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Motivations

Mo­ti­va­tions are the rea­sons why we think and do the things that we do. Re­lated: De­sire, Values. Many ques­tions can asked about mo­ti­va­tion such as: i) what does/​could/​should mo­ti­vate peo­ple? ii) which stated mo­ti­va­tions are true mo­ti­va­tions for be­lief and be­hav­ior? iii) which mo­ti­va­tions are valid vs in­valid? iv) How does mo­ti­va­tion even work?

Note: This tag is a work in progress

See also:

Mo­ti­va­tion and Belief

In the con­text of be­lief, a valid mo­ti­va­tion for be­liev­ing some­thing might be hav­ing en­coun­tered Bayesian ev­i­dence for it; in con­trast, sim­ply wish­ing some­thing were true is a poor mo­ti­va­tion for be­liev­ing and of­ten re­sults mo­ti­vated rea­son­ing [link need].

The Li­ta­nies of Gendlin and Tarsky [links] are of­ten in­voked to elicit feels which mo­ti­vate truth-seek­ing be­hav­iors.

Mo­ti­vated Cog­ni­tion, Con­fir­ma­tion Bias, Rationalization

...

Stated vs Ac­tual Motivation

It is no se­cret that of­ten the rea­sons peo­ple give for their ac­tions and be­liefs are prob­a­bly not the real ones driv­ing their be­hav­ior. Is that your real ob­jec­tion? The work of Han­son....Sig­nal­ing...

The Cog­ni­tive Science of Motivation

While most peo­ple can rec­og­nize the feel­ing of mo­ti­va­tion, it is a much more com­pli­ca­tion ques­tion on how agents, par­tic­u­larly hu­mans, im­ple­ment mo­ti­va­tion.

In 20xx, Luke­prog wrote <Neu­ro­science Re­view>. Lengthy and thor­ough. Un­known up­to­date­ness.

Re­lated to the ques­tion of Mo­ti­va­tion is sub­agents. Is one’s over­all self ac­tu­ally made up of sub­agents each with their own de­sires. Kaj So­tala ex­plores this in his Mul­ti­a­gent The­o­ries of Mind Se­quences. CFAR tech­niques: In­ter­nal Dou­ble Crux are aimed har­mo­niz­ing be­tween the de­sires/​mo­ti­va­tions of differ­ent “parts” of one­self.

Align­ing Motivations

Prac­ti­cal Tech­niques for Motivation

Ha­bit­ual Pro­duc­tivity and Nate’s Writing

Some­thing to Protect

See also Mo­ti­vated Reasoning

Not for the Sake of Plea­sure Alone

lukeprog
11 Jun 2011 23:21 UTC
39 points
133 comments6 min readLW link

On Caring

So8res
15 Oct 2014 1:59 UTC
124 points
273 comments10 min readLW link

Some­thing to Protect

Eliezer Yudkowsky
30 Jan 2008 17:52 UTC
108 points
77 comments6 min readLW link

“Win First” vs “Chill First”

lionhearted
28 Sep 2020 6:48 UTC
65 points
17 comments3 min readLW link

Mo­ti­va­tors: Altru­is­tic Ac­tions for Non-Altru­is­tic Reasons

Ruby
21 Jun 2014 16:32 UTC
21 points
20 comments9 min readLW link

Player vs. Char­ac­ter: A Two-Level Model of Ethics

sarahconstantin
14 Dec 2018 19:40 UTC
77 points
25 comments7 min readLW link2 nominations3 reviews
(srconstantin.wordpress.com)

Book Re­view: The Elephant in the Brain

Zvi
31 Dec 2017 17:30 UTC
71 points
9 comments31 min readLW link
(thezvi.wordpress.com)

Is That Your True Re­jec­tion?

Eliezer Yudkowsky
6 Dec 2008 14:26 UTC
85 points
100 comments3 min readLW link

A Crash Course in the Neu­ro­science of Hu­man Motivation

lukeprog
19 Aug 2011 21:15 UTC
141 points
91 comments38 min readLW link

No­body does the thing that they are sup­pos­edly doing

Kaj_Sotala
23 Sep 2017 10:40 UTC
69 points
6 comments2 min readLW link
(kajsotala.fi)

Would Your Real Prefer­ences Please Stand Up?

Scott Alexander
8 Aug 2009 22:57 UTC
54 points
132 comments4 min readLW link

Iden­tities are [Sub­con­scious] Strategies

Ruby
15 Oct 2017 18:10 UTC
40 points
2 comments4 min readLW link

To what de­gree do we have goals?

