Dan Pink delivers an inspirational talk on what motivates people- is it monetary rewards? or intrinsic motivation to do what matters to them? Social scientists have found over and over that people perform BETTER on creative complicated tasks, when they are intrinsically motivated. In fact, extrinsic rewards, carrots and sticks, actually lead too poorer performance.
He’s talking about business here, and never mentions schools.
But this is social science phenomenon and applies to child raising and education as well.
For solving simple, linear problems, carrots and sticks work well. But want your kid to be able to think outside the box? Solve complex creative problems? Allow him/her to focus on what truly matters.