Posts Tagged 'MRI'

Is a Compliment as Good as a Raise?

Using MRI technology, the Japanese National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Okazaki, Japan found that a compliment stimulates the same reward center in the brain as does cash.

In their research they did two experiments. In one, people played a gambling game and received automatic cash payouts. They were rewarded for achievement. There was no human interaction. In the second experiment they received evaluations, supposedly from strangers reviewing their videos and questionnaires.  In each case, in this second experiment, they were paid a compliment.

Their MRIs showed that in both experiments  the people felt they were receiving a reward.

This seems to help explain why recognition is so effective. I would love to see them test the effect of reading the compliment a few days later. I bet it would still trigger the reward center. I can’t think of a more cost-effective way to recognize people that offering a few written words of praise. It is the reward that keeps on giving!

If you want to read the full story visit ABC News.


My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.

Visit my website today!

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