- Is the nobel peace prize actually a bad thing?
- What about that cum laude degree?
- Did your grades ruin you for the rest of your life?
Do awards motivate people? Yes. They motivate people to get rewards. You can pretty much bribe anyone to make them do what you want them to.
Consequently, the quality of the work or the learning suffers for it. This goes for children, students, but also in the work place, where reward structures might be in place that incentivize destructive behavior.
The book "Punished by Rewards" details the trouble with gold stars, incentive plans, grades, praise and other bribes, and we are roasting marshmallows with it's author: Alfie Kohn!
Alfie is an author and lecturer in the areas of education, parenting and human behavior. He is a proponent of progressive education and has offered critiques of many traditional aspects of parenting, managing, and American society more generally, drawing in each case from social science research.