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  • Whether you are trying to lose 20 pounds, get that promotion at work, or quit smoking, sticking to your goal isn't an easy task - after all, 45% of people drop their New Year's resolutions after a month.


  • So why is it so difficult to keep motivated?


  • And how can science help us achieve what we're after?


  • In one MIT study, students were given two types of tasks. In the first they had to hit 2 keys on a keyboard as many times as possible in 4 minutes, and those that did it the fastest would receive money.


  • For some, the reward was $300 while for others, only $30.


  • Interestingly, performance was 95% greater in the high $300 group, highlighting how money can be a motivator.


  • But in the second task, the same students were asked to solve a more complex math problem, and this time, those offered the high reward performed 32% slower than the small reward group.

    但在第二項任務中,學生們要解一道困難的數學題,這次,高獎金組別的速度卻比低獎金組別慢了 32%

  • This is known as the 'distraction effect'.


  • When we are given a task that requires problem solving, economic or emotional pressure can cause focus to shift to the motivator, ultimately dividing your attention and reducing performance.


  • When we look inside the brains of individuals, fMRI scans reveal that people who complete a challenge for fun, and people who do it for a reward show similar activity throughout the brain.


  • But interestingly, if those offered a reward the first time are asked to participate again for no reward, scans show a decrease in activity in the anterior striatum and prefrontal areas; parts of the brain linked to self-motivation.


  • It seems that rewards may cancel out our natural sense of play.


  • So how does this apply to you? Well, it turns out that 'play' is the strongest motivator for sustained behavioural changes.


  • It makes sense that we stick with enjoyable activities, but considering 67% of gym memberships go unused, it seems most of us are picking the wrong activities to achieve our goals.

    從事自己有興趣的活動是合理的,但考慮到 67% 的健身房會籍沒被使用過,表示我們選了錯誤的活動來實現目標。

  • You might burn the most calories on a treadmill, but not if you stop going after 2 weeks. Pick something you actually like doing!


  • Your goal itself also matters; a study investigating reasons for exercise found that those focused on weight loss spent 32% less time exercising than those who said they want to feel better in day-to-day life.

    你的目標本身也很重要,一項調查運動員音的研究指出,為了減肥的人花在運動的時間,比為了讓自己活得更好的人少了 32%。

  • And while it's always good to have a positive attitude, optimism may not always be the best strategy.


  • In a study of 210 females trying to quit smoking, participants who only imagined major success with few obstacles were less likely to reduce cigarette consumption.

    在一項針對 210 位試圖戒菸的女性進行的研究中,那些只幻想自己不用經過阻礙就能成功的受測者,降低戒菸量的可能性更小。

  • Positive thoughts can often trick your brain into thinking you've already achieved the goal, giving you a sense of reward and reducing motivation.


  • But this doesn't mean negative thoughts are good.


  • Imagining a goal coming true, and then thinking through the obstacles that stand in your way is the best mixed approach. This is known as 'mental contrasting'.


  • Finally, try and avoid the 'what the hell' effect. This behaviour was first addressed when researchers gave dieters varying sizes of milkshakes, from small to large.


  • And then offered them ice cream afterwards.


  • It turns out, those who had large milkshakes also ended up eating more ice cream because 'what the hell - I've already ruined my diet, I might as well go all out'.


  • Anticipating that you will have some bumps along the road to success whether it be a fitness goal, quitting smoking or work aspirations will bring you closer to making your goals a reality.


  • Want some tips for motivation with short term goals? Like that assignment that is due tomorrow?


  • Check out our latest AsapTHOUGHT video on the best tips to overcome that lazy feeling.


  • Link in the description.


  • Special thanks to Audible for supporting this episode and giving you a free 30-day trial at "".

    特別感謝 Audible 贊助了我們這集節目,提供你們在 三十天的免費試用期。

  • This week we wanted to recommend the book 'No Sweat' by Michelle Seger, which translates years of research on exercise and motivation into simple ideas that aim to empower you out of exercise failure! You can get a free 30-day trial at "" and choose from a massive selection! We love them as they are great when you're on the go.

    這星期我們想推薦 No Sweat 這本書,作者是 Michelle Segar這本書集結了長年以來對於運動跟動力關連性研究的精華,幫助你不再失敗。

  • And subscribe for more weekly science videos!


Whether you are trying to lose 20 pounds, get that promotion at work, or quit smoking, sticking to your goal isn't an easy task - after all, 45% of people drop their New Year's resolutions after a month.


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用科學方法讓你做事更有動力! (The Science Of Motivation)

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    Yin Nam Mo 發佈於 2017 年 08 月 29 日