Here’s another UK government scheme using iPods to bribe kids into doing something they should be doing anyway. Last time the gadgets were offered to persuade secondary students in Glasgow to eat better. Now, unemployed teenagers in Dorset, England will receive the devices in exchange for taking a class to help them find summer work.
Whether you call this a bribe, as the detractors do, or think of it as an incentive, do these programs really work? Is it possible to fundamentally change teen behavior by offering expensive prizes or money? I suspect the answer is no but maybe someone needs to find some research to support the plan before spending lots of public money on it.