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9 Examples of Natural Consequences

 , December 05, 2022
Natural consequences are the inherent effects of a behavior in the real world. This occurs where the cause and effect results of behavior aren't interrupted by an outside power such as a society or a parent. Natural consequences can be positive such as a greater sense of wellness that is the consequence of eating well. They can also be negative such as a broken leg from reckless behavior on a bicycle. The following are illustrative examples of natural consequences.
A restaurant that fails because its food didn't taste very good.
A restaurant that thrives because it bounces back from initial failures to adapt food and service towards greatness.
Breaking a toy by throwing it down some stairs.
Failing a test because you didn't study.
Getting fired for mediocre performance.
Getting into a car accident because you were distracted while driving.
Getting into a top university because you have superior study habits and have expended massive effort.
Getting promotions, big bonuses and respect for being more productive and committed than most of your coworkers.
Losing a friend because you were often inconsiderate towards them.

Behavioral Learning

Natural consequences act as a type of positive or negative reinforcement that represent a foundational type of behavioral learning.

Lack of Consequences

Where the effects of your actions are always tempered by an outside force your behavior may become quite negative, destructive and detached from reality. For example, if a government stepped in to clear debts and fund every business that fails -- businesses would have no incentive to produce quality products or to maximize customer satisfaction. If this were done at scale, production of value by the economy would rapidly decline towards zero.

Natural Consequences and Parenting

Natural consequences can be used as a parenting approach. Children must be protected from natural consequences such as getting injured by doing something dangerous. However, parents may allow certain natural consequences to filter through in order to help their children to mature and align their behavior to real world conditions where parents don't fix everything. For example, a parent who doesn't immediately replace a toy when it is broken through misuse.
Overview: Natural Consequences
Type
Definition
The inherent effects of a behavior in the real world.
Related Concepts

Behavior

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Altruism
Behavior Learning
Defense Mechanisms
Denial
Difficult Behaviors
Group Behavior
Group Dynamics
Id
Natural Consequences
Passive Aggressive
People
Preferences
Respect
Self-Pity
Social Contagion
Tetris Effect
Tit For Tat
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