informIT: Choosing to Perform Well
May 23rd 2011.
“Recently, motivational psychologists have come up with various models to answer these questions. Many researchers maintain that one of our basic needs is autonomy. If we feel we’ve freely chosen to do something, we are happy to do it, and we perform better. Experiments by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan of the University of Rochester suggest that even when subjects are forced to perform a task that is intrinsically pleasurable, they find little satisfaction in it, and they don’t do a very good job. Conversely, if subjects freely choose an unpleasant task, they gain satisfaction from carrying it out, and they perform well.”
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By Pat Brans