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What do you mean which works better? Are you implying this to children?
From boss to employee, from parents to children - both of these have their own importance depending upon the situation. A reward can be encouraging for a good work done, whereas a punishment can be a deterrent for a wrong deed.
It also depends on the person. I respond better, in terms of work output, when I'm being pressured to get something done. Whereas rewards don't work as well. That's just me though.
Reward has been proven to be a much more powerful motivator. Punishment only works to a certain degree, and even then, is significantly less likely to have a long term effect. I'm going to outline a few simple examples. Reward is EVERYWHERE around us. It is a massive driving force in economy, entertainment and every aspect of our daily life. Do you play video games? Isn't it satisfying when you get an achievement? Or when you complete a level? Micro rewarding is programmed into games because it has been proven to push people to play more. Adverts work under a similar method of psychological reward. You ever see those stupid late night adverts where people strap a vibrating pad on their stomachs to get ripped abs? This is the reward theory of operant conditioning at play. People think if they buy that, they will look like bodybuilders. On the other hand, punishment is not as effective. The perfect example is capital punishment. Death row has been statistically and scientifically proven to not work as a deterrent (other than removing the people who die there of course). The only effective form of punishment is learning for yourself. Let me clarify. Say you are next to a hot stove with a child. You tell the child "Don't touch this, it's very hot!". This is not as effective as the child finding out for themselves by touching it. They get burnt, they don't do it again. Let me know if you want more examples!
then should we encourage to obey the law by giving citizens reward then? Sometimes punishment would be effective i guess . It really depends on situation and people
If jail time is the most effective form of offence then why is it that over a 60 month period, almost 50% of offenders in the USA commit crimes again? That is a matter of morality and differing views, along with socioeconomic upbringing. If anything, it reinforces the statement that punishment is less effective than reward. Here are some more stats: In the UK, roughly 75% of all petty criminals (things like burglary, GTA etc) recidive (relapse, specifically in criminal behaviour). In California, 7/10 people return to jail within 3 years. Obviously it isn't all bad. In AZ, only 25% recidive (but that still is a quarter of the people) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recidivism
I also prefer that Reward is the best Motivator but at times punishmemt can also be helpful
Rewards encourage desired behaviors. Punishment discourages undesired behaviors. The problem with punishment is that it does not teach a DESIRED behavior. If a proper behavior is never introduced, and the punished is therefore never rewarded - they become frustrated and either cease to learn from fear/reluctance of constant punishment or rebel with even less desired behavior out of stress/self-defense mechanisms. Reward is almost always more effective, but punishments are not useless. When using a punishment however, keep in mind to suggest a desired behavior that will be rewarded. Random rewards are useful to gain the attention of a discouraged learner, even when not earned. They are like saying "Look at this thing you like! Here have it!" then begin to suggest how they can receive such a reward again. Just be sure they do not follow bad behavior, or a connection of "bad behavior = reward" might develop.