In an article published on Nov. 8, 2012 the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan has reported: A scientific explanation to why people perform better after receiving a compliment. It has been discovered by a team of Japanese scientists that there is a scientific explanation of why people doing exercises appear to perform better when another person compliments them.The research paper has been published online in PLOS ONE.
This research was carried out by a group of researchers which was lead by Japanese National Institute for Physiological Sciences Professor Norihiro Sadato, Graduate University for Advanced Studies graduate student Sho Sugawara, Nagoya Institute of Technology Tenure-Track Associate Professor Satoshi Tanaka, and in collaboration with Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology Associate Professor Katsumi Watanabe. This research team had previously discovered that the same area of the brain, the striatum, is activated when a person is rewarded with a compliment or cash. Their most recent research could suggest that when the striatum is activated, it seems to encourage the person to perform better during exercises.
It has been written by the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behavior that the striatum occupies a central position in the acquisition and expression of affectively-charged behavior. The striatum is associated with anatomically distinctive internal and external circuits, is the target of rich cocktails of neuromodulators, and is also implicated in many neurological and psychiatric diseases. The striatum has been the focus of a large wealth of experimental and theoretical studies at multiple levels of investigation.
In this research when the participants were asked to repeat a finger exercise the next day, the group of participants who had received direct compliments from an evaluator performed better than participants from the other groups. This has indicated that receiving a compliment after exercising stimulates the individual to perform better afterwards. Professor Sadato has said, “To the brain, receiving a compliment is as much a social reward as being rewarded money. We’ve been able to find scientific proof that a person performs better when they receive a social reward after completing an exercise. There seems to be scientific validity behind the message ‘praise to encourage improvement’. Complimenting someone could become an easy and effective strategy to use in the classroom and during rehabilitation.”
In this regard it should be kept in mind that neuroleptics, which are dangerously over-prescribed by psychiatrists, cause dopamine blockade in the brain and therefore a life threatening disruption in the normal reward system of the human brain. It has been reported in the Cornell Chronicle that, “The higher the level of dopamine, or the more responsive the brain is to dopamine, the more likely a person is to be sensitive to incentives and rewards. When our dopamine system is activated, we are more positive, excited and eager to go after goals or rewards, such as food, sex, money, education or professional achievements.”