iD magazine - - Body & Mind -

You can’t buy mo­ti­va­tion— for years mo­ti­va­tional speak­ers, work-life coaches, and psy­chol­o­gists have been say­ing this like a mantra in their sem­i­nars. “It’s a wide­spread myth,” says St­ef­fan Kirch­ner. He is con­vinced that a fi­nan­cial re­ward has a pos­i­tive in­flu­ence on mo­ti­va­tion. In fact, re­searchers at the In­sti­tute of Cog­ni­tive Neu­ro­science in the UK have found that the hu­man brain works faster even with a promised re­ward of just 50 cents. But what hap­pens in our brains when we come into con­tact with money? Neu­rol­o­gists can now con­firm: Rea­son and ra­tio­nal con­sid­er­a­tions play hardly any role in fi­nan­cial mat­ters. When we’re con­fronted with the prospect of money, the ar­eas of the brain that are re­spon­si­ble for emo­tional grat­i­fi­ca­tion as­sume com­mand. These emo­tional sys­tems gov­ern our be­hav­ior. Noth­ing else hap­pens in salary ne­go­ti­a­tions or stock mar­ket crashes, when greed and fear sud­denly push rea­son and un­der­stand­ing into the back­ground. All of this sug­gests that the idea of money leaves no room in our heads for ra­tio­nal con­sid­er­a­tions— in­stead, it is di­rectly ac­ti­vat­ing the mo­ti­va­tion cen­ters in our minds.

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