The Perils and Promises of Praise

ThePerils and Promises of Praise

ThePerils and Promises of Praise

CarolS. Dweck main point in the article “The Perils and Promises ofPeril” is that giving praise to student’s intelligence helps tobuild confidence and the motivation to help them learn. Again, Carolnoted that students’ intelligence remains the major cause of theirachievement in school. On the contrary, the author also notes thatgiving praise to students’ intelligence could result to a lot ofproblems. The main point also resonates on the praise, which isconsidered to intricately connect it to the manner in which studentsview their own intelligence. The assumption that students ignoresthere intellectual ability as a fixed trait or personality, and thatthey either have it or they don’t. The author also pointed out thatgiving praise to students tends to trigger their mindset. There areother students that believe they can come up with their intellectualability through education and effort. They confront their challengesand pick lessons from them. The author sums up his point by sayingthat what motivates students is the interventions that triggers theirawareness on the plasticity of their brain and malleable quality oftheir intellectual ability thus boosts their confidence in learningand growth (Dweck, 2006)

Thereare strengths and weaknesses that are as a result of giving praise tostudents. Beginning with strengths, Dweck (2006) suggested that theuse of praise and rewards to students be it in a classroom setup orwithin the school helps to condition the students to act and respondto given tasks in a positive way. It helps to encourage them in anumber of positive ways. For example, it triggers them to pay moreattention to detail and offer them additional incentives to put moreefforts. Secondly, it directly affects the students’ confidence andbeliefs on the possibilities of putting more effort in order tosucceed. It also increases the resilience, which could be defined asthe process to adapt well during difficult times at school. Thestudent develops a resilient mindset, and a number of alternatives touse when the first option fails. Dweck (2006) noted that withresilience, a praised student can develop and improve afterencountering setbacks and obstacles. It also increases learning andgreat achievement. However, there are only specific times thatpraising students’ intelligence should be done. It can only be donewhen students put strategies and good efforts. Secondly, praiseshould be done only when linking the outcomes of the students’efforts with the assignment given. When giving praise, Dweck (2006)advised to talk only about the positive strategies that have beenused by the student and commend the useful ones. Finally, the studentshould first explain his or her work before praising his or herintelligence.

CarolDweck, researcher at Stanford in her article “too much praise is nogood for a child” pointed out weaknesses that arise when a studentis praise based on his or her intelligence. She noted that“person-based” praises is less effective than “process-based”praises. From his findings, she suggested that giving praise is moreeffective and has an impact when it gives specifics on theparticulars of something that is accomplished (Dweck, 2006).Weaknesses of giving praise on the intelligence of students are:Ego-building. While it boosts a student’s confidence, the studentstend to become prone to developing an ego after being praised. Thisis because a student main think that he or she is the only one beingpraised. Secondly, it may result to reduced effort since when theyare commended for assignments well done, they tend to think that theyhave hit the limit and there is more room for improvement. From,this, the student gets an inflated sense of worth and thus affect hisor her ability to keep motivating him or herself.

FromCarol Dweck’ article, it directly reflects on what is happening intoday’s world. To begin, there is generation of recognition in mostfirms and organizations through giving praise to employees. Thesearch for recognition began way back during childhood. Humanslearned to quickly give praise when they do something worthcommending. The human nature dictates that when we do not receive it,behavior starts to change accordingly. Through adulthood, we bringthe exact expectations into our places of work. Whenever an employeebegan working with a firm or organization, there are always ready tomake excuses to the employer when they don’t get a passing grade inregard to the subject of employee motivation (Dweck 2006). They workwith much passion until they the same employee observes otheremployees being recognized, and they begin to tire citing theexhaustion of working in a thankless workplace.

Creating a feeling of fulfillment at the workplace applies to thecase of employee praise. This applies when generating a feeling ofachievement at the workplace. Dweck (2006) noted that it was naturalfor good employees to seek continuous growth and extraresponsibility. However, in unappreciative organization, it is oftenhard to offer opportunities for the employees to learn a new set ofskills and a sense of fulfillment in their jobs. Leaders in top firmsand organizations have applied recognition and praise to foster goodrelationships and productivity at work. Being the owner of a businessor a company, defining achievement means that one has to boost itwith recognizing and giving praise to the deserved employees.

Givingpraise in the workplace is also applied in today’s world to helpnurture involvement. Employees who are engaged in earlier when doinga project develops a great of responsibility than the employees thatget involved in towards the end and are pressured to meet thedeadline. To apply motivation, employees are involved in early ondecisions that affect them for purposes of motivating them and latergiving them praise. When employees are involved in decision-making,they feel a sense of praise and a feeling of ownership in thebusiness, which is something that the owners highly value. The ownerscould do whatever it takes to ensure that a project goes through tocompletion (Dweck, 2006).

Frommy personal opinion on analysis of praise, I conclude that praise isa sensitive matter and cannot simply be given on a silver platter.Instead, the educators can help the students to acquire the necessarytools with minimum praise to help them tackle the issue of confidenceand self-esteem that results from giving or not the praises. Thiscould help boost the confidence but at the same time keep theyfocused on the journey of self-development and personal achievement.From my personal analysis, it seems that we have transgressed in therecent times to produce a generation of intelligent students withoutpraising them that are less fragile, independent, and lee entitledthat the previous crop of students. This calls for the opportunity toadopt a growing mind-set and understand the mistakes committed anddeliver on necessary interventions, which will genuinely boost thestudents’ resilience, motivation, and learning.

Frommy experience, I have once found myself in the same situation, whichinvolved excessive praise on my exemplary work. However, the praisesI received impacted on me negatively. It happens at the time when Iused to love eating broccoli. Every time I them, my mother couldpraise me for it. With or without my consciousness, I startedquestioning my motivation for eating broccoli. Was it for only forthe praise? I immediately changed my motivation and attitude towardseating the broccoli. I realized it was chore but it was notpleasurable. Unfortunately or fortunately, I lost interest in theact. Since then, I knew that such sort of thing happens praise to dosomething, not necessary out of pleasure but because of praise formotivation.


Dweck,C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York:Random House.