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Motivations

TagLast edit: 9 Jul 2020 5:29 UTC by habryka

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

On Caring

So8res15 Oct 2014 1:59 UTC
169 points
275 comments10 min readLW link

Not for the Sake of Plea­sure Alone

lukeprog11 Jun 2011 23:21 UTC
49 points
134 comments6 min readLW link

Some­thing to Protect

Eliezer Yudkowsky30 Jan 2008 17:52 UTC
121 points
77 comments6 min readLW link

Mo­ti­va­tors: Altru­is­tic Ac­tions for Non-Altru­is­tic Reasons

Ruby21 Jun 2014 16:32 UTC
26 points
20 comments9 min readLW link

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

sarahconstantin14 Dec 2018 19:40 UTC
73 points
27 comments7 min readLW link
(srconstantin.wordpress.com)

Book Re­view: The Elephant in the Brain

Zvi31 Dec 2017 17:30 UTC
43 points
9 comments31 min readLW link
(thezvi.wordpress.com)

Is That Your True Re­jec­tion?

Eliezer Yudkowsky6 Dec 2008 14:26 UTC
100 points
100 comments3 min readLW link

A Crash Course in the Neu­ro­science of Hu­man Motivation

lukeprog19 Aug 2011 21:15 UTC
176 points
91 comments38 min readLW link

No­body does the thing that they are sup­pos­edly doing

Kaj_Sotala23 Sep 2017 10:40 UTC
53 points
6 comments2 min readLW link
(kajsotala.fi)

Would Your Real Prefer­ences Please Stand Up?

Scott Alexander8 Aug 2009 22:57 UTC
59 points
132 comments4 min readLW link

“Win First” vs “Chill First”

lionhearted28 Sep 2020 6:48 UTC
72 points
19 comments3 min readLW link

Cyn­i­cism in Ev-Psych (and Econ?)

Eliezer Yudkowsky11 Feb 2009 15:06 UTC
26 points
39 comments4 min readLW link

Build­ing up to an In­ter­nal Fam­ily Sys­tems model

Kaj_Sotala26 Jan 2019 12:25 UTC
195 points
84 comments28 min readLW link2 nominations2 reviews

Iden­tities are [Sub­con­scious] Strategies

Ruby15 Oct 2017 18:10 UTC
29 points
2 comments4 min readLW link

To what de­gree do we have goals?

Scott Alexander15 Jul 2011 23:11 UTC
70 points
52 comments7 min readLW link

Live a life you feel ex­cited about

Neel Nanda21 Aug 2020 19:16 UTC
16 points
3 comments8 min readLW link
(www.neelnanda.io)

Why Pro­duc­tivity Sys­tems Don’t Stick

Matt Goldenberg16 Jan 2021 17:45 UTC
47 points
21 comments3 min readLW link

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

kalla72411 Apr 2012 0:48 UTC
261 points
99 comments7 min readLW link

Be­come a per­son who Ac­tu­ally Does Things

Neel Nanda25 Jul 2020 9:29 UTC
45 points
17 comments3 min readLW link
(www.neelnanda.io)

