Psychological punishment
A psychological punishment is a type of punishment
Punishment is the authoritative imposition of something negative or unpleasant on a person or animal in response to behavior deemed wrong by an individual or group....

 that relies not or only in secondary order on the actual harm inflicted (such as corporal punishment
Corporal punishment
Corporal punishment is a form of physical punishment that involves the deliberate infliction of pain as retribution for an offence, or for the purpose of disciplining or reforming a wrongdoer, or to deter attitudes or behaviour deemed unacceptable...

s or fines) but on psychological effects, mainly emotions, such as fear, shame and guilt. This can occasionally cause severe cardiac harm, even death, but those are not strictly intended, and in the case of torture accidental death would even defeat the purpose. Psychological punishments that are particularly cruel or severe may be considered psychological torture
Psychological torture
Psychological torture is a type of torture that relies primarily on psychological effects, and only secondarily on any physical harm inflicted. Although not all psychological torture involves the use of physical violence, there is a continuum between psychological torture and physical torture...


Very common is the use of shame through private or, especially, public humiliation
Public humiliation
Public humiliation was often used by local communities to punish minor and petty criminals before the age of large, modern prisons .- Shameful exposure :...


For example, publicly shaving a woman’s head may not only humiliate her in front of those who witness her shearing, it may also deprive her of her hair for as long as it takes to grow back, thus serving as a continual reminder of her punishment and her humiliation.

See also

  • Punishment (Psychology)
    Punishment (psychology)
    In operant conditioning, punishment is any change in a human or animal's surroundings that occurs after a given behavior or response which reduces the likelihood of that behavior occurring again in the future. As with reinforcement, it is the behavior, not the animal, that is punished...

  • Parading on donkey
    Parading on donkey
    Parading on a donkey is a traditional psychological punishment, consisting in a public humiliation.-Scope:* In rural areas of India, it is intended to humiliate those guilty of minor crimes, and usually meted out by village elders or the local panchayat system of justice...

  • Sluggishly progressing schizophrenia
    Sluggishly progressing schizophrenia
    Sluggishly progressing schizophrenia or sluggish schizophrenia was a category of schizophrenia diagnosed by psychiatrists in the Soviet Union...

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