Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes

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Review

“a clear, convincing demonstration of the shortcomings of pop-behaviorism, written with style, humor, and authority,” Kirkus Reviews

“Each and every parent, teacher, and manager must read this book — and hurry.” — Thomas Gordon, founder of Parent Effectiveness Training

About the Author

Alfie Kohn’s six previous books include Punished by Rewards and No Contest: The Case Against Competition, in addition to 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 well-liked lecturer, speaker to teachers, parents, and reasearchers accross the country. The creator currently resides in Belmont, Massachusetts.

The basic strategy we use for raising children, teaching students, and managing workers may also be summarized in six words: Do this and you’ll be able to get that. We dangle goodies (from candy bars to sales commissions) in front of people in much the same way we train the circle of relatives pet. Drawing on a wealth of psychological research, Alfie Kohn points the way to a more successful strategy based on working with people as a substitute 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 not possible to dismiss.

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