Changing Another Person LO20154

John Gunkler (
Thu, 10 Dec 1998 12:09:39 -0600

Replying to LO20137 --

When Doc talks about "gun to the head" examples, I agree -- and there is a
lot of evidence to show that when punishment of any kind is applied in
order to create change, the changes that occur are unpredictable and have
strong (negative) emotional consequences. My favorite example is a story
that could have happened (but I don't vouch that it's true):

Two misbehaving children were up to their usual tricks at the breakfast
table -- complaining about everything, using bad language, etc. Their
mother, especially frustrated by their swearing, has consulted with a
psychiatrist who counseled that the next time one of them uttered a swear
word she should apply swift and attention-getting punishment.

She turns to the older child and asks, "Danny, would you like some corn
flakes?" Danny replies, "Hell, I don't want any damn corn flakes." Her
mother immediately backhands him -- sending him flying off his chair into
the corner of the kitchen. Then she turns to his brother and asks, "Sam,
what would you like for breakfast?" Sam fearfully responds, "I don't
know. But I sure as hell don't want any of them damn corn flakes!!"


"John Gunkler" <>

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