After the huge confessional of yesterday, something a little more lighthearted. Or maybe not, for you psychologists out there.
I don't like ties. I have my reasons. So I don't wear them if I can help it. The only exception to this is if I feel like I'm out of control of my teaching, like my best efforts have come to naught, like nothing I do really matters to learning outcomes. On those days I'll put on a tie--at least I can control what I'm wearing.
This morning, I did just that. I put on a tie with a holiday lights pattern woven into it. (I told you ties are tacky. UPDATE: Just re-read the post. I didn't actually say that--it was in the rant about why I don't like ties, which I deleted.) Throughout the day, I received compliments from students and staff alike about how dressed-up I looked, how nice I looked, and how surprising it was to see me in a tie. And it's true, the positive comments really did have an effect on me. I smiled a little inside. That was the efficacy of the praise.
Behaviorist theory predicts that because I received positive reinforcement for wearing the tie, I should be more inclined to wear ties in the future. But no--I still hate ties. That's the limitation