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Rewards and Evaluation May Stifle Creativity!

Research has shown that rewards can undermine intrinsic motivation especially if they are unrelated to the task. According to Amabile (1989) it may also stifle creativity. Her studies with children have shown that both evaluation and rewards can do damage to a child’s creativity. In one study of boys and girls who were asked to do a “spin-painting” followed by a collage, the authors found that simply “expecting evaluation” can undermine a child’s creativity.

An examination of the effects of verbal reinforcement on creativity (Reported in Growing Up Creative by Teresa Amabile)

S. Berglas, T.M. Amabile and M. Handel

C.E.F. Press (Creative Education Press), Buffalo NY (1989)


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