BookReview: Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes
by Alfie Kohn, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999, 0-618-00181-6
This book was mentioned in the bib Extreme Programing 2 ed. I tried some of the ideas out, and some worked, but many didn't. I'm not convinced you get past the "Little Adult" assumption by assuming kids are motivated intrinsically from the start. The book is thought-provoking, however.
The main theme is that external (dis)incentives don't internalize motivation in children (or adults). Extrinsic motivation stays external, and when eliminated, sometimes causes worse performance than before it was introduced. Random rewards work better than constant rewards. Group rewards can penalize non-performing members. In summary, intrinsic motivation is hard, and shortcuts don't help.
Via Rob 2005
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