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Do you really know how to motivate others?

For too long, there has been a mismatch between what science knows and what business does concerning motivation.

In 1949, professor of psychology Harry F. Harlow developed a 3 step puzzle to study the behavior of rhesus monkeys. In round one, the puzzle was simply put in the cages. Even though researchers did not give any instructions or incentives in this round, the monkeys began working on and solving the puzzle on their own.

In the second round, Harlow introduced food as a reward for solving the puzzle faster. The researchers recorded two significant outcomes after this round. When the reward was offered, the monkeys made more errors and solved the puzzles less frequently than they did in the trials without a reward.

What did this mean? The prevailing academic thought during this time period was there were two main drives controlling human behavior: the biological drive and the rewards / punishment drive.

Because the monkeys did not have a biological need to solve the puzzle and there was no reward or punishment for doing so in the first round, Harlow proposed a third drive. He called it Intrinsic Motivation.

Remember, the year was 1949.

Unfortunately, the scientific community did not openly welcome this third drive theory. Harlow eventually dropped the experiment and moved on.

Twenty years later, psychology graduate student Edward Deci began conducting experiments following Harlow’s lead. Keep Reading ….

Quote of the Week:

“Effective leaders, and the people and teams they coach, are ready to change when the situation demands it.” – Ken Blanchard

Have a Great Week!

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