As a freelance and consultant I do not expect to get praise. I get paid ;). My raison d’etre is to be used where needed, because of my skills (and persona).
But, since I started my own business I’ve received so much more positive feedback based on my deliverables. It could be so, that I perform better now, when I on my own. But my 20+ years of experience of my working me says: “No”.
It could also be that my assignment orderers are great leaders. Who understand what praise does to a person. The person who, independent of employment status, is the one who preforms the task. It could be that they simply are those kind of people. Make sure you find them. As managers or as orderers.