The Carrot is more Effective than the Stick

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The carrot is more effective than the stick


Reward is better than punishment

This means that the promise of a reward is a more effective motivation than the fear of punishment.
Read about the vocabulary of fear!

The carrot represents reward.

The stick represents punishment.

“The carrot is more effective than the stick”


Reward is more effective than punishment.

Think about it.

Question – your opinion

Which is more effective, the carrot or the stick?

Tell us your opinion. Write it in the comments section below.

Reward and Punishment

A reward is something that we get in return for positive behaviour. When we work we are rewarded with a salary or wages.

Word Family

Look at the word family:

Noun – reward

A reward has been offered for the capture of the criminal who robbed the bank.

Verb – reward

The manager rewarded him for his hard work by giving him a raise.

Adjective – rewarding

My job is not well-paid but it is rewarding because I can work with lots of people and I enjoy meeting people and getting to know them. It is tremendously satisfying. I love people. Life is all about people.

Psychology – Pavlov’s Dog

Have you ever heard of Pavlov’s Dog?

Pavlov was a famous physiologist who experimented with dogs. He rang a bell when he was going to feed them. He noticed that the dogs started to salivate as soon as he rang the bell. The bell was associated (by the dogs) with food.

Classical Conditioning

When he rang the bell, the dogs would salivate.

This response (reaction) is called “classical conditioning”.

A Stupid Question

What is the difference between classical conditioning and air conditioning?

Some Advice

Never lose your sense of humour.

Zero Conditional

If you lose your sense of humour, your life is over.


A punishment is something that we have to do or have done to us if we exhibit bad behaviour.

If you break the law, you will be punished by imprisonment or a fine.

Word Family

Punish – verb

The criminal was punished by being sent to prison.

If you break the law, you will be punished.


Do you punish your children?
How do you punish them?

Punishment – noun

Capital punishment is punishment by death.

Capital punishment has been abolished in most western countries, but not in the United States.

Do you agree with capital punishment?

Punitive – adjective

After Iraq invaded Kuwait, punitive measures were taken.
Iraq was punished for invading Kuwait.


Will the United States, Australia and Britain be punished for invading Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya?

Crime and Punishment

The famous novel by Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky is translated as “Crime and Punishment” in English but some say the translation is misleading as the words “crime and punishment” have a strong legal connotation in English but the Russian novel is more about the personal, ethical, moral aspect of sin and guilt.


Are you Russian?

Have you read Dostoyevsky’s book?

Links to More Lessons

Passive Voice

The Purple Carrot

The Money Page
The Work Page

The Law Page

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