Cover image for Punished by rewards : the trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A's, praise, and other bribes
Title:
Punished by rewards : the trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, A's, praise, and other bribes
Author:
Kohn, Alfie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York, N.Y. : Houghton Mifflin Co., [1993]

©1993
Physical Description:
xiv, 398 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780395650288
Format :
Book

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BF505.R48 K65 1993 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

To quote the press release: "Alfie Kohn writes and speaks widely on human behavior, education, and social theory." Beyond that, his qualifications are not spelled out, but his case against extrinsic awards is backed up with substantial notes and references and is thus head and shoulders above many other books for general audiences on what motivates people. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.


Author Notes

Alfie Kohn was described by "Time" as "the country's most outspoken critic of education's fixation on grades & test scores." The author of the influential "No Contest" & "Punished by Rewards," he writes & speaks widely about human behavior, education, & social theory. He lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The idea that competition and reward are effective motivators forms the bedrock of our educational, economic, and managerial systems. Kohn, though, has strongly attacked the belief that competition is healthy and has documented its negative effects in No Contest: The Case against Competition (1986). Now he challenges the widely held assumption that incentives lead to improved quality and increased output in the workplace and in schools. He notes that the system of rewards and punishment is based on Pavlovian and Skinnerian behavioral theories, which are supported largely by experiments with laboratory animals. Kohn derides rewards as bribes and offers instead the proposition that collaboration (teamwork), content (meaningfulness), and choice (autonomy) will serve to motivate both students and workers. He marshals impressive theoretical support and, at the same time, uses humor disarmingly to argue his case. ~--David Rouse


Library Journal Review

Kohn, the author of other iconoclastic books, among them You Know What They Say: The Truth About Popular Beliefs ( LJ 8/90), here shows how rewards of all sorts undermine our efforts to teach students, manage workers, and raise children. Although aimed at a general audience, the book is based on extensive research and documented with almost 100 pages of notes and references. The first six review the behaviorist tradition and lay out in a clear and convincing manner Kohn's central argument that ``pop behaviorism'' is dangerously prevalent in our society. Here Kohn discusses why rewards, including praise, fail to promote lasting behavior change or enhance performance and frequently make things worse. The remaining six chapters examine the effect of rewards and alternatives to them in companies, schools, and the home. Recommended for all types of libraries.-- Mary Chatfield, Angelo State Univ., San Angelo, Tex. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.