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On feeding those hungry for praise: person praise backfires in children with low self-esteem

On feeding those hungry for praise: person praise backfires in children with low self-esteem
On feeding those hungry for praise: person praise backfires in children with low self-esteem
Child-rearing experts have long believed that praise is an effective means to help children with low self-esteem feel better about themselves. But should one praise these children for who they are, or for how they behave? Study 1 (N = 357) showed that adults are inclined to give children with low self-esteem more person praise (i.e., praise for personal qualities) but less process praise (i.e., praise for behavior) than they give children with high self-esteem. This inclination may backfire, however. Study 2 (N = 313; Mage = 10.4 years) showed that person praise, but not process praise, predisposes children, especially those with low self-esteem, to feel ashamed following failure. Consistent with attribution theory, person praise seems to make children attribute failure to the self. Together, these findings suggest that adults, by giving person praise, may foster in children with low self-esteem the very emotional vulnerability they are trying to prevent
0096-3445
Brummelman, E.
19bb0965-5e83-4fc1-bb24-8b1dc2f192ed
Thomaes, S.
ec762bc3-0df4-42c3-99f4-1a7b65f55053
Overbeek, G.
ec52a788-1e93-423e-bfc6-f5dc96a0976b
Orobio de Castro, B.
27b53138-aaf2-4f9a-b1e1-0f0ff216612b
van den Hout, M.A.
b0713ce2-6144-4b03-828d-2cfe6f62247f
Bushman, B.J.
37c56037-fb2b-455b-9988-4e15d16c7367
Brummelman, E.
19bb0965-5e83-4fc1-bb24-8b1dc2f192ed
Thomaes, S.
ec762bc3-0df4-42c3-99f4-1a7b65f55053
Overbeek, G.
ec52a788-1e93-423e-bfc6-f5dc96a0976b
Orobio de Castro, B.
27b53138-aaf2-4f9a-b1e1-0f0ff216612b
van den Hout, M.A.
b0713ce2-6144-4b03-828d-2cfe6f62247f
Bushman, B.J.
37c56037-fb2b-455b-9988-4e15d16c7367

Brummelman, E., Thomaes, S., Overbeek, G., Orobio de Castro, B., van den Hout, M.A. and Bushman, B.J. (2013) On feeding those hungry for praise: person praise backfires in children with low self-esteem. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Child-rearing experts have long believed that praise is an effective means to help children with low self-esteem feel better about themselves. But should one praise these children for who they are, or for how they behave? Study 1 (N = 357) showed that adults are inclined to give children with low self-esteem more person praise (i.e., praise for personal qualities) but less process praise (i.e., praise for behavior) than they give children with high self-esteem. This inclination may backfire, however. Study 2 (N = 313; Mage = 10.4 years) showed that person praise, but not process praise, predisposes children, especially those with low self-esteem, to feel ashamed following failure. Consistent with attribution theory, person praise seems to make children attribute failure to the self. Together, these findings suggest that adults, by giving person praise, may foster in children with low self-esteem the very emotional vulnerability they are trying to prevent

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Accepted/In Press date: February 2013
Organisations: Psychology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 349150
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/349150
ISSN: 0096-3445
PURE UUID: 0baa4276-f3ca-4c00-baed-0e04bfcfc2ad

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Date deposited: 26 Feb 2013 10:45
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 04:44

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