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Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations
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Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations

(TED Books #13)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  2,082 Ratings  ·  273 Reviews
Bestselling author Dan Ariely reveals fascinating new insights into motivation--showing that the subject is far more complex than we ever imagined.

Every day we work hard to motivate ourselves, the people we live with, the people who work for and do business with us. In this way, much of what we do can be defined as being "motivators." From the boardroom to the living room
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published November 15th 2016 by Simon Schuster/ TED
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Amir Tesla
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Are you unsatisfied with your job?
Do you want to spark motivation among your employees?
This book might help.

The book
Dan Ariely the is a best-selling author and one of the pioneers of cognitive psychology. To the best of my knowledge, in this book, he's covered the most significant elements of motivation which I'll cover as we proceed.
I have always been fascinated by how often our intuitions lead us astray. Consider this case on motivation: Which one do you think is more motivating for employees
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very short book about motivation. Money is not the only factor in motivating people; sometimes it isn't even a major factor. The scientific evidence is clear, from psychological experiments, that usually internal rather than external factors are more important. People are much more motivated to work efficiently if they have a sense of purpose, that is to say, if their efforts have meaning and the end-products are visible.

All pop psychology books describe experiments, and this book foll
Tyler Hochstetler
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Why is my motivation sometimes strong and sometime lacking? I find myself wanting to do the things I should, and doing the things I should not. What is the formula for motivation? This book asks that question. Quick and to the point, Dan Ariely gave me an inkling of an idea about creating my own formula. Drawing from the insights of Victor Frankl, who wrote 'Mans search for Meaning', Dan showed me something..that motivation is complex, but pursing a life of meaning will give one the tools for da ...more
Alex Givant
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2017, paper
Small book full of ideas of what motivate us in different period of life.
Clarisa Doval
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Meh. I love Ariely and have read most of his books. This one felt pretty superficial; I guess, maybe because it is a TED book, it is meant to be mostly an introduction to the topic.
عبدالرحمن عقاب
(دان أرييلي) أحد أهمّ الكتاب في مجال علم الاقتصاد السلوكي behavioral economics ، و هو أيضًا أحد الباحثين فيه ممن يجرون الدراسات سعيًا وراء فهم السلوك البشري بأسلوبٍ علمي تجريبي.
يُناقش هذا الكتاب صغير الحجم من سلسلة كتب TED (الحافز( الذي يدفع الإنسان للإنجاز، ويناقش حقيقة هذا الحافز وطرق قتله أو إشعاله. يستند الكاتب في رأيه إلى الأبحاث والدراسات التي قام بها شخصيًا وفريقه البحثي، ويوردها بأسلوب وافٍ وواضح ابتداءً من بزوغ السؤال وانتهاءً بنقاش النتائج. ( غالب هذه الدراسات ذكرها "أرييلي" في كتبه ا
Atif Rahman
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Seems like Dan Ariely was in a rush to finish this book or maybe the 'motivation' wasn't truly intrinsic. The book does not built a case for motivation being all about connection, meaning and goodwill but rather enumerates a few anecdotal examples here and there.

The best part of the book is that it isn't repetitive or long to read but that doesn't speak much about the topic or the book itself. That being said, the overall zeitgeist on motivation is pretty established and this book doesn't compl
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am quite disappointed, found here too little of original thought, twist on facts, or playful language (presence of which in some cases can be an ok-enough substitute for food for thought for me). I did like Ariely's previous three books... I guess there was not enough time to gather good material this time.. Or was my disappointment simply a product of "proximity bias" (i read much more engaging book just prior to this one)?

Ghalia Turki
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn't feel like I was reading a book, I felt that I was talking to Dan, hearing his amazing stories and experiences and getting inspired. Motivation, as it's a human feature, is more complex than we think but it's spectacular as much as its complexity. I loved how the ideas in the book were supported by real experiments. His new perspective of motivation made me think about it differently. I've started to apply the ideas mentioned in Payoff since I started reading it and I already have good r ...more
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
فصل چهارمش یکی از جذاب ترین فصل هاشه
"چرا باید برایمان اهمیت داشته باشد که بعد از مرگمان مردم در مورد ما چه احساسی دارند؟ برای مثال وصیتنامه ها را درنظر بگیرید. بیوه زن ثروت مندی را می شناختم که بیشتر دارایی اش را به پسر نمک نشناسی بخشید که حتی به خودش زحمت نداده بود در مراسم تشییع جنازه شرکت کند. شاید آن زن می خواست از این طریق رابطه ی گذشته شان را بهبود بخشد در زمانی که خودش دیگر مرده بود."
این دومین کتابیه که پادکست استرینگ بوکس به سراغش رفته و من هم به جز فصل چهار به خلاصههای همون پادکست بسند
Mar 06, 2017 rated it liked it
It was fine, but largely a rehashing of what was in his other books. Nice quick summary for someone who hasn't read the other work.
Moshe Hoffman
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Payoff does a nice job documenting some interesting aspects of human passion and motivation, such as our need to feel that our work is appreciated, and our exaggerated opinions of our own creations. Ariely, as always, explains these phenomena clearly, and documents them cleanly in controlled laboratory experiments.

