The psychological analysis of punishment focuses on the question why people tend to punish behavior that violates legal or informal norms of society. The diversity of needs and calls for sanctions is dependent on specific features of the offense and the offender, on features of the person who intends to punish, as well as on the interaction of both, that is the interplay of situational and personal variables. Furthermore, the cultural context in which it is embedded influences this dynamic.

Features of the Offense and the Offender

In western European cultures, the court has to consider a person's behavior culpably deviant to make punishment (by the state) an acceptable reaction. Hence, whether the community punishes people for their behavior depends on one hand on what the community ...

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