Does capitalism really work?

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After reading about motivation in the textbook, I decided I would like to know more about it so I did a quick internet search. I found an animated video of a TED lecture that blew my mind.


At the core of this talk, was the lecture's assertion that Operant Conditioning fails to motivate the 21st century employee. He sited a study which concluded that as long as tasks involve only mechanical skill, bonuses work as they would be expected (higher bonus = higher productivity). However, when any cognitive skill is needed in completing the task, larger rewards actually have been proven to lead to poorer performances. According to the lector, Because the average 21st century employee, at some level, has to think abstractly while at work, the predominant business system which incentivizes top performances with top monetary rewards is extremely ineffective!

The study cited in this presentation suggests that higher monetary rewards are negatively associated to performances. How can we incorporate this data into our society to increase productivity?

My favorite blog was Zombie Ants! because it connected a current fad (Zombies) to a naturally occurring phenomenon - mushrooms hijacking ants' CNS.

My next favorite blog was Photobooth, Facebook - Show Me the Beauty! because the title was short and sweet. It was catchy enough to get this blogger to read on.

My third favorite blog was How much sleep is enough sleep? because it gave me a great excuse for oversleeping commitments and staying up all night; I'm physiologically different than my older counterparts!

Interested in watching the aminated lecture? Check it out at:

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Very interesting idea Pete. I am not aware of any studies that have tested this idea but it does make sense.

A great book on motivation that you might want to check out is called "Drive" by Daniel Pink.

Based largely on Deci & Ryan's concept of people wanting to feel autonomous, competent and connected to others.

Jobs that provide satisfaction to those kinds of needs typically see high levels of performance and satisfaction.

It is well known that monetary awards motivate people to initially take action but usually are poor at keeping people truly interested in the long run.

People end up doing something purely for the money and loose sight of why they enjoyed doing it in the first place.

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This page contains a single entry by PETE! published on November 5, 2011 3:32 PM.

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