It is possible that in the upbringing of your children you have fallen into the traditional trap of punishment. It is normal, children are not born with instructions under their arms and there are times when if you do not know how to react and together with the anger you have at that moment, punishments may be the easiest resource.

That is why we want to talk to you about why rewards are more effective than punishments as long as they are used correctly. This is so thanks to the so-called “fun theory”.

what is fun theory

The fun theory is understood as the idea that all people (regardless of age) are more motivated to perform actions that require effort, as long as there is some kind of incentive or stimulus that is fun or motivating for us. .

In this sense, we could also take into account “the theory of motivation”, which is the same, but taking into account instead of something fun, a concrete motivation. Although both theories can overlap in the same. In other words, the price has such a great motivating power that it can make people behave differently from the fact that there was no prize.

punishment doesn’t work

Until recently, and even today, we live in a world where punishment is believed to be an important element in the upbringing or education of children. Things are restricted so that the person learns to control himself. But in reality, there are much more effective educational methods than that.

Although it is true that in order to live harmoniously in society we must give up our innate ego and accept the other, with the fun theory it is known that people can perform inappropriate actions as long as it is fun in some way. In addition, whenever there is a positive stimulus, it can become an incentive to comply with the norms established in society.

where does this theory come from

This theory was born in 2009 in the Volkswagen company after doing an experiment that wanted to demonstrate how social and personal change is possible as long as there is an incentive to achieve it.

The German brand launched its theory to inspire others to lead a full life, reach the hearts of millions of people and thus consolidate its label. With their social experiments they observed how people reacted. In each of them dilemmas were presented to the subjects and they had to choose one of two options: to be comfortable or to make an effort (the effort involved a fun experience).

The experiments

The first took place in a popular subway in Sweden, a place where there were some escalators and conventional ones next to them. They wanted to get the people who passed by to use the conventional stairs and thus exercise in some way.

To achieve this, they invented the piano ladder. They painted the conventional staircase as if it were a piano and each step could emit a sound as if playing the piano with your feet. The result was revealing: while 95% of people used escalators regularly to go up, with the flat stair it was as many as 66% who took the motivational stair up, and they were very happy to do so!

This showed that the fun theory is real.

On the other hand, there was a second experiment that was carried out to test the fun theory and it was even more successful than the first. Taking into account that there are people who throw their garbage on the ground, an experiment was carried out in Stockholm.

Garbage bins were fitted with a sensor so that every time a person put something in the bin, a cartoon sound would be heard (like something falling off a cliff).

This was so much fun for people not only tossing out their trash, but also looking for trash nearby to put in those fun trash cans. In one day, waste collection doubled and those areas were cleaner, proving that the fun theory works.

In this sense, when you want your children to learn something, do not use punishment, use the reward of fun to learn faster and also, do it with pleasure! You just need a pinch of creativity.