Kathleen Vohs

Carlson School of Management
Twin Cities

Award Year
University Award
Distinguished McKnight University Professors
Research Title
The Perils and Promise of Human Motivation

Section A, Location 14

Professor Vohs studies human motivation, which inspires action toward immediate desires and lofty goals. Self-control helps people prioritize long-term outcomes over immediate rewards, and thus is exceptionally important for health, prosperity, rationality, and relationship success. Vohs shows why self-control failures are so common, and how to prevent them. Vohs discovered that the mere idea of money changes motivation. Thoughts about money enhance subsequent persistence and performance — but impede giving, helping, and caring.