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

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How does one internalize the delayed reward of exercise?

For the past few years my target has been to work out every morning (resistance training). On average I have only made it to the gym around 2 out of every 5 mornings. On days on which I do make it, I ...
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1answer
83 views

Environmental cleanliness: what is cognitively fresh?

The concept of freshness has developed over the last century to involved a range of sensations and responses to tastes, smells and feelings associated with foods, the environment and cleaning ...
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1answer
132 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
49 views

Do “overview” sections increase learning outcome?

Suppose a math textbook contains an overview chapter for each part of the textbook. The intent of those overview chapters is to motivate and introduce the new mathematical concepts which will be ...
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4answers
107 views

Disprove that Humans are selfish

Psychological egoism, can anyone provide an everyday action which a healthy human mind would carry out which doesn't have the motive of preservation of the individuals own life at heart? For example, ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the term for human beings' tendency to obey without thinking?

I'm wanting to read more about a certain human behavior, but I am not sure what the proper term for it is, so some of the things I am finding aren't what I am looking for. I'm interested in how Humans ...
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1answer
70 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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0answers
18 views

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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60 views
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3answers
281 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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0answers
29 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
44 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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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
87 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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1answer
68 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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0answers
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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42 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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8answers
7k views

Why do people want what they don't have now?

There are many examples of people wanting what they don't have. For example, a single man may want to have a girlfriend, but after some time of having a girlfriend, he may want to be single again. Or ...
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1answer
134 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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2answers
2k 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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0answers
63 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
51 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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1answer
317 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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1answer
96 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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2answers
228 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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4answers
455 views

Have ideas of “gamification” been applied to education?

Wikipedia defines Gamification as "the use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences." Khan Academy has received attention (e.g., see this post) for incorporating ...
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1answer
81 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
63 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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1answer
196 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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1answer
114 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
129 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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3answers
326 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
180 views

Problems with using personal feedback to motivate participation in an online psychological experiment?

I am planning on running an online psychological experiment where participants must learn about various simulated environments and then make inferences about them. Because completing the experiment ...
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5answers
2k 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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1answer
229 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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1answer
249 views

Do the motivations and fears behind Enneagram have any scientific reasoning?

Background The Enneagram personality typing system defines set of motivations and basic fears for its nine personality types among people. The system seems to be aimed at personal development of a ...
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3answers
4k views

What makes people easily subscribe to pseudoscientific theories?

There are many theories/disciplines that have been categorized as pseudoscience in the scientific community. The list includes many things that are regularly even quoted in media like graphology, ...
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1answer
78 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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3answers
171 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
139 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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0answers
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
53 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
139 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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0answers
50 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 to improve performance. Rather, we should give people purpose, autonomy and ...
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0answers
21 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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1answer
64 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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0answers
29 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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0answers
337 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
182 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
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 ...