Praise: how to hand it and when to hand it

The traditional press seems to be catching up. The New York Magazine has an article on how praising children for their innate intelligence can backfire, but praising them for their efforts can be redeeming. We, at the Mouse Trap, have already covered the studies of Prof Carol Dwecke here, here and here and had come to the same conclusion that giving positive, specific and outcome based praise is better than giving general and innate/ trait/ talent based praises.

Much of the literature on praise that the New York Magazine author discounts and dismisses, needs to be reviewed with the praise-is-specific vs praise-was-for-talent variable taken into account. Throwing praise out with the ‘talent’ myth would be throwing the baby out with the bathtub. So the only quibble I have with the article is the leaning towards the elimination of all praise for children, a quibble in common with Mind Hacks through which I discovered this article.

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