How to motivate yourself to change your behavior | Tali Sharot | TEDxCambridge

  • Published on Oct 28, 2014
  • What does make us change our actions? Tali Sharot reveals three ingredients to doing what's good for yourself.
    Dr. Tali Sharot is a neuroscientist at University College London and the director of the Affective Brain Lab. She is a faculty member of the department of Experimental Psychology, a Wellcome Trust Fellow, and currently a visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on how emotion, motivation, and social factors influence our expectations, decisions, and memories.
    This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Comments • 1 077

  • Aldís Eir Hansen
    Aldís Eir Hansen 20 hours ago

    This video is more like a guide to controlling others' behaviour than your own.

  • Phoenix Olivia
    Phoenix Olivia Day ago

    This is basically gamifiying.

  • Helen Myers
    Helen Myers Day ago

    Many thanks for this. I was hooked immediately by the example of wanting to stop snacking! Thanks also to those who have commented and applied the principles to so many areas of life.

  • Susan S-Work
    Susan S-Work 2 days ago

    TED community, let's make it real.
    So, how could these 3 methods be put into practice?
    Stop inappropriate snacking?
    Reduce eating fast food?
    Getting regular exercise?
    Stop procrastinating?
    Being more punctual?
    Getting more sleep nightly?
    Curbing impulse buying?

  • Torpor
    Torpor 2 days ago

    I'm going to keep this bookmarked for the next time someone tries to tell me shame is a motivator.

  • Charles White64
    Charles White64 2 days ago

    If We Would Teach Maintaining Actual Personal Healthy Mental Health as First Value So Therefore Anything External That Isn't In Your Best Intrest? Doesn't Get an Allowance To Reverse Your Valued Healthy State of Well Being! 🌈

  • Jeongmin Park
    Jeongmin Park 3 days ago +1

    Im foreign student from South Korea to United states for 3months i know it’s not that long. Y’all guys can’t feel my feeling but if u live with my perspective u can realize that foreign students’ life is really hard and painful. I’ve been watching TED so that i improve my listening skills but 15 minutes later i can find myself that i was watching other youtube channe like game video and prank video.. i recognize my seriousness and i commit myself to study hard. It’s not that easy even if i pledge it i always use my phone 5hours each day😭. After watching this video i decide that i will study for my future improvement. Im expecting about that
    Thank you for reading this comment i know it has a lot of grammatical error
    PLEASE understand me 😹

    • Unknownx
      Unknownx Day ago


    • Unknownx
      Unknownx Day ago

      Jeongmin Park don’t worry You really do get accustomed the area, it’s culture and people, over time. You can do it Jeongmin💪🏻💪🏻 we believe in you 💞💪🏻

  • Michael Taiwan
    Michael Taiwan 3 days ago +2

    She's clever and BEAUTIFUL! It is a pleasure to listen and look at her...

  • Mark Newman
    Mark Newman 4 days ago

    That was great. Thank you very much

  • MrXandies
    MrXandies 4 days ago

    I like her :)

  • Jackie H
    Jackie H 4 days ago

    So true thx 🤔😀

  • Kenyeta Clayton
    Kenyeta Clayton 5 days ago

    Your behavior is driven from what's around you!

  • Dancing Bear
    Dancing Bear 5 days ago

    Show me your boobs

  • Seppe Zimmerer
    Seppe Zimmerer 6 days ago

    📲*00212645752301* *Whatapps*📲
    وجـدت💁‍♂️ كــثــيــر مـن الــكــومــنــتــات عــن تــكــبــيــر الــقــضــيــب وضـعـف الانـتـصـاب وسـرعـة الــقــذف
    وأبــغــى أبــشــركــم😉 أنــي حـصـلـت عــلــى مــعــلــومــات كــثــيــر مـفـيـدة✅ هــتــنــفــعــكــم كـثـيـر ومـجـربـهـا شــخــصــيــا ونـفـعـتـنـي🤩🥳
    تـواصـل مــعــي🙋‍♂️ وأنــا بــشــرح لــك ســر الــوصــفــة الـواتـسـاب *00212.645.75.23.01*📲

  • T Jam
    T Jam 6 days ago

    Took a few rewinds to try to figure out her “gray, green, blue” bar graphs on electricity usage. To me, they look “pink, green, blue”

  • Autumn Reese
    Autumn Reese 7 days ago

    That's weird. I usually don't watch these kind of things all the way to the end. What's weirder is I might actually take some action based on this information.

  • Grow YourOwn
    Grow YourOwn 8 days ago

    Uber does this very well. just check there app out.

  • Kishalay Sinha
    Kishalay Sinha 9 days ago

    Inaction induced by fear = paralysis

  • Two whole bloody weeks on a quack candle

    I was booked in to a self-motivation course last week, but in the end I couldn't be bothered to go.

  • Kishalay Sinha
    Kishalay Sinha 9 days ago

    God does not make empty threats. - G

  • Kishalay Sinha
    Kishalay Sinha 9 days ago

    Fake, concocted, made up "research", statistics. - G

  • Anthia Lazarou
    Anthia Lazarou 9 days ago +2

    Here is what the video says for those of you haven't got time to watch:
    People are more likely to take action NOT when being threatened BUT when these 3 principles are in place:
    1. Social incentives: people care about others' opinions and how they are doing in relation to their peers. We want to do the same as them and do it better.

