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Are people motivated more through fear or reward?

Introduction

Read through the following text and look up any vocabulary you are not sure about before answering the questions.

In all areas of life, but particularly the workplace, people try to motivate others to work harder, work more or become more productive. The ways in which they do this usually involves either a reward or some sort of punishment. You can also see this with training a dog where some dog owners opted for discipline if the dog is not being obedient, whereas others opt for a reward for the dog, like a biscuit or a dog treat, when they are being good. So the dog will follow the owner’s instructions either through fear of being disciplined or by the knowledge that they will be rewarded. Even though both methods seem to work to an extent, exactly which method produces the better results is up for debate.

Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question.

Affect (Verb) = to have an influence on someone or something, or to cause them to change OR to cause a strong emotion, especially sadness.
Example: “We were concerned about how changing schools would affect the children”.

As a result of (something) (Phrase) = because of.
Example: “As a result of the bad weather the football match has been cancelled”.

Beneficial (Adjective) = Used to describe something that is good or helpful.
Example: “It's very beneficial to exercise every day”.

Obey (Verb) = to do what you are told to do by a person, rule, or instruction.
Example: “It is important to obey the law of the country that you are in”.

Opt (Verb) = to choose something or to decide to do something.
Example: “In the end they opted to go to the cinema today and the theatre next week”.

When it comes to… (Phrase) = used to introduce a new idea that you want to say something about.
Example: “When it comes to young children I think that they should focus less on exams.”.

Reward (Noun) = something good that you get or experience because you have worked hard, behaved well etc..
Example: “Her parents gave her a reward for passing her exams”.

(to) reward (Verb) = to give someone a reward.
Example: “The class were rewarded with a trip to the cinema for behaving well all year”.

The Question

Try and have a conversation for 2-3 minutes answering the following question.

Are people motivated more through fear or reward?

Additional Questions

Keep the conversation going with these follow questions related to Are people motivated more through fear or reward?
  • Can you think of any examples where you have been motivated by fear?
  • Can you think of any examples where you have been motivated by reward?
  • What could be the negative effects of motivating by fear?
  • What could be the negative effects of motivating by reward?
  • What type of situations do you think benefit more through motivation by fear?
  • What type of situations do you think benefit more through motivation by reward?
  • What do you think about motivating children to behave or do something through fear or reward?

Question Details

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