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Author Alan C. Fox: Why Positive Reinforcement is (almost) Always Better Than Negative

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Years ago, a University of Southern California professor who was teaching a psychology class I was sitting in on taught me an important lesson about human behavior. He suggested that positive reinforcement is a more effective way of getting people to do what you want than negative reinforcement. “What?!?!?!” I objected. “That’s crazy!” Despite my objections, he challenged me to try out his theory with my friends, loved ones, and employees and report back to the class about my results. To my surprise, he was right: in almost every instance that week, using positive reinforcement rather than negative yielded a better result for me and the other people involved. This lesson has stuck with me over the years. And I’ve…

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Introducing TED Tuesday: Amanda Palmer Discusses ‘The Art of Asking’

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Welcome to the first installment of our new weekly nugget of inspiration—TED Tuesday! Every Tuesday BookTrib will feature a TED Talk of the Week to inspire you to see the world with a new perspective. If you don’t know what TED is, stop what you’re doing right now and check out their website. TED, short for “technology, entertainment and design,” is a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading” by hosting annual conferences where an eclectic mix of speakers—innovators, philosophers, artists, scientists and more—discuss their experiences and share their insight. They are also affiliated with local TED talks, called TEDx conferences. Watching TED talks is a great way to get those brain juices flowing, so this week we’re featuring, “The…

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