Highly praised children are more inclined to cheat


A really interesting article about negative consequences of praise with children.

Look too at this commentary from another educational scholar, Dr. Jon Dron.

    • Laurie Barry
      Laurie Barry

      I agree with this article in that if you praise a child for "being so smart" it gives them the sense that they need to do whatever is necessary to keep you viewing them in this light (like cheating). It is more about the kind of praise you are giving. The article points out that it is better to praise a child for their actions rather then praising the person. I feel that praise all together needs to be based on an individual child's needs. The same can be said about children lying to avoid punishment. A child may know that they did something wrong, but when confronted about it, they may lie to avoid the negative attention that will follow. This world seems to be moving in a direction where "feelings" are to important. An example oath this is how some organized children's sports will grant each child an award, regardless of the results of a match or game. We need to have a system where children learn the value of both winning and losing so that their achievements can be appreciated. Children need to know that no matter their grade on a test, it is the work and attention they paid to the material on that test that is important!

      • Gerald Ardito
        Gerald Ardito


        I appreciate your response.
        Later this semester we will be studying Motivation. When we do so, we will focus on Self Determination Theory. If you would like a preview, you can check it out here.

        • NorkelisCruz

          I agree and disagree I was always praised by my teacher that was used as my motivation to do better to hear more praise and feel good about my hard work but again i agree because some kids are use to praise that they don't want to disappoint the 'praiser' therefore they are guided towards the cheating path. I came a across a study where researchers asked three and five-year-olds to play a guessing game. When children did well in one occasion they were praised in one of two ways: one half of the children were praised for being smart (i.e., "You are so smart."), while the other half were praised for their performance (i.e., "You did very well this time."). After receiving either type of praise, the children continued to play the guessing games. Researchers then left the room after asking children to promise not to cheat by peeking at the answers. Their behavior was then monitored by a hidden camera. It can go both way I guess it depends on the child. Results show that despite the subtle difference between the two forms of praise, the children who were praised for being smart were more likely to act dishonestly than the children who had been praised for their behavior in a specific game. Results were the same for both ages.

          • Gerald Ardito
            Gerald Ardito


            You touch on a interesting point, and it lies in the conflict with what seems to make intuitive sense (praise is good) and what research says (praise is problematic).

          EDG 606 Fall 2017

          EDG 606 Fall 2017

          This is the online home for the EDG 606 Learning Environments course with Dr. Ardito for Fall 2017.