Thursday, August 12, 2004

CBC News: Gene therapy turns lazy monkeys into workaholics

CBC News: Gene therapy turns lazy monkeys into workaholics

Compensation (which is essentially reward for work) is one of my favorite topics in finance. So of course this story on monkeys made me take notice!

Short version: how hard you work may be partially genetic. Which might help to explain why some people do not respond to changes in pay plans etc.

From the CBC:
"Without the dopamine receptor, they consistently stayed on-task and made few errors, because they could no longer learn to use visual cues to predict how their work was going to get them a reward," said Richmond said.

In effect, the monkeys became workaholics. "This was conspicuously out-of-character for these animals," he said.

Both monkeys and humans tend to procrastinate when they know they have to do more work before getting a reward, and then work harder as a deadline looms.

The researchers hope the study will help them to understand some mental disorders. People who are depressed often find work unrewarding while those with obsessive-compulsive disorder may work incessantly for little reward.

The study appears in this week's online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences"

Also :

gee, this would make a perfect Dilbert episode!

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