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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Why we do what we do - an alternative to current reward/punishment theory

In a book that challenges authoritarian thinking about motivation, a distinguished social psychologist offers an alternative to current reward/punishment theory, which, far from anarchy, espouses our ordered, internalized sense of freedom, responsibility, and commitment.

If you reward your children for doing their homework, they will usually respond by getting it done. 

But is this the most effective method of motivation? 

No, says psychologist Edward L. Deci, who challenges traditional thinking and shows that this method actually works against performance. 

The best way to motivate people--at school, at work, or at home--is to support their sense of autonomy. 

Explaining the reasons why a task is important and then allowing as much personal freedom as possible in carrying out the task will stimulate interest and commitment, and is a much more effective approach than the standard system of reward and punishment.

 We are all inherently interested in the world, argues Deci, so why not nurture that interest in each other? Instead of asking, "How can I motivate people?" we should be asking, "How can I create the conditions within which people will motivate themselves?"

”An insightful and provocative meditation on how people can become more genuinely engaged and succesful in pursuing their goals." —Publisher's Weekly

About Edward Deci

Edward L. Deci, Ph.D., professor of pyschology at the University of Rochester, is director of its human motivation program. Richard Flaste, former Science and Health Editor of The New York Times, led the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1987.

If you want to buy the book, best price for Australians is from The Book Depository.  You can also buy from fishpond.com.au , The Nile ,   or Amazon

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