This could be a question for parenting SE, but I am looking to understand the mechanism, so I am looking for a core answer from a psychological perspective; without all of the cultural noise that comes with parenting techniques etc.
A 5 year old child is struggling learning to read and write, for whatever normal reason for that age. So they are losing interest in going to school and or doing school/home work. One option is to provide one on one supervision/encouragement and giving a small food reward‡ for say each letter or word written correctly.
My (simple) understanding is that Dopamine facilitates the 'get up and do something productive' drive, and we have dopamine released when we eat food. Or in cave man terms, Ug want's Dopamine hit. Ug get out of cave, hunt down some berries, Ug gets dopamine reward. Ug not die of boredom/hunger today.
Unfortunately in modern society with fridges and infinite scroll on Facebook this mechanism had been short circuited.
So will rewarding academic work with food help build the mechanisms for reward and help study concentration skills as a person gets older; or will this strategy short circuit and create an unhealthy dependency on food when studying/ loosing interest in study once they have had something to eat?
What needs to be done to make this strategy effective, with positive long term outcomes?
‡ Lets assume the food is moderately healthy e.g., raisins, peanut butter on celery, pieces of fruit. Lets also assume the food is partly randomly given, so that the student doesn't always expect a reward, and loses interest as the first time they don't get a reward (Tip I heard for dog training).