For questions relating to mechanisms that modulates behavior, either as an initiator, limiting influence, or sustainer.

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Which theories explain that given a choice of hard and easy tasks one would pick the easy one?

Which theories deal with cost benefit analysis? For example, given a binary choice of hard and easy tasks (eg. Picking low hanging fruit, stealing what is not bolted down, cheating on a test, taking a ...
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0answers
51 views

How do I make myself think before I act?

How do I suppress strong emotions in favour of doing the right thing?
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0answers
27 views

Provable ROI for call center rest periods?

Think you can help make life better for a nation of call center workers? At a large insurance company, I used to work in the call center for both Auto Claims and then Homeowner Claims, before I was ...
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1answer
40 views

Are people with high willpower more likely to succeed at keeping a diet then people with lower willpower?

I remember reading that the amount of measured willpower is uncorrelated with dieting success. On the other hand there are various popular article that suggest that there a link. What does the ...
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10 views

TOTE: Desired vs perceived state = Fight or flight

A key concept in 1960s control theory is TOTE (Test-Operate-Test-Exit)1: The concept seems to be neatly mapped to a modern cognitive concept: The brain constantly compares perceived state to the ...
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1answer
54 views

Why is it that some (yet not all) people may struggle to retain information unrelated to what they are interested in?

It seems to me that some people find it difficult to retain information that is not naturally salient to them. This isn't the case for all people, however. There exist people that will put in the ...
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1answer
83 views

Does limiting one's trivial decisions free more energy for bigger decisions?

I've read a number of times that "successful" people limit the number of trivial decisions they make on a day-to-day basis in order to have more energy for bigger decisions. A common example cited ...
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33 views

Is there any objective proof of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs [duplicate]

Abraham Maslow posited a whole lot of things in the theory that is called Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Among the things that he posited was the progression from more "basic needs" like physiological ...
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1answer
61 views

Is there a term for behaving to the opposite extreme of a way one has been forced to behave?

I believe I'm having so much trouble figuring this out because I'm not sure what question to ask. As a few examples, A child of an extremely religious family engaging heavily in behaviors considered ...
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31 views

Are Free Will and Motivation related?

I'm aware of numerous experiments, like Stanford prison experiment, Milgram experiment which indicate that humans can act in ways opposite to their best intentions. For the purposes of this ...
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58 views

Role of hormones in behaviour

I have a very basic understanding of how hormones affect behavior. Especially for Ex: when it comes to sexuality and motivation, I learnt from some sources(friends ans interesting conversations) that ...
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1answer
44 views

How to avoid laziness? [closed]

I'm a computer programmer, I was in very critical stage of laziness. I having some family problems in my childhood, I was also very bad in my studies even i think that "I need to study well and get ...
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2answers
217 views

Where does action based on thought originate within the human brain?

A rather basic question, but I don't see answer in Google, so here it goes: Humans have thoughts, sometimes these thoughts carry with them motivations to act, urges, cravings, etc. All these can make ...
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1answer
76 views

What's the optimal way to space out rewards in order to maximise motivation?

I'm working on an educational product, and we're thinking of introducing some gamified aspects to motivate students to use the product. One of these will be the concept of 'levels' - when a student ...
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0answers
62 views

What is the mechanism behind one's fascination in a topic or subject? [closed]

I've been reading about saliency and wondering about its relationship to human interests, particularly hobbies or fields of study. I am thinking that there are typically patterns in what kinds of ...
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3answers
238 views

Does motivation and interest correlate highly with IQ and can someone be smart but perform poorly in a particular field?

Suppose a person is considered intelligent based on his IQ score. For example, suppose Bob has a high IQ score and is very interested in pure mathematics. He would most probably excel in this field. ...
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1answer
111 views

Paul Ekman suggests that in near-accidents, fear motivates people to hit their car brakes. Is the fear response fast enough to do this?