Scott Alexander
15 Jul 2011 23:11 UTC
49 points
52 comments7 min readLW link

Live a life you feel ex­cited about

Neel Nanda
21 Aug 2020 19:16 UTC
16 points
3 comments8 min readLW link
(www.neelnanda.io)

At­ten­tion con­trol is crit­i­cal for chang­ing/​in­creas­ing/​al­ter­ing motivation

kalla724
11 Apr 2012 0:48 UTC
204 points
99 comments7 min readLW link

Be­come a per­son who Ac­tu­ally Does Things

Neel Nanda
25 Jul 2020 9:29 UTC
43 points
17 comments3 min readLW link
(www.neelnanda.io)

Notic­ing the Taste of Lotus

Valentine
27 Apr 2018 20:05 UTC
258 points
80 comments3 min readLW link2 nominations3 reviews

A Case Study of Mo­ti­vated Continuation

Eliezer Yudkowsky
31 Oct 2007 1:27 UTC
26 points
36 comments3 min readLW link

SotW: Avoid Mo­ti­vated Cognition

Eliezer Yudkowsky
28 May 2012 15:57 UTC
20 points
83 comments10 min readLW link

Mo­ti­vated skep­ti­cism: it’s harder to avoid than I’d think

Klao
9 Oct 2011 18:35 UTC
19 points
9 comments1 min readLW link

Im­mod­esty, De­ceit and Mo­ti­vated Reasoning

whpearson
29 Oct 2017 10:34 UTC
16 points
0 comments1 min readLW link

[Link] Ide­ol­ogy, Mo­ti­vated Rea­son­ing, and Cog­ni­tive Reflec­tion: An Ex­per­i­men­tal Study

[deleted]
2 Dec 2012 14:43 UTC
14 points
8 comments1 min readLW link

LINK: Study demon­strates poli­ti­cally mo­ti­vated innumeracy

Alejandro1
4 Sep 2013 18:14 UTC
12 points
3 comments1 min readLW link

So­cial Im­pact, Effec­tive Altru­ism, and Mo­ti­vated Cognition

JonahS
8 Jun 2013 2:31 UTC
9 points
20 comments2 min readLW link

In­for­mal Post on Motivation

Ruby
23 Feb 2019 23:35 UTC
29 points
4 comments8 min readLW link

A Pro­cess for Deal­ing with Mo­ti­vated Reasoning

Ikaxas
3 Sep 2018 3:34 UTC
18 points
7 comments3 min readLW link

Mo­ti­va­tion: You Have to Win in the Mo­ment

Ruby
1 Mar 2019 0:26 UTC
52 points
17 comments9 min readLW link

Act of Charity

jessicata
17 Nov 2018 5:19 UTC
184 points
49 comments8 min readLW link2 nominations1 review

Con­crete Take­aways Post-CFAR

lifelonglearner
24 Feb 2017 18:31 UTC
13 points
6 comments11 min readLW link

Karma Mo­ti­va­tion Thread

Jack
13 Dec 2010 21:59 UTC
23 points
39 comments1 min readLW link

Three Levels of Motivation

DragonGod
21 Aug 2019 9:24 UTC
16 points
1 comment7 min readLW link

In­trin­sic mo­ti­va­tion is cru­cial for over­com­ing akrasia

JonahS
17 Jun 2015 22:39 UTC
13 points
44 comments3 min readLW link

From self to crav­ing (three char­ac­ter­is­tics se­ries)

Kaj_Sotala
22 May 2020 12:16 UTC
39 points
21 comments11 min readLW link

Ego syn­tonic thoughts and values

Scott Alexander
17 Jul 2011 20:43 UTC
57 points
53 comments4 min readLW link

Ne­go­ti­at­ing With Yourself

orthonormal
26 Jun 2020 23:55 UTC
23 points
0 comments5 min readLW link

Build­ing up to an In­ter­nal Fam­ily Sys­tems model

Kaj_Sotala
26 Jan 2019 12:25 UTC
170 points
74 comments28 min readLW link

“She Wanted It”

sarahconstantin
11 Nov 2018 22:00 UTC
104 points
19 comments7 min readLW link
(srconstantin.wordpress.com)

Policy-Based vs Willpower-Based Intentions

Unreal
28 Feb 2019 5:17 UTC
61 points
14 comments4 min readLW link

The two-layer model of hu­man val­ues, and prob­lems with syn­the­siz­ing preferences

Kaj_Sotala
24 Jan 2020 15:17 UTC
71 points
15 comments9 min readLW link

Towards de­con­fus­ing values

G Gordon Worley III
29 Jan 2020 19:28 UTC
13 points
4 comments7 min readLW link

On pointless waiting

Kaj_Sotala
10 Jun 2019 8:58 UTC
44 points
6 comments1 min readLW link

Mean­ingful­ness and the scope of experience

Kaj_Sotala
5 Oct 2017 11:30 UTC
35 points
1 comment5 min readLW link
(kajsotala.fi)

