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Middle English preisen, from Anglo-French preiser, priser to appraise, esteem

For lessons on the topic of Praise, follow this link.



Praise is the act of making positive statements about a person, object or idea, either in public or privately. Praise is typically, but not exclusively, earned relative to achievement and accomplishment. Praise is often contrasted with criticism, where the latter is held to mean exclusively negative statements made about something.

Most people are responsive to praise and will increase in self-esteem or confidence if a suitable amount of praise is received. Some psychological theories hold that a person's life is comprised largely of attempts to win praise for their actions. However, some people are less affected by or even averse to praise, for example people with autism or schizoid personality disorder.[citation needed]

Praise is an integral part of many religions, for example Christianity and Islam, which hold that God is a supreme being who is worthy of praise. The Biblical book of Psalms is a collection of hymns and poems, many of which praise Yahweh.

In Christianity, the word refers specifically to extolling or exalting God and his attributes. Praise can be a portion of a service of worship, a period of singing ("praising God") usually before the more formal part, hence the term "praise and worship" to describe the whole event.


  1. Kasari C, Sigman MD, Baumgartner P, Stipek DJ (1993). "Pride and mastery in children with autism". J Child Psychol Psychiatry 34 (3): 353–62. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.1993.tb00997.x. PMID 8463373.
  2. Can Adults Praise Children Too Much?, Ellen R. Delisio in Education World, 2000, accessed 23 December 2008
  3. Praise and encouragement, Raising Children Network, accessed 23 December 2008