Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Punishment in Social Learning Theory

  • Jinsook Song
  • Maxine NoticeEmail author
  • Janet Robertson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_51

Name of Strategy or Intervention

Punishment in Social Learning Theory


Aversive stimuli


Punishment in social learning theory is designed to reduce and eliminate certain behaviors. Punishment is not considered a behavior; instead, it has a role of mediating the learning process (Bandura 1977; Skinner 1976). Bandura described punishment as a stimulus or reinforcer in a learning process. People can experience punishment in two forms, positive and negative. Negative reinforcement and positive punishment are often confused. Negative reinforcement is to take something aversive away in order to increase a response. Positive punishment is to add something aversive to modify behavior (Bandura 1977).

Theoretical Framework

Punishment is often discussed as a part of operant conditioning in behavioral psychology attributed to the work of B.F. Skinner (1976). Skinner stated that behavior is strengthened by its consequences or reinforcements.

Bandura added the cognitive approach...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Antioch University New EnglandKeeneUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brian Baucom
    • 1
  1. 1.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA