Daily Business Report-Sept. 20, 2017
Girl peeking. (Photo by iStock_grublee)
Kids Praised for Being Smart
Are More Likely to Cheat
By Inga Kiderra | UC San Diego News Center
An international team of researchers reports that when children are praised for being smart not only are they quicker to give up in the face of obstacles they are also more likely to be dishonest and cheat. Kids as young as age 3 appear to behave differently when told “You are so smart” vs “You did very well this time.”
The study, published in Psycological Science, is co-authored by Gail Heyman of the University of California San Diego, Kang Lee of the University of Toronto, and Lulu Chen and Li Zhao of Hangzhou Normal University in China.
The research builds on well-known work by Stanford’s Carol Dweck, author of “Mindset,” who has shown that praising a child’s innate ability instead of the child’s effort or a specific behavior has the unintended consequence of reducing their motivation to learn and their ability to deal with setbacks.
The present study shows there’s also a moral dimension to different kinds of praise and that it affects children at younger ages than previously known. Even the kindergarten and preschool set seem to be sensitive to subtle differences in praise.
“It’s common and natural to tell children how smart they are,” said co-author Gail Heyman, a development psychologist at UC San Diego. “Even when parents and educators know that it harms kids’ achievement motivation, it’s still easy to do. What our study shows is that the harm can go beyond motivation and extend to the moral domain. It makes a child more willing to cheat in order to do well.”
For their study the researchers asked 300 children in Eastern China to play a guessing game using number cards. In total, there were 150 3-year-olds and 150 5-year-olds. The children were either praised for being smart or for their performance. A control group got no praise at all. After praising the children and getting them to promise not to cheat, the researcher left the room for a minute in the middle of the game. The kids’ subsequent behavior was monitored by a hidden camera, which recorded who got out of their seat or leaned over to get a peek at the numbers.
Results suggest that both the 3- and 5-year-olds who’d been praised for being smart were more likely to act dishonestly than the ones praised for how well they did or those who got no praise at all. The results were the same for boys and girls.
In another study, published recently in Developmental Science, the same co-authors show that the consequences are similar even when children are not directly praised for their smarts but are merely told that they have a reputation for being smart.
Why? The researchers believe that praising ability is tied to performance pressure in a way that praising behavior isn’t. When children are praised for being smart or are told that they have reputation for it, said co-author Li Zhao of Hangzhou Normal University, “they feel pressure to perform well in order to live up to others’ expectations, even if they need to cheat to do so.”
Co-author Kang Lee, of the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, emphasized the take-away for the adults in kids’ lives: “We want to encourage children. We want them to feel good about themselves. But these studies show we must learn to give children the right kinds of praise, such as praising specific behavior. Only in this way will praise have the intended positive outcomes.”
Toys R Us Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy;
Seeks to Restructure $5 Billion of Long-Term Debt
Toys R Us Inc.’s stores remain open amid the company’s announced filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court Monday.
The Wayne, New Jersey-based retailer’s approximately 1,600 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores around the world, “the vast majority of which are profitable,” are open for business, the company says. Customers should not be alarmed as the company’s newly launched websites are up and running, as are its rewards, registry and birthday list services, it said.
The company will look to restructure $5 billion of long-term debt in order to provide “greater financial flexibility to invest in our business and strengthen our competitive position in an increasingly challenging and rapidly changing retail marketplace worldwide,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dave Brandon said in a news release.
The once-dominant retailer has struggled to compete with online retail giant Amazon and stores like Walmart, The New York Times reported.
Toys R Us had a $400 million debt payment due next year and was “burning through cash,” the Times reported, and hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis to devise a strategy moving forward.
The bankruptcy filing includes some of the company’s United States and Canadian subsidiaries. The company’s Canadian subsidiaries also filed for bankruptcy protection.
Toys R Us’s 255 licensed stores and joint-venture partnership in Asia, which are separate entities, are not part of the Chapter 11 filing.
“We are confident that this financial restructuring is the best path forward to ensure that Toys R Us can invest in our business, continue to improve our customers’ experience and strengthen our competitive position,” the company said in a statement.
