Daphna Oyserman, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and Oliver Fisher, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences
A high school science test, a Psych 101 course, long job applications: Sometimes it's hard to be motivated to succeed. As it turns out, how you respond to difficulty and ease can make all the difference.
It's human nature to notice or search out information that supports what you already believe and discount or avoid data to the contrary. The problem comes in when you don't recognize this bias is in play.
We're hardwired to love finding patterns, solving puzzles, mastering challenges. Business, education, health, marketing and other fields tap into these drives via game elements to help us hit goals or change behavior.
We are used to the idea that workers respond to financial incentives, whether it’s a bonus or wage increase, but it might be that bosses can boost workers’ performance by appealing to their altruism, not…