    2. Immediate reward: we all want instant gratification. So, for example, you can say to yourself every time I go to the gym I will then have a piece of dark chocolate. So you link exercise with a reward and you do it more often and in the end, it becomes a habit.

    3. Progress monitoring: Highlight the progress and not the negative side. So if you are trying to quit smoking instead of focusing on bad health start focusing on the millions of benefits that people who don't smoke have! people want to hear positives, not negatives.

  • slobodny obcan
    slobodny obcan 10 days ago

    výborná prednáška .píše sa o tom už v starej zmluve

  • Jenet Greenfield
    Jenet Greenfield 10 days ago +1

    Comparing yourself to others is not a wise thing. Be authentic 💖

    • Tamara Rogers
      Tamara Rogers 8 days ago

      True, compete against yourself. I did 10 pushups today improve on that tomorrow etc. If you compare yourself to others who are doing 50 or 100 you may say forget it... Before you even get started

  • BlackShampoo75
    BlackShampoo75 10 days ago

    Now that's a NILF!!

  • Bubba Da Skitso
    Bubba Da Skitso 10 days ago

    Her hospital employees cleaing their hands test is extremely flawed. People who work with cameras watching them know or believe that no one is actually looking at the cameras most of the time. So by showing a counter go up they could tell that they were being much more closely monitored and jumped into compliance. Cameras become invisible and instantly forgotten. Visual counters are a clear reminder that big brother is on duty 24/7.

  • GrubLogic
    GrubLogic 11 days ago

    A cogent argument for mass surveillance and social shaming (it worked in the middle ages....right?)

  • Owl Child
    Owl Child 11 days ago

    Not a word.

  • Saleh Albaadani
    Saleh Albaadani 11 days ago +2

    Very useful, can be used with kids. Focus on progress rather than decline.
    Thank you for this.

  • Freedom Tv
    Freedom Tv 11 days ago


  • Topher Neville
    Topher Neville 11 days ago +1

    thanks!! this has been of great assistance!

  • Dennis DerChrist
    Dennis DerChrist 11 days ago

    Absolutely satanic!

  • koyima
    koyima 11 days ago

    I was trying to figure out what "hen washing" was

  • Topher Neville
    Topher Neville 11 days ago

    that is very insightful and is just what i needed to know ... self-motivation can be an uphill struggle and i don't believe anyone is exempt.

  • Alani Rose
    Alani Rose 11 days ago



    Booooring. And so OBVIOUS. If that's what they are getting paid for, I don't know what even to say...

  • Teresa Price
    Teresa Price 11 days ago

    Very well spoken, everything your spoken of makes a lot of sense, thank you, great advice and I have found for myself and those I've helped the same results, in saying that, now I have a better understanding as to why this approach works. Thanks again

  • Dave Reid - Daly
    Dave Reid - Daly 12 days ago

    How does a lab like yours do research on a sample of 100 people then claim that its scientific. 15 000 is the standard norm for scientific research not 100 people. Please dont mislead the public. When an animal is under threat it does not resort to fight or flight. There are more than 6 different responses which has over 150yrs of ecological research, been well documented.

    • Dave Reid - Daly
      Dave Reid - Daly 12 days ago

      Which has more to do with novelty than positive or negative....

    • Dave Reid - Daly
      Dave Reid - Daly 12 days ago

      Please tell me where this woman comes from? This information is NOT new at all. Human behavior and its response to positive or negative reinforcement is VERY well researched. In the hospital study she jumps to the conclusion that the change in behavior is based on how she set up the experiment. Such a low % of change, 15%, could be explained in several different ways and not only the one given here. Sport sciences have well documented evidence related to a positive change in performance when programed routines are changed, which has little to do with novelty than positive or negative parameters.

  • Paul Kinosian
    Paul Kinosian 12 days ago

    DAMN! She"s hot!

  • Chris Arnold
    Chris Arnold 13 days ago

    'In our lab... 100 people " that's not accurate research. I would like some real evidence.

  • M M
    M M 14 days ago


  • Davor Jerkovic
    Davor Jerkovic 14 days ago +4

    'Smoking kills' that's why I smoke..

  • Brandon Wagner
    Brandon Wagner 14 days ago

    This lady needs to learn how to change her lip smacking behavior...Great talk but my god

  • chris bond
    chris bond 14 days ago +1

    I hereby offer to help you Tali Sharot,every time you pronounce "th" properly and not "ff" as in "things" not Fings", I will give you a big kiss.. Very informative item , but I think parents have learned this,, (I should say "good" parents") as telling a child they will be punished becomes the norm, but getting a reward, is always a treat. Also belief is a major factor in changing ones ways, we simply do not trust our respective governments to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth , therefore trying to get people to change their ways by saying that "government Health experts say" this will happen if you do not comply, is simply ignored! Let's face it, we train our dogs to do tricks behave well or do "jobs" (blind, hearing gun dogs etc) with treats for doing what we want, not punishing them for not doing it.

  • solokat1980
    solokat1980 15 days ago +2

    Would have been better presentation if she wouldn't of pushed the global warming hoