Recently in my Conflicting Views in Psychology class we had to separate into teams and debate whether praise is harmful to children. All the members of the team I was placed on were introverts, and we had to argue "yes, it is harmful", which we had mixed feelings about.
First of all, we noticed that yes, some kids become "praise junkies" because they respond so strongly to the idea of getting a reward. The problem we had to argue about this was that praise in itself does not teach the value of good behavior, it just conditions the child to complete "good" tasks as a means to an end (not unlike training a dog). The most common way for parents to do this is to tell their child "good job!" every time they do anything the parent perceives as good. While this kind of praise is necessary for doing things like potty training your child, this in itself doesn't teach your child the value of being potty trained. We were all surprised that so many research studies favored this interpretation, mostly because this was never an issue for us as children. However, the other side argued valid counterpoints as well, but I don't wish to go into them because it doesn't have to deal with the topic of this post. (Note that I'm not arguing whether praise is harmful or not, I'm just giving you the context of the situation my teammates and I were in.)
As I have posted before (http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...raversion.html), the biological approach to personality works a lot with the idea of biological extraversion and introversion, which aligns nicely with the MBTI. What the approach says is that introverts are very sensitive to stimulation and are easily overstimulated while extraverts are easily under-stimulated. They have lots of research to support their theory. Because extraverts prefer stimulation, they respond well to rewards ("praise") and feel accomplished when they receive them. Introverts, on the other hand, do not respond well to rewards and often feel like they could have done better even after receiving them.
My team members and I began to discuss how all of us actually hated praise growing up and preferred to be more modest about our accomplishments. As a child I would hide all my good test grades or awards from my mom as much as I could because I hated how she made a big deal out of everything. Just recently I was elected as Vice President for our campus' Psi Chi chapter (which I admit is a big deal to some) but I didn't even tell her I was running, and I really don't plan on telling her I got it unless it comes up in a conversation. I remember being mad everytime my mom told me "good job!" when I tied my shoes. I simply wanted to learn on my own accord, and instead of her supporting me she felt a need to praise me. Support is unconditional and praise is conditional. I've noticed my ESFP little brother basks in this kind of praise that she gives, which is quite annoying to me.
So, I wanted to ask the other introverts out there what they think about this.
Did you fish for praise as a child?