It seems that a lack of response to punishment is often considered useful in diagnosing conditions or symptoms. A good example of this may be in diagnosing psychopathy, in which a lack of response to punishment seems to be a defining characteristics. For example:
Their behavior does not reform in response to punishment; they will impulsively commit crimes despite knowing the consequences they will likely face. They are among the worst of repeat offenders.”
It seems odd to me that punishment is considered significant, since in many cases a person we consider capable of making their own decisions may not agree with a punishment, in which case why would the punishment be expected to have any effect?
My question is, how is observing a lack of response to punishment useful? Is the assumption that most people will respond in an expected way to punishment? If so, what is that based on?