In Part 1 about motivation, we learned how intrinsic motivation, the built-in desire to learn and to grow, is far more powerful than extrinsic motivation at sustaining good habits. One of the hotly debated topics in the field concerns the use of praise. Does praise help motivate kids to work harder or does it do just the opposite?
Although research about the perils of too much praise on children’s learning is not new, it is so important that it bears repeating. Here’s the punchline: praise may do more harm than good.
One of the leaders of this inquiry is psychologist Carol Dweck at Stanford University. Her original article entitled “Praise for Intelligence Can Undermine Children’s Motivation and Performance,” was published with Claudia Mueller from Columbia University in 1998, and it created quite a stir since the prevailing belief at the time was that praise helped increase motivation.