Friday, July 9, 2010

Punished by Rewards

There is a book with this title that opened my eyes to the possibility that artificial rewards take the focus off of the inherit or natural reward and people eventually loose interest in an activity that has a unrelated reward attached. There is a study that found that between two groups of children, the ones that were rewarded for using magic markers lost interest in using them as opposed to the other group without a reward attached. The group that wasn't given a reward remained interested in coloring with magic markers suggesting that they benefitted from the natural pleasure from using the markers. So I guess I had better stop rewarding myself with sweets for a job well done and instead just savor the good feeling of a clean house. Drat. But I guess getting "full" on a job well done is less fattening than ice cream.

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