In­fer­ring Our Desires

lukeprog
24 May 2011 5:33 UTC
39 points
45 comments6 min readLW link

Two ar­gu­ments for not think­ing about ethics (too much)

Kaj_Sotala
27 Mar 2014 14:15 UTC
32 points
32 comments7 min readLW link

Fake Selfishness

Eliezer Yudkowsky
8 Nov 2007 2:31 UTC
36 points
67 comments2 min readLW link

Akra­sia is con­fu­sion about what you want

G Gordon Worley III
28 Dec 2018 21:09 UTC
29 points
7 comments9 min readLW link

On­tolog­i­cal Cri­sis in Humans

Wei_Dai
18 Dec 2012 17:32 UTC
46 points
68 comments4 min readLW link

The Third Alternative

Eliezer Yudkowsky
6 May 2007 23:47 UTC
80 points
83 comments3 min readLW link

Belief as Attire

Eliezer Yudkowsky
2 Aug 2007 17:13 UTC
65 points
104 comments2 min readLW link

Pro­fess­ing and Cheering

Eliezer Yudkowsky
2 Aug 2007 7:20 UTC
65 points
44 comments2 min readLW link

Book sum­mary: Un­lock­ing the Emo­tional Brain

Kaj_Sotala
8 Oct 2019 19:11 UTC
193 points
26 comments21 min readLW link

Al­gorith­mic In­tent: A Han­so­nian Gen­er­al­ized Anti-Zom­bie Principle

Zack_M_Davis
14 Jul 2020 6:03 UTC
46 points
15 comments12 min readLW link

Op­ti­miz­ing Fuzzies And Utilons: The Altru­ism Chip Jar

orthonormal
1 Jan 2011 18:53 UTC
110 points
49 comments3 min readLW link

Pur­chase Fuzzies and Utilons Separately

Eliezer Yudkowsky
1 Apr 2009 9:51 UTC
124 points
87 comments4 min readLW link

Will As Thou Wilt

Eliezer Yudkowsky
7 Jul 2008 10:37 UTC
4 points
30 comments1 min readLW link

Meta-prefer­ences are weird

16 Jul 2020 23:03 UTC
18 points
2 comments5 min readLW link

Ugh fields

Roko
12 Apr 2010 17:06 UTC
208 points
75 comments3 min readLW link

How I Ended Up Non-Ambitious

Swimmer963
23 Jan 2012 23:50 UTC
179 points
239 comments10 min readLW link

Learned Blankness

AnnaSalamon
18 Apr 2011 18:55 UTC
159 points
188 comments5 min readLW link

Choos­ing the Zero Point

orthonormal
6 Apr 2020 23:44 UTC
136 points
20 comments3 min readLW link

28 so­cial psy­chol­ogy stud­ies from *Ex­per­i­ments With Peo­ple* (Frey & Gregg, 2017)

Yuxi_Liu
16 Jun 2019 2:23 UTC
12 points
1 comment26 min readLW link

Are Your Ene­mies In­nately Evil?

Eliezer Yudkowsky
26 Jun 2007 21:13 UTC
125 points
141 comments3 min readLW link

List of com­mon hu­man goals

Elo
24 Aug 2015 7:58 UTC
17 points
24 comments7 min readLW link

Cor­re­spon­dence Bias

Eliezer Yudkowsky
25 Jun 2007 0:58 UTC
55 points
48 comments3 min readLW link

Strate­gic ig­no­rance and plau­si­ble deniability

Kaj_Sotala
10 Aug 2011 9:30 UTC
43 points
58 comments4 min readLW link

Urges vs. Goals: The anal­ogy to an­ti­ci­pa­tion and belief

AnnaSalamon
24 Jan 2012 23:57 UTC
91 points
71 comments7 min readLW link

You can be wrong about what you like, and you of­ten are

adamzerner
17 Dec 2018 23:49 UTC
32 points
21 comments4 min readLW link

Ra­tion­al­ity and Levels of Intervention

Geoff_Anders
25 Sep 2019 16:59 UTC
73 points
29 comments8 min readLW link

Phys­i­cal and Men­tal Behavior

Scott Alexander
10 Jul 2011 20:20 UTC
67 points
22 comments3 min readLW link

The Power of Agency

lukeprog
7 May 2011 1:38 UTC
69 points
78 comments1 min readLW link

How and Why to Granularize

lukeprog
17 May 2011 15:16 UTC
65 points
60 comments4 min readLW link

Does Goal Set­ting Work?

