Book Definition: The removal of an appetite stimulus after a response, leading to a decrease in behavior. Negative punishment may also be referred to as omission training.

In Your Own Words


  • A privilege is taken away because of an action in attempt to stop the behavior from repeating itself.
  • Removing something that is usually a reward to stop a certain behavior from taking place.
  • Something that is considered good or valued is taken away in order to stop a bad behavior.
  • Taking away something to enforce better behavior and have the negative behavior stop.


Remember to think adding (+) stimulus for positive (+) and subtracting (-) stimulus for negative (-).

Examples/Functions


  • If I receive a bad grade, then my phone gets taken away.
  • If I don't clean my room, my laptop gets taken away.
  • If I don't do the dishes, my TV gets taken away for a week.
  • If I text in class, I get my phone taken away.
  • If I am disrespectful, I get my iPod taken away.
  • If you are caught speeding, you will get a ticket which takes away your money!
  • Bob commits a crime and goes to jail, where he is locked in a cell & his rights/privileges are taken away.
  • A daughter mouths off to her mother, so her mother takes off the door to her daughter's bedroom, removing her privacy.
  • You fight at school, you get suspended.

Additional Resources


  1. http://www.psychology.uiowa.edu/faculty/wasserman/glossary/punishment.html
  2. http://psychology.about.com/od/operantconditioning/f/negative-punishment.htm
  3. http://daretodreamthinkdo.blogspot.com/2008/10/positive-and-negative-punishment.html