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Why We Do What We Do: Understanding Self-Motivation Paperback – Aug 1 1996

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (Aug. 1 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140255265
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140255263
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Univ. of Rochester psychology professor Deci and Flaste, former science and health editor for the New York Times, here compile decades of experimentation and research on human motivation conducted by Deci and his colleagues. The product is an insightful and provocative meditation on how people can become more genuinely engaged and successful in pursuing their goals?in school, the workplace and relationships. Concerned with what makes people want to succeed, Deci conducted extensive studies demonstrating that when subjects are encouraged to pursue a task for its own sake, they do it better and enjoy it more than those told to do it for a reward or informed that they will be punished if they don't do it correctly. These results lead to his conclusion?amply illustrated through anecdotal and scholarly evidence?that authoritarian motivational strategies such as the reward/punishment systems commonly used in American schools and businesses alienate people from their work, make them less productive and leave them less fulfilled. Deci calls for "autonomy-supportive" behavior from those in positions of authority to encourage motivation emanating from within.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Edward L. Deci, Ph.D., professor of pyschology at the University of Rochester, is director of its human motivation program.
Richard Flaste, former Science and Health Editor of The New York Times, led the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1987.


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Top Customer Reviews

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I think this book was just amazing. I was more of a self help guy for a long time and only now did I switch over to books with more of a psychological backing and experiments to back it up. This is the perfect book because it is written in a way that everyone can understand and it is written by a person with credentials. I think the idea of autonmy was very helpful to me. Everyone has that moment in their childhood where they were gonna do something from the goodness of their own heart and then their parents tell them to do it and then you feel kind of angry about it. Autonomy is responsible for that and in that case you kind of lost it. When someone else tells you to do something you can either comply or defy but neither are something that you intrinsically want to do. This is a powerful book and i made some good changes in my own life. I resolved to be more autonomous and do more of the things I want to do and less of what I dont want to do. I use to pretend to pray with my family in front of guests and it was something i felt like i was obliged to do but it was not what i intrinsically wanted.

After I read this book I felt the motivation to change that behaviour. I resolved to no longer pretend to pray and I felt so much better as well and my family adjusted in a short amount of time. This is a great book and it is not just for people who are studying psychology.
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Format: Paperback
The book's explanation about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is very detailed and interesting. I really enjoyed reading it, and I can relate the concepts explained in the book with my daily experiences. Furthermore, the author(s) explained the concepts with simple language so that the book is very easy to understand. You don't have to be a psychology major to be able to enjoy the book.
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By A Customer on Dec 29 1998
Format: Paperback
This book will be a great addition to any teachers, managers, or parents bookshelves. It explores the psychology of intrinsic (vs. extrinsic) motivation and shows how supervisors, and other people in "one-up" positions, can be more than managers, but true leaders who foster autonomous, authentic growth and responsible decision-making in their subordinates. A must read for anyone who recognizes the lack of responsiblity and accountability in people today and would like to foster positive change in our schools, our companies, and our society.
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Format: Paperback
I found the book most helpful in understanding the subject of self-motivation. With case studies, it is easy to relate theory to practical applications. I find the application of the theories, concepts and ideas to a wide array of situations useful. The book is written in fairly simple manner that any lay person can easily understand the subject of self-motivation without prior knowledge of the psychology of motivation.
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