Swimmer963
16 Oct 2013 20:54 UTC
35 points
21 comments11 min readLW link

How I Be­came More Ambitious

Swimmer963
4 Jul 2013 23:34 UTC
75 points
48 comments8 min readLW link

Joy in Discovery

Eliezer Yudkowsky
21 Mar 2008 1:19 UTC
43 points
48 comments4 min readLW link

Self polic­ing for self doubt

KatjaGrace
7 Nov 2019 23:10 UTC
39 points
3 comments2 min readLW link
(meteuphoric.com)

Why Does Power Cor­rupt?

Eliezer Yudkowsky
14 Oct 2008 0:23 UTC
37 points
59 comments5 min readLW link

On Need-Sets

Marcello
15 Aug 2020 23:25 UTC
47 points
11 comments2 min readLW link

Nar­row your an­swer space

Vaniver
28 Dec 2010 11:38 UTC
25 points
111 comments8 min readLW link

Hy­poth­e­sis about how so­cial stuff works and arises

lahwran
4 Sep 2018 22:47 UTC
31 points
14 comments5 min readLW link

Strate­gies for deal­ing with emo­tional nihilism

[deleted]
10 Oct 2010 13:31 UTC
32 points
177 comments4 min readLW link

Out­ward Change Drives In­ward Change

cousin_it
15 May 2009 12:45 UTC
28 points
41 comments2 min readLW link

Slava!

[deleted]
3 Oct 2010 2:47 UTC
33 points
105 comments4 min readLW link

Have you lost your pur­pose?

toonalfrink
30 May 2019 22:35 UTC
29 points
6 comments1 min readLW link

Crav­ing, suffer­ing, and pre­dic­tive pro­cess­ing (three char­ac­ter­is­tics se­ries)

Kaj_Sotala
15 May 2020 13:21 UTC
58 points
36 comments19 min readLW link

Can Hu­man­ism Match Reli­gion’s Out­put?

Eliezer Yudkowsky
27 Mar 2009 11:32 UTC
59 points
114 comments5 min readLW link

Se­crets of the eliminati

Scott Alexander
20 Jul 2011 10:15 UTC
101 points
256 comments3 min readLW link

Tak­ing the first step

Neel Nanda
25 Jul 2020 9:33 UTC
10 points
0 comments16 min readLW link
(www.neelnanda.io)

The Blue-Min­i­miz­ing Robot

Scott Alexander
4 Jul 2011 22:26 UTC
218 points
162 comments4 min readLW link

On sav­ing the world

So8res
30 Jan 2014 20:00 UTC
131 points
169 comments16 min readLW link

The Im­por­tance of Sidekicks

Swimmer963
8 Jan 2015 23:21 UTC
149 points
209 comments5 min readLW link

The benefits of mad­ness: A pos­i­tive ac­count of arationality

Skatche
22 Apr 2011 19:43 UTC
105 points
122 comments14 min readLW link

To­day a Tragedy

elriggs
13 Jun 2018 1:58 UTC
58 points
14 comments1 min readLW link

Di­a­gram­ming “Re­plac­ing Guilt,” Part 1

armatures
5 Aug 2020 23:36 UTC
34 points
7 comments2 min readLW link

Pain and gain motivation

Kaj_Sotala
7 Apr 2010 18:48 UTC
47 points
143 comments4 min readLW link

Re­duc­ing Agents: When ab­strac­tions break

Hazard
31 Mar 2018 0:03 UTC
42 points
10 comments8 min readLW link

Nate Soares’ Re­plac­ing Guilt Series com­piled in epub Format

lifelonglearner
30 Apr 2017 6:36 UTC
27 points
7 comments1 min readLW link

Higher Purpose

Eliezer Yudkowsky
23 Jan 2009 9:58 UTC
29 points
26 comments3 min readLW link

Com­plex Be­hav­ior from Sim­ple (Sub)Agents

moridinamael
10 May 2019 21:44 UTC
103 points
9 comments9 min readLW link

Against lone wolf self-improvement

cousin_it
7 Jul 2017 15:31 UTC
33 points
73 comments2 min readLW link

De­sire is the di­rec­tion, ra­tio­nal­ity is the magnitude

So8res
5 Apr 2015 17:27 UTC
28 points
13 comments2 min readLW link

Three types of “should”

Sniffnoy
2 Jun 2018 0:54 UTC
26 points
9 comments2 min readLW link

Choice begets regret

bryjnar
4 Jan 2018 20:28 UTC
25 points
5 comments4 min readLW link

The Ax­iolog­i­cal Treadmill

eapache
15 Sep 2020 18:36 UTC
7 points
12 comments2 min readLW link
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