Bestselling author Dan Ariely reveals fascinating new insights into motivation—showing that the subject is far more complex than we ever imagined.
Every day we work hard to motivate ourselves, the people we live with, the people who work for and do business with us. In this way, much of what we do can be defined as being “motivators.” From the boardroom to the living room, our role as motivators is complex, and the more we try to motivate partners and children, friends and coworkers, the clearer it becomes that the story of motivation is far more intricate and fascinating than we’ve assumed.
Payoff investigates the true nature of motivation, our partial blindness to the way it works, and how we can bridge this gap. With studies that range from Intel to a kindergarten classroom, Ariely digs deep to find the root of motivation—how it works and how we can use this knowledge to approach important choices in our own lives. Along the way, he explores intriguing questions such as: Can giving employees bonuses harm productivity? Why is trust so crucial for successful motivation? What are our misconceptions about how to value our work? How does your sense of your mortality impact your motivation?
About the Author
Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University, is a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. He is the author of Payoff and the New York Times bestsellers Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
"Rather than seeing motivation as a simple, rat-seeking-reward equation, my hope is to shine some light on this beautiful, deeply human, and psychologically complex world." Dan Ariely I truly enjoyed reading Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations by Dan Ariely. In the beginning, he opens up to you, the reader, by writing about an extremely painful and personal experience he went through. One night, Dan Ariely received a call from a woman who he did not know. She was calling him from the hospital, asking him to come help her because two of her teenage children had been badly burned in a fire. When Dan was a teenager, he had also been in an accident in which nearly 70% of his body had been severely burned. He went to the hospital to help the woman's children for months, and that is where he made his first realizations about motivation: 1 "Many of our motivations spring from trying to conquer a sense of helplessness and reclaim even a tiny modicum of control over our lives.” 2 “[Volunteers who help the chronically ill] demonstrate how our ingrained desire to believe that our lives have purpose beyond our life spans drives us to work extra hard, even to the point of our own suffering, in order to gain more meaning.” After he opened up about such a personal topic, I found it much easier to listen to what Dan had to say about how he believes motivation works. He talks about several experiments he does with people and discovers the best way to kill somebody's motivation, and he also reveals one of the most important things to do in order to motivate somebody else. If you want to learn how to, and how not to, motivate yourself and other people, I recommend that you read this book. This review was originally posted on my blog, along with other inspiring, thought provoking books. thewrightread.com
First book of his I have read after hearing Ariely speak on a podcast. A little disappointing and pedestrian, but still some interesting if not original, thoughts.