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A psychological punishment is a type of punishment that relies not or only in secondary order on the actual harm inflicted (such as corporal punishments 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.
Very common is the use of shame through private or, especially, public humiliation.
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.
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