Behavior modification works on the principles of behavioral theories in psychology. According to these theories, it is possible to modify behavior using a certain set of actions--reinforcement or punishment.
Both reinforcement and punishment can be positive or negative, but not in the sense of "good" or "bad." Positive means adding something (liking giving a reward or a punishment) or removing something (like lowering the severity of a punishment, or removing a privilege).
- Positive reinforcement would be something like giving candy after an example of good behavior.
- Negative reinforcement would be something like giving 5 strokes of the flogger instead of 10.
- Positive punishment would be something like giving a spanking when bad behavior is witnessed.
- Negative punishment would be something like denying the privilege of orgasm.
Of course, the rewards and punishments must be suitable to the behavior to modify as well as the person receiving them. Using pain on a masochist is a bad idea for a punishment, since pain is actually a turn on for them.