We are a society that puts a huge emphasis on rewards, and a school of psychology is based on it. In behavioral psychology, an American invention, there are two ways to stimulate a response from someone, either reward them or punish them. This two-way mechanism works with lower animals - dog and horse trainers, for example, use food treats to reinforce the behavior they want - so it should work with humans, or so the logic goes. If you want a certain behavior out of prisoners, for example, behaviorists advise giving privileges as a reward for obeying the rules and punishment for disobeying them.
Via paulgreen, Create Wise Leader, Bobby Dillard