Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Finally Found The Drive to Write My Blog

I completed my reading about a month after school ended and since then I have been struggling with exactly what to blog about. Here it is August 1oth, less than a week before school starts, and still I haven't decided what to write about. So I've decided to just go for it, here goes.

Before I had even read the first chapter of Drive I was enthralled by the introduction. Pink writes, "Rewards can deliver a short-term boost --- just as a jolt of caffeine can keep you cranking for a few more hours. But the effect wears off ---and, worse, can reduce a person's long-term motivation to continue the project." (pg.8). That statement is so true and it helped me to understand a lot of things that I have experienced. I remember back in elementary school one of the little girls from my neighborhood (let's call her Susie) was really enthused about a new rewarding system her school had come up with. The deal was that every student that got commended performance on their TAKS test (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) would receive a check for fifty dollars (Keep in mind the fact that we were in the third grade, so fifty dollars is alot of money.). So Susie took the test and got the fifty dollars. Well, the nest year when it was time to take the test again she found out that there would be no reward and here attitude towards succeeding changed. She didn't care if she passed or not because she couldn't get the fifty dollars.

That school got what they wanted, state recognition, but at a greater price than they had prepared for. They had given the children the wrong kind of motivation and in return they got little to no self-motivation and made the kids expect to be rewarded for succeeding. These children were given a short-term boost and no long-term motivation. So as far-fetched as Pink ideas seem they are true and I got all of this from a couple of sentences in the introduction.


  1. How do you think the carrots-and-sticks rewards apply to you at this point in your life?

  2. Chassidy --

    Fantastic example of the unexpected consequences of carrots and sticks. Thanks for reading.

    Dan Pink

  3. Rewards have always been weaved into our heads to mean happiness. We will do anything for rewards which is our downfall. We rely on those rewards to motivate us when in reality, the motivation we need should be self fulfilling.

  4. I find your blog interesting because I can relate to it. The same thing happened when I was in middle school. One year, we were told that we would receive a reward if we had an accelerated achievement on our TAKS test. This simple reward had an interesting result: overall, the school had higher test scores. When they removed this reward the following year, the scores decreased more than it had been when the reward had never been introduced. I think the lesson we get from this is that "carrots and sticks", as Daniel Pink states, can have great short term results, but in the long run the results can be devastating.