RE: Psychology Addict # 58 | Punishment – An Overview Through the Lens of Psychology.
My dear Abigail,
What a topic to take on. This even tops near death experience, I think, for the potential to provoke discussion, even controversy.
I live in a country where mass incarceration is a fact. The notion of rehabilitation has been abandoned (behavior modification). It's all about vengeance. A consequence: large segments of the population are ostracized ("amygdala-dependent pathway plays an important part in the avoidance of future interaction with the target, or in ostracising it altogether"). The ostracism is reinforced by laws that prevent felons from fully reintegrating into society. This is not only devastating to individuals and communities, but undermines the cohesion of the nation as a whole.
However, we, in my country, cannot have a rational, science-based discussion about punishment (incarceration and its consequences) because the issue of retribution comes to the fore. The efficacy of 'punishment' is irrelevant to many people. The indifference to efficacy is most glaringly evident when the issue of the death penalty is raised. An overwhelming number of legitimate studies indicate that the death penalty does not deter crime. And yet, a large percentage (a growing percentage!) of people in my country support it.
As for punishment within the family...I look back on my own parenting and realize that when I thought punishment was necessary, it was often because I was at a loss for how to effectively manage the children without it. Punishment is a default mode. It's quick, easy, and everybody says it's good. But I agree with you. The best way would be to have the children internalize values so they carry these with them wherever they go, for the rest of their lives.
Would I do it better, if I had another chance? I think so. Maybe not perfect, but better.
This post is so rich. All of yours are, but wow. Such an important topic.
Thanks, Abigail. I will of course resteem and tweet this out. I'm going to tweet it out every day for a week :)
With even more regard (is that possible?), affection and respect,
Your New York friend, from punishment-ridden USA