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Is too much praise a good or a bad thing ?

Posted on Wednesday, 14 November, 2012 | Comment icon 33 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

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Japanese researchers have claimed that praise is as good as money at making people work harder.

It's something that has been debated amongst scientists and parents alike for years, can giving too much praise to our children have a negative effect overall or does it really help spur effort and creativity ? Do we prefer to hear the straight truth about something we've done or do we function better when the reality is sugar coated to make us feel better ?

Researchers lead by Professor Sadato at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences have been attempting to investigate using a group of 48 volunteers. "There seems to be scientific validity behind the message 'praise to encourage improvement'," he said. "Complimenting someone could become an easy and effective strategy to use in the classroom."

"A team of Japanese researchers at the National Institute for Physiological Sciences has discovered that the more a person is complimented the more the striatum part of their brain is stimulated, and the better they perform a task."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (33)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #24 Posted by Merc14 on 15 November, 2012, 3:52
I suspect that few of us suffer from too much praise or recognition of a task well done. I used to do supervisor training for Hilton international, and part of that training was a study that indicated what employees wanted to hear, what motivated them even more than a raise, was feeling appreciated. No, meaningless praise isn't helpful, but we can almost always find something positive to say that is honest, but not a lot of people expend the effort to do it. Well said and I completely agree! You've pointed out another thing we have no idea about from the story on this study which is just what ... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by AlienDan on 15 November, 2012, 4:27
I can understand it, kind of relates to this:
Comment icon #26 Posted by Babe Ruth on 15 November, 2012, 13:57
Positive reinforcement is very helpful, but I suppose it can be overdone. I think some youth today are made to think each and every one is special. If everybody is special, then what happens to "common" or "normal"?
Comment icon #27 Posted by Ryu on 15 November, 2012, 15:16
The term "special" is rather arbitrary and subjective considering that it only applies when someone else makes that determination to an otherwise ordinary person, which is what we all are, really. Sometimes I think that the only time some kids get any sort of "positive" reinforcement is when they're in school or perhaps at work and the rest of the time they are just..well, doing what they're supposed to do. Is it good or bad? I don't know. What I do observe is an increasing amount and frequency of meaningless phrases being tossed out by those in "authority" then expecting everyone to immediate... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by aryannatimothy on 16 November, 2012, 10:14
Praises can boost up attitude and confidence but too much praise all the time can also make a man blind from seeing his flaws and improving them. Anyway, too much of anything is not really good. The same concept applies here.
Comment icon #29 Posted by AwakenAscension on 18 November, 2012, 11:24
I believe it is how the praise (or lack of which) is TAKEN by the reciever of it. There is one school of thought- Hardly ever praise them and they will work much harder for it and become accustomed to that, then they will not pout and give up, for being spoiled with too many rewards would lead one to expect too much for too little. It be better to teach them the opposite so that they GREATLY APPRECIATE the rewards they ARE given, no matter how small, and be the most efficient. Then the OTHER school of thought- We (people) are only taught by two true teachers at the neural level. PLEASURE and P... [More]
Comment icon #30 Posted by Jinxdom on 18 November, 2012, 12:30
lol I work better without praise, praise makes me complacent with what I am doing. I no longer go from what works best to hey ok this is good enough I guess. Less likely to change my ways for the better. Need to have the balance of bad remarks as well so I can show fools that they are wrong which makes me go outside of my normal way of thinking
Comment icon #31 Posted by Mr Right Wing on 18 November, 2012, 13:00
Praise can be a detriment as it can boost ego and promote arrogance in the wrong person. But it can also positively boost confidence in the right person, and as the article implied, improve task performance. People have psychological needs such as self-esteem needs. If you want your kid to live up to its full potential in life you need to give it positive recognition, positve status and positive praise. Giving them high self-esteem doesnt make them elitest or arrogant. Teaching them not to be considerate towards others does. That means dont let them see you putting down others who are below yo... [More]
Comment icon #32 Posted by Ryu on 18 November, 2012, 15:10
Try pointing out a few positive things to them each week so they believe they are special instead of defective or merely normal. If they believe they are special they will go far in life. I do not think the aim should ever be to make them feel special as I think this is a detriment to their development. Instead they could be helped to feel competent instead. That goes farther than the "special" label we slap on them.
Comment icon #33 Posted by starchild1976 on 12 December, 2012, 3:34
I don't know let me call you an idiot and see if that increases your self esteem. I'm not completely serious, I have no way of knowing if you are idiot. Notice, I said I'm not completely serious. Why do people rely so much as psycho babble and all those blessed studies which are subject to certain conditions and only represent a fraction of humankind?

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