The Facts About Punishment

by S.G. Friedman, PhD, Utah, and Bobbi Brinker, Ohio
Published in Original Flying Machine, Issue 4: Jan/Feb 2001

Nowadays, the issue of punishment has become an emotional minefield of
misconceptions, good intentions, and general confusion. And this is the good news. We
would be loath to return to a time when the use of punishment was unquestioned and was
the most common, if not sole, strategy for changing undesirable behavior. A large part of
the present confusion results from the perennial gap between research and practice.
However, the negative effects of some forms of punishment have been studied
scientifically and are well documented. These studies reveal compelling information
about the detriments of punishment that no parrot guardian should be without.

Another problem is that punishment is what most of us do best … or at least first. It is our
teaching legacy passed down from generation to generation. We are virtually surrounded
by punishing strategies used to influence our behavior: From overdue library books to
dogs without licenses; fines, penalties and reprimands whirl around us like leaves in a
storm. For many of us, to give up punishment as our primary tool with which to influence
negative behavior is to leave us empty handed. With this article, we hope to narrow the
gap between the research and practice of punishment as it applies to companion parrots
and provide the relevant information you need to base your choice of teaching strategies
on facts rather than cultural inheritance.

Please read the entire article here The Facts About Punishment

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