Category : Articles
Sub Category : Motivation
Today I did a psychological test with two of my siblings while I was babysitting. The goal was to get them not to fight while in each others presence.
My two subjects were Klaus and Evelyn. Both are two years apart in age and are always at each others throats and strive for attention where ever they can get it. Threats and rewards only get them to behave separately but not together as a team so this is the system I came up with. Keep in mind my sister who usually babysits was out and usually is very strict so there was no way for me to accomplish synergy between the two without psychology.
What I told them was that the individual person would get points based off of the other person's behavior and would lose points of they told on the other person. I never stated that either had to be good, just that they couldn't get the other person in trouble. After that I told them I wouldn't tell them their points, the reward, or even a goal. Only what they had to do to get there, and the results were stunning.
They sat down in the living room talking to each other with a movie in the background and constantly complimented each others behavior.
What I had created was an unbreakable pair out of polarizing personalities that want to destroy the other and I got an hour and a half of quiet.
Afterwards I looked back at the psychology of it all, why behave. Their attitude didn't effect their reward but they still both behaved anyways. All they had to do was keep the other person in line and they would've been fine. But they instead found more benefit being a team. If one failed the other would retaliate and they'd both lose a prize, but they saw that agreeing on something was a way to 100% chance the prize, but they didn't even know what they were going to get so how could they analyze it was of worth. Well, human desire. If someone has it then you do too. So naturally they assume the other wants it so they do too so they both want it. That's why I think this actually worked out, and they didn't even ask for much, I literally gave them one piece of chocolate and not a single complaint.
I really like the experiment because it shows that we as a society don't need to cry and blame others to enforce law. We don't need to threaten or reward for motive to take action. If my First grader sister and my kindergarten little brother can figure out team work then we can too. The more that we stand together the better we can become and the bigger impact we can make. If only two people figure out how to take one for the team.