Why We Do What We Do

Understanding Self-Motivation

By Edward Deci; Richard Flaste
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780140255263, 240pp.)

Publication Date: August 1996

List Price: $16.00*
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Description
If you reward your children for doing their homework, they will usually respond by getting it done. But is this the most effective method of motivation? No, says psychologist Edward L. Deci, who challenges traditional thinking and shows that this method actually works "against" performance. The best way to motivate peopleat school, at work, or at homeis to support their sense of autonomy. Explaining the reasons why a task is important and then allowing as much personal freedom as possible in carrying out the task will stimulate interest and commitment, and is a much more effective approach than the standard system of reward and punishment. We are all inherently interested in the world, argues Deci, so why not nurture that interest in each other? Instead of asking, "How can I motivate people?" we should be asking, "How can I create the conditions within which people will motivate themselves?"

"An insightful and provocative meditation on how people can become more genuinely engaged and succesful in pursuing their goals." Publisher's Weekly.




About the Author


Pierre Franey was the executive chef of the legendary restaurants Le Pavilion and La Cote Basque in New York City and created the "60-Minute Gourmet" column in the New York Times. He has written Fourteen books, including his recently published memoir, A Chef's Tale: A Memoir of Food, France and America. Pierre Franey's Cooking in France is his third series for public television. He lives with his wife in East Hampton, Long Island, and New York City.
Richard Flaste spent twenty-eight years with the New York Times in various positions, including science and health editor and deputy editor of the Sunday Book Review. He has collaborated on Four other books with Pierre Franey, including Pierre Franey's Cooking in America. He lives with his wife in Brooklyn, New York.
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