Type and frequency of praise as determinants of favorability of self‐image: An experiment in a field setting

Reuben M. Baron, Alan R. Bass, Peter M. Vietze

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4 Scopus citations


An experiment was conducted in a skills training center with a sample of 28 Black female trainees The effects of variations in type (person‐ vs. achievement‐oriented) and frequency (75% vs. 25%) of praise were ascertained on favorableness of selfimage and task performance. It was found that, in general, lower frequencies of praise produced more positive self‐evaluations than high frequencies of praise, and that person‐oriented praise was more effective than achievement‐oriented praise in enhancing self‐evaluation A significant interaction found for “myself as male friends see me” demonstrated that (a) at a 75 percent frequency of reinforcement, person‐oriented praise was significantly more effective than performance‐oriented praise, and (b) performance‐focused praise delivered at a 25 percent frequency enhanced subjects' self‐image significantly more than performance‐oriented praise given at a 75 percent level. No significant effects were found for the accuracy‐type tasks (work recognition, visual perceptiveness) On the task which involved a simple, speeded response (manual dexterity) there were significant effects (a) achievement‐oriented praise was more effective than person‐oriented praise, (b) a significant interaction between type and frequency of praise occurred, indicating that performance‐oriented praise is most effective when given at a 25 percent level

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-511
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1971


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