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Predictably Irrational - Basic Human Motivations

Dan Ariely | 18:44


Okay, so let's see, I want to talk a little bit today about human motivation, what gets us to care and act and be active. And as a starting point, especially being in Chicago, close to the University of Chicago and economics department of Chicago, I think it's worthwhile to think that our basic idea about human motivation is that we think about people like rats, people don't like to work. 

If we were left to honor code, what we would be doing, we would be on a beach somewhere, sipping mojitos. And the only reason we work is because we need to get money so that we can eventually sit on the beach, drinking more heaters. But the basic motivation is to enjoy leisure, and not work, and everything else is just a distraction from it in order. So we can do that. And it's a sign model. But you should ask yourself, Is this really a correct depiction of human motivation? Is this really what gets us to act and to do things?

And one challenge you can think about is mountain climbing. If you look at people who've climbed this, and mountains and the depictions and histories and stories, you would think this is the most miserable thing in the world. People are cold and frostbite, it's hard to breathe. It's difficult. I climbed the low peak in the Himalayas many years ago. And you would think that you would get to the top, and you would sit there and enjoy the view.

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