John(Joochan), Ashley, Gabriel

The Effects of Praise on Child Rearing

Abstract


The effects of Praise on Child Rearing is explained through different anatomies of research and is shown through different types of praise that exist. Not only the types of praise are studied but the differences of moderators are explained such as gender and age differences that could change the outcome of the praise. The research is focused on cognitive development but contains broad information on praise to give detailed but broad information of the concepts of praise.

Definition


"Simply put, giving attention to undesired behaviors increases undesired behaviors, while giving attention to good behaviors increases good behaviors," says Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, a Yale University psychology professor and director of the Yale Parenting Center and Child Conduct Clinic
Praises are indicators or methods used for diversities of age. and gender to influence cognitive development, and result satisfaction. The concept of praises are just reinforcements of words that give motivation to the individual receiving the words.

Reference: Novotney, A. (2012). Seven research-backed ways to improve parenting. Parenting That Works, Vol 43(No. 9), Page 44-Page 44. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/10/parenting.aspx .

Types of Praise


Ability related vs Effort based

This work originally determined that ability related praise has a greater impact on intrinsic motivation than effort based praise. Additionally, ability praise is particularly effective in what the subject terminology describes as an ego-involving (testlike) situation. Effort based praise is more effective than usual in what is referred to as a task-involving (gamelike) situation, yet remains less effective than ability based praise. It is hypothesized, based on earlier research, that the ability related praise is likely to make competence a personal value - leading to intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation results in high task-interest and a greater desire to take on challenging tasks. Intrinsically motivated individuals seek tasks above their level of current expertise, and exercise greater cognitive flexibility than their extrinsically motivated counterparts. The findings also suggest that an effort based attribution for failure fostered in the individual can have an extremely negative effect following later success.

Reference: Koestner, R., Zuckerman, M., & Koestner, J. (1987). Praise, involvement, and intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(2), 383-390. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from PsycInfo. http://psycnet.apa.org.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/doi/10.1037/0022-3514.53.2.383

Manipulative Praise

Praise toward an individual can't be all positive even though the behavior or the act is positive. Praise could be another method of manipulation and a way to conceive the results that one wants to achieve. Praise often have the characteristic of acceptance if the praise doesn't sound patently insincere. Being recognized for what you do feels good to anyone at any age and gender. People thrive on compliments and allay old fears and self doubts. However, it constitutes a kind of bribery offered to serve the interest of the person offering the praise. This Manipulative Praise works better as the individual receiving the praise us insecure and require external confirmation to feel stable and solid. Some types of praises are calculated behavior for people to achieve their goals through manipulation.

Reference: Seltzer, Leon F. "Praise as Manipulation: 6 Reasons to Question Compliments." Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201401/praise-manipulation-6-reasons-question-compliments>.

Social Comparison

This study investigates the effects of social comparison on children which impacts their behavior, attributions and how they manage after experiencing failure. A hundred fifth grade elementary school children were separated into two groups; mastery-oriented and learned helpless children and were given a set of difficult cognitive tasks, either a positive or negative achievement related event that could occur in children's daily lives. These children had to choose between two alternative causes which explain a positive or a negative event. One of the causes is an external factor, such as a significant other in the child’s life, while the other cause is an internal factor which contained either the child’s effort or ability as they were being observed on how they dealt with failure. Mastery-oriented children seemed to use social comparison more accurately when they received group failure feedback and personal failure feedback. Whereas, learned helpless children were more likely to use self derogatory preconceptions and made attributions to their low ability, although presented with social comparison feedback that was different to their preconceptions. Therefore, this article is beneficial in understanding children social comparison of one self, which effects their self-esteem and how they perceive themselves.

Reference: Hokoda, A., Fincham, F., & Diener, C. (1989). The effect of social comparison information on learned helpless and mastery-oriented children in achievement settings. European Journal of Social Psychology, 19,527-542. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2420190604

Effects of Praise on differences in Gender


It is the varying interpretation of praise that causes significant differences of the effect of praise on motivation- conditional to the type of 'praise' given, and even the gender of the recipient. Controlling praise can have a negative impact when compared to informative praise. However, ambiguous praise lying between the controlling and informative is interpreted differently by males and females. Males most often interpret the ambiguous praise as reflecting their ability, raising intrinsic motivation; females more often interpret this form of praise as an attempt to control them, leading to reduced intrinsic motivation. Research suggests that children favour praise of the type they have become used to. Significantly, boys gain a higher sense of competency, perform better, and gain substantially more intrinsic motivation from ability-related versus effort based praise and this phenomenon is opposite in girls for intrinsic motivation only. Yet, the difference among girls is considerably less significant while in boys there is a very important difference when comparing ability-focused to effort-based praise. Most significant of all is ability vs. effort based praise in males in an ego-involving situation, a situation that heavily favours ability-related praise.

