Study: The Stick Trumps the Carrot

The good news: A small stick will do.


Proverbs 13:24 (NIV)
24  He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.


Apparently God’s word is proven once again to be the right path to take when it comes to child-rearing and discipline. A recent Washington University of St Louis study found that a stick beats the carrot when it came to the affect it had on a person’s behavior.


When  the study subject was given a reward for an answer their tendency was to give the same answer that provided the reward, but when punished for their answer the subjects took more time to ponder their decision. The bigger the reward the more the subject tended to answer in like manner. The reverse however held true that regardless of the size of the punishment, the subjects varied their answers more readily. Therefore if you wish to alter someone’s behavior it is better to use the stick and not the carrot approach.

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