Friday, October 09, 2009

On Aspirational Praise

(from the BC thread "Exit, stage left;exeunt stage right")

luddy barsen,
simply give him no orders except to do what he is about to do anyway

That is the Bart Simpson approach to dog training.
"Go ahead eat that thing, sniff that butt, now wander over there."

When training a dog or a child you begin with Anticipatory Direction so you can praise them for associating their desires with your instruction. Sometimes you evaluate them based on how you want them to perform rather them their actual achievement. That is what I call Aspirational Praise. When the performance fails to measure up to your goals a dissonance is produced that should result in a correction. The push of anticipation usually works better than the pull of aspiration but both need to be carefully controlled and backed by both praise and correction. In the case of Obama we have someone who has benefited for over a third of a century from an almost purely Aspirational approach on the part of everyone who controlled the rewards that he sought. In addition he has been remarkably effective at using the racism card to eliminate the essential component of correction from any situation in which he failed to perform up to the desired standard.

Country folk I understand have a saying, "The dog won't hunt."

Obama is known for things he has Won, not things he has Done.

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