Those who value excellence and hard work generally do better than others on specific tasks when they are reminded of those values. But when a task is presented as fun, researchers report in a new study, the same individuals often do worse than those who are less motivated to achieve.
From research published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, reviewed on @PhysOrg: "Those less motivated to achieve will excel on tasks seen as fun."
High achievers were not the folks we had in mind when we designed #getupandmove.
Nope, to be quite frank, we were thinking of couch potatoes (or more accurately in our cases) computer chair couch potatoes who like fun interesting things but are easily bored by routine.
This means we built for people like us - not thinking we'd also attract interest from regular runners who 'level up' and use hyperactive sites like Skimble, RunThere, DailyMile, Nike+, and Livestrong.
But, amazingly, these A players showed up and started moving. And lo and behold, they started getting others to move with them.
In the GUAM movement ecosystem we have found these folks to be some of our most active challengers.
Contrary to some recent research (http://www.physorg.com/news183125915.html) the most 'empathic' and sensitive of our "Type A" superusers also seem to be naturally *modifying* their challenges to appear fun to those who are not freaky about working out for 2 hours a day.
After all, most of us using getupandmove.me *KNOW* the people we are challenging (within 3 degrees of separation).
The beautiful thing about a getupandmove.me challenge is each user brings to the platform two intrinsic motivators: Their existing and desired level of fitness and their existing and desired level of fun.
The unconstrained nature of the way we designed the unscripted challenge format makes both users take responsibility for their actions, but ALSO for their motivations.
This means when 'confronted' with a GUAM challenge, each user just naturally thinks about what motivates them to move, whether it's a fun-seeking, social reward sourcing, or competitive mindset. And then they seem to tap on their existing mental model to get the challenge done.
We then combine that with extrinsic social motivators that enable users to tap into the motivational forces of friends and family - relationships, after all, may be the best Rx for preventive health...are communities and tribes nature's perfect medicine? And can we 'design' personalized medicine using social networks as the drug delivery system of choice?
I think we can. I think we are.
But what I think doesn't matter so much. YOU are our Darwins. Follow us on Facebook to find out how we're doing and help shape the next evolutionary versions of getupandmove.me.
We're babes in the woods of behavioral economics. And while getupandmove.me originated as a simple game, I'm finding one thing constant - fun+social works as a formula for encouraging healthier individual behaviors. For me, for my family, for my cofounder, for my friends, and I hope for you.
Now excuse me - speaking of fun, I have some pole kicks to deliver...:)