Spanning the globe for insights into human behavior and persuasion.



Three Degrees of Motivation

So the Centers for Disease Control is saying that despite the flu shot scare of last fall, we now have a flu shot surplus. Remember back in October when Sen. Kerry was saying Pres. Bush was to blame for our flu shot supply being cut in half? Doesn't that seem silly now?

Of course, scare tactics are standard fare in the world of politics. Pres. Bush made the case for invading Iraq based on "intelligence" that proved Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda. (What gives me the greatest pause about having our troops there now is that the case for war was made -- intentionally or not -- under false pretenses.)

When we humans are motivated to act, we can file our motivations under one of three headers: fear, duty and love.
Would we be at war if Pres. Bush had tried use duty to make the case for war? How about some higher motivation like love or compassion? Either way, the war would have been a tough sell.

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