Carrot or stick? Punishments may guide behavior more effectively than rewards

Which is more effective — the carrot or the stick? Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have devised a simple experiment to test the effects of rewards and punishments on behavior and have found that punishments seem to be more effective at influencing behavior than rewards.

“Regarding teaching strategies, our study suggests that negative feedback may be more effective than positive feedback at modifying behavior. Our study showed that such feedback does not have to be harsh, since it appears that we tend to react in the same manner to any amount of negative feedback. From an evolutionary perspective, people tend to avoid punishments or dangerous situations. Rewards, on the other hand, have less of a life-threatening impact.”more: