Why Reading Drive Was Interesting, But I Regret Buying It

This text wants to be a book review. Let’s see how it ends.

I started reading drive after all the hype around it, after being referenced in prof. Werbach’s Gamification course, and after passing my filter of “be careful when the 1 star ratings are more than 10% of the 5 star ratings” on Amazon.

Drive introduced new concepts like Deci’s Self-determination Theory and structured my scattered knowledge of when intrinsic motivators work in favor of extrinsic motivators, and when the opposite applies. It talks about autonomy, purpose and mastery as being the three pillars of intrinsic motivation, and comes with a toolkit & reading list.

Knowledge related, I enjoyed reading the book. Even more, I enjoyed following up on the scientific research referenced. Just today I searched some using Google Scholar.

So it’s not the content inside, but the wrapping that put me off. 75% from the beginning you reach Drive: The Recap – which is just that, a recap. Proposed wisely in three forms: Twitter Summary, Cocktail Party Summary and Chapter-by-Chapter Summary. So actual information is about 3/4 of our book.

The second thing that I disliked – and it’s the second time it happened –  highlighting limit. Information highlighted for reference has been lost forever behind the “you reached the limit of your highlights” message.

In short: Drive has lots of interesting concepts that otherwise would be found just in professional books or white-papers. Drive is also a marketing case-study for selling a book. Just that it has way to much redundant information. Way too much. Better buy Ryan & Deci’s white-papers and books (if they would be made available in ebook format).


10 Mistakes in Behavior Change

From BJ Fogg & the team, here are 10 mistakes in behavior change:

  1. We rely on will power for long-term change
  2. Attempting big leaps instead of small steps
  3. Ignoring how environment shapes behaviors
  4. Trying to stop old behaviors instead of creating new ones
  5. Blaming failures on lack of motivation
  6. Underestimating the power of triggers
  7. Believing that information leads to action
  8. Focusing on abstract goals rather than on specific behaviors
  9. Seeking to change forever rather than for a short time
  10. Assuming that behavior change is difficult

There are also some other resources from the same author on his website:

The 5 steps of our brain’s reward and planning system

David D. Nowell writes in Psychology Today a post about the neuronal loops between different parts of our brain and how some of these loops influence “motivation, focus, time- and goal-management”.

According to Mr. Nowell, there are five cognitive elements that make up the reward-and-planning system, his denomination for the corticostriatal loop.

  1. Anticipate the end-goal
  2. Identify the tasks and subtasks Continue reading