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April 2010

Motivation: What Does Work?

In my last post, I discussed the dangers of relying on rewards and punishment to motivate people. As Dan Pink (danpink.com) writes in his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, rewards and punishments often produce lower performance in work that demands creativity, innovation, and independent initiative. One of the studies Pink cites …
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The Perils of Pay for Performance

In the early 1960’s, a psychologist named Sam Glucksberg conducted an experiment testing the effects of extrinsic rewards on creativity. He divided his subjects into two groups and gave them a puzzle to solve that required identifying a new function for a common object (in this case a box with tacks in it). Half the …
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