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Why do we procastinate?

  1. Jul 30, 2007 #1
    Philosophically, I have noticed that the more we win, the less lazy we get so we don't procastinate as much. And the more we lose, the more we self-doubt and lose hope. Why? What is motivation fundamentally?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 30, 2007 #2
    winning is the motivation
  4. Jul 30, 2007 #3
    the human body and mind are adapted to only exert energy and effort for activities which directly result in survival: hunting/finding food/water/shelter- the vast majority of human activities in modern humans are NOT directly and many not even indirectly involved with survival- or like going to a job are several indirect steps removed from getting survival resources-

    so I would suggest that most humans are naturally reluctant to engage in most modern activities- the body will resist spending valuable energy on some activity which isn't immediatley/directly providing desired resources- we have to overcome natural conservation through willpower
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2007
  5. Jul 30, 2007 #4
    You could think about this from a cost-benefit point of view.

    We are motivated to solve a problem based on a perceived reward of some sort. I suspect that we perform a preliminary meta-analysis which results in an estimate of how much effort would be needed to get to the reward. This may be partly or fully subconscious, it seems to be in many cases in my experience. Anyway if the estimated cost is acceptable to us we are "motivated" to solve the problem.

    We try a strategy, if that strategy fails we may try to modify it or try a different one. Eventually as we invest more and more "energy" without progress our certainty of getting to the solution within a certain amount of effort decreases. It may be that we reach a point in this process where our meta-analysis of the effort expended vs the reward of success no longer appears worthwhile.

    If this is true then motivation is just a representation of our cost benefit estimate with regard to a particular goal. This way of looking at it certainly explains why we are more likely to be lazy when we don't like the reward very much. Most of us would rather go to the movies then clean spilled milk off the floor, even though going to the movie theater costs us a lot more in terms of time, money and energy.
  6. Aug 1, 2007 #5
    diminishing returns
  7. Aug 2, 2007 #6
    I'll tell you tomorrow :wink:

    Because they are unmotivated or lazy or both.
  8. Aug 9, 2007 #7
    A person who achieves a lot might become lazy. A person who achieves nothing might become motivated to achieve something.

    Don't undercomplicate things. ;)
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