Thursday, December 9, 2010

Intrinsic Motivation! Magical Unicorns! Serial killers!

Elizabeth Báthory was a Hungarian countess who tortured and killed over 600 girls and women in the early 17th century. Clearly this was an individual with some disordered motivations. Ideally we'd like to see her develop empathy and other pro-social intrinsic reasons for not serially brutalizing others, but if the best we could do were keeping her behavior in check with extrinsic reward, well I'd settle for that. I really wish her parents had offered her music downloads or candy corns or 20 minutes past-bedtime play for every day she could go without hurting someone. more at my Psychology Today blog

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