What makes us feel good about our work? | Dan Ariely


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What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work. (Filmed at TEDxRiodelaPlata.)

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49 thoughts on “What makes us feel good about our work? | Dan Ariely

  1. 確かに、そうだなあ。

     中学校の頃、多分、中学1年生の時だった。校庭の片隅に花壇を作ったんだ。天気の良いけだるい夏の日の午後、中学校の担任の先生が指導をしてさ。最初はだるいし全然興味がなかった。しかし、ひとりひとりが一株の花を受け取ったんだ。名前は忘れたけど赤い小さなつぼみがたくさん付いた花だよ。そんな花を土の中に植えたとき花に愛情が湧いてきたんだ。自分の花だ、ってさ。丈夫に育つように植えた場所の土を上から手で撫ぜたのを記憶している。

     人間は自分のものだと分ると大切にするんだ。

     思えば確かに、日本が良くならないのは日本を自分の国だと思っていないからなんだ。日本国民がさ。だって、北朝鮮に拉致された拉致被害者をひた隠しに隠していた日本と呼ぶ国を自分の国だと思う国民の方が可笑しい。嘘ばっかり付いている国を自分の国だと思いたくても思えない。

     でも、何とかしたい。こんな噓つき国家と、そんな噓つき国家を素晴らしい国だと言っている噓つき国民をさ。日本と呼ぶ国を真に素晴らしい国にして自分が自分の国だ、って言えるようにする為にさ。

     そして、この話者に限らないけど欧米人の実力にはいつも舌を巻いてしまうよ。実に説得力のある裏付けられた実例があり話のしかたにバランスが取れていて無理がない。日本人はどうだ。AKB48だ。何だか分らない。こんなのがまかり通ってしまうんだ。多くの日本人が話が出来ず建物の影に体を隠し、顔半分、目だけを出して不気味な声でこんな事を言う。

     「・・・お前・・・朝鮮人だな・・・。」

     もう、不気味を通り越しているよ。一体、日本人は、どうしたいんだろう。でも、欧米人にもあるだろう事は日本人にもある。まだまだ、日本人にも心の優しい人もいるし、配慮のある事が出来る思いやりを忘れていない心ある人もたくさんいる。

     平成29年7月6日(木曜日)晴れ 27℃ 午後05:00 世田谷区より。

  2. Dan Ariely understands the importance of meaning at the work place but doesn't know enough about capitalism. In capitalism how you feel only matters if profits are affected. Otherwise you don't matter. In fact, if there is a profit to be made by killing you, you will be killed.

  3. I had this one class at this community college where we're given the task to write a report and create a presentation within 2 weeks. It's a group work and worth about 30% of our final mark. We put full effort into it putting at least 20 hours of work every week. We submitted our report and presented in front of the class, after a few days or so we have gotten our marks and our report back. One thing we noticed is that our written report wasn't checked at all and we are marked based on our presentation. We had the same teacher the next semester, the attendance of the class decreases as weeks goes by and students seem to care less about the projects and assignment that his giving as they're not being evaluated.

  4. uh oh. he said the naughty no no word “MARX” therefore he is a dirty commie and you should disregard everything he says because marx was a dummy whose critiques of capitalism are completely invalid because capitalism is perfect and sacred.

  5. Ahahaha, awesome guy, incredible researcher and amazing talk, but his jewish accent + "hey, just before you leave, if you are interested, they (the kids) are for sale." Too much political incorrectness and it was amazing, ahahaha!

  6. My eyes watered up when I thought about what would have happened if this experiment would have included a test where the people were told that once they built them they would go permanently on display somewhere a lot of people would see.

  7. We loved this sentence from Dan "By getting people to work harder, you actually got them to love what they're doing into a higher degree". Great video and thought-provoking ideas on "meaning" "efficiency" "talent".

  8. Around 7:50… there is an exception…that is, IF I am building something for the sole purpose of having a toddler nephew destroy it (for the pure joy of the destruction) – I can build many many bionicles while watching him destroy with great joy the one I just built.  The exception is if there is meaning in the destruction.

  9. I respect the distinction that Dan Ariely is making, but I disagree with his conclusion being absent of the discussion of the distribution of the profit from all of that extra productivity. 

    In fact, what he proposes has contributed to the labor violations present in many start up companies in tech and in my own industry, Visual Effects. I’m not saying Mr. Ariely is proposing the violations, I’m saying human nature ensures it, and he should address that. 

