More than a century ago, psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson performed different experiences in an effort to find out two things about rats: how fast they could learn and what intensity of electric shocks would motivate them to learn fastest. Some of the results aligned with what most of us might expect, while others did not. When the shocks were very weak, the rats were not very motivated and, as a consequence, they learned slowly. When the shocks were of medium intensity, the rats were more motivated and they learned faster. Up to the point, the results fit with our intuition about the relationship between motivation and performance. But here was the catch, when the shock intensity was very high, the rats performed worse! Yerkes and Dodson’s experiment should make us wonder about the real relationship between payment, motivation and performance in the labor market. It showed that incentives can be a double-edged sword. Up to a certain point, they motivate us to learn and perform well. But motivational pressure can be so high that it actually distracts an individual from concentrating on and carrying out a task.
"In “The Upside of Irrationality,” Dan Ariely, a professor at Duke, gives us a tour of the irrational side of human decision-making and the science of behavioral economics. When it comes to our motivations, he writes, we are less like “hyper-rational Mr. Spock” and more like the “fallible, myopic, vindictive, emotional, biased Homer Simpson.” Given these frailties, Ariely wants to help us “figure out how we can get the most good and least bad out of ourselves” when making choices about our money, our relationships and our happiness." The New York Times
""The Upside of Irrationality is … highly personal. Though my colleagues and I try to do our best to be as objective as possible in running and analyzing our experiments, much of this book (particularly the second part) draws on some of my difficult experiences as a burn patient. [...] My journey provided me with some unique perspectives on human behavior." That is not to say that this book skimps on the research, but the increase of personal reflections makes for a well-balanced and accessible read." Inc.
"There’s a lot to like in The Upside of Irrationality for anyone interested in the quirks of human behavior and how that knowledge can relate to real-world situations." Neuromarketing
"Ariely’s book may be about behavioural finance, but it is also very personal. Starting with his recovery from serious burn injuries (a magnesium flare exploded next to him and left 70 percent of his body covered with third degree burns) and going on to look at his own experiences and behaviour, he gives the reader insights on why we react in certain ways in certain situations. He tries to get deep inside the minds of his subjects (and even readers) and experiment on their psyches to understand them." Forbes India
Some researchers suggest that IQ tests are not good at predicting success because they do not measure the right forms of intelligence or the right combinations to predict how well people will do in real situations. But even that more nuanced way of thinking about intelligence falls short as an explanation
Solving problems is hard. If a given problem still exists, you can bet that a lot of people have already come along and failed to solve it. Easy problems evaporate; it is the hard ones that linger. Furthermore, it takes a lot of time to track down, organize, and analyze the
Approached by someone who wants to achieve a specific dream, many of us offer simple advice: think positive! Don’t dwell on the obstacles, since that will only bring you down; be optimistic, focus on what you want to achieve; imagine a happy future in which you’re active and engaged; visualize how
We tend to think that when we make our own decisions, we do them fairly. We think that we understand the way our minds work and that we are the ones in control. But psychologists beg to differ. In this summary of Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald book, Blindspot,
In Factfulness, Professor of International Health and global TED phenomenon Hans Rosling, together with his two long-time collaborators, Anna and Ola, offers a radical new explanation of why this happens. They reveal the ten instincts that distort our perspective-from our tendency to divide the world into two camps (usually some version
We are usually quick to assume that there is a link between the magnitude of the incentive and the ability to perform better.
It seems reasonable that the more motivated we are to achieve something, the harder we will work to reach our goal, and this increased effort will ultimately move us closer to our objectives.
Motivational pressure can be so high that it actually distracts an individual from concentrating on and carrying out a task.
Thanks to improvements in internet technology and automation, manufacturers are allowing customers to create products that fit their individual idiosyncrasies.
This does not necessarily mean that companies should always require their customers to do the design work and labor on every product.
Our understanding of human attachment to self-made physical goods extends to our attachment to ideas as well.
Our tendency to overvalue what we create is a mixed bag of good and bad. Our task is to figure out how we can get the most good and least bad out of ourselves.
Adaption allows us to attend to the important changes among the millions that occur around us all the time and ignore the unimportant ones.
Let us talk about human “irrationality”, about our distance from perfection. I believe that recognizing where we depart from the ideal is an important part of the quest to truly understanding ourselves, and one that promises many practical benefits. Understanding irrationality is important for our everyday actions and decisions and for