Toys R Us has received a commitment of more than $3 billion of debt financing from lenders, including JP Morgan Chase and some of its existing lenders, the company announced. This money is expected to “immediately improve” Toys R Us’s financial health, the company announced.
Toys R Us plans to invest $277 million from next year to 2021 to convert current locations into side-by-side storefronts dedicated to toys and its Babies R Us brand, USA Today reported.
— From Media Reports
77 Affordable Rental Apartments
Going in at Pacific Highlands Ranch
Construction has begun on Luna at Pacific Highlands Ranch, a $29.7 million San Diego Housing Commission partnership development in San Diego.
“Luna at Pacific Highlands Ranch will provide 77 affordable rental apartments that San Diego needs. For 55 years, these apartments will remain affordable for low-income families,” said Housing Commission President & CEO Richard C. Gentry after Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
Developed by Affirmed Housing Group, in partnership with SDHC and R&V Management, Luna at Pacific Highlands Ranch will include a mix of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom units for households earning up to 60 percent of San Diego’s Area Median Income, currently $54,540 a year for a family of four. The development will also include two manager’s units.
SDHC authorized the issuance of up to $24 million in tax-exempt Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds toward the development of Luna. The San Diego City Council, sitting as the Housing Authority of the city of San Diego, approved the bonds, which represent approximately 80 percent of the total development cost of $29.7 million.
Residents at Luna will benefit from a community room with a common area kitchen, a lounge and work station, on-site management, and laundry facilities.
Financing partners for the development also include Bank of America and Banner Bank.
Epstein Family Foundation Pledges
$1 Million to Support Veterans Center
The Epstein Family Foundation has pledged $1 million in support of Cal State San Marcos’ Veterans Center, the most significant gift in support of the university’s student veterans since the donation of the center building in 2014. Nearly $500,000 of the gift from the Epsteins will go toward support of programming, support services and scholarships.
“This gift from the Epstein family is truly the difference between accomplishing dreams and merely imagining them,” CSUSM President Karen Haynes said. “Their philanthropy is helping to move our university and our region forward.”
The Epsteins’ gift will provide funds to physically expand the existing Veterans Center and provide an endowment to fund critical programs to support veterans and their families.
The Veterans Center building opened in 2014, replacing a smaller facility that opened in 2008 in CSUSM’s Craven Hall. Staff is spread across campus due to limited space in the Veterans Center, which is less than 1,000 square feet.
While a groundbreaking date for the expansion has not been set, the project is due to be completed no later than Dec. 31, 2018.
City of La Mesa, Westmont Living to Hold
Groundbreaking for Seniors Residential Project
The city of La Mesa will hold a Sept. 26 groundbreaking ceremony for Briercrest of La Mesa, a 137-unit residential care community for the elderly. It will feature assisted living and memory care services and a range of resident amenities.
The 3:30 p.m. groundbreaking is the culmination of a years-long process by the city to develop a vacant, three-acre site adjacent to Briercrest Park and the Grossmont Health Care District headquarters. The senior living project is the result of a public-private partnership between the city and Westmont Living Inc., a developer and operator of senior living communities throughout the western U.S. Westmont will construct and operate the facility under the terms of a 55-year ground lease with the city.
Westmont will make annual ground rent payments to the city in exchange for rights to develop a senior living facility with the potential to be the crown jewel in their development portfolio, given its walking-distance proximity to park space; shopping, dining and entertainment at Grossmont Center, and medical services at Grossmont Hospital. Advanced leasing activities are expected to begin in mid- to late 2018 and the senior community is slated to open in early 2019.
Call it SDCCU Stadium Until 2019
The City Council approved an agreement Tuesday to rename what had been Qualcomm Stadium as SDCCU Stadium, with the San Diego County Credit Union bidding $500,000 for the naming rights. The credit union recently took over as the primary sponsor of the Holiday Bowl college football game that’s held in the stadium. The agreement, passed 8-0, will run to the end of next year. — Times of San Diego