The effects of gratification on our motivation levels

I recently came across an interesting video by Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist, which details the effects of gratification on our levels of motivation (video below).

What struck me is the fact that our motivation level, or willingness to engage in an activity that requires effort, can actually decrease if we promise ourselves a reward at the end.

Furthermore, rewards and gratification that we provide ourselves after an activity actually influence our experience of time in reference to the activity we are performing! To put it in simpler terms: when we promise ourselves a reward at the end, this actually extends the period of time during which we perceive the experience (of effort) to be occurring. This then leads us to draw less pleasure (associated with dopamine release) from the activity itself!

It seems that, based on the information presented, we can actually learn to associate more pleasure with the “effort” activity if we do not perceive the activity to be associated with a reward system.

What are your thoughts on this matter? To be honest, until recently, I was under the impression that gratification can lead us to be more productive, “keeping our eye on the prize” if you may. Research seems to prove otherwise though…


Thanks for sharing this @adamgwarek
I really like Dr. Andrew Huberman.
His thoughts on sleep are super insightful.

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