July 16, 2016

What is the relation between mastery goals and intrinsic motivation?

Bieg et al. (2016) did a study to clarify the relation between mastery goals and intrinsic motivation. Let's first look at what these two concepts mean.

Meaning and importance of mastery goals and intrinsic motivation

Mastery goals are focused on developing competence. This is in contrast with performance goals which are focused on demonstrating one's competence in comparison with others. Why are mastery goals important? Because research has shown that they have many positive effects (in comparison with performance goals), such as choosing challenging goals, persistence, more interest, deeper learning, etc. Intrinsic motivation is the desire to do things which are inherently interesting, fun, exciting or otherwise satisfying. Intrinsic motivation is not only fun. It is also important because it is associated with positive emotions, interest, and deep learning.

July 15, 2016

Portugal decriminalized drugs use and what happened?

Drugs use can have a disruptive effect on lives of individuals and can also lead to many problems at a societal level. In 1971 president Nixon proclaimed a 'War on Drugs' which continues up to today. This war on drugs meant that the production, trade and use of drugs were seen as criminal behavior and were to be fought aggressively by the state. The emphasis in the war on drugs was on punishment and not on treatment of addiction. Has it been successful? Well, no. The annual costs are astronomic (they are estimated to be around $51 billion), prisons are packed and drugs use and all problems that go along with it have only gotten worse. Okay, but if such a strict approach does not work, what else can you do?

July 13, 2016

Is need for novelty the fourth basic psychological need?

We may need to keep on experiencing new things in order to keep on functioning well and feeling well. 

Self-determination theory has identified three basic, innate psychological needs - the need for autonomy, competence, and relatedness - which need to be fulfilled for optimal functioning. In a paper by González-Cutre et al. (2016) preliminary evidence is provided that need for novelty is also a basic psychological need contributing to optimal functioning. In two studies, participants completed a new measure to assess novelty need satisfaction, the Novelty Need Satisfaction Scale (NNSS), measures of psychological needs and regulation styles and psychological well-being.

July 6, 2016

Trump's words are a clear warning of what he intends to do: turn back civilization

Of the many things that can be held against Donald Trump (that very many things he says aren't true, his ruthless behavior in business, his many business failures, his unawareness of his own ignorance regarding policy matters, the fact that he's taking bragging to whole new levels, that he promises amazing things without explaining how he will achieve them, etc.) there is one thing that worries me most and that is his philosophy that fire should be fought with fire.

July 5, 2016

The 4 Progress-Focused Roles Model (4PR model)

In 2008 I developed the 4 Progress-Focused Roles model (4PR model) together with my colleague Gwenda Schlundt Bodien (with whom I also, 4 years ago, co-developed the progress-focused approach as a whole).

The model describes four different roles from which progress-focused professionals may work: helping, directing, training/advising, and instructing. It is a two-dimensional model which describes these four roles which apply in conversations.

July 1, 2016

Response to two tweets by Steven Pinker (on race and sex differences)

This week Harvard University professor Steven Pinker (photo) posted two tweets which I'd like to respond to. The first tweet is about racism, the second about whether sex differences exist.

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