    Admittedly it happens when, in lieu of actual payment, the incorporation of meaning, ownership, pride, identity, etc is preached to the worker as to the reason for staying late, working longer hours, etc. 

    So the worker ends up putting in as much effort as if he/she owned the business, but he/she never shares proportionality in the profit sharing, the surplus value. The CEO still makes tens if not hundreds of times more than that worker. He omits the whole second half of Marxism of cooperative ownership of the business,  As the Lowel Mill girls said: where those who run the mills should own it.  It was a criticism of capitalism where the money goes to a small elite where the accumulation of wealth get concentrated simply out of greed, leading to the society problems we have today like corporate greed, slave labor and political control. 

    Yes the motivation shouldn’t just be payment. Its nice to do what you love.  But with a track record of stagnant wages, its a bit out of touch to preach how to get yet MORE productivity out a worker that is already undervalued. I’m not just talking about any worker, look at the headlines about large tech companies with billions in the bank suppression wages of the so called “free market’. Folks have talked about how one should hire “workaholics” for a startup. What Mr. Ariely is, in effect, showing you is the psychology behind that. What some people call Behavioral Economics, some others may call manipulation. 

    In fact what he describes isn’t marxism. Its whats called a sick system. Theres a great Essay on it.  Look up "issendai sick systems" to find it. Here’s a summary:

    Sick Systems:

    "A psychologically manipulative set of behaviors used to keep people dependent on you."

    "A set of rules used in a large number of dominant or authoritative relationships – including governments, dictators, religions, cults, lovers, kidnappers, families and employers. Theres techniques you can use to achieve your goals using the “sick system” rules."

    There are four main rules to creating a sick system:

    • Keep them too busy to think.
    • Keep them tired.
    • Keep them emotionally involved.
    • Reward intermittently.

    "Why maintain a good workplace with challenging work, rewards for talent, initiative, and professional development, an excellent work/life balance, and good pay", which demands a lot from you to maintain, if you can create a sick system; where your people can get stuck, and its all legal.

    These can be an unconscious creation, or deliberate from personality types that range from narcissistic to full blown sociopaths. The disconnect can go as far as folks bragging about it or thinking they should be admired for it. An example would be the Apple having billions in the bank, yet 20,000 of their Apple store employees are in a class action lawsuit for labor violations. 

    Here is how you maintain a sick system:

    1) Keep the crises rolling.
    2) Remind the people in the system that "things will be better when…" some impossible goal happens.
    3) Keep real rewards far in the distance.
    4) Establish one small semi-occasional success.
    5) Chop up their time.
    6) Enmesh your success with theirs.
    7) Keep everything on the edge.

    Qualities That Keep You in a Sick System:

    1) Loyalty
    2) Patience
    3) A strong work ethic
    4) Optimism
    5) Self-sacrifice
    6) A need to be useful to others
    7) Forgiveness
    8) Farsightedness
    9) Trust
    10) Hope

    Folks will always preach about creating the workplace for you, a place thats comfortable, a place where you are motivated, bring your dog, we’re like family.  Its Cult building.   Any talk of profit sharing for the fruits of your labor and many run for the hills. 

    I’m not saying that Mr. Ariely is advocating a sick system. My criticism of this talk is that its only half of the equation. Motivation is very important, but restricting how the surplus profit is shared, the other half of “feel good” Marxism that is often overlooked, is still an epic problem. 

    Google "Former LookFX Employees Tell Their Side vfx soldier” to see how such “loyalty” is paid off in some cases. 

    Thank you for reading this. 

  10. Life sucks. My buddy has started seeing a 10 simply because 60 days back he registered to a website named Master Attraction (Google it if you’d like to learn how.) I’m envious because I would like to fall in love as well. I’m going to have a look at this Jake Ayres man’s information. Strange point is, my friend previously had NO good fortune with females. How do you change that quickly? His lady’s like a model.

  11. How long have people been earning money online using this method? I ask because I downloaded ATM Home Earner and have made quite a lot online since downloading it. Its similar but a lot better in my eyes.

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  13. I'm not sure about the all "if there's not a capitalist system, there's no competitive system". The USSR had a stable economic and they went through a 50 years long war against USA, plus the other nations that were trying to take them down, such as Germany, Japan, Ingland, France, and so on.
    I think their competitive system worked within the USSR itself, and that's what got them up and increasing their economy for more than half a century.
    Although I'm not comunist, I just wanna point that out.

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