Synopses & Reviews
A landmark psychological critique of basic motivational strategy, this book attacks the strategy of dangling incentives in front of people to affect their behavior.
"a clear, convincing demonstration of the shortcomings of pop-behaviorism, written with style, humor, and authority,"
"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
Criticizes the system of motivating through reward, offering arguments for motivating people by working with them instead of doing things to them.
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. "Do rewards motivate people?" asks Kohn. "Yes. They motivate people to get rewards." Seasoned with humor and familiar examples, Punished By Rewards presents an argument unsettling to hear but impossible to dismiss.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 377-411) and index.
About 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.
Table of Contents
Skinner-Boxed: The legacy of behaviorism -- Is it right to reward? -- Is it effective to reward? -- The trouble with carrots: Four reasons rewards fail -- Cutting the interest rate: The fifth reason rewards fail -- The praise problem -- Pay for performance: Why behaviorism doesn't work in the workplace -- Lures for learning: Why behaviorism doesn't work in the classroom -- Bribes for behaving: Why behaviorism doesn't help children become good people -- Thank God it's Monday: The roots of motivation in the workplace -- Hooked on learning: The roots of motivation in the classroom -- Good kids without goodies.