Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes

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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. Kirkus Reviews called Punished By Rewards "a clear, convincing demonstration of ...
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Overview

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. Kirkus Reviews called Punished By Rewards "a clear, convincing demonstration of the shortcoming of pop-behaviorism, written with style, humor, and authority," and Thomas Gordon, the founder of Parent Effectiveness Training, said, "Every parent, teacher, and manager should read this book - and hurry."
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Kohn, the author of other iconoclastic books, among them You Know What They Say: The Truth About Popular Beliefs ( LJ 8/90), here shows how rewards of all sorts undermine our efforts to teach students, manage workers, and raise children. Although aimed at a general audience, the book is based on extensive research and documented with almost 100 pages of notes and references. The first six review the behaviorist tradition and lay out in a clear and convincing manner Kohn's central argument that ``pop behaviorism'' is dangerously prevalent in our society. Here Kohn discusses why rewards, including praise, fail to promote lasting behavior change or enhance performance and frequently make things worse. The remaining six chapters examine the effect of rewards and alternatives to them in companies, schools, and the home. Recommended for all types of libraries.-- Mary Chatfield, Angelo State Univ., San Angelo, Tex.
Booknews
To quote the press release: "Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and social theory." Beyond that, his qualifications are not spelled out, but his case against extrinsic awards is backed up with substantial notes and references and is thus head and shoulders above many other books for general audiences on what motivates people. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"a clear, convincing demonstration of the shortcomings of pop-behaviorism, written with style, humor, and authority," Kirkus Reviews

"Every parent, teacher, and manager should read this book—and hurry."—Thomas Gordon, founder of Parent Effectiveness Training

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395710906
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/10/1995
  • Pages: 398
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Alfie Kohn's six previous books include Punished by Rewards and No Contest: The Case Against Competition, as well as Beyond Displine and What to Look for in a Classroom. Descrilbed by Time magazine last year as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of educational fixation on grades and test scores," he is a popular lecturer, speaker to teachers, parents, and reasearchers accross the country. The author currently resides in Belmont, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. 1 The Case Against Rewards
1 Skinner-Boxed: The Legacy of Behaviorism 3
2 Is It Right to Reward? 19
3 Is It Effective to Reward? 35
4 The Trouble With Carrots: Four Reasons Rewards Fail 49
5 Cutting the Interest Rate: The Fifth Reason Rewards Fail 68
6 The Praise Problem 96
Pt. 2 Rewards in Practice
7 Pay for Performance: Why Behaviorism Doesn't Work in the Workplace 119
8 Lures for Learning: Why Behaviorism Doesn't Work in the Classroom 142
9 Bribes for Behaving: Why Behaviorism Doesn't Help Children Become Good People 160
Pt. 3 Beyond Rewards
Introduction 179
10 Thank God It's Monday: The Roots of Motivation in the Workplace 181
11 Hooked on Learning: The Roots of Motivation in the Classroom 198
12 Good Kids Without Goodies 228
Appendix A: A Conversation with B. F. Skinner 259
Appendix B: What Is Intrinsic Motivation? 270
Appendix C: The Behaviorists Talk Back 277
Notes 285
References 352
Name Index 385
Subject Index 387
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Customer Reviews

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