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For other uses, see Praise (disambiguation).

Praise is the act of making positive statements about a person, object or idea, either in public or privately. Praise is typically, but not exclusively, earned relative to achievement and accomplishment. Praise is often contrasted with criticism, where the latter is held to mean exclusively negative statements made about something, although this is not technically correct (see also Blame).


See also: Motivation

Most people are responsive to praise and will demonstrate an increase in self-esteem or confidence if a suitable amount of praise is received. The healthier a personality is, however, the less they will require regular praise, while they are also likely to be uncomfortable with excessive or unearned praise.[1] Conversely, the overly dependent personality will require constant praise to fulfill their need for narcissistic supplies.[2]

However, some people are less affected by or even averse to praise, for example people with autism[3] or schizoid personality disorder.[4] For those enmeshed in negativity, regaining the ability to accept praise is a positive developmental step[5] - one which may be facilitated in some circumstances by assertiveness training.[6]

While praise can be effective in boosting children's self-esteem, it carries with it the danger of exaggerating a reliance on extrinsic motivation at the expense of the child's spontaneous efforts.[7]

Some psychological theories hold that a person's life is largely made up of attempts to win praise for their actions.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ A. M. Mecca et al, The Social Importance of Self-Esteem (1989) p. 249
  2. ^ A. M. Mecca et al, The Social Importance of Self-Esteem (1989) p. 249
  3. ^ Kasari C, Sigman MD, Baumgartner P, Stipek DJ (1993). "Pride and mastery in children with autism". J Child Psychol Psychiatry 34 (3): 353–62. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.1993.tb00997.x. PMID 8463373. 
  4. ^ Sperry, Len (September 2003). Handbook of Diagnosis and Treatment of DSM-IV Personality Disorders. Taylor & Francis Ltd. ISBN 978-0-415-93569-2. 
  5. ^ Neville Symington, On Narcissism (2003) p. 197
  6. ^ A. M. Mecca et al, The Social Importance of Self-Esteem (1989) p. 56
  7. ^ A. Chandra, Child Psychology (2007) p. 66-7

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