The Science of Praise

One of the most effective ways of improving behaviour is through warmth and well-measured praise. This can be as simple as smiling or giving a thumbs-up sign to show approval.

What is the science behind it?
  • Praising children’s behaviour makes them feel safe and secure.

  • Praising children the right way can improve self-esteem, increase motivation and enhance perseverance.

  • Well measured and regular praise improves children’s behaviour and can reduce levels of hyper activity and inattention.

  • A positive parenting style using praise improves psychological and cognitive development in children. Neuroimaging studies show that a positive parenting style influences brain structure in children.

  • Studies show that children develop higher self esteem when their parents treat them warmly, but over exaggerating or inflating praise can lower their self esteem.

  • The most effective praise is straightforward, specific and focused on effort, not ability or looks.

Science Sheet

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