Themenstrang: »Gesellschaft«

Referent_in: Marina Minor

Tag/Zeit: Donnerstag, 13.9.2018, 13:00–15:00 Uhr

Who is motivating whom, why and wherefore? – A historical materialistic analysis and critique of current motivation research and application of psychological interventions

Recently Richard W. Thaler was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his conception of nudging and its contributions to behavioral economics. Nudging is not only used in particular psychological interventions to motivate people or initiate a behavioral change but also by several governments to save expenses through influence on the behavior of the populace. Another current popular technique applied for motivating people and increase productivity is gamification: the application of game-design elements in ‘non-game’ contexts. Nudging and gamification will be discussed as examples for motivational techniques within psychological research. To understand their meaning, implications and problems in relation to the current society, they will be discussed against the background of motivation theory and the societal-historical development of motivation as a research object. It is argued, according to Holzkamp-Osterkamp (1975), that motivational research within bourgeois psychology evolved as a historical-societal necessity with the initial purpose of facilitating the exploitation of the working class and making workers act willingly against their own (class) interests; novel motivational techniques emerged indeed from the ‘worker science’. What has changed until the present, is that motivation techniques are used not only in labor context, but in all thinkable areas of life. It should be discussed, to what extend these are serving as effective and convenient forms of social control and cohesion within neoliberalism. To what extend does the development of and research on nudging and gamification facilitate the domination over the individual and hegemony over the working class; thus contribute to the stability and reproduction of current social, political and economic conditions?

Ferienuni Kritische Psychologie 2018 using Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz adapted by Stefan Meretz
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