The Surprising Science of Motivation

Dan Pink gives one of the most Zeitgeist Movement relevant TED talks on the science of Intrinsic versus Extrinsic motivation.

This MUST WATCH 18min video explains the core reason for a Resource Based Economy. Intrinsic Motivation.

Dan Pink : The Science of Intrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic Motivation is the Reward and Punishment (also called carrot and stick) approach to getting people to do things. The best example is Money. Work harder and you get paid harder, screw up and you loose more, or even worse, the police get sent around.

The monetary systems use of Extrinsic motivation is only good for basic, mechanical tasks. i.e those that are easily automated.

Extrinsic motivation can :

  • Diminish performance
  • Crush creativity
  • Encourage cheating, shortcuts and unethical behaviour
  • Foster short-term thinking.
  • Become Addictive
  • Extinguish Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic Motivation is a renewable source of productivity which promotes creativity,  engagement and quite often collaboration. Companies like Google, and open source communities like Linux, and Wikipedia are powered by intrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic Motivation requires three main points :

Autonomy -The ability to choose what you are working on, where, when, how and with whom (you rarely get all those choices, but at least a couple of them).

Mastery -Doing tasks that can get you into a state of Flow. The task level is perfect, not too hard or two easy, but a notch or two beyond your current abilities.

Purpose – Doing your work for a good reason. Hint; money alone isn’t a good reason, if your doing your current job purely for money and would quit if you won the lottery then you have no Intrinsic motivation.

Resource Based Economy

Dan Pink talks about Intrinsic motivation working best when the concept of money is off the table. When people are paid enough that they can have the main things in life they need (e.g food, water, shelter, electricity, and the ability to share that with someone they love), then you allow Intrinsic motivation to shine.

By promoting a world of sustainable, renewable and abundant energy and resources, based on collaboration, open access to knowledge and automation of repetitive tasks, all using the scientific method to select the best possible options, then you end up with a world which shines with intrinsic motivation and no longer has a need for money. That’s when you have a Resource Based Economy.

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    • voly
    • October 4th, 2010

    well presented and clear. well done mr. pink. certainly relevant information to anyone researching resource based economy or alternative economics.