However, as is so often the case in behavioral economics and social psychology, his analysis takes only a proximate perspective--how things feel to us as humans, what we like and want
Apr 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Very quick read, it helps you get a better intuition on how people's motivations can be affected or invested in.
Mete Rodoper
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Dan Ariely has been of the leading scientist in the field of behavioral economics. He has written many books about irrationality aspect of the decisions we have been making. I am very interested in reading his work and have always been fascinated by his research. In this book, he again is able to convert his academic research into an easy to read book based on stories in different areas related to motivation. This book has 4 main chapters about different areas of motivation described around diff ...more
Craig Becker
Dec 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting book. He captures the essence of the book in the epilogue in this way:

The answer to the motivation question is meaningless because question is unclear.

Money is not the great motivating force most of us assume it to be in fact, sometimes it is a disincentive.

We are much more driven by all kinds of intangible, emotional forces: the need to be recognized and to feel ownership; to feel a sense of accomplishment; to find the security of a long-term commitment and a sense of shared purpose
John  Edgar Mihelic
Dec 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
When I saw that Ariely had another book coming out on social media, I immediately bought it since I am a fan of his work. When I got it, and saw how small it was and that it was branded a TED book, I was a little worried. I feel that the TED talk infrastructure trades on the novelty effect – show something that makes someone say gee-whiz and ignore the complicated understratum that makes up the bulk of a subject. Which is something that happens a bit here, but a 100-page book is better for depth ...more
Ryan Lackey
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a really short book (even shorter as an audiobook) which seems to be mostly based on Ariely's TED talk and some previous research. It's still good information, but not really novel if you've read all of his other work. Essentially he describes some of the unexpected facts about human motivation (we're less coin-operated than conventional economic theory predicts, and in some cases, cash is actually a demotivator, especially vs. other forms of reward).
Valentin Shvets
Feb 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
A collection of superficial and uninsightful personal stories with brief outlines of couple researches already extensively covered in previous books. The main conclusion: motivation is influenced by various emotions and studying it will be fun. I'm just glad this was a relatively short waste of time.
Alex Railean
This is an overview of the basic motivating factors that are applicable on a personal scale, as well as in relationships with employees and other people. Good stories, interesting experiments - this was a thought-provoking read.

Note: If you've read the author's previous books, some of the materials will not be news to you.
So much of this information is presented in more detail in his other books. This was a solid introduction to some of his interesting research on what motivates people. A quick read to help fuel much more thought.
Daniel Frank
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great insights from the brilliant Dan Ariely. For those familiar with Ariely's work, I don't think there is anything new, but it's such a short and fun read, it might be worth your time anyways.
My only nitpick is his understanding of Adam Smith's philosophy/thoughts are inaccurate and misguided.
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I really like Ariely's work but this book didn't contain any groundbreaking ideas, mostly high-level concepts and research I was familiar with from his past publications.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology, science
A TED "book". Very lightweight. Preferred the author's previous works which were more substantial.
Dec 25, 2016 added it
Short read with very interesting observations. Completely counterintuitive to what you think would motivate people.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Having read Dan Ariely's first two books "Predictably irrational" and "the upside of irrationality", I didn't learn anything from this book that is not covered by the previous two books.
Paul Froehlich
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Much of conventional wisdom about motivation is wrong, according psychologist Dan Ariely. In Payoff, he explains how motivation really works. The reason we should care is that “we are all part-time motivators.” All of us try to get others to do things, whether they are our children, employees, spouses, customers, friends, or people we encounter in everyday situations.

Motivation is not a simple rat-seeking-reward equation. Instead, "We’re motivated by meaning and connection because their effects
Al Young
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: business-book
What motivates us? It’s a pretty good hook for a book. Ariely uses some experimental research to find these answers. It’s not money. In fact, monetary incentives can de-motivate us. For example, if you pay more for hard work on a Friday, people are only can work hard on Fridays ( Kind of like the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% coupon we’ve come to expect).
It is that personalization and recognition that is what make those connections. A handwritten note goes further than a $20 bill. Ultimately, Ariely a
I'll give this 3.5 stars. It was a nice short read. And the author is a burn victim.


Knowing what drives us and others is an essential step towards enhancing the inherit joy and minimizing the confusion in our lives.

When we are acknowledged for our work we are willing to work harder and for less pay. When we aren't acknowledged we lose motivation. Acknowledgement is human interaction and is also like a gift from one person to another.

What to do to change the situation when it is impossible
I'm a fan of Dan Ariely and his ideas. This is kind of a survey of a topic Dan's interested in, but there's not a lot of clear and insightful conclusions here. Most of that is because the answer to "What really motivates people to do what they do?" is very complex and can't straightforwardly be explained.

What I mean is that much about motivation is not a linear thing, where a specific kind of motivation can always work for a certain behavior. It's context dependent, both on the situation in whic
Dan Lewis
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a quick read, familiar in theme for Dan Ariely fans. It is a little scattershot, but is perhaps a good introduction.

The most interesting parts for me related to motivation at work. I have been involved in an effort to inculcate and recognize Team Values. We are giving people Star Trek figures (I work in the Enterprise Software org of a rocket company).

It was nice to hear things I had long felt: that work is better when a lot of intangibles are present, and that trying to boil them down
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From Wikipedia:

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He also holds an appointment at the MIT Media Lab where he is the head of the eRationality research group. He was formerly the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Dan Ariely grew up in Israel after birth in New York. He served in the Israeli army and

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“These results show that when we are acknowledged for our work, we are willing to work harder for less pay, and when we are not acknowledged, we lose much of our motivation.” 0 likes
“The consultant experiment,” I continued, “showed that people dramatically underappreciate the extent and depth to which a feeling of accomplishment influences people.” 0 likes
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