Who doesn’t love pizza?
That’s the question Dan Ariely implies in his upcoming book Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations. In the book, Ariely, a behavioral economist, recounts a week-long experiment in which employees working at a semiconductor factory were promised one of three things if they were able to assemble a certain number of chips per day:
- A cash bonus of approximately $30
- A voucher for a free pizza
- A complimentary text message of “Well done!” from the boss
A fourth group, serving as the control, received nothing.
Interestingly, a number of major outlets have reported on this study, correctly pointing out that pizza was the top motivator on day one–increasing productivity by 6.7 percent over the control group. This is somewhat surprising considering the cash only motivated a 4.9 percent increase…and actually resulted in a 6.5 percent drop in productivity for the week overall.
But what caught my attention was what turned out to be the biggest motivator of the week:
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