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Alfie Kohn

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  • The Case Against Competition   view details
    "after investigating the topic for several years, looking at research from psychology, sociology, biology, education, and other fields, I'm now convinced that... Competition is bad news... but it's not just that we overdo it or misapply it. The trouble li
  • In Pursuit of Affluence, at a High Price   view details
    Originally published in the New York Times (Science Times), February 2, 1999. Examines the data showing that focusing on getting rich results in unhappy lives. Could a similar result befall organizations where the focus in on profit instead of serving t

All articles by Alfie Kohn

Author Quotes

  • In short, "Do this and you'll get that" makes people focus on the "that" not the "this." Do rewards motivate people? Absolutely. They motivate people to get rewards.

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  • It's important to distinguish well-conducted from poorly conducted research, and to understand the outcome variables in a given investigation. For example, if someone were to announce that studies have shown traditional classroom discipline techniques are 'effective,' our immediate response should be to ask, 'Effective at what? Promoting meaningful learning? Concern for others? Or merely eliciting short-term obedience?' Empirical findings can come from rigorously conducted scientific studies but still be of limited value; everything depends on the objectives that informed the research.

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    Abusing Research - The Study of Homework and Other Examples

  • Very few things are as dangerous as a bunch of incentive-driven individuals trying to play it safe.

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    Punished by Rewards

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