The Conference Board uses cookies to improve our website, enhance your experience, and deliver relevant messages and offers about our products. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our cookie policy. For more information on how The Conference Board collects and uses personal data, please visit our privacy policy. By continuing to use this Site or by clicking "OK", you consent to the use of cookies. 

24 Mar. 2014 | Comments (0)

Children whose self-esteem was at least 1.3 standard deviations below average reacted to lavish praise (“You made an incredibly beautiful drawing”) by becoming less willing to take on challenges, possibly out of fear that they might not be able to perform as “incredibly” well in the future, according to a study led by Eddie Brummelman of Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Children with high self-esteem did the opposite, responding to lavish praise by seeking greater challenges. Although many educators encourage parents and teachers to shower praise on pupils, adults should resist the temptation in the case of children who appear to have low self-esteem, the researchers say.

SOURCE:  “That's Not Just Beautiful--That's Incredibly Beautiful!”: The Adverse Impact of Inflated Praise on Children With Low Self-Esteem


This blog first appeared on Harvard Business Review on 1/30/2014.

View our complete listing of Talent Management, Career Development, and Strategic HR blogs.


0 Comment Comment Policy

Please Sign In to post a comment.

    Support Our Work

    Support our nonpartisan, nonprofit research and insights which help leaders address societal challenges.