Measuring an Activity Makes it Less Enjoyable

flickr photo by avrene https://flickr.com/photos/enerva/14296912543 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

A new study shows us something that many in education have suspected for a while: when you measure it, it can take the fun out of it.  The Atlantic has a quick read on this new research.

“It’s not clear which parts of our measurement moment will prove faddish and which will stick. But in the meantime, new evidence suggests that when we do measure things, we might not enjoy them as much. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research seems to indicate that measuring an activity, whatever it is, decreases people’s motivation to keep up with it.

In other words, it proposes that the more you quantify something that’s rewarding for its own sake, the less likely you are to enjoy it—and the less likely you are, too, to do more of it. Across a series of experiments, Jordan Etkin, a marketing professor at Duke University, found that people’s intrinsic motivation to do something—whether it be coloring, reading, or walking—declined once it was measured.”

Read the entire piece here.

 

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