Saturday, December 21, 2013

Learning - Punishment

In the last byte, we looked at reinforcement schedule. In today's byte, we look at Punishment in detail.

Punishment could be understood as the attempt to eliminate or weaken undesirable behavior! A manager could punish in 2 possible ways
  1. By applying negative consequences
  2. By withholding positive consequences
Of the employee's actions.

Example of the first case could be a match ban introduced by the match referee on the player who violated the moral code of conduct in a particular game. Example of the second case could be considered in sales setting where, a sales associate who makes a few visits to companies and whose sales are well below the quota would receive a very small commission at the end of the month.

There is however one problem with punishment - it may have unintended results. Since there are discomforting experiences, it could lead to negative psychological, emotional, performance of behavioral consequences! It is also to be noted that, it is not just the punishment that raises fear - a threat of punishment may also elicit fear!

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