It won’t be boring, I promise! especially if you take out time from something important to read this

Today I’m going to tell you to not pay a person for social work. To give minimum rewards to people who participate in your study. I’m going to tell you that hazing will ensure loyalty to your social group from the new members. If you work for a small reward, you will like the work more. How’s that possible? Don’t people try to attract you to work for them by giving you huge sums of money? Don’t you prefer to do a job that requires minimum effort?

Before we go do some work that offers very less reward, or takes too much of our effort, we tell everyone that we don’t want to do that kind of a job. But after we have done it, most of us would say, ‘I really enjoyed that job/work/study I participated in’ or ‘It was worth the pains’. I say, the more the effort and/or the lesser the reward, the more you will like the work after you have done it.

This will also answer the ever so famous, “Why does everything else seem so interesting when you have exams?”

There is this thing in the studies of psychology called Cognitive Dissonance. [From Wikipedia, as they explain it so well, saves me time and effort] Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting cognitions (e.g., ideas, beliefs, values,emotional reactions) simultaneously.The theory of cognitive dissonance in social psychology proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements. An example of this would be the conflict between wanting to smoke and knowing that smoking is unhealthy; a person may try to change their feelings about the odds that they will actually suffer the consequences, or they might add the consonant element that the smoking is worth short term benefits.

It is cognitive dissonance that is responsible for the behaviour I was talking about earlier. I participated in a study, and they gave me Rs20 for it. My sister participated in the same, she got Rs500. A guy comes and asks each one of us how good that study/questionnaire was. There are greater chances of me liking the study than my sister liking it. The explanation: I left my work and participated in a study for a mere 20 rupees. Somewhere in my I don’t find this behaviour right. Why, in my sane mind, would I bother to do that? So I unconsciously tell my mind that the study was interesting, so that’s why I did it/it was worth it. Whereas my sister would think unconsciously that they had such a big incentive to lure people into the study because such a boring and dull study it was, no one would have come otherwise. If you don’t believe me, have a look at this: Festinger and Carlsmith 1957.
Same goes for something done with great efforts and pain. When I rearrange all the heavy furniture in my house, single handedly, at the end I say, “it was worth it”..and then add, “oh the house looks lovely now” and what not.

So when Lóreal sells you hair shampoos at exorbitant prices, it’s because you’re worth it!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Manish Gahalout
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 23:13:18

    and it wasnt. not even a little.:)
    cognitive dissonance. its quite intriguing.


  2. Manish Gahalout
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 23:37:56

    indeed. for some days, my plan has been to get on with a book on cognitive sciences by erich fromm, borrowed from a friend and i have been doing everything but start took up another instead…i think a larger part of our intellection to procrastinate something is somewhat has its roots in this dissonance, dont you think?


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