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Dan Ariely’s “What Makes us Feel Good about our Work?” Ted Talk makes me reflect on the work that I am doing. It is disheartening but understandable to learn that it is human nature to care about a reward, even if that reward is only acknowledgement. My Duke Engage project highlights Dan Ariely’s work in an interesting light because a non-profit is often based on internal motivation, rather than financial. However, I believe every working person wants to see their hard work come to fruition. His claim about “fruits of labor” definitely holds true.


The “Ikea Effect”- where making people work harder often causes them to be happier with the end result- sometimes holds true.  His examples of building a couch or baking a cake are understandable and I agree with. But I do believe there is a limit. Making someone work too hard will disincentivize and discourage their hard work because they will feel burnt out. This summer I love how I can work hard, share my ideas, and be ambitious. I attribute this to my organization, Project Morry, acknowledging my work and motivating me to do my best.