What is vicarious punishment?

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According to the social learning theory, behaviours are learned through different means, one of them being observation of others. This is sometimes called vicarious reinforcement. A reinforcement goal is to increase the probability of apparition of a behavior. Its contrary, punishement, aims at decreasing the probability of apparition of a behavior. As such, vicarious punishement would refer to the decrease of the probability of apparition of a behavior due to having observed this behavior leading to negative consequences in another person. For example, a child who sees another child being punished for stealing a crayon from a peer will be less likely to do the same. more
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