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Notes From the Fieldby Martin Weil

May 10, 2011

How to bribe your kids

Over the course of two weeks, Wardle compared doing nothing with three different strategies. One was simply asking the kids to try the vegetable. In another, the kids were lavishly praised (“Brilliant, you’re a great taster!’’) And in the third, the kids were offered a small reward (a sticker) for their efforts.

The rewards, according to a recent write-up in Psychological Science, enticed kids to try the vegetable more. But the big surprise is that, three months later, the sticker kids were still eating substantially more of it. (The praised kids also ate more, though not as much.) This is a key insight into human behavior: Temporary rewards can bring permanent change.

This from Gareth Cook in the Boston Globe.  The article contains several simple recommendations for how to motivate small children.  h/t Marginal Revolution

 

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