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Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold…
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Punished By Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's,…

by Alfie Kohn

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You would have to be a dyed-in-the-wool behaviorist or at least some kind of sociological conservative not to be persuaded by Alfie Kohn's compelling, if unnecessarily overlong, case against using rewards of any kind as a motivator. What amazes me is how easy it is to fall into the reward trap when interacting with others. And the scenarios seem universal whether you're in a classroom, at home or at work. Rewards and punishments are like a jackhammer to a problem—it will probably get the job done quickly, but in the clumsiest, messiest way possible.

My recommendation for this book is to read the first 100 pages (all of Part 1, "The Case Against Rewards") and then skim the rest. ( )
  Daniel.Estes | May 9, 2013 |
Needed some reminders about education and parenting via intrinsic motivation. And he always hits my sweet spot on the elusive balance between boundaries, respect, and self-determination for all. ( )
  beckydj | Mar 31, 2013 |
Presents some very interesting ideas. It is clear that he wants students to want to learn, for the sake of learning. Kohn believes that praise for the sake of praise is damaging to students. All of the things teachers use to motivate students to succeed are only rewarding students for "jumping through hoops" and not for mastering a practical skill. ( )
1 vote MrsBond | Nov 21, 2009 |
Lesson #1 Extrinsic motivation is bad and can destroy intrinsic motivation. Lesson #2 People don't like to be controlled or manipulated even with rewards. Problem: Removing punishments and rewards is hard to put into practice. I personally think everything in moderation would be fine. ( )
  hsienlei | Jan 30, 2008 |
Review of research concerning positive and negative reinforcements and their affects on motivation and performace. Thought provoking and convincing. ( )
  NelsonFamilyLibrary | Oct 8, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618001816, Paperback)

The basic strategy we use for raising children, teaching students, and managing workers can be summarized in six words: Do this and you'll get that. We dangle goodies (from candy bars to sales commissions) in front of people in much the same way we train the family pet. Drawing on a wealth of psychological research, Alfie Kohn points the way to a more successful strategy based on working with people instead of doing things to them. "Do rewards motivate people?" asks Kohn. "Yes. They motivate people to get rewards." Seasoned with humor and familiar examples, Punished By Rewards presents an argument unsettling to hear but impossible to dismiss.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:22:20 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"Since its publication in 1993, this book has persuaded countless parents, teachers, and managers that attempts to manipulate people with incentives may seem to work in the short run, but they ultimately fail and even do lasting harm. Drawing from hundreds of studies, Kohn demonstrates that people actually do inferior work when they are enticed with money, grades, or other incentives. The more we use artificial inducements to motivate people, the more they lose interest in what we're bribing them to do." "Rewards and punishments are two sides of the same coin - and the coin doesn't buy much. What is needed, Kohn explains, is an alternative to both ways of controlling people. The final chapters offer practical strategies for parents, teachers, and managers that move beyond the use of carrots or sticks."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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