posted on Feb, 8 2013 @ 01:28 PM
I have seen this happening and decided to make this thread in hopes of helping end this issue. This does not only apply to generations, you could take
this and apply it to politics and blaming previous administrations, but the focus here will be on blaming other generations for the state of things
Lets start with the obvious - We all perceive the world differently.
Instead of using displacement to shift the blame and point fingers, let us observe and learn.
We are all brought up differently and that poses many different variables to just lump everyone into a category by generation. We all come from
different walks of life and were raised with different values and beliefs. For example, I was born in 82 to young parents (18 & 16) who never finished
H.S. I was raised to appreciate what you have and if there was something you wanted, well then work hard to attain it (growth mindset, explained
You see, the focus should not be on what generation you are labeled as (baby boomer, gen x, etc..), but how you were raised. To break it down further
would be to look at how your learning style was reinforced as a kid. This is the area we should focus on, our motivation to learn.
Our motivation to learn can be broken down into two factors according to the Self-Perception Theory: Intrinsic and Extrinsic
Some vocab to help those reading to follow along.
Intrinsic Motivation: The desire to engage in an activity because we enjoy it or find it interesting, not because of external rewards or
Extrinsic Motivation: The desire to engage in an activity because of external rewards or pressures, not because we enjoy the task or find it
Over Justification Effect: The tendency for people to view their behavior as caused by compelling extrinsic reasons, making them underestimate
the extent to which it was caused by intrinsic reasons.
Now let us look at the effects of rewards on motivation and learning. A study by Greene, Sternberg, & Lepper, in 1976 can help us shed light on this.
Here is how the experiment was conducted: Fourth and fifth grade teachers introduced 4 new math games to their students, and during a 13-day baseline
period they noted how long each child played each math game. The children initially had some intrinsic interest in the math games, in that they played
them for several minutes during this baseline period. For the next several days, a reward program was introduced. Now the children could earn credits
toward certificates and trophies by playing the math games. The more time they spent playing the math games, the more credits they earned. It looks
like the reward program was effective in increasing the amount of time the children spent on the math games, showing that the rewards were an
This sounds logical, but what happens after the program is over and the kids can no longer earn rewards for playing the games?
As predicted by the overjustification hypothesis, the children spent significantly less time on the math games then they had initially, before
the rewards were introduced.
The researchers determined, by comparing these results to those of a control condition, that it was rewards that made people like the games less
and not the fact that everyone became bored with the games as time went by.
In short, the rewards destroyed the children’s intrinsic interest in the games; by the end of the study, they were hardly playing the games at
What can we do to protect intrinsic motivation from the dangers of society’s reward system? According to my 8th edition Social Psychology book,
there are conditions under which overjustification effects can be avoided. Rewards will undermine interest only if interest was initially high. If a
child has no interest in reading, then getting him or her to read by offering rewards is not a bad idea, because there is no initial interest to
The type of reward also makes a difference. There are two types of rewards. A task-contingent reward means that people get them simply for
doing a task, regardless of how well they do it. Then we have performance-contingent rewards, whereby the reward depends on how well people
perform the task.
Now I refuse to take part of the generational blame game because that is exhibiting a fixed mindset.
A fixed mindset will think that “this is set in stone, I either have what it takes, or I don’t.” Thinking along these lines, people feel they
have a fixed amount of intelligence, athletic ability, musical talent, and so on.
Others have what is called a growth mindset, which is the idea that abilities are malleable qualities that they can cultivate and grow.
Continued in next post.