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

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5answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
260 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
36 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
347 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
163 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
0answers
87 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
57 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
113 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
326 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: ...
4
votes
1answer
430 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
367 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
298 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. ...
32
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
7
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0answers
72 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
votes
0answers
85 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
votes
0answers
93 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
218 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
2answers
364 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
433 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
755 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 ...
12
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1answer
356 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 ...
26
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5answers
5k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
285 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
321 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
237 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 ...
22
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
448 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
102 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
392 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
47 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 ...
18
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2answers
737 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 ...