Explaining Positive Punishment

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Postby BullyLady » January 11th, 2010, 4:34 am

So I was trying to explain the concept of Positive Punishment to a coworker the other day, and he was totally stymied. I think I understand the concept, but couldn't come up with something on the spot as an example, now I think I have one, can someone verify that this is correct?

Example: I come home from work, Shelby is in her kennel. She is fine to be there when she's alone, but hates to be there when people are home, so she starts whining, scratching and barking as soon as I get home. I don't let her out at this point because that is reinforcing bad behavior, but once she has quieted down and remains calm and quiet for a few minutes she gets to come out. The "punishment" (being crated when I'm in the house) was removed as a reinforcement to the positive behavior (being calm and quiet).

Is this a good example?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 11th, 2010, 8:42 am

Positive means adding something, punishment means something that will reduce a behavior. Giving a correction with a prong is positive punishment.

I always get the -P and -R mixed up. Katrina explained it really well in one of our stickies - I'll find it!
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 11th, 2010, 8:43 am

Alright, here you go: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=15822

Check out that thread. :)
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby maberi » January 11th, 2010, 9:27 am

Yeah, I may be wrong but I would see this as a form of negative punishment. In this situation you are taking access to the outside world or better yet you from Shelby until she settles down. Negative punishment can only be used when a dog anticipates a reward (in this case, Shelby being let out of her crate)
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Postby Hundilein » January 11th, 2010, 9:47 am

You could look at that situation at negative reinforcement for the behavior of being noisy in the crate. Something "bad" (being in the crate) is removed (she is let out of the crate) when you get the behavior you like (her being quiet in the crate), so she should be more likely to be quiet in the crate in the future (so the behavior is reinforced). However, you could also look at it as positive reinforcement for the behavior of being quiet in the crate. Something good (being let out of the crate) is added when you get the behavior you like (her being quiet), so she is more likely to be quiet in the crate in the future (the behavior is reinforced).

Another example I use a lot is a a kid is throwing a tantrum in the grocery store and his parent buys him a candy bar to shut him up. The candy bar is positive reinforcement for tantrum behavior (kid is more likely to try it again next time because it got him what he wanted), but the stopping of the tantrum is negative reinforcement for the parent's behavior of giving the candy bar (because the kid's tantrum stops when the parent gives him candy). That's part of why it's sometimes difficult to do what you know is the "right" thing to do, because reinforcement/punishment works on everyone and sometimes the "wrong" thing is reinforcing.

Behavior also doesn't always follow the rules. Whether it is reinforcement or punishment depends on the result by definition. Reinforcement increases the behavior, punishment decreases it. That's why yelling at a dog who is jumping and pushing him down can't necessarily be considered positive punishment. For a lot of dogs, it's actually positive reinforcement. You're adding something, but rather than decreasing the behavior (punishment), it often increases it (reinforcement).

At least, that's the way I understand it :wink:
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Postby maberi » January 11th, 2010, 8:41 pm

Well I asked a few resident experts about the scenario because it was bugging me. I was basically told that if Cathleen walks into the house and Shelby hears this and starts fussing and Cathleen ignores this until Shelby is quiet, that this is extinction. Once Shelby is quiet and the door opens, we have positive reinforcement.


BullyLady wrote:So I was trying to explain the concept of Positive Punishment to a coworker the other day, and he was totally stymied. I think I understand the concept, but couldn't come up with something on the spot as an example, now I think I have one, can someone verify that this is correct?

Example: I come home from work, Shelby is in her kennel. She is fine to be there when she's alone, but hates to be there when people are home, so she starts whining, scratching and barking as soon as I get home. I don't let her out at this point because that is reinforcing bad behavior, but once she has quieted down and remains calm and quiet for a few minutes she gets to come out. The "punishment" (being crated when I'm in the house) was removed as a reinforcement to the positive behavior (being calm and quiet).

Is this a good example?
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 11th, 2010, 8:46 pm

Oooh, throwing extinction in there makes sense. But then did the extinction come about because of -R?
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby maberi » January 11th, 2010, 8:51 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:Oooh, throwing extinction in there makes sense. But then did the extinction come about because of -R?


From what I was told no because you are not adding anything, just ignoring Shelby. It is also not negative punishment because you are not removing attention if you weren't previously giving it to her.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » January 11th, 2010, 8:55 pm

Alright, that actually makes a lot of sense.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

http://www.pitbullzen.com
http://inaradog.wordpress.com
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Postby amazincc » January 11th, 2010, 8:56 pm

maberi wrote:
From what I was told no because you are not adding anything, just ignoring Shelby. It is also not negative punishment because you are not removing attention if you weren't previously giving it to her.


This makes so much sense to me... thanks, Matt! :)
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Postby Hundilein » January 11th, 2010, 8:59 pm

Yup, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for tracking down the info for us Matt!
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Postby maberi » January 11th, 2010, 9:30 pm

Hundilein wrote:Yup, that makes a lot of sense. Thanks for tracking down the info for us Matt!


No problem, as much I think I know this stuff it always seems to throw me for a loop :|
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