or else, endorphines are endogenous morphine. smiling face

It often acts as defense mechanism, for certain, making sure you don't break down in the wrong moments.



I believe endorphines and morphine are chemically identical and have the same effect on the body. They are also released during sex, so the excuse "Not tonight, I have a headache." is null and void since the endorphines could releave the headache.
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 11/03/11 - 2:46 AM:

I believe endorphines and morphine are chemically identical


They really are not chemically identical, but that's not so very important for the subject anyway. smiling face
libertygrl
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Posted 11/04/11 - 12:01 PM:

smokinpristiformis wrote:



They're doped up on our body's very own harddrug: endorphines. When released in the body, these substances result in pleasure and pain-surpression. They're released in happy moments, but also in stressful or painful situations. For instance:
- Soldiers often don't even feel their wounds until they've returned to safety, because of endorphines.
- Runner's high


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorphin

Morphine/heroïne: fake endorphines. Or else, endorphines are endogenous morphine. smiling face

It often acts as defense mechanism, for certain, making sure you don't break down in the wrong moments.

very interesting, makes sense. thanks for the info smoki!
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#23 - Quote - Permalink
Posted 11/29/11 - 7:18 AM:

libertygrl wrote:
punishment vs. reward

which is the more effective motivator?


Hi there, newbie's first post. whee

How about 'neither'? Fear and desire are left and right hands to each other; both are externalised. What does it take to motivate a post, or a painting, or tidying the bedroom? Is the act not sufficient itself? If not, then perhaps it is not worth motivating with 'something else'.
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Posted 11/29/11 - 8:17 AM:

Welcome !

From theory to practice: I work in a chemical plant. Around here, a HUGE amount of time and effort is spent influencing the behaviour of people to ensure their safety, to improve process quality, ...
It's important, and it's an uphill battle to keep to the highest standards. We're all human, after all. So yes, I think even if the act itself is not sufficient motivation, (means of) influencing eachother's behaviour are very important.
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Posted 11/29/11 - 8:40 AM:

I wonder why people do not want to work safely and efficiently? It begins, I would imagine, with the fact that they do not want to run a chemical plant at all, and have to be motivated with the punishment of poverty and the reward of pay.

I understand that I am taking a radical position here; our lives are so built upon this mutual manipulation that it seems that everything would fall apart without it. But I think in fact only those things would fall apart that people did not want anyway. If the chemicals are useful, then we will want to make them, and if the workers are already willing, then with safety and high standards will be how they want to do it, no external pressure required.
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