Monday, January 25, 2010

High Achiever's Gasoline is Sugar in the Gas Tank of a Slacker

Slackers (lazy geniuses) choke when given the cues of high achievement, and should concentrate on enjoyment instead.

David DiSalvo - Neuronarrative - What Zaps a High Achiever’s Performance Lights a Low Achiever’s Fire

Window shopping at Eaton's department store.Image via Wikipedia
The study authors believe that when high achievers are primed to achieve excellence, the idea that a task is “fun” undercuts their desire to excel.  If something is enjoyable and fun, how could it possibly be a credible gauge of achievement?

Conversely, low achievers who are similarly primed with achievement words perceive a “fun” task as worthwhile. Not only is their motivation to perform improved, so is their ability.
The next paragraph is terrifying to me:

Playground in Firehouse Mini Park and, in back...Image via Wikipedia
This [...] says much about why one-size-fits-all educational strategies so often fail.  For students motivated to achieve excellence, making tasks entertaining may actually be undermining their performance. Likewise, for those not normally motivated to achieve, describing a task as urgent and serious yields the predictable result.
I am probably paying a terrible price for my attitude of looking at work as a long hard slog.

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