NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ890906
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
"Good Job, You're So Smart": The Effects of Inconsistency of Praise Type on Young Children's Motivation
Zentall, Shannon R.; Morris, Bradley J.
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v107 n2 p155-163 Oct 2010
Previous research has demonstrated that generic praise ("good drawer") is related to children giving up after failure because failure implies the lack of a critical trait (e.g., drawing ability). Conversely, nongeneric praise ("good job drawing") is related to mastery motivation because it implies that success is related to effort. Yet children may receive a mixture of these praise types (i.e., inconsistent praise), the effects of which are unclear. We tested how inconsistent praise influenced two components of motivation: self-evaluation and persistence. Kindergarteners (N = 135) were randomly assigned to one of five conditions in which consistency of praise type was varied. After two failure scenarios, children reported self-evaluations and persistence. Results indicated that more nongeneric praise related linearly to greater motivation, yet self-evaluation and persistence were impacted differently by inconsistent praise types. Hearing even a small amount of generic praise reduced persistence, whereas hearing a small amount of nongeneric praise preserved self-evaluation. (Contains 2 figures.)
Elsevier. 6277 Sea Harbor Drive, Orlando, FL 32887-4800. Tel: 877-839-7126; Tel: 407-345-4020; Fax: 407-363-1354; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A