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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

35
votes
3answers
3k 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, ...
29
votes
4answers
6k views

Does evidence support Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs?

Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs (shown below) is a popular concept and is often taught in basic psychology courses, and often less objectively taught in Business and Marketing courses. A common problem ...
27
votes
2answers
464 views

Do students exhibit rational behavior in determining study time?

While I teach some economics classes, I must admit to near complete ignorance on the optimization processes students undertake when studying. We often say that the "best" students are those who earn ...
23
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do higher incentives lead to lower performance for non-rudimentary tasks?

I have watched a number of times this excellent video where Dan Pink discusses the science of motivation. The video states that the higher incentives, the lower performance for non-rudimentary (not ...
20
votes
3answers
378 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there experimental support for John Perry's “Theory of Structured Procrastination”?

John Perry's theory of structured procrastination can be summed up as follows: Some people are inherently predisposed to be procrastinators across a wide range of domains Such procrastinators are ...
19
votes
2answers
928 views

Are autonomy, mastery, and purpose the most important motivators?

I've watched the amazing TED talk where Daniel Pink lays out the contrarian notion that greater extrinsic motivators are unimportant (and sometimes detrimental) in comparison to three intrinsic ...
17
votes
3answers
562 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
444 views

Do the neural substrates behind motivation to retain/dispose of property govern whether certain people view their friends and partners as possessions?

I'm trying to understand why people have sometimes have the ability to sever ties with valuable connections, e.g., people that have up until that time meant a lot to them. Colloquially, people use ...
16
votes
1answer
401 views

How long can a person stay happy, excited and motivated about something new?

I'm interested in learning more about studies or experiments that determine how long a typical person can stay excited about something new: ...
16
votes
1answer
248 views

How can I use gamification to encourage people to complete workplace training?

I am looking for ways to improve the likelihood people will perform mundane but required workplace training. I am looking into gamification techniques. My organisation requires that employees ...
15
votes
1answer
489 views

How long should I work before taking a break?

I'd like to work as effectively as possible for 8-9 hours a day, whether at work or studying. At some point in completing my major in psych I remember hearing about the importance of taking breaks ...
14
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
293 views

If people did not have to work, what would motivate them to work?

In industrialized countries around the world, "work" appears to be something that most people try to avoid as much as they can, dreaming of winning a lottery so they will never have to work again -- ...
12
votes
1answer
403 views

Modern replacement for Panksepp's “Affective Neuroscience” book?

Jaak Panksepp's book (Amazon link here) is a phenomenal and highly readable systems-based introduction to not only affective neuroscience, but the neuroscience of motivation in general. The problem ...
11
votes
5answers
390 views

Have humans always had problems with motivation and laziness?

I originally wanted to ask a question "Is there a drug for motivation or laziness", but google search revealed that people have been asking this question for years and there's no drug that is ...
10
votes
1answer
249 views

Are there any modern mechanistic theories of motivation?

I remember hearing about the old 'drive' theory of motivation in Psych 101, and despite continuing my cognitive science education for another 4 years, that's the last theory of motivation I've heard ...
10
votes
1answer
43 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? ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Motivation vs Goal Oriented Behavior

What's the difference between these two terms when used in the context of cognitive psychology? To the best of my knowledge, research on 'Goal Oriented Behavior' refers to the subset of motivation ...
9
votes
1answer
144 views

Does introducing an element of play, hunt, or competition make feeding more rewarding?

I have limited experience feeding wildlife, and while it's fun to watch and I'm sure fun for the wildlife too, I'm interested in just how much fun. Is there's any noticeable difference in the ...
8
votes
4answers
454 views

How is motivation influenced by chance of reward?

Sometimes, I work on a project where there is a chance that the whole project will become irrelevant before it is finished. I have noticed that even though I believe that the risk of this happening is ...
8
votes
3answers
52 views

How can you limit excessive risk-taking at the institutional level?

Some firms have a compensation structure that encourages risk-taking while insulating employees from the bad consequences of their decisions. This creates the potential for moral hazard. I started ...
8
votes
1answer
413 views

What is the relationship between Big 5 personality and the theory of planned behaviour?

The theory of planned behaviour is a popular model of human behaviour. I.e., Broadly the model suggests that intentions to act are a function of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural ...
7
votes
2answers
113 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
91 views

Any review articles on behavior change psychology?

I'm interested in behavior change and looking to apply its principals in order to design programs and services in healthcare. I'm most familiar with BJ Fogg's B=MAT model and his principles. But I'd ...
7
votes
0answers
108 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
321 views

Is procrastination greater when skill is low and rewards offer low status boost and does this lead to efficient task allocation in groups?

I am very interested in procrastination, because it is such a clear sign of lack of motivation. I have a hypothesis about why we procrastinate, which I would like to get tested by you. The assumption ...
6
votes
2answers
737 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
173 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
160 views

Are motivation and efficiency inversely correlated?

Observation: Motivation and efficiency seem appear to me to be inversely correlated for most people. That is, I know some people who tend to get very excited about a goal and take large amounts of ...
6
votes
2answers
253 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, ...
6
votes
2answers
102 views

Why does extrinsic motivation sometimes reduce intrinsic motivation?

Why is it that if a person likes subject X but then when he gets paid for it he doesnt like it anymore. What causes this?
6
votes
3answers
560 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
224 views

Name of the bias where someone really needs something after they find out it exists

I'm looking for the name of the cognitive bias that is expressed in the following story. A fellow coworker was instrumental in getting a 75 gallon fish tank installed in the lobby of the company that ...
6
votes
2answers
444 views

Can scary movies trigger fight or flight and why can a person enjoy this while another does not?

Essentially, I understand the release of adrenaline can be addictive and that scary movies and events are a safe way of experiencing the drama without all the actual mess. but However, if we are ...
6
votes
0answers
103 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do some people only work well under pressure?

It is common for people to procrastinate. Putting off tasks until the resulting deadlines get closer and there comes a point at which the person will fire into action. (whether this point leaves ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Desire to climb from evolutionary perspective?

When I go near a hill or dune, I feel desire to climb there and have a wider look on the surroundings. I know a lot of people who love mountains and want to climb higher and higher, but never have ...
5
votes
2answers
348 views

Why do people donate money to others engaging in activities for charity?

In the UK and elsewhere individuals often engage in activities (e.g., running, shaving your head, etc.) for the purpose of eliciting sponsorship. The money raised is then donated to charity. ...
5
votes
1answer
267 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?
5
votes
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. ...
5
votes
2answers
809 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
491 views

What motivates individuals to engage in cyberbullying?

With the advent and proliferation of social media, forums and q&a sites, there has been a matching increase in the incidents of online-bullying, or 'cyber-bullying, that goes beyond trolling. All ...
5
votes
2answers
79 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
79 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. ...
5
votes
0answers
88 views

How to teach parents to apply early childhood interventions to improve cognitive outcomes in children?

I've watched the "My Brilliant Brain: Born Genius" documentary where they refer to the Abecedarian Project, in that investigation, a group of children that were exposed to early childhood education ...
4
votes
4answers
163 views

What is a good book for studying incentives?

I am looking for a book, which gives a broad overview of all the main theories regarding incentives. Using this book, I would like to further my understanding of things like: Why slot machines ...
4
votes
1answer
369 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 ...