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Book Review: Punished by Rewards
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Code: DJ 8.1 (6) BK Gilbert
Price: $7.50
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Book by Alfie Kohn
reviewed by Roberta Gilbert, MD

Alfie Kohn’s book, Punished By Rewards, explores the theory and consequences of behaviorism in schools and in the workplace. Dr. Gilbert, the reviewer, notes that Murray Bowen’s way of praising others was to show interest in their work. He was rarely intense with either praise or criticism. In Punished by Rewards, Dr. Gilbert perceives a beginning version of systems thinking. Kohn advocates more neutral treatment of others’ achievements so as not to affect them adversely. Interest, even enthusiasm, are not countermanded, especially when they are genuine reactions to others’ achievements without the goal of “motivating them” or getting them to change what they do.

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