Negative Effects on Cognitive Development

I see rewards and punishments as very detrimental to learning about the real world. I think the kids’ minds are not properly developed by the adults always substituting artificial effects for real world effects that would have had an actual relationship to the cause.

Not every punishable situation is a safety, or a life and death matter.

They do say that over-punishing has the effect of some hampering of cognitive development, and I think this is why, because punishments and rewards interfere with actual, real life learning.

And if I’m right about that, then the increase of negative cognitive effects is linear, not only present in “over-punishing.”

Wouldn’t you think?

Also, punishment wouldn’t have to physical for that negative effect, would it? Any punishment that substitutes an artificial effect for a real cause would do that . . .


2 thoughts on “Negative Effects on Cognitive Development

  1. truthaholics April 3, 2014 / 6:41 pm

    The cumulative effect of over-punishment is so disproportional it is a manifest error on the part of the parent not to discontinue it – even bordering on child-abuse. Obviously it’s not working. For God’s sake, try something else!

    That said, there’s still something to be said for simply rewarding good and punishing bad behaviour in children in order to help motivate the child to learn and develop properly in terms of education and behaviour and achieving its age-appropriate milestones.

    From this perspective, rewards and punishments are merely symptoms caused by the child’s own behaviour, wisely dispensed by the parent to encourage the child to take responsibility for its own actions and improve its performance with the aim of blossoming into a healthy young adult of sound body and mind capable of empathy and contributing something to society.

    Thanks neighsayer for another really thought-provoking post. 🙂


    • neighsayer April 3, 2014 / 7:23 pm

      You’re welcome, and thank you – but I couldn’t agree less! I think the point is ANY punishing. Over is bad, but any is bad, maybe not as bad, but bad enough . . .


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