Exhibit Sources

Parents feel the need to constantly praise their kids: “Praise for Intelligence Can Undermine Children’s Motivation and Performance,” Claudia M. Mueller and Carol S. Dweck, Columbia University, 1998.

College undergrads are more narcissitic today than ever before: “Isn’t It Fun to Get the Respect That We’re Going to Deserve?” Jean M. Twenge, San Diego State University and W. Keith Campbell, University of Georgia, 2003.

Kids praised for intelligence demonstrate lower drive to learn: “How Not to Talk to Your Kids: The Inverse Power of Praise,” Po Bronson, New York magazine.

High school seniors’ reading levels are dropping as their GPAs are rising: “The Nation’s Report Card: 12th-Grade Reading and Mathematics 2005,” National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The only thing failing at Harvard is the campaign to curb grade inflation: “Grade Inflation, Democracy, and the Ivy League,” Peter Lawler, Perspectives on Political Science, 2001.

Miss Teen South Carolina’s enlightened remarks on geography: YouTube clip of Lauren Caitlin Upton.

“Redshirting” becomes a problem: “When Should a Kid Start Kindergarten?” Elizabeth Weil, New York Times; Elizabeth Levett Fortier, George Peabody Elementary School.

McSwooney’s: Dave Eggers’ hyperbolic blurbs: “Amazon Glitch Unmasks War of Reviews,” Amy Harmon, New York Times, February 14, 2004. Eggers’ reviews endorse the following books: The Mineral Palace, Heidi Julavits, Putnam, 2000; God Lives in St. Petersburg, Tom Bissell, Pantheon, 2005; Oh the Glory of It All, Sean Wilsey, The Penguin Press, 2005; No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories, Miranda July, Scribner, 2007; Adverbs: A Novel, Daniel Handler, Ecco, 2006.

The Harvard A-Team: “Grade Inflation, Democracy, and the Ivy League,” Peter Lawler, Perspectives on Political Science, 2001.

Indigo children get knowledge from another dimension: “Are They Here to Save the World?” John Leland, New York Times; Nancy Ann Tappe, Starling Publishers.

West Virginia high schooler sues over grade: “Judge Tosses Lawsuit Over Grade,” Andrew Clevenger, Charleston Gazette, May 9 2007.

CEOs have trouble taking criticism: “It’s Lonely—and Thin-Skinned—at the Top,” Del Jones, USA Today.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey plugs himself: “Mr. Mackey’s Offense,” Editorial, Wall Street Journal, July 2007.

HealthSouth CEO erects personal monument before his conviction: “Local Zeroes,” James Surowiecki, The New Yorker, March 2005.

Martha Stewart’s heavy charges for “oral mentions”: “Queen of the Product Pitch,” Burt Helm, Business Week, April 2007; Liz Coleman, Martha Stewart Living.

Napoleon Dynamite showcases “positive aspects of Idaho’s youth”: House Concurrent Resolution No. 29, Idaho House of Representatives.

Quote Whore of the Year: Efilmcritic.com.

Sony Pictures offers rebates for flops: Official Court Notice; “Sony Pictures to Pay $1.5 Million to Settle Suit Over Movie Ads,” Alex Veiga, Associated Press, August 3, 2005.

Harriet Miers’ birthday card to Governor Bush: “The Harriet and George Letters,” The Smoking Gun; “Documents Show Supreme Court Nominee’s Close Ties to Bush,” Ralph Blumenthal and Simon Robero, New York Times, October 11, 2005.

Standing ovations for Bush: 2007 State of the Union address.

Standing ovations on Broadway: “The Tyranny of the Standing Ovation,” Jessie McKinley, New York Times, December 21, 2003.

Standing ovations for yourself: Playfair.com.

Bob Nelson is the guru of thank you: “Most-Praised Generation Craves Kudos at the Office,” Jeffrey Zaslow, Wall Street Journal.

Boo ban: “Proposed New Rules for Sports Events Mean That Soon Fans Might Not Be Able to Say…Boo!” Casey McNerthney, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, March 3, 2007; “Life in the Mean Streets,” Joe Queenan, New York Times, March 24, 2007.

No room for hecklers at Beijing ‘O8: Jing ma must end. “Beijing Seeks End to ‘Colorful’ Cheers and Jeers Before Olympics,” Beijing Economic News, April 2, 2004.

Sports Illustrated cover jinx: “That Old Black Magic,” Alexander Wolff, Sports Illustrated, January 21, 2002.

Best boss hex: “Superstar CEOs,” Ulkrike Malmendier and Geoffrey Tate, March 15, 2007; “Cancel that Cover Shoot,” Dana Wechsler Linden, Forbes, January 6, 2005.

Company Nixon Peabody commissions back-patting song: “Nixon Peabody: This is Not a Theme Song,” David Lat, Above the Law.

U.S. businesses’ incentive expenditures: The International Society for Performance Improvement.

The Container Store lavishes praise: “Most-Praised Generation Craves Kudos at the Office,” Jeffrey Zaslow, Wall Street Journal; Olescia Hanson, Public Relations Director, The Container Store.

Scooter Store has a celebrations assistant: “Most-Praised Generation Craves Kudos at the Office,” Jeffrey Zaslow, Wall Street Journal; Mark B. Leita, Director of Public Affairs, The Scooter Store.

Bronson Healthcare Group makes thank you notes necessary: “Most-Praised Generation Craves Kudos at the Office,” Jeffrey Zaslow, The Wall Street Journal; Jason Manshum, Public Relations Director, Bronson Healthcare Group.

Most employess who prefer cash bonuses don’t recieve them: “Bosses Not on the Same Page as Employees Regarding Recognition,” Maritz Research.

Incentive Marketing Association believes cash has no lasting effect: Incentivemarketing.org.

Engraved praise plaque: Baudville.com.

The Compliment Machine: Washington Project for the Arts/Cocoran; “The Art of Gratuitous Praise,” Joshua Zumbrun, Washington Post, July 21, 2007.


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.