Praising Children Could Have Negative Effectsadmin
According to two new studies performed by the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, children “who are praised for being smart are more likely to be dishonest and to cheat in the hopes of maintaining their positive image,” according to IFLScience.com.
The first study involved a group of 3- to 5-year-olds who were asked to play a guessing game. If they were correct, half of them were praised for being smart, the other half were praised on their performance. The researchers then left the room and asked the children to promise they wouldn’t cheat and look at the answers while they weren’t in the room. They then observed the children’s behavior through a hidden camera. They found the children who had been praised for being smart were more likely to cheat and look at the answers.
In the second experiment, the researchers told certain children they had a reputation for being smart, and observed that “hearing this kind of praise was associated with a higher tendency to cheat,” Tom Hale reported.
“Praising a child’s ability implies that the specific behavior that is commented on stems from stable traits related to one’s ability such a smartness,” study co-author Professor Kang Lee said. “This is different than other forms of praise, such as praising specific behaviors or praising effort.”