Recall a time when you were driving your car and suddenly another car appeared, going very fast, seeming as if it were about to hit you. Your conscious mind was focused on an interesting ...
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1answer
179 views

Questionnaire regarding the motivation to be physically active

Does anyone know a questionnaire regarding the motivation to be physically active? That is, the motivation to move more (i.e. walk, cycle, run) and sit less on a daily basis.
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54 views

Are Pareto charts identified in the cognitive sciences (and for willpower in particular)?

I'm a layman when it comes to the cognitive sciences. I've read some number of popular self-help books, but not any academic journals. I've noticed that many times a book suggests some techniques for ...
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1answer
52 views

Is there a name for the psychology behind lowering your bets?

I'm having a hard time phrasing my question into words, so I'll provide an example: Imagine you ask someone how much it'll take to eat a worm. The person says they would eat a worm for \$20. Instead ...
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1answer
124 views

Are you more successful if you publicly commit to pursuing a difficult goal?

If you have an ambitious goal, does it help to publicly commit to that goal? For example, if someone is training for a long distance triathlon but doesn't know whether he/she will be able to pull it ...
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1answer
128 views

Is the depletion effect of self-control reliable?

Although a lot of research (Muraven, 1998) has indicated the ego depletion of self-control, a recent paper (Xu, 2014) claims that they fail to replicate the depletion effect: impaired performance in ...
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1answer
128 views

Is being less emotional a bad thing for motivation?

We know that emotions increase motivation. The stronger feelings, the more motivated we get to do something about it. We know that humans differ a lot in how emotional we are. In theory that should ...
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1answer
76 views

Is procrastination associated with overweight?

I came to think of how working out requires a will to "get things done". Some people are successful in their career while working regularly out at the same time, and some people are procrastinating ...
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0answers
17 views

Pleasure and reward [closed]

What exactly is pleasure? Is pleasure in some sense 'thoughts'? If you are given opiates, you will feel some sort of pleasure, even if you don't think about anything, but perhaps you are having some ...
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28 views

Is it sufficient to say self control eliciting the reduced ERN (error-related negativity) in cognitive control tasks?

The limited resource model of self control suggests that the exertion of self control can impair performance in subsequent cognitive control tasks (for details on the model, check this question. Most ...
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1answer
51 views

What is the relation between fun and motivation? Are they the same?

Are 'having fun in doing something' and 'being motivated to do something' the same thing? If not, how are fun and motivation related? Is there any formal definition on this? Would it be possible to ...
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295 views

“Need” vs “Want” in psychology

In marketing the terms needs and wants are usually used to refer to different concepts. It is not clear to me what exactly they mean. In psychology what are the definitions for needs and wants? What ...
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1answer
115 views

What are other methods to induce ego depletion besides using emotional videos and thought suppression?

Muraven and Baumeister (2000) proposed that self-control is a limited resource akin to strength or a muscle, to deplete this limited resource leads to subsequent self-regulatory failure. Ego ...
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3answers
163 views

Is a desire for a certain food related to the nutritional need for that food?

It appears that, from time to time, everybody has a strong desire for some specific food. I want to know whether this is the feedback of the body needing certain nutrients or whether it's purely ...
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1answer
84 views

The best “negative motivation” movies (or books, etc.)? [closed]

Requiem for a Dream is the best negative motivation movie I ever seen. This movie really helped me. And recently I started to notice that negative motivation is the only type of motivation that ...
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0answers
27 views

Are there any legitimate, and reasonable circumstances, where self-delusion is acceptable and/or required? [closed]

Can anyone point out a situation, based in real world events, or an entirely hypothetical situation, where it would be ok/right for someone to delude themselves into believing something false? For ...
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1answer
94 views

Evolutionary motivation for the existence of pleasure?

It seems like pleasure goes beyond needs. What is its purpose? Is it supposed to make you not do anything, because of how good you feel? Are there animals that don't feel pleasure, but only have needs ...
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0answers
39 views

What is the effect of income on an adolescent's reward response to monetary vs. social reward?

