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

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Is desire for certain food anyhow related to actual need for that food?

It appears that from time to time, everybody occurs to have a strong desire for some kind of food. People also are attracted to kinds of food they didn't have in a long while (not so attracted to ones ...
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1answer
60 views

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

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
16 views

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

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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0answers
11 views

How does performance relative to others affect motivation and absolute performance?

Suppose someone is given performance feedback relative to others, for example via a ranking procedure like a leaderboard. Is it best for later performance and motivation to receive feedback showing ...
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0answers
17 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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51 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
105 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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10 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
54 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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72 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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27 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
60 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
79 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
63 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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0answers
19 views

What makes some people politically liberal and conservative about military drones?

Why do some people oppose military drone (e.g., unmanned aerial vehicle) activity while others support it? [Influences on military and political attitudes may also be of general interest. - Edit.]
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0answers
36 views

How does motivation and performance vary from day to day between mathematical and artistic activity?

Background: I've noticed that my performance in math class varies on a day-to-day basis, but I also tend to feel artistic on certain days (and enjoy playing songs on my guitar or writing poems). When ...
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2answers
144 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
229 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
56 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 ...
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1answer
93 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
330 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
63 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
206 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 ...
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2answers
78 views

Is it good to take playful breaks at work?

I read this Washingon Post article about groups that are trying to encourage play in "workaholic" adults. I'm curious if anything is known on the psychological effects of taking playful breaks at ...
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1answer
172 views

What is the neurological basis of maintaining self discipline?

Self Discipline, as defined in this meagre Wikipedia article as being as the ability to motivate oneself in spite of a negative emotion This is partly distinct from self control and willpower ...
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3answers
499 views

What causes a person to be curious, inquisitive and explorative?

Why do humans (primates) tend to be curious, inquisitive and explorative? They want to know things that they do not. They explore stuff in an attempt to find something new which makes them ...
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3answers
79 views

Does stopping hard tasks midway through negatively affect your chances of success?

When a person has embarked on an undertaking that is both unpleasant and important (a good example could be a 12 step drug treatment program), lets say they make progress, and then stall before ...
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2answers
91 views

What causes students not to be interested in problem solving?

Sometimes students lack the drive for problem solving. One might say that they are bored. However, is there a scientific account on what causes ignorance of problem solving, when they simply are not ...
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1answer
88 views

Learned dyslexia? adult predicament from childhood teacher´s incompetence?

I have a friend, over 30, who is convinced she cannot really read. Of course; she can read, but she struggles so much with sorting letters into words that she cannot absorb the content. Playing - say ...
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0answers
51 views

Why do certain activities seem to co-occur with well learnt skills?

I have found that when I do certain activities, while engaged with them, I am inclined to do other activities, as well, which come naturally and do not seem to break productivity of the first ones, ...
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0answers
98 views

Theories of Hunter/Gatherers in the 21st Century

Are there any theories or schools of thought that assume most humans still act as if they are still hunters/gatherers? Hunter/gatherer societies of today would still prefer to sit around and talk ...
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1answer
202 views

The Ben Franklin effect and cognitive dissonance

The Ben Franklin effect is the phenomena that if a person does a favor toward another person, there is an increased likelihood that the person will do another favor for that person. The same is true ...
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4answers
715 views

What is the difference between (and importance of) extrinsic vs. intrinsic rewards in gamification?

What is the definition of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards? Why are they important to, and what is their role in, gamification?
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501 views

The effects of casual sex on men

There is a lot of research citing that men are more physically primed for sex than women. The following article discusses this difference and other differences of strength and vulnerabilities between ...
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2answers
770 views

Why don't people read instructions?

Some people are very careless when reading instruction on a work task they've been given or in reading any other kind of text. They would skip some of the sentences, not get deep into other and ...
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2answers
21 views

Can rewards incentivise shortcuts to be taken which wouldn't be done otherwise?

With a rewards-based system, some may be so incentivised by these rewards that they end up losing the end goal of what is meant to be the aim of gamifying otherwise boring, repetitive activities. ...
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1answer
42 views

Has there been any research done that contrasts point-based and achievement-based gamification methods?

Stack Exchange is a good example of these two methods of gamification: Reputation Badges I am curious as to whether there has ever been any research done that defines and contrasts these methods? ...
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0answers
38 views

How does motivation relate to performance and to fun and to recognition?

Many studies indicate that for tasks that require cognitive skills and creative thinking, monetary reward does not work. Rather, we should give people purpose, autonomy and mastery to make them part ...
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1answer
85 views

How to get out of the habit of eating junk food?

What causes habitual eating of junk food? How can one get out of the habit of eating junk food?
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1answer
59 views

Could the basis of love be the expectation of a future benefit?

Say you meet an attractive person of the opposite gender (or of the same gender, as the case may be). You are attracted to this person because of one or more salient qualities, intelligence, ...
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67 views

Does winning the Fields medal decrease subsequent research achievement?

I just stumbled on this summary in Slate of a study by Borjas and Doran (2012, FULL TEXT PDF). To quote the summary: According to a new study by Harvard's George Borjas and Notre Dame's Kirk ...
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1answer
137 views

How effective is court imposed therapy?

People are frequently court ordered to some form of therapy, whether it be in the form of a course, group therapy or individual therapy. Some examples being; road rage, anger management, drunk ...
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1answer
141 views

What are the key predictive traits of therapeutic success?

In my answer here, to this question : Does hypnosis in any form for any type of disorder work? It brought up the valid question of why people quit therapy. Obviously, if the therapy is not helpful, ...
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1answer
94 views

Why do people tend to reply to only one topic when multiple topics are brought up simultaneously?

This is a situation more frequent in online conversations, where you can type many things before the other person has a chance to reply. Perhaps cognitive load, multi-tasking ability, have something ...
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2answers
715 views

Why do people press elevator call buttons repeatedly?

Many people, particularly those in a rush, keep on pressing the elevator call button despite the light clearly indicating that it was previously pressed, and the knowledge that such action will have ...
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2answers
165 views

What are effective strategies for increasing concentration and motivation when doing seemingly passive activities such as reading journal articles?

Background Unfortunately I am not a specialist in Cognitive Science I am just a regular CS student who has big interest in cognitive science. I want to share with you some interesting observation I ...
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1answer
134 views

What causes lack of energy? The relative importance of testosterone versus emotional, genetic, and environmental factors

Some people assume that males lack of energy because of low testosterone. I would think that lack of energy could be due to esteem levels, emotional abuse, low self-worth, and even genetics to some ...
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1answer
250 views

Is the desire to impress others a major goal?

Is the desire to impress others a goal of everyone? Does a person get a job, go to the gym, etc., to signal worthiness of another person's approval?
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2answers
245 views

Psychologically, how does volunteer work help the volunteer?

This question has intrigued me for a long time, ever since I experienced it first hand (and continue to do so). Some feel a compulsion to 'step up' and lend a hand to someone in need. An example, ...
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112 views

What is the reward mechanism for eating spicy foods?

I can eat pure sugar and pure fats and find it pleasurable thanks to the taste receptors; and salt to a lesser extent. But pure raw chilli products trigger irritation to the tongue, cheeks and nasal ...