Many people report having grown up in a "blaming environment" or a "blame-oriented emotional atmosphere." This suggests a parental or family focus on discovering the culprit involved in a wrongdoing so that he or she can be punished for the transgression committed. There are times, no doubt, when this is necessary and appropriate; occasions where a wrongdoer must be identified and attended to appropriately. Examples might include such occasions where carelessness leads to a dangerous situation.
There are times, however, when a situation does not require the identification of the 'offender,' perhaps because the offense is so inconsequential and could be handled easily by the one discovering the offending act. One client reported his childhood home atmosphere as one in which any minor infraction, e.g. leaving a room without turning off the light, leaving the cap off the toothpaste tube, or forgetting to put a dish in the dishwasher would lead to a "parental witch hunt" for the responsible culprit. Often, an environment like this one breeds a blame mentality wherein many behaviors are viewed as justifying criticism and needing to be punished.