‘Effort Aversion’ – That’s A Thing Now


I reference the term ‘Brain Porn’ in my book ‘The Brain-Based Boss’. There’s quite the pattern that once-over-lightly readers of business or self-improvement content give disproportionately more attention and credence to articles that contains pictures of a brain. You’ll see this in blogs and LinkedIn and blogs on LinkedIn. It’s the internet equivalent of obeying the instructions of men in white lab coats wearing spectacles and carrying clipboards. I was trying to have my cake and eat it too because I probably did a fair bit of that in reading whilst researching my book.

This article goes into the Brain Porn dilemma in detail and I have to agree:

“Let’s be clear that the science of neuroscience isn’t the problem. The problem is the way that reporters hype the study findings as explanations of common human behaviors which the public then swallows uncritically.  Of course, these over-zealous science writers wouldn’t be able to make a living at what they do if the public weren’t ready, eager, and willing to buy their stories.

As it turns out, many of us would prefer to use “bad brains” as explanations for bad behavior rather than fault the choices we deliberately make.  When in doubt, blame your amygdala. You didn’t become enraged, flirt with the wrong person, or cheat at cards. Your lack of cortical inhibition, not the devil, made you do it.”

I also expressed amusement at some of the things that get researched and, even more amusingly, get funding. Reporting the blindingly obvious sort of thing – like ‘Tall people have higher levels of satisfaction at reaching things on shelves.’ It’s nice to have our assumptions validated but shouldn’t some of this research money be directed towards curing cancer or finding out why supermarkets still sell mandarins that are not easy-peel when easy-peel mandarins exist?

Worse still in my view are the findings that end up with natural human experience and traits being classified as a ‘condition’ which eventually a multinational pharmaceutical corporation will find a cure for, once they whip up a media frenzy hyping the public into being no longer able to exist with their ‘asymmetrical nostril hair syndrome’ (ANHS) which has now found its way into that ever-thickening book of physical and psychological conditions, the name of which I cannot be bothered looking up.

But the good news is that my laziness at not being bothered to look up that book now could be on the verge of being cured, because laziness might not be my fault. Might be genetic. Apparently. ‘Effort Aversion’ – that’s a thing now.

About Terry Williams - The Brain-Based Boss

I'm all about engaging people and helping you engage yours to influence behaviour to improve results - at work and at home. Maybe you're a manager, a salesperson, a leader, a parent, a presenter or an event organiser? You need to grab your people's attention, create some rapport, be memorable and influence behaviour change. How can we do that? I'm originally a trainer by trade, turned manager, turned comedian and partway back again. Author of 'THE GUIDE: How to kiss, get a job & other stuff you need to know', I write and speak about how to engage people, be they employees, family or yourself. How can we connect with people’s own internal motivations and help them use their own inner passions to drive towards productivity, success and happiness? And hopefully have a few laughs along the way... As a trainer facilitating learning and development in others, I find myself drawing on my own extensive business experience. I specialise in the delivery of high impact, customised training solutions for organisations that are serious about improving the performance and lives of their people.

Posted on September 9, 2013, in Employee Engagement and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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