5. Human Science and Incentives

5.1. Human Science and Incentives

Daniel Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, is one of the top behavioral economists working today. In a TED talk in 2012, he discussed some of his research associated with motivation and work.1 In this talk, he recounts a presentation he gave at a major software company in Seattle. His presentation was to 200 software engineers who had over the previous two years been charged with coming up with the “next big thing.” The week before Ariely’s talk, the COO had met with the engineers and told them to stop working on the project. According to Ariely, the group of engineers he spoke to that day were some of the most depressed people he had ever encountered. The research he ...

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