It's been a very long time since I have been around here (my AP "babies" are 10 and almost 14!) but I thought this might be just the place to ask this question:
For his science project, my son was hoping to show that children respond better to unconditional love and encouragement than to the threat of punishment by withholding reward. His sample was 2 groups of grade one students, 5 in each group. He had them take a quiz consisting of a few math and language questions.
To group 1 he said:
I am so happy you are helping me with my project, I know you are going to do really well on this test. When you are done the quiz I am going to give you a lolipop.
To group 2 he said:
Thanks for participating. If you do well on the quiz you will earn the lolipop as a reward but if you don't do well you will not get a lolipop.
To both groups he asked the children:
How difficult did you find the quiz today? Would you say it was:
a)really difficult b) sort of difficult C) kind of easy d) really easy
BTW, When he was all done the experiment he gave the kids who did not "earn" the lolipop (2) one anyway just to avoid tears or hurt feelings.
What he would like to know is if his experiment can be "defined" in psychological terms. Could anyone suggest a title for it?
Thanks for your help,