Nuture Shock — inverse power of praise

I’ve just started reading Nuture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. The opening of the book was disturbing – children who were praised heavily did poorly. Non-specific praise creates an expectation to succeed. Or rather on expectation to not fail. The expectation not to fail is not the same thing as the expectation to succeed. To maintain the perception “of being smart”, those kids that were overpraised deliberately chose task that were below their abilities and collapsed in the face of failure. Kids that were specifically praised and praised for effort (a controllable factor) rather than intelligence (an uncontrollable factor), were more motivated to meet challenges.

There seems to a deep mine of interesting research in this book. But, this first bit was such a revelation that I had to write a quick note.

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One response to “Nuture Shock — inverse power of praise

  1. slc April 28, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Really? A revelation?

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