Good Question: Why Are We Motivated By Incentives? – Yahoo News

Posted: June 3, 2021 at 1:47 am

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Jeff Wagner learned the answer starts very early in life -- but changes as we get older (2:44). WCCO 4 News At 10 - June 1, 2021

- Starting today, Minnesotans can earn a reward for getting the COVID-10 vaccine.

- It's part of a new state program aimed at getting more shots into arms. With so many states offering something similar, we wondered why are we motivated by incentives? Good question. Jeff Wagner learned the answer starts very early in life, but changes as we get older.

JEFF WAGNER: Did you hear about the state's incentive program for vaccines?

- We did. Not Minnesota's, but various other more popular ones.

- I think a popular one is Ohio. Everybody knows the lottery and the amount of money that you could have won.

JEFF WAGNER: A million bucks, in fact. That's what a 14-year-old boy--

- I'm definitely not quitting my job.

JEFF WAGNER: --and 22-year-old woman earned for rolling up their sleeves. Minnesota went the Minnesota route, meaning you could get a free fishing license, state fair admission, or state park pass, among other choices. Would it be nice to, like, retroactively get one of those because you already did it, right?

- Yes. So I'm already vaccinated. But it would be nice to kind of be patted on the back for that.

JEFF WAGNER: Why are we motivated by incentives?

FIYYAZ KARIM: It's a really good example of positive reinforcement and operant conditioning.

JEFF WAGNER: Fiyyaz Karim is a University of Minnesota professor who specializes in behavior health.

FIYYAZ KARIM: Looking at those external rewards as a motivation to change certain desired behavior.

JEFF WAGNER: Is this something we learn, or is maybe it instinctual in us?

FIYYAZ KARIM: It's actually a little bit of both because I think we are born innately with certain temperaments and personality styles.

JEFF WAGNER: Incentives can be taught in parenting techniques, like telling a child they only get dessert if they finish their vegetables.

FIYYAZ KARIM: Those different rewards helped to establish healthy routines and behaviors.

Story continues

JEFF WAGNER: As we grow up, Karim says motivation often comes from within, such as getting vaccinated because you feel it's the right thing to do.

- I think for us, being involved with health care, I think it's easier for us to think more so for herd immunity.

- For me, it's like how can we do the most for the people around us?

JEFF WAGNER: Your job could be considered incentive-motivated. If you work, you get paid. Hopefully, there's internal motivation as well.

FIYYAZ KARIM: As an educator and a teacher, I have a passion for teaching. And I enjoy having that positive change on others.

JEFF WAGNER: Thousands of Minnesotans missed the boat on getting a vaccine incentive. But there is one external reward everyone gets to enjoy.

- I thought the more people get vaccinated, the faster we can get back to normal.

JEFF WAGNER: Jeff Wagner-- So that normalcy, almost like an incentive in itself?

- Yeah, absolutely.


- Minnesota's incentive program is paid for through federal COVID-19 funding, which is similar to the lottery system in other states. If you would like to register to get vaccinated for a reward, look for the link attached to this story on our website.

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Good Question: Why Are We Motivated By Incentives? - Yahoo News

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June 3rd, 2021 at 1:47 am

Posted in Motivation