Wednesday, June 8, 2011


In Bruno Mars' new hit song, The Lazy Song, he perfectly demonstrates aspects from Chapter 10 (Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation). According to our textbook, people generally prefer immediate incentives over delayed incentives. When the amount of the incentive and the delay of the incentive are combined, people generally prefer the small immediate incentive over the larger delayed incentive.

Bruno Mars describes what he feels like doing on his lazy day - which is nothing at all. He states that tomorrow he'll do some P90X (among other activities) with a really nice girl. He clearly picks the small immediate incentive, relaxing on his couch in his Snuggie, rather than exercising today. Bruno Mars also says that he might get a college degree and make his dad proud but his dad is just going to have to wait. Again, he chooses the small immediate incentive.

My best friend is the epitome of someone who chooses small immediate incentives over larger delayed incentives. She will procrastinate writing a paper until midnight of the night before it's due. She would rather be Facebook stalking people or catching up on episodes of TV shows (the small immediate incentives) she's missed. I always get a text message at midnight before we have a paper due saying "I'm just starting the paper!" - I get stressed out for her! No matter how hard I try, she always tells me she works better under the pressure of knowing that it needs to be done. Maybe the stress of working under so much pressure puts her in something like the perfect zone of optimal functioning but for school work.


  1. I just wanted to tell you that I thought you had a great post about procrastination. I am a very big procrastinator and its not a good thing at all. As many times as I've said to myself that I wasn't going to do that anymore, i still do. I always tell my daughter to never wait till the last minute to do things and she turned to me and said "but why mom, you do".I couldn't even argue with her because she was right. I do understand what your friend is saying about working under pressure. It definitely has it's advantages. I seem to work well under pressure as well although most times i have no choice with my profession and working in a hospital. Now if i could only teach my daughter not to be a procrastinator then i would be happy but i don't see that happening any time in the near future.

  2. I like that you used Bruno Mar's song. I wish I could have one of those days some time soon.
    I know plenty of people that wait until the last minute to do things and most of the time it all works out. People like usually know their limits in regards to time, such as your friend. She most likely has it all figured out about how long it takes her to write a paper. I have procrastinated with many things but for the most part I just can not be that way on an everyday basis. I would drive myself nuts:)

  3. I hate to admit it but I am the same way as your friend! Every time I have to write a paper, it turns into a great time to clean my room and do laundry (and that usually takes longer to do than doing the actual paper). It's like the procrastination monster takes over my body! Honestly, I think people like us do work better under pressure because I do get good grades, but sometimes I can't help but think that if I started earlier, I could have gotten a better grade.

  4. Or maybe I just rather do work that doesn't take much thinking... AHHH what's wrong with me?!?! I'm so lazy!

  5. A great post about immediate/delayed incentives. I thought you brought out the aspect that people would rather have small rewards along the way rather than just one big one at the end of the task. It takes a strong well disciplined person to work towards one end goal. I think of Olympic athletes, who sacrifice so much in order to one day to have a chance to tryout to compete for a spot on the Olympic team, which is not even guaranteed. Those people are unique, because I think the majority of us need the small incentives to keep us motivated.
    I enjoyed the video, very entertaining, and it was a perfect example of the lack of incentive to be motivated.