Learned Blankness

AnnaSalamon18 Apr 2011 18:55 UTC
206 points
188 comments5 min readLW link

Notic­ing the Taste of Lotus

Valentine27 Apr 2018 20:05 UTC
160 points
80 comments3 min readLW link

A Case Study of Mo­ti­vated Continuation

Eliezer Yudkowsky31 Oct 2007 1:27 UTC
34 points
36 comments3 min readLW link

SotW: Avoid Mo­ti­vated Cognition

Eliezer Yudkowsky28 May 2012 15:57 UTC
31 points
83 comments10 min readLW link

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

Klao9 Oct 2011 18:35 UTC
27 points
9 comments1 min readLW link

Im­mod­esty, De­ceit and Mo­ti­vated Reasoning

whpearson29 Oct 2017 10:34 UTC
7 points
0 comments1 min readLW link

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

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

LINK: Study demon­strates poli­ti­cally mo­ti­vated innumeracy

Alejandro14 Sep 2013 18:14 UTC
24 points
3 comments1 min readLW link

So­cial Im­pact, Effec­tive Altru­ism, and Mo­ti­vated Cognition

JonahS8 Jun 2013 2:31 UTC
16 points
20 comments2 min readLW link

In­for­mal Post on Motivation

Ruby23 Feb 2019 23:35 UTC
29 points
4 comments8 min readLW link

A Pro­cess for Deal­ing with Mo­ti­vated Reasoning

Ikaxas3 Sep 2018 3:34 UTC
15 points
7 comments3 min readLW link

Mo­ti­va­tion: You Have to Win in the Mo­ment

Ruby1 Mar 2019 0:26 UTC
48 points
19 comments9 min readLW link

Act of Charity

jessicata17 Nov 2018 5:19 UTC
173 points
49 comments8 min readLW link

Con­crete Take­aways Post-CFAR

lifelonglearner24 Feb 2017 18:31 UTC
20 points
6 comments11 min readLW link

Karma Mo­ti­va­tion Thread

Jack13 Dec 2010 21:59 UTC
32 points
39 comments1 min readLW link

Three Levels of Motivation

DragonGod21 Aug 2019 9:24 UTC
14 points
1 comment7 min readLW link

In­trin­sic mo­ti­va­tion is cru­cial for over­com­ing akrasia

JonahS17 Jun 2015 22:39 UTC
21 points
44 comments3 min readLW link

From self to crav­ing (three char­ac­ter­is­tics se­ries)

Kaj_Sotala22 May 2020 12:16 UTC
43 points
21 comments11 min readLW link

Ego syn­tonic thoughts and values

Scott Alexander17 Jul 2011 20:43 UTC
84 points
54 comments4 min readLW link

Ne­go­ti­at­ing With Yourself

orthonormal26 Jun 2020 23:55 UTC
23 points
0 comments5 min readLW link

“She Wanted It”

sarahconstantin11 Nov 2018 22:00 UTC
96 points
19 comments7 min readLW link
(srconstantin.wordpress.com)

Policy-Based vs Willpower-Based Intentions

Unreal28 Feb 2019 5:17 UTC
56 points
14 comments4 min readLW link

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

Kaj_Sotala24 Jan 2020 15:17 UTC
69 points
15 comments9 min readLW link

Towards de­con­fus­ing values

G Gordon Worley III29 Jan 2020 19:28 UTC
12 points
4 comments7 min readLW link

On pointless waiting

Kaj_Sotala10 Jun 2019 8:58 UTC
42 points
6 comments1 min readLW link

Mean­ingful­ness and the scope of experience

Kaj_Sotala5 Oct 2017 11:30 UTC
16 points
1 comment5 min readLW link
(kajsotala.fi)

In­fer­ring Our Desires

lukeprog24 May 2011 5:33 UTC
58 points
45 comments6 min readLW link

Two ar­gu­ments for not think­ing about ethics (too much)

Kaj_Sotala27 Mar 2014 14:15 UTC
47 points
32 comments7 min readLW link

Fake Selfishness

Eliezer Yudkowsky8 Nov 2007 2:31 UTC
57 points
69 comments2 min readLW link

Akra­sia is con­fu­sion about what you want

G Gordon Worley III28 Dec 2018 21:09 UTC
26 points
7 comments9 min readLW link

On­tolog­i­cal Cri­sis in Humans

Wei_Dai18 Dec 2012 17:32 UTC
67 points
69 comments4 min readLW link

The Third Alternative

Eliezer Yudkowsky6 May 2007 23:47 UTC
101 points
83 comments3 min readLW link

Belief as Attire

Eliezer Yudkowsky2 Aug 2007 17:13 UTC
80 points
104 comments2 min readLW link

Pro­fess­ing and Cheering

Eliezer Yudkowsky2 Aug 2007 7:20 UTC
75 points
44 comments2 min readLW link

Book sum­mary: Un­lock­ing the Emo­tional Brain

Kaj_Sotala8 Oct 2019 19:11 UTC
231 points
32 comments21 min readLW link2 nominations3 reviews

Al­gorith­mic In­tent: A Han­so­nian Gen­er­al­ized Anti-Zom­bie Principle

Zack_M_Davis14 Jul 2020 6:03 UTC
35 points
17 comments12 min readLW link

Op­ti­miz­ing Fuzzies And Utilons: The Altru­ism Chip Jar

orthonormal1 Jan 2011 18:53 UTC
134 points
49 comments3 min readLW link

Pur­chase Fuzzies and Utilons Separately

Eliezer Yudkowsky1 Apr 2009 9:51 UTC
138 points
89 comments4 min readLW link

Will As Thou Wilt

Eliezer Yudkowsky7 Jul 2008 10:37 UTC
6 points
31 comments1 min readLW link

Meta-prefer­ences are weird

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

Ugh fields

Roko12 Apr 2010 17:06 UTC
261 points
75 comments3 min readLW link

How I Ended Up Non-Ambitious

Swimmer96323 Jan 2012 23:50 UTC
222 points
239 comments10 min readLW link

Choos­ing the Zero Point

orthonormal6 Apr 2020 23:44 UTC
145 points
20 comments3 min readLW link

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

Yuxi_Liu16 Jun 2019 2:23 UTC
12 points
1 comment26 min readLW link

Are Your Ene­mies In­nately Evil?