Reference: Koestner, R., Zuckerman, M., & Koestner, J. (1987). Attributional Focus of Praise and Children's Intrinsic Motivation: The Moderating Role of Gender. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 53(2), 61-72. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from PsycInfo. 10.1177/0146167289151006

Research have proven that gender as a moderator can affect the aftermaths of praise and motivation directly because of the differences in personality. It is stated that females have a tendency to be negatively affected by praise than males because of their primary identity or personality. Females tend to have their focus on interpersonal relationships and males on independence and achievement. This praise focus on external evaluation, it rather enhance feelings of competence by males. It is also proven that women are more influenced by evaluative feedback than men. The opinions and responses of other affect the individual in different ways through gender.

Reference: Corpus, J., & Lepper, M. (2007). The Effects Of Person Versus Performance Praise On Children's Motivation: Gender And Age As Moderating Factors. Educational Psychology, Vol. 27(No. 4), 487-508. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://academic.reed.edu/motivation/docs/Corpus_Lepper_07.pdf

Effects of Praise on differences in Age

Another moderator that may cause different take ins and different results is the age the individual receiving the praise is associated in. Young children lack the sophistication to understand the hidden meanings of praise and words than mature individuals. However there has been evidence that developmental differences exist along the person- performance dimension. It shows that even kindergarten children show motivational benefits from process praise to person praise. Corpus and Lepper states that " For upper-elementary children, the central hypothesis was that person praise would undermine motivation but performance praise, particularly process praise, would enhance motivation once children were confronted with a challenging experience in the praised domain. For preschool children, however, person, product, and process praise were all expected to enhance motivation relative to neutral feedback.". (491, Corpus and Lepper 2007)

Reference: Corpus, J., & Lepper, M. (2007). The Effects Of Person Versus Performance Praise On Children's Motivation: Gender And Age As Moderating Factors. Educational Psychology, Vol. 27(No. 4), 487-508. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://academic.reed.edu/motivation/docs/Corpus_Lepper_07.pdf

Case Study


Parental Conditional Positive Regard (PCPR)

Many parents conceptualize the benefits of praise from a behaviourist perspective. Praise a child when they act in a way that is to their benefit long-term, to reinforce that behaviour. However, a study conducted at Ben Gurion University of the Negav, Israel, reveals the probability of harming the development of the child when approaching parenting from this perspective. The study analyzed the consequences of what they term 'Parental Conditional Positive Regard' parenting, that is, what happens when the child perceives their mother to provide additional affection when they meet the expectations of the parents. The study found that this PCPR indicator is considerably linked with 'maladaptive' behaviour in adolescents, in a specific capacity. When perceiving Parental Conditional Positive Regard, the adolescent is likely to self- aggrandize following success and feel shame following failure. Remarkably, Parental Negative Conditional Regard(in which the child is held in less esteem for not meeting expectations) is not necessary for the shame to occur, all that is necessary to promote this state is Parental Conditional Positive Regard. Additionally, both the shame and the self-aggrandizement are two sides to the same coin, and both lead to the maladaptive coping that follows, which is characterized by compulsive over-investment in the activity in which the parents hold expectations. Following failure, there is additionally an avoidance of challenge observed by the child who perceives Parental Conditional Positive Regard. The coping mechanisms this lead to regarding academic achievement are considered non-optimal, and the process leads to an unstable sense of self worth for the child.
PCPR is not the same as praise. Effort and accomplishment based praise is unlikely to be perceived as conditional regard. However, character and trait-based praise are easily perceived as conditional regard, and this type of praise is likely to lead to all of the impacts of PCPR including compulsive over-investment, maladaptive coping, and at times, the avoidance of challenge following failure.

Reference: Assor, A., & Tal, K. (2012). When parents’ affection depends on child’s achievement: Parental conditional positive regard, self-aggrandizement, shame and coping in adolescents. Journal of Adolescence, 35(2), 249-260. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from PsycInfo. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.10.004

Case regarding competence

The present study investigates the reflected appraisal process to the growth of children's self-perceptions of competence. The definition of reflected appraisals refers to individuals perceptions of others' evaluations of their abilities. This study was comprised of 147 sixth graders and their parents over three time period over one school year. Data was collected from the children physical education class and the parents were asked to do a survey pertaining to how good they think their child is good at sports. The second and third time period, the children did surveys on what they thought about their parents’ appraisals. Boys proved to have a greater perceived competence than girls, both at period 2 and period 3; however parent’s appraisals of their child's competence did not vary in relation to the child's gender. This article is beneficial in acknowledging how parent’s appraisals affect their children's perception of themselves, not only in sports but in everyday life.

Reference: Bois, J., Sarrazin, P., Brustad, R., Chanal, J., & Trouilloud, D. (2005). Parents' appraisals, reflected appraisals, and children's self-appraisals of sport competence: a yearlong study. journal of applied sport psychology, 273-289. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10413200500313552

This article examines the opinion of children on his or herself. The purpose of this experiment was to see if children were being whom they are or were appraising themselves to appear competent to other children. This experiment was taken at three different schools, where the children were asked to rate themselves on different areas and situations. Their teachers were then asked to rate each student and the students had to rate each other. It turns out that girls generally tend to rate themselves more highly competent than what their teacher and schoolmates rated them. Whereas boys, were generally rated similarly to what they were rated by their teachers and schoolmates. This article is very helpful to understanding the appraisal of children on his or herself.

