I ran across this video about motivation. While the speaker is relating much of the work to business - I found myself relating it quite a bit to the field of autism and education in general. He shares some very interesting research on the myth of the "carrot" helping to motivate. What he finds is that if there is only one right, simple answer, having a big "carrot" or "skittle" will sure help the person do the task quicker. However, if it is a dynamic problem that requires some creative thinking (think ALL social interactions and interpersonal problem solving) having a "carrot" actually decreases creativity and problem solving- because it narrows thinking and robs the individual of seeing the big picture.
As I watched it was yet another validation that the work we do in RDI- so focused on the process of thinking, not the product continues to be on the right track and bore out in research across so many fields.