Eliezer Yudkowsky26 Jun 2007 21:13 UTC
150 points
142 comments3 min readLW link

List of com­mon hu­man goals

Elo24 Aug 2015 7:58 UTC
19 points
24 comments7 min readLW link

Cor­re­spon­dence Bias

Eliezer Yudkowsky25 Jun 2007 0:58 UTC
65 points
49 comments3 min readLW link

Strate­gic ig­no­rance and plau­si­ble deniability

Kaj_Sotala10 Aug 2011 9:30 UTC
57 points
58 comments4 min readLW link

Urges vs. Goals: The anal­ogy to an­ti­ci­pa­tion and belief

AnnaSalamon24 Jan 2012 23:57 UTC
122 points
71 comments7 min readLW link

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

adamzerner17 Dec 2018 23:49 UTC
30 points
21 comments4 min readLW link

Ra­tion­al­ity, Levels of In­ter­ven­tion, and Empiricism

Geoff_Anders25 Sep 2019 16:59 UTC
62 points
35 comments9 min readLW link2 nominations3 reviews

Phys­i­cal and Men­tal Behavior

Scott Alexander10 Jul 2011 20:20 UTC
79 points
22 comments3 min readLW link

The Power of Agency

lukeprog7 May 2011 1:38 UTC
88 points
78 comments1 min readLW link

How and Why to Granularize

lukeprog17 May 2011 15:16 UTC
77 points
60 comments4 min readLW link

Does Goal Set­ting Work?

Swimmer96316 Oct 2013 20:54 UTC
50 points
22 comments11 min readLW link

How I Be­came More Ambitious

Swimmer9634 Jul 2013 23:34 UTC
111 points
48 comments8 min readLW link

Joy in Discovery

Eliezer Yudkowsky21 Mar 2008 1:19 UTC
57 points
48 comments4 min readLW link

Self polic­ing for self doubt

KatjaGrace7 Nov 2019 23:10 UTC
36 points
3 comments2 min readLW link
(meteuphoric.com)

Why Does Power Cor­rupt?

Eliezer Yudkowsky14 Oct 2008 0:23 UTC
42 points
59 comments5 min readLW link

On Need-Sets

Marcello15 Aug 2020 23:25 UTC
46 points
11 comments2 min readLW link

Nar­row your an­swer space

Vaniver28 Dec 2010 11:38 UTC
33 points
111 comments8 min readLW link

Hy­poth­e­sis about how so­cial stuff works and arises

lahwran4 Sep 2018 22:47 UTC
29 points
14 comments5 min readLW link

Strate­gies for deal­ing with emo­tional nihilism

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

Out­ward Change Drives In­ward Change

cousin_it15 May 2009 12:45 UTC
27 points
41 comments2 min readLW link

Slava!

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

Have you lost your pur­pose?

toonalfrink30 May 2019 22:35 UTC
28 points
6 comments1 min readLW link

[Question] Us­ing false but in­stru­men­tally ra­tio­nal be­liefs for your ca­reer?

rockthecasbah23 Nov 2020 19:18 UTC
7 points
29 comments1 min readLW link

A work­shop on Life Influences

Elo10 Jan 2021 11:23 UTC
8 points
0 comments4 min readLW link

The im­pact merge

Joe Carlsmith13 Jan 2021 7:26 UTC
47 points
11 comments4 min readLW link

Catch­ing the Spark

LoganStrohl30 Jan 2021 23:23 UTC
96 points
20 comments36 min readLW link

Beliefs as emo­tional strategies

Kaj_Sotala9 Apr 2021 14:28 UTC
62 points
4 comments8 min readLW link

Hell is wasted on the evil

lsusr15 Apr 2021 8:52 UTC
22 points
8 comments3 min readLW link

Sa­bien on “work-life” balance

Rob Bensinger20 May 2021 18:33 UTC
50 points
20 comments1 min readLW link

(Brain­stem, Neo­cor­tex) ≠ (Base Mo­ti­va­tions, Honor­able Mo­ti­va­tions)

Steven Byrnes12 Jul 2021 16:39 UTC
60 points
14 comments9 min readLW link

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

Kaj_Sotala15 May 2020 13:21 UTC
69 points
38 comments19 min readLW link

Can Hu­man­ism Match Reli­gion’s Out­put?

