the true motivetion


The video from Dan Pink left me with into thinking.

The result of the study by MIT and the one in India is consistent with my own experience on test to some extent. I always did not get a good results on me test as I expected or my teachers expected. I am not nervous, or in a huge tension during the test. My heart beat normal, and my body temperature was normal. I feel like I was doing a homework at my cozy room during the test. Why I always did not perform well? Because I cannot concentrate very well. I was thinking about the reward if I had a high score rather than focus on solving the test problems. Bigger reward equals to bigger un-success if you fail. Of course the test is weighed much more in my final grade than a simple homework. I was intimated to fail on the test, so I got distracted during the test which led to poor performance compare to what I did in my homework or in class. The risk of failure constrains my mind and my ability to work out the problem.

Motivation is related to self-consciouness. If it is only money driven, it is easier to cross the ethical border compared with responsibility associated. Think about the Chinese milk scandal on Melamine in 2008. After consuming the formula milk powder with more melamine than national standard, six infants died from kidney damage with an estimated 54,000 babies being treated in the hospitals as reported by the Chinese government. Melamine can function as an addictive to increase the nitrogen content in milk, which was used to estimate the protein content by the milk industry at that time. The milk powder producer Sanlu Group was bankrupted after this breakout. The public think they deserved it, since this profit-driven company bought the milk added with extra melamine and they lack of supervision and management on the source of the raw milk. If they were a little more responsible on their product, if they did not lower the price of buying raw milk and indirectly to force the farmers to add melamine in milk diluted with water, if their motivation was more on to provide a health supplement to babies, like all parents will feed the most nutritious food to their baby, this disaster would not happen. This is a very sad lesson in Chinese food industry, and arose the public concern on food safety to an exceptional high point.

Hope my post can initiate your deeper thoughts on how true motivation drives us to the good outputs.


5 thoughts on “the true motivetion”

  1. It’s interesting that your own experience as a test taker supports the arguments Dan Pink makes about motivation, and how we respond to perceived rewards. It’s somewhat counter-intuitive, but important! I also think that reflecting on your own experience might help you think about more valuable ways to measure (assess) learning when you teach your own courses.
    And thanks very much for highlighting the ethical implications of motivations that don’t take context into account. The melamine scandal in 2008 was a striking example of this.

  2. Definitely can appreciate your views on tests. I remember in undergrad that I would stress so much for tests. It really wasn’t all that healthy and boiled down to not wanting to get a bad grade on the assessment. Failure was unacceptable. I wonder if there are ways to encourage our students to learn the material and assess them in a less stressful environment to get around the problems which we both had with tests.

  3. I can empathize with you feelings regarding test taking. In searching for an alternative to traditional examinations I have considered take home exams, group projects, and even one on one meetings to discuss the material. Exams are easy for professors (in my opinion) because they are objective. You get this question wrong, worth this many points, so on and so on..
    I don’t think the process of learning is quite as objective – it’s more of an abstract process. I don’t really know why the process of measuring it is so objective.

  4. I resonate with you. But the reason I don’t get good score on my tests were usually I did not prepare for the test enough… probably did not study enough. haha. Maybe the reward of getting a good score was not motivating enough.

  5. I concur, but I think that assessments sometimes aren’t measured correctly and if feedback isn’t included, it does make it difficult on the learner. Measuring is subjective and it makes it challenging to understand the accuracy sometimes, but it can have an impact on your intrinsic motivation, it’s like extinction in Operant Conditioning (I think).

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