One of my favourite teachers once told me: "Motivation is a choice." And, to an extent, that's probably true. You just have to be motivated to make that choice
AsapSCIENCE is back with their first video of the new year, and it's about a topic we could all benefit from being schooled about. Especially if you've got any New Year's resolutions still lined up.
Is motivation this magical force that allows you to do things, despite your body and brain protesting that it's much nicer to just stay in bed and do nothing? Or is it more akin to a chemical process that's benefitted our species since the dawn of time? As with many of these things, science isn't entirely sure where motivation "lives" in the brain, or whether it manifests in any single physical thing.
How do you test for motivation?
There is a substantial body of psychological research into the matter of motivation, including a study at MIT where students were instructed to press two buttons on a keyboard as quickly as they could. The test group was divided into two subgroups, and one was told that they could win $300 if they were the fastest, and the other was offered $30.
The former group performed remarkably better in the test than the latter, indicating that money can be a great motivator in this day an age. This was of course a finding that shocked and revolutionised our understanding of human nature for centuries to come.
Surprise: Money isn't always the answer
Anyhow, as reported in the video, these results didn't actually hold true for all different types of task. In fact, when the groups were tasked with solving a math problem, they actually performed worse among the higher reward group. Makes you wonder about the competence levels in high-paying jobs like banks, doesn't it?
(Actually, it shouldn't. That's not how behavioural science works.)
Get the low-down on motivation
Feel ... (here it comes ... get ready for it...) MOTIVATED to learn more about what it is that motivates us? (Thank you, thank you, we'll be here all weekend...) You cannot possibly go wrong in clicking "play" on this here AsapSCIENCE video. Who knows, it may save your January fitness goals!