Monday, June 30, 2008

Compensate me not

Interesting side note on the latest edition of Fortune Magazine:

Did you know that a little financial compensation can actually make a person less motivated? Researchers at an Israeli university compared the standardized test results between students who were paid 2 1/2 cents for every right answer and students who were paid nothing. The latter group scored higher. The reason? Your brain approaches altruistic tasks with only the desire to feel as though you’ve helped, whereas 2 1/2 cents isn’t enough to satisfy someone’s self-interest. Likewise, you’re more likely to convince friends to help you move if you don’t pay them – unless you pay them at least the equivalent of a professional mover. (Pizza and beer, though, are fine.)

Jia Lynn Yang

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