It’s one of those ideas that keeps coming up, over and over again. It SEEMS to make sense. After all, it seems to work on dogs: Yell at a dog and they will learn to behave, right? “I’d better not do this or I’ll get yelled at.”
But: a) People are not dogs.
b) When you’re not around, doesn’t the dog chase the cat / get into the garbage? How effective was all that yelling then?
Of course, praise can backfire too, especially among women.
“Research by Professors Richard M. Ryan, Edward L. Deci, and others indicate that positive feedback is demotivating _when it feels controlling_ and destroys people’s feeling of autonomy. This even includes praise.
Surprisingly, in a number of experiments, Professor Ryan found that positive feedback or praise was more likely to undermine the intrinsic motivation of women than men. The reasons are not clear, but the studies further indicate that women are more likely than men to perceive praise as controlling”
In the end, if something doesn’t feel rewarding all by itself – if you feel as if you’re being controlled by someone else, then it’s just “faking it”.
Even if you’re a dog. But you’re not. Probably.