Pat on the back helps inattentive kids perform better

New York, July 31 (IANS) A little praise or reward improves the performance of children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on certain cognitive tasks – more so than they would for typically developing kids, says a new study.

“Kids with ADHD showed more improvement because they are more motivated by the opportunity to gain rewards, not because they simply did worse from the beginning,” said one of the researchers Whitney Fosco from the University at Buffalo in the US.

The study examined two leading theories on ADHD, combining what previous work had mostly looked at separately.

One of those theories suggests that lower-than-average cognitive abilities contribute to symptoms associated with ADHD, such as inattentiveness.

The other theory favours motivation over ability, focusing on whether kids with ADHD have an increased sensitivity to reward.

“When asking whether the performance difference we see is the result of ability or motivation, this research has more of an answer than any study that comes before it,” the study’s principle investigator Larry Hawk from the University at Buffalo pointed out.

“You cannot say kids with ADHD respond more to reinforcement because they were doing poorly to begin with,” Hawk said.

“We showed that was not true. It was greater motivation to obtain external rewards that drove the effects we observed,” Hawk noted.

The findings appeared in the journal Behavioural and Brain Functions.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here