High school kid C, mother of two children, a son and a daughter, the older brother is 4 years old and the younger sister is 2 years old. She has the legendary word \”good\”. But recently, the word \”good\” has given C a headache. The reason was that after a meal, my brother accidentally threw his favorite elastic ball at his sister. Unexpectedly, the ball happened to land in the middle of her hair. C couldn\’t help but think it was funny and laughed. By the way, he sighed, \”Brother, how can you hit so accurately!\” However, what C didn\’t expect was that in the next few days, his brother began to work hard to practice his ball skills, determined to hit his sister with the ball. Above my head, no matter how C preached at this time, my brother turned a deaf ear. C had a headache because of this and felt helpless, so he complained on WeChat. What exactly led to my brother\’s behavior? Why is it that no matter how C preaches, it is ineffective? Skinner Box and Behaviorism There is a famous school in psychology called behaviorism. This theory believes that animals perform certain behaviors in the hope of obtaining certain benefits or escaping certain consequences. That is to say, our behavioral goals are to obtain benefits (we want) and avoid consequences (we do not want). Among them, B.F. Skinner (1974), a representative figure of behaviorism, called behavioral changes caused by stimuli as operant conditioning. He also conducted a famous experiment based on this theory – the Skinner box. Skinner set up a box-like instrument with a lever inside to eliminate other external stimuli. Put a white mouse in the box so that it can move freely inside. Whenever the mouse presses the lever, the food will fall, and then it can enjoy it. As we expected, the mice pressed the lever significantly more often in anticipation of food. The final result of this experiment was that the mice spontaneously learned to press the lever. Through this experiment, Skinner believed that animals\’ learning behavior occurs with reinforcing stimuli (reinforcement theory). He believed that people or animals will adopt certain behaviors to act on the environment in order to achieve a certain purpose. In other words, we humans, as animals, must take a certain continuous behavior to achieve a certain purpose. Our mysterious behavior returns to the example of friends. When the brother hit the ball for the first time, the mother\’s reaction was to unconsciously give the child attention, laughter and praise. In fact, these attention and appreciation are what the child really hopes to receive. In other words, from the beginning when he accidentally smashed the ball, the parents\’ attention and laughter had already strengthened his behavior. So, not surprisingly, C\’s son started to pay more attention (not even necessarily need to be praised). Smash the ball repeatedly. As long as he keeps smashing the ball, C will continue to pay attention to his son, and his son\’s behavioral goals will continue to be satisfied. So, suppose we don’t want our son to smash the ball, what should we do? Let’s continue with the previous reinforcement theory. Behavioral science divides reinforcement into positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment and natural reduction. The so-called positive reinforcement refers to the process in which an individual performs a certain behavior and subsequently or at the same time receives a certain reward, thereby increasing this type of behavior. For example, parentsThe most commonly used method is to encourage children to do well in exams by buying them their favorite gifts. For another example, the brother\’s behavior of hitting his sister in the previous article inadvertently gained his mother\’s attention (reward), which prompted the brother\’s behavior of smashing balls to continue to increase. Negative reinforcement refers to the process in which an individual increases a certain type of behavior in order to avoid an unpleasant experience. For example, a child doesn\’t like copying ancient poems every day, but as long as he helps his mother clear the dishes today, he doesn\’t have to copy. He may avoid copying by helping his mother clear the dishes. Among them, the rewards that can be given in positive reinforcement are divided into exogenous rewards and endogenous rewards. Exogenous rewards, as the name suggests, are external rewards, such as buying candy and toys for children. Endogenous rewards are those incentives that allow children to accomplish what they want from their hearts, such as the child\’s own sense of accomplishment and autonomy, etc. Have you noticed that in the previous example, when the mother later criticized the child for smashing the ball, it was more of a kind of reinforcement from the outside, and she did not want the child to do that; but the satisfaction that the behavior of smashing the ball brought to the child, It is the part of the child\’s heart that he really wants (the attention from his mother). Method 1: If the mother turns a blind eye to the brother\’s behavior of smashing the ball at this time, the brother will naturally not get endogenous rewards (from the mother\’s attention). I would like to ask, does the brother still have the motivation to maintain the behavior of smashing the ball? Method 2: In the case of C, we can weaken the connection between \”getting attention\” and \”smashing the ball\” and instead help the brother establish a new inner sense of accomplishment. For example, the mother gives her full attention and full affirmation to her brother when he shows his ability to take care of his sister when he crosses the road. While encouraging his brother to complete the task of crossing the road independently, he gives him a strong sense of autonomy and recognition. I would like to ask, will my brother continue to do such \”pediatric\” things as hitting his sister with a ball? Endogenous rewards As Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool (2016) said, although parents and teachers can use many methods to motivate children, only motivation that truly comes from the child\’s heart can last long. Endogenous rewards are also what our parents most often ignore. We often encourage children to learn by giving them external material rewards, \”If you score 100% on the test, I will buy you Lego\”, \”If you play the piano well, I will watch TV for half an hour.\” Children study for rewards, neglecting to tell them the meaning that learning itself can bring to them, and forgetting to help children find the joy of learning. Children who are accustomed to exogenous rewards do not know how to appreciate the joy of learning, cannot appreciate their ability to overcome difficulties, and cannot appreciate the courage to overcome setbacks. Such children, even if they are very good because of many exogenous rewards, will not be able to do so. There will come a day when you will start to wonder, \”Why should I be excellent?\” The best endogenous rewards meet three conditions, that is, they can give children a sense of autonomy, competence, and self-belonging. For example, if you find that a child is interested in music, you can encourage the child to learn music, so that the child feels that he or she is taking the initiative to learn music, instead of being forced to learn it by his or her parents, and at the same time, it can enhance the child\’s awareness of his own music.Appreciation of abilities improves children\’s learning motivation, allows children to experience the joy of learning, and makes children feel that both learning and achievements come from themselves and are not influenced by others. No matter what kind of learning, support and encouragement from parents are very important. When children are recognized and respected for their learning and experience the rewards of learning itself, they will become more and more self-motivated. Endogenous motivation, the magic weapon to cultivate highly creative children, have you learned it?