I am asking a question related to adolescents and their response to either monetary or social reward. What is the effect of income levels on monetary vs. social reward? Do higher income children ...
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119 views

Why does clickbait use numbers?

Around the Internet, especially in social media, we see examples of hyperlinks in a common format that has been cynically dubbed "click bait" or "link bait". The idea is that authors publish these ...
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2answers
135 views

Why do we have so many wishes and desires?

Two years ago I started to learn (as self-education) evolution theory and neurobiology for to understand - who we are and where we came from? Now I see clearly that we are our brains, which are the ...
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0answers
15 views

Could motivational interviewing techniques be used without engaging with a counselor?

I've found lots of info on motivational interviewing for strengthening a person's own motivation and commitment to change, but I'm wondering if this technique has been adapted to help people who won't ...
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2answers
71 views

What is a good measure of self-regulation?

Is there self-regulation or self monitoring test. I am interested in measuring why people are not commited to their goals (quit smoking, dieting etc) so you can suggest another measure instead of ...
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0answers
120 views

Why do many people play Candy Crush without ever buying anything while some spend all their money on it?

I'm trying to understand how free-to-play games like Candy Crush Saga use existing knowledge of the human brain to keep people engaged and how they convince players to pay money for in-game goods. ...
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0answers
31 views

What does current research tell us about addictive behaviors in games?

I'm creating a game, and I would like to know what research I can consult to make it more "addicting". The game is a casual one, like Candy Crush, Angry Birds, etc
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2answers
129 views

Why do we find things fun?

One may cause to argue that Fun activities are solely based off psychological and physical identification with certain activities, but surely there is a deeper analysis on why we find things fun. ...
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2answers
123 views

Which is more likely to cause a person to devalue some other person?

Scenario: Mary and John are in a relationship. Elen is Mary's best friend. What will make Mary devalue Elen more? Hearing that Elen likes John (romantically) or hearing that John likes Elen? Let's ...
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2answers
84 views

How to apply different motivational theories to understand career orientation?

"What motivates you towards choosing the career/job orientation you have chosen? Discuss and explain with reference to three of the motivational theories discussed during the course". I'm used to ...
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2answers
239 views

What exactly is meant when it is said that only you can make yourself happy?

From Lifehack: Thinking that having a significant other will complete you. If you are not a whole person already, then having a romantic partner will not make you whole. Plus, it puts a ...
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4answers
768 views

How to change someone's beliefs?

I tried to change my brother's beliefs. He gets motivated by some bad ideas. Following my attempt to change his beliefs, his beliefs have become even stronger.
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1answer
67 views

What is the psychological function of nostalgically reenacting activities from before we were born?

I'm asking specifically about nostalgia for a time before you were born, e.g. the Blitz parties / 40s tea dances that have big in the UK for the past decade, or the popularity of Speakeasy-themed bars ...
3
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1answer
162 views

How and why can movies take us out of our everyday physical reality and into a fantasy world?

Have you ever experienced that feeling after watching a really great movie (somewhat like a dramatic one) that after watching the movie, you got carried away? Even though the movie ended well in a ...
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1answer
1k views

What makes some things more fun than others universally?

Recently I have been presented with the question, "What makes something addictive, and why are some activities more addicting than others?" This question intrigues me, as logically, the answer would ...
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1answer
87 views

How to achieve homeostasis and cognitive closure, while living with more infinite unanswered questions and concrete explanations?

In this question we learn, curiosity (and scientific research in general) is a cycle that arises when one connects dots when analyzing new answers, which most of the time leads to more unanswered ...
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2answers
425 views

Does law of attraction have psychological basis? [closed]

A common claim in business and self-help seminars is that optimists are luckier. Is it true that optimism leads to greater success in life? If so, what part of the brain support this so called ...