Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You Think Better About Things About Which You Feel Positively

Wray Herbert in his blog, We Are Only Human, cites research supporting the idea that people develop "expert thinking" modes about things that interest them. Actually the experiment suggested that if you can generate positive associations with objects, people are willing to spend more time sorting those objects into finer categories. He concludes that the research may help explain the power of hobbies.
But more than that they sound a warning to those choosing jobs and careers. Hard work and mastery may give us a measure of satisfaction, but pleasure also drives mastery and expertise. There may be good psychology beneath that old saw: Do what you love.
Comment: That seems like good advice. I would note, however, that people tend to like doing things that they are good at, so there can be a "virtuous cycle".

Indeed, giving a job a chance may result in getting good at it and getting positive reinforcement, thereby starting that virtuous cycle that leads to expertise and job satisfaction.

On the other hand, I had some dead end jobs in my youth, working hard in unpleasant surroundings, and they encouraged me to work hard to get a job I would like better. JAD

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