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Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn

The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes (Sep 1999)

 





Author

Alfie Kohn

ISBN-10

0618001816

First Published

September 1999

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ISBN 0618001816 

By same Author(s)

Unconditional Parenting

Categories

Children; Education; Knowledge Sharing; Learning; Measures, Targets and Rewards

Location

United States, Boston

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Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn Our basic strategy 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 that we train the family pet.

In this book, Alfie Kohn shows that while manipulating people with incentives seems to work in the short run, it is a strategy that ultimately fails and even does lasting harm. Our workplaces and classrooms will continue to decline, he argues, until we begin to question our reliance on a theory of motivation derived from laboratory animals.

Drawing from hundreds of studies, Kohn demonstrates that people actually do inferior work when they are enticed with money, grades, or other incentives. Programs that use rewards to change people's behavior are similarly ineffective over the long run. Promising goodies to children for good behavior can never produce anything more than temporary obedience. In fact, the more we use artificial inducements to motivate people, the more they lose interest in what we're bribing them to do. Rewards turn play into work, and work into drudgery.

Step by step, Kohn marshals research and logic to prove that pay-for-performance plans cannot work; the more an organization relies on incentives, the worse things get. Parents and teachers who care about helping students to learn, meanwhile, should be doing everything possible to help them forget that grades exist. Even praise can become a verbal bribe that gets kids hooked on our approval.

Rewards and punishments are just two sides of the same coin -- and the coin doesn't buy very much. What is needed, Kohn explains, is an alternative to both ways of controlling people. The final chapters offer a practical set of strategies for parents, teachers, and managers that move beyond the use of carrots or sticks. Seasoned with humor and familiar examples, Punished by Rewards presents an argument that is unsettling to hear but impossible to dismiss.

See here  for an interview with Alfie Kohn.



Video Playlist: Alfie Kohn



This is a playlist of video clips of Alfie Kohn

Media Information: Image


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Blog Post
  Rewarding and recognizing knowledge sharing
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 15 September 2002

  Alfie Kohn on human behavior, education, and society
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 15 September 2002

  Should we bribe kids to behave well?
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 14 March 2004

  Thoughts on Schooling
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 26 May 2004

  Death to the Syllabus!
Gurteen Knowledge-Log, David Gurteen, 14 December 2007

  Stephen Billing on Joint Inquiry
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 24 August 2009

  Are traditional rewards as effective as we think?
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 23 September 2009

  On Incentivizing Knowledge Management
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 14 December 2009

  Alfie Kohn, children, rewards, motivation and KM
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 20 January 2010

  A colossal Knowledge Management failure!
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 8 March 2010

  Don't praise the child!
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 20 April 2012

  Death by degrees, certification and accreditation
Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 14 August 2012

Book
  Punished by Rewards (Sep 1999) by Alfie Kohn
The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes

  Unconditional Parenting (Mar 2005) by Alfie Kohn
Moving from Rewards and Punishment to Love and Reason

Category
  Measures, Targets and Rewards [40 items]
Beware targets and rewards!

  Motivation [30 items]
Motivation is the most important force in life

Download
  Rewarding and Punishing Knowledge Sharing
A presentation I gave at The Deming Forum "Exploring Transformation", 14th May 2003, Doncaster

Media File
  Video Playlist: Alfie Kohn
Video Playlist: Alfie Kohn

Person
  Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator

Quotation
  Extrinsic tangible rewards undermine intrinsic motivation

  On believers by Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator

  On destroying the love of learning in children by Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator

  On incentive-driven individuals by Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator

  On punishment and reward by Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator

  On quality and working together by Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator

  On rewarding innovation by Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator

  On test scores by Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator

  On the convenience of stamping students by Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator

  On trying to do well and trying to beat others by Alfie Kohn Author, Speaker & Educator



Quotations from Punished by Rewards:

 Very few things are as dangerous as a bunch of incentive-driven individuals trying to play it safe.

Alfie Kohn, Author, Speaker & Educator
Punished by Rewards



 Punishment and reward proceed from basically the same psychological model, one that conceives of motivation as nothing more than the manipulation of behavior.

Alfie Kohn, Author, Speaker & Educator
Punished by Rewards



 Some people undoubtedly find it convenient to have students arrive having already been stamped PRIME, CHOICE, SELECT, or STANDARD.

Alfie Kohn, Author, Speaker & Educator
Punished by Rewards




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