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CSE 1.1 Freakonomics-Potty training incentives

by Joe Calhoun

Author Steven Levitt tells the story of rewarding his daughter Amanda with M&Ms when she was potty training. At first, Amanda responded as predicted and received the M&Ms after successfully using the toilet. After a few days, she began to manipulate the incentive structure by going just a little bit, receiving M&Ms, then going some more to receive a second bag of M&Ms. The clip illustrates the power of incentives to change behavior but also reveals how incentives can create unintended consequences and secondary effects. The clip ends with a nice quote from coauthor Stephen Dubner about what incentives are.

Potty training

by Gerry Willis

In many ways, don't we do that as educators for a multitude of items in the classroom? Bonus points for bringing pencil to class, extra credit to make up for missed assignments...the interesting part is that alot of the incentives in school happen at the end of the term.

CSE 1.1 Freakonomics-Potty training incentives

Author Steven Levitt discusses the incentive he created when potty training his daughter.

from Freakonomics The Movie (2010)
Creator: Magnolia Home Entertainment
Posted by Joe Calhoun