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  1. #1
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Default Introverts and Praise

    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?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member 6sticks's Avatar
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    No.
    No offense.

  3. #3
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I don't know it depends on what I'm getting praised for and whether or not I think I deserve praise. Like if I worked really hard then i get told it sucks I hate that but then when I get praised for a half ass job and I know it could have been better I hate that to, or when I don't feel the person is being sincere. In some ways it be easier not to receive praise but if the person is honest I like that. but I do like it better when the honesty is more comlimentary then insulting.


    conclusion:1. I like honest praise over dishonest criticism
    2.and I like honest criticism over dishonest critism
    3.and dishonest praise over dishonest criticism
    4.but I prefer honesty over dishonesty over all.
    5. but if your going to lie to me make it a nice one.
    6. I still can't decide if I like praise or not.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  4. #4
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    I must be a weird introvert, because I was kind of a praise junkie. But that could have something to do with my perfectionism and desire to excel. I really didn't need anyone to tell me where I needed to improve; I knew that all too well.

    If I could change anything, I'd have my parents praise me less and instill in me that if I failed at something, it was okay, and I could just try again next time. I was so used to doing well at things and getting praise for them, that it would bum me out if I tried something and wasn't great at it. I'd just make a mental note that that was something I couldn't do, and move onto greener pastures. I see now that I should have just kept trying, and maybe lowered my personal expectations a bit.

  5. #5
    Wild Card Atomic Fiend's Avatar
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    Nope, It took away from the achievment itself, and it made it seem like she(mom) was the only reason I accomplished anything.

  6. #6
    Fight For Freedom FFF's Avatar
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    I was thinking about an article by Alfie Kohn when I woke up this morning that said parents:rolli: shouldn't tell your kids "good job" for the reason you mentioned above. I happened to read this at the dentist's office, and later I emailed my mom to tell her I won't be needing any follow up treatment. She emailed me back saying "good job."

    It's all about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and people are at their best when they're motivated by intrinsic motivation.

  7. #7
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Isn't it all a matter of personal taste, though? Some feel like every "good job" is hollow, while others feel like if they're not getting positive feedback, they must be doing something wrong. Some aren't as good as others at determining when they actually have done a good job at a task. They'll just keep trying harder and harder, hitting their heads against a brick wall.

  8. #8
    se˝or member colmena's Avatar
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    I can't remember. I use to attention seek a lot, and would be constantly getting lost. I expect praise is similar if not the same. And to be on topic; praise is a positive, productive and controlled way of giving a child attention.

    There's a few child psychology programs on in the UK (House of Tiny Terrors and less so, Supernanny) where praise has a big role. But it comes across more as securing positive bonds between parent and child (as apposed to shouty negative bonds), with the value of right and wrong is put second place in the scheme of getting through life without a nervous twitch and lego shaped chip on the shoulder. But remember this is the children that are seemingly the devil incarnate.

    As you alluded to, it probably has most to do with the requirement for stimulation in assessing Extraversion-Introversion trait. But do you think praise (presumably) through early development is the primary explanation for I/E?
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  9. #9
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    I don't respond to it in terms of inspiration. I never say to anyone "I'm proud of you" either. That would make their accomplishment all about me and place me in a position of importance that I don't relate to. I do, however, say "I'm happy for you."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    So, I wanted to ask the other introverts out there what they think about this.
    Did you fish for praise as a child?
    No. I didn't like being fawned over a lot by anyone, and I still don't like it. I did, however, need a lot of encouragement to keep going because I was always scared I would fail and disappoint everyone. Unfortunately, I was never taught that failure is just fine or that mistakes were just fine. Whenever I didn't do well my parents would be disappointed and a little upset with me, which upset me even more and made me terrified of failure. I was praised every time I did something "right" and always expected to "do my best" which, when combined, meant "be perfect."

    What should have happened with me is I should have been simply told "thank you" or "not bad" when I did something right and then not heard another word about it. And if I did something incorrectly, I would be told what I had done wrong. I'm so used to that now with a few of my professors. They generally will just say "that's pretty good" and then critique me on my performance and tell me what I could have done better. It makes me feel like it's okay if I didn't do so hot, that I can always try again.

    One odd thing I've discovered about myself is that if I'm directly and honestly told about something that isn't working, I'll be that much more determined to get over it so no one notices it ever again.

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