Carrot or stick?

 Carrot or stick?  Behaviour, Motivation, News  Comments Off on Carrot or stick?
Dec 052014

88346f5c6aWhat motivates people to cooperate in collaborative endeavors? “First carrot, then stick”. Tatsuya Sasaki, mathematician from the University of Vienna, has put forth for the first time ever a mathematical proof of this process. The study is recently published online in the “Journal of the Royal Society Interface”.

The new study establishes that the best combination for incentives and punishment that promotes cooperation are in the form of “First carrot, then stick”. The mathematical proof shows how the combined sequential use of reward (“carrot”) and punishment (“stick”) promotes cooperation in collaborative endeavors, such as protecting social commons and maintaining mutual aid.

Rewards and punishments are the most tried and true approaches when trying to promote cooperation in collaborative endeavors. New research, in terms of evolutionary game theory, is examining a mixed policy of reward and punishment. In contrast, previous studies have only focused on either reward or punishment. As is well known, incentives can be costly and can be adjusted depending on a situation.

In this paper, Sasaki and his colleagues have taken a different approach and investigated what happens when maximizing evolutionary forces towards cooperation. Through game-theory analysis, the study finds that the best approach is to first reward minor cooperators, and then when a critical mass of cooperators is reached, completely switch to punishing free riders.

How is this applicable to contemporary issues? Take automobiles as an example where this hybrid approach can be implemented. Those who currently drive powerful gas-guzzling vehicles should switch to different engines and fuels that are more environmentally friendly. Sasaki and his colleagues mathematically show that a “first carrot, then stick” policy can drive cooperation toward a specific goal. “We have optimized the adaptive dynamics under a centralized incentive system. Therefore, fascinating future work would investigate how and when individuals voluntarily delegate the incentive control to a central authority”, says Sasaki.

Source: University of Vienna

Can love make us mean?

 Can love make us mean?  Behaviour, Motivation, Worth Noting  Comments Off on Can love make us mean?
Nov 062014

Empathy is among humanity’s defining characteristics. Understanding another person’s plight can inspire gentle emotions and encourage nurturing behaviors. Yet under certain circumstances, feelings of warmth, tenderness and sympathy can in fact predict aggressive behaviors, according to a recent study.

Kelly McGonigal tells Google about Willpower

 Kelly McGonigal tells Google about Willpower  Motivation  Comments Off on Kelly McGonigal tells Google about Willpower
Jun 012012

Neuroscientists talk about how we have one brain but two minds. We have a mind that acts on impulse and seeks immediate gratification, and we have another mind that controls our impulses and delays gratification to fulfill our long-term goals. We face willpower challenges when the two minds have competing goals. Learn what influences us

Visualize and manifest…..does it really work?

 Visualize and manifest…..does it really work?  Motivation  Comments Off on Visualize and manifest…..does it really work?
Jun 092011

 Vaisualise and manifest - may not work say psychologistsIt’s a trusted tool in the self-help armoury – visualising yourself having achieved your goals, be that weighing less, enjoying the view atop Everest, or walking down the aisle with the girl or boy of your dreams. Trouble is, reams of research shows that indulging in positive fantasies actually makes people’s fantasised ambitions less likely to become reality. Why? A new study claims it’s because positive fantasies are de-energising, writes Christian Jarrett in the British Psychological Society blog.

They "make energy seem unnecessary" say Heather Kappes and Gabriele Oettingen.  "By allowing people to consummate a desired future", the researchers explain, positive fantasies trigger the relaxation that would normally accompany actual achievement, rather than marshaling the energy needed to obtain it.

Jun 062011

Birds do it. Bees do it. Even little kids picking strawberries do it. Every creature that forages for food decides at some point that the food source they’re working on is no richer than the rest of the patch and that it’s time to move on and find something better. It even happens to us as we surf the web, and maybe it happens in relationships too?

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