Punished by Rewards

The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes

Alfie Kohn



Alfie Kohn draws from hundred’s of studies to demonstrate that, while incentives seem to work in the short run, in the long run they lead students and others to produce work inferior to that produced without such enticements. The more artificial inducements are used, the more people, especially children, lose interest in what we’re bribing them to do. Kohn presents rewards and punishment as two sides of the same coin and devotes the final chapters to a practical set of strategies for parents, teachers, and managers that move beyond the use of carrots or sticks.

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