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

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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. ...
4
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1answer
210 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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0answers
523 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 ...
5
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2answers
350 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. ...
6
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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, ...
23
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5answers
2k 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 ...
2
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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
60 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, ...
4
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0answers
68 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 ...
15
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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 ...
6
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2answers
738 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 ...
2
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1answer
96 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 ...
6
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2answers
175 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 ...
5
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1answer
268 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?
7
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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 ...
8
votes
1answer
415 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
492 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
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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 ...
12
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4answers
294 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 -- ...
3
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0answers
63 views

Why does a clock counting down generate more pressure than a clock counting up?

Why does it seem that people feel more pressure with a clock counting down as opposed to counting up? Is there a specific term for this? Maybe counting down signifies some sort of loss whereas ...
3
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1answer
182 views

How strong is the need to belong?

Are there any studies that measure the need to belong? Does this need vary greatly from person to person or is there a tight deviation? What would explain why some have very little need to belong ...
7
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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 ...
4
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0answers
202 views

What is the cognitive basis for a sudden loss of confidence in social/professional interactions?

This question is similar to this earlier question, but from a very different viewpoint - what I am asking here is, what is the cognitive basis for a sudden loss of confidence? For example, if a ...
4
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1answer
120 views

What positive techniques can be used to motivate individuals resistant to common gamification techniques?

A previous question I asked dealt with Gamification techniques to encourage people to perform online workplace training. We are hoping that we can introduce some game techniques to lift the ...
2
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1answer
255 views

Can motivation for sex be transformed into productive motivation?

Sex seems to be a fundamental drive. To satisfy sexual desire, a person will often masturbate or have sex. What happens if a person abstains from anything sexual? Can this drive be "transferred" ...
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1answer
50 views

How many sparring partners should I choose for the most effective motivation in the gym?

Question is simple. Will I be more motivated with one good friend or with a group of the same interested people during group exercise? Does group size affect our internal motivation? (starting by ...
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2answers
279 views
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0answers
38 views

What kinds of long - term cognition/motivation tracking tools are there?

I'm aware that there are dozens of personal "activity trackers"/ pedometers like fitbit that are aimed for mass consumer and can log activity over extended periods of time. Are there equivalent ...
6
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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 ...
4
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1answer
62 views

Term for incentives working without conscious awareness

Is there a term that captures the idea that incentives work even when people deny their choices have been swayed by them? For example, an individual amazon book reviewer may deny that a recent ...
16
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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 ...
16
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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: ...
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 ...
20
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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 ...
5
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0answers
89 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 ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Are there already models for planning and goal-directed behaviour?

I'm interested in planning and how one is able to take action and plan ahead at the same time. I could imagine one could make observations and project these into the future using past experiences. The ...
3
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1answer
131 views

Why does it seems in similar cases sometimes classic conditioning happens and in others habituation?

I'm slightly confused and was hoping you guys could correct me. In classic conditioning as with Pavlov's dogs if we ring a bell just before a dog is given food, the bell will give the same response ...
4
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1answer
566 views

How can motivation be increased by improving brain chemistry with nutrition and activities?

I'm reading some material about motivation and brain chemistry. One of the interesting articles is "7 Ways to Increase Motivation by Improving your Brain Chemistry". I'm interested in a more ...
6
votes
2answers
446 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 ...
19
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2answers
931 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 ...
7
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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 ...
4
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0answers
89 views

When one activity makes you less distracted doing another activity? [closed]

Background: When I'm coding, I sometimes make tea, and as long as I'm drinking the tea, I find myself more focused. Drinking tea seems to make me focus more. Thus, it seems that while doing something ...
6
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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 ...
27
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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 ...
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 ...
8
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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
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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 ...
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 ...