Eliezer Yudkowsky27 Mar 2009 11:32 UTC
68 points
114 comments5 min readLW link

Se­crets of the eliminati

Scott Alexander20 Jul 2011 10:15 UTC
128 points
256 comments3 min readLW link

Tak­ing the first step

Neel Nanda25 Jul 2020 9:33 UTC
9 points
0 comments16 min readLW link
(www.neelnanda.io)

The Blue-Min­i­miz­ing Robot

Scott Alexander4 Jul 2011 22:26 UTC
275 points
162 comments4 min readLW link

On sav­ing the world

So8res30 Jan 2014 20:00 UTC
173 points
169 comments16 min readLW link

The Im­por­tance of Sidekicks

Swimmer9638 Jan 2015 23:21 UTC
204 points
209 comments5 min readLW link

The benefits of mad­ness: A pos­i­tive ac­count of arationality

Skatche22 Apr 2011 19:43 UTC
120 points
122 comments14 min readLW link

To­day a Tragedy

elriggs13 Jun 2018 1:58 UTC
52 points
16 comments1 min readLW link

Di­a­gram­ming “Re­plac­ing Guilt,” Part 1

armatures5 Aug 2020 23:36 UTC
34 points
7 comments2 min readLW link

Pain and gain motivation

Kaj_Sotala7 Apr 2010 18:48 UTC
59 points
144 comments4 min readLW link

Re­duc­ing Agents: When ab­strac­tions break

Hazard31 Mar 2018 0:03 UTC
13 points
10 comments8 min readLW link

Nate Soares’ Re­plac­ing Guilt Series com­piled in epub Format

lifelonglearner30 Apr 2017 6:36 UTC
27 points
8 comments1 min readLW link

Higher Purpose

Eliezer Yudkowsky23 Jan 2009 9:58 UTC
36 points
27 comments3 min readLW link

Com­plex Be­hav­ior from Sim­ple (Sub)Agents

moridinamael10 May 2019 21:44 UTC
106 points
13 comments9 min readLW link2 nominations1 review

Against lone wolf self-improvement

cousin_it7 Jul 2017 15:31 UTC
45 points
73 comments2 min readLW link

De­sire is the di­rec­tion, ra­tio­nal­ity is the magnitude

So8res5 Apr 2015 17:27 UTC
35 points
13 comments2 min readLW link

Three types of “should”

Sniffnoy2 Jun 2018 0:54 UTC
9 points
9 comments2 min readLW link

Choice begets regret

bryjnar4 Jan 2018 20:28 UTC
11 points
5 comments4 min readLW link

The Ax­iolog­i­cal Treadmill

eapache15 Sep 2020 18:36 UTC
6 points
12 comments2 min readLW link

Notes on Temperance

David_Gross9 Nov 2020 2:33 UTC
14 points
2 comments7 min readLW link

I want to save myself

DanArmak20 May 2011 10:27 UTC
29 points
64 comments1 min readLW link

[Question] What is your per­sonal ex­pe­rience with “hav­ing a mean­ingful life”?

Hazard22 May 2019 14:03 UTC
22 points
26 comments2 min readLW link

Mean­ing wars

Elo14 Dec 2017 23:17 UTC
11 points
5 comments8 min readLW link

Notes on Duty

David_Gross18 Dec 2020 18:54 UTC
15 points
0 comments4 min readLW link

Notes on Fairness

David_Gross7 Dec 2020 18:52 UTC
18 points
4 comments7 min readLW link

Notes on Care

David_Gross5 Dec 2020 16:33 UTC
4 points
0 comments7 min readLW link

Notes on Benev­olence (be­ing “less bad”)

David_Gross26 Nov 2020 2:43 UTC
22 points
2 comments8 min readLW link

Notes on Ambition

David_Gross22 Nov 2020 19:53 UTC
15 points
1 comment6 min readLW link

Notes on Loyalty

David_Gross15 Nov 2020 19:30 UTC
17 points
2 comments8 min readLW link

Notes on Jus­tice (as a virtue)

David_Gross5 Nov 2020 20:27 UTC
3 points
4 comments9 min readLW link

[Question] Is the in­fluence of money per­va­sive, even on LessWrong?

shanen2 Feb 2021 20:22 UTC
−1 points
33 comments1 min readLW link

Are wire­heads happy?

Scott Alexander1 Jan 2010 16:41 UTC
157 points
107 comments5 min readLW link

Com­pro­mis­ing with Compulsion

matejsuchy25 Feb 2021 16:43 UTC
4 points
1 comment8 min readLW link

How You Can Gain Self Con­trol Without “Self-Con­trol”

spencerg24 Mar 2021 23:38 UTC
100 points
41 comments23 min readLW link

Good Macro, Bad Micro

Ilemauzar4 Jun 2021 4:30 UTC
14 points
2 comments1 min readLW link

An­nounc­ing the Re­plac­ing Guilt audiobook

gianlucatruda25 Jun 2021 13:38 UTC
62 points
1 comment1 min readLW link

Is so­cial the­ory our doom?

pchvykov15 Jul 2021 3:31 UTC
2 points
0 comments2 min readLW link

Notes on Honor

David_Gross17 Nov 2020 5:25 UTC
18 points
4 comments8 min readLW link
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