Lighting the Pathways of Reward and Punishment

“Positive reinforcement results in lasting behavioral modification, whereas punishment changes behavior only temporarily and presents many detrimental side effects.” B.F. Skinner (1970) Balanced and dominance trainers tend to present reward and punishment as opposite sides of the same coin, as if choosing one over the other was a matter of taste. This simplistic picture ignores…

My Way is Not the Only Way

For the sake of argument, let us imagine that Cesar Millan is right. We will imagine a universe where punishment causes no adverse psychological effects. In Millan’s reality punishment does not elicit fear and it does not cause aggression; punching a dog will not cause it to bite. Confrontational methods don’t result in defensive aggression;…