Here's one take on it: animal studies have shown that negative reinforcement, i.e., punishment, is a
fast way to stop animals from making only the exactbehavior they are punished for. It does not stop
that samebehavior under othercircumstances. In other words, the animal avoids being punished.
Period. The same studies have shown that positive reinforcement, while more difficult and longer to
make effective, generalizes to other settings and to related behaviors. In other words, animals try to
find ways to be reinforced: with food, petting, etc. I'll leave you to work out the implications for
Here's another take on it. George Lakoff wrote a book called Moral Politics in which he talks about the
Strict Father metaphor which politically conservative people run their and others lives by. The Strict
Father sets rules which must be obeyed or a child will be punished. Liberals, on the other hand, live
according to the Supportive Parent model, in which the parent praises a child and attempts to help
them. Now what would you expect to happen, given the animal studies above?