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Home > News > February 2004 > 26-Feb-2004

The Carrot or The Stick

What motivates more effectively - the fear of punishment or the anticipation of reward? A new three part series from Channel 4, The Carrot or The Stick, aims to answer that question in an experiment in positive and negative motivation.

Twelve men who responded to an advert for men who lacked motivation were put through rigourous fitness training and placed into two equally balanced teams.

Having been hand-picked for their lack of drive, the two teams will spend three weeks in the Welsh mountains taking part in a series of extreme physical challenges. But they will be trained using two very different methods.

The positive 'carrot' team will never be punished and will win rewards for doing well in an atmosphere of gentle guidence and encouragement. The 'stick' team will be given a military-style training in the extreme. They will never be rewarded and will be punished severely for failure.

Over the three weeks the teams will compete against each other in extreme exercises usually reserved for training special forces. Which training method will provide the motivation to win?

Read the reviews: part 1, part 2, part 3

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