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“Reward Undermining”

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But shaping prosocial behavior is a tricky business. For instance, certain financial incentives seem to deter prosocial impulses, a phenomenon called reward undermining, Dr. Huettel said.

Consider that in the United States, historically, blood donors could be paid, but not in Britain. And the British donated more blood. “When you give extrinsic motivations, they can supplant the intrinsic ones,” he said.

That’s an excerpt from a recent piece in The New York Times headlined Understanding How Children Develop Empathy.

The concept isn’t anything new to readers of this blog, but the term “reward undermining” was new to me. It’s a good phrase to describe what happens.

I’m adding this info to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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