When people are treated as partners working together with others – even when physically apart – their motivation increases, according to new Stanford research.

As the study noted, people undertake many activities in life on their own but with others in mind – a researcher writes a paper on a new medical treatment and knows that others are working on the same problem. A student writes an essay for class and understands that other students are writing their own essays. When people feel they and others are working together on a difficult problem, does this increase motivation?

“Working with others affords enormous social and personal benefits,” Gregory Walton, an assistant professor of psychology at Stanford, wrote in an article in the Journal of Experimental Psychologywith co-author Priyanka Carr, then a Stanford graduate student.

In an interview, Walton said, “Our research found that social cues that conveyed simply that other people treat you as though you are working together on a task – rather than that you are just as working on the same task but separately – can have striking effects on motivation.”


via Research at Stanford shows that working together boosts motivation.