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Why Pink?

Daniel Pink is a New York Times bestselling author who writes about business, motivation, and behavior. His TED Talk, "The Puzzle of Motivation," has over 19 million views and is one of the top 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time. 

In his book, "Drive: The Suprising Truth About What Motivates Us," Pink debunks the common myths behind human motivation. He explores current research in the social and behavioral sciences and explains how larger rewards and incentives often lead to poorer performance.

Watch the short videos below to explore his ideas.


Daniel Pink: The puzzle of motivation

RSAnimate: The suprising truth about what motivates us

"Instead of trying to answer the daunting question of 'What's your passion?' it's better simply to watch what you do when you've got time of your own and nobody's looking." -Daniel Pink


According to Pink, external motivators are not sufficient for complex tasks. In fact, they may hurt! When a task requires conceptual, creative or critical thinking, higher rewards can actually lead to lower performance. Many of the examples from Pink's book relate to business, but the same lessons apply to education.


Constant external motivators, like grades, crowd out our intrinsic motivations to know and learn. And when students are primarily motivated by grades, they may forgo a deeper engagement with the material and the learning process.


Alternatively, by stripping away the extrinsic motivation and creating more space for autonomy, mastery, and purpose, we can help our students to inspire themselves and engage more deeply in learning and the course.


So we created the Pink Time assignment and checked to see how it worked.

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