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 Rewards are evil. They demotivate people, and it is the main point of the book that was written by Alfie Kohn “Punished by rewards”. Throughout the entire book the author is talking about the negative reasons to use rewards and the problems they cause. Kohn argues that rewarding society makes people act like pets; in case of children it can be related to the training a small pet. In this case rewards are given in order to control, to make people do things that they do not want to do or that they will never freely do. Rewards are making people uninterested in what they are doing, because they start to do that in order to get prize. Getting a prize for the action reminds me of my pet and I feel oppressed that such actions can be done regarding people.

According to Alfie Kohn rewards should not be used in day to day life, as they cause more harm than good. He argues that the reward itself does not help to improve one’s behavior, studying, achievements and self-esteem, as it can even aggravate uncertainty of one’s behavior, it may be interpreted that the person that was rewarded for the easy task is not smart enough for completing other more complicated tasks. Kohn explains that the praising for the accomplished tasks causes additional presser for the person who made it; as a result it leads to the fear of failure that may appear undermining one’s self confidence.

Through the article the author speaks about four reasons why rewards fail. Therefore, it is necessary to underline them and discuss why they are so truthful and important.

The first reason is that rewards punish. This means that if the person was doing the task or performing in the way it was needed in order to receive the reward in the end, but the reward he/she hoped for went to someone else is disappointing and discouraging. Thinking about this, we understand that punishments and rewards have the same nature, they are the two sides of one coin; both of them motivate a person to do the task and depend on how the task would be done; the one would receive either the reward or punishment. When I was a child the teacher once told that children who would learn all the words would get some free time to have a rest. I learned the words for the whole evening and knew them perfectly, but when we wrote the test I understood that accidentally displaced one letter. When my classmates had their deserved free time to rest, I was sitting in the class - my reward was my punishment.

The second reason is that the rewards rupture relationships. This means that there is always limited number of available rewards; people are encouraged to compete for them and as a result the teambuilding point is missed and the competition can get so strong that it would destroy relationships. "Very few things threaten an organization as much as a hoard of incentive-driven individuals trying to curry favor with the incentive dispenser." (Kohn, 1993, p. 113).

The third reason is connected to the rewards’ reasons ignorance. Various situations regarding rewards might occur and it is important for a person to understand his/her motives. The reward oftentimes does not solve any problem, as there is no understanding of the reason why the definite situation occurred and prevented the future conditions that would be hard to overcome. For example, the employee does not do the task he/she is supposed to and the time is going and he/she does not start doing it. The manager said that when the task would be done the employee will receive the day off, but he/she still does not do it. The reason here can be very simple, the employee does not know how to solve this task and any reward would not help to understand it.

The fourth reason is that rewards discourage risks. This means that when the person is performing the task, he/she concentrates on the praise he/she will get after it will be done, but not on the whole idea of the objective. As a result, all risks will be avoided in order to do , no matter how good it is.

The whole book is saturated with the idea that if you want to harm a person, organization, or children, you need to set the reward system of their performance. Personally, I fully agree that the reward is motivation for pets not for the successful people or those who want to be such.

Code: Sample20

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