Reference: Tschechtelin, S. M. A. (1945). Self-appraisal of children. Journal of Educational Research, 39, 25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220671.1945.10881400

Recommendations


Dr. David Walsh and his daughter Erin, conducted an experiment, where they divided the kids into two groups and gave them puzzles to solve. They worked on the same puzzle but one group was praised for their intelligence and the other group was praised for their hard work and effort. The children who were praised for their intelligence chose to remain working on the easier puzzle, while the other group of children who were praised on their efforts went on to the difficult puzzles. This video clip is beneficial because it demonstrates how certain types of appraisals can actually hurt children's ability to grow. This praise of intelligence is synonymous with the trait-based praise described in the introduction. It can lead to maladapted children and undue stress for the child. Instead, descriptive praises of ability, especially for boys, is ideal, followed by the also very effective effort based praise. The importance of descriptive praise is explained below.

Reference: The Praise Puzzle: How To Motivate Kids To Be Successful [video file]. (2012, November 15th). Retrieved from http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/11/15/the-praise-puzzle-how-to-motivate-kids-to-be-successful/

Dr. Rene Hackney explains the importance of of giving descriptive appraisals instead of using evaluative praises. The importance of using descriptive praises, so that the child knows what they did good on so that they know what to do the next and keep working hard. Whereas, evaluative appraisals compares the child to others and makes them think that they did not do a good job when they did not excel in something. Therefore, descriptive appraisals is a positive way to praise children without hurting their feeling and also encouraging them to excel to their best potential.

Reference: Types of Praise.mp4. (2011, June 18th). YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn2Ddh16xIY

Dr. Larry Curry explains that overpraising children can cause them to grow up to arrogant and entitle to things that they are not actually entitled to. Dr. Curry states that praising is good for encouraging children to continue to do these good things and continue to challenge themselves and every child is different. However, overpraising and ignoring the negatives can actually cause harm to them, because children would not know how to handle criticism. It is important to let children know that even though that they did an excellent job, that there is always room for growth. This video clip is helpful in learning how to encourage children and prepare them on how to handle constructive criticism and allowing them to grow as an individual.

Reference: Overpraising your kids. (2015, March 16). [video file]. Retrieved from http://kdvr.com/2015/03/16/overpraising-your-kids/

Bibliography


Assor, A., & Tal, K. (2012). When parents’ affection depends on child’s achievement: Parental conditional positive regard, self-aggrandizement, shame and coping in adolescents. Journal

of Adolescence, 35(2), 249-260. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from PsycInfo. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.10.004

Bois, J., Sarrazin, P., Brustad, R., Chanal, J., & Trouilloud, D. (2005). Parents' appraisals, reflected appraisals, and children's self-appraisals of sport competence: a yearlong study. journal of applied sport psychology, 273-289.

Corpus, J., & Lepper, M. (2007). The Effects Of Person Versus Performance Praise On Children's Motivation: Gender And Age As Moderating Factors. Educational Psychology, Vol. 27(No. 4), 487-508. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from http://academic.reed.edu/motivation/docs/Corpus_Lepper_07.pdf

Hokoda, A., Fincham, F., & Diener, C. (1989). The effect of social comparison information on learned helpless and mastery-oriented children in achievement settings. European Journal of Social Psychology, 19, 527-542. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2420190604

Koestner, R., Zuckerman, M., & Koestner, J. (1987). Praise, involvement, and intrinsic motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(2), 383-390. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from PsycInfo. http://psycnet.apa.org.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/doi/10.1037/0022-3514.53.2.383

Koestner, R., Zuckerman, M., & Koestner, J. (1987). Attributional Focus of Praise and Children's Intrinsic Motivation: The Moderating Role of Gender. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 53(2), 61-72. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from PsycInfo. http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.library.yorku.ca/10.1177/0146167289151006

Overpraising your kids. (2015, March 16). [video file]. Retrieved from http://kdvr.com/2015/03/16/overpraising-your-kids/

Novotney, A. (2012). Seven research-backed ways to improve parenting. Parenting That Works, Vol 43(No. 9), Page 44-Page 44. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/10/parenting.aspx .

Seltzer, Leon F. "Praise as Manipulation: 6 Reasons to Question Compliments." Psychology Today. Psychology Today, 8 Jan. 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2015. <https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201401/praise-manipulation-6-reasons-question-compliments>.

The Praise Puzzle: How To Motivate Kids To Be Successful [video file]. (2012, November 15th). Retrieved from http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/11/15/the-praise-puzzle-how-to-motivate-kids-to-be-successful/

Tschechtelin, S. M. A. (1945). Self-appraisal of children. Journal of Educational Research, 39, 25. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220671.1945.10881400

Types of Praise.mp4. (2011, June 18th). YouTube. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rn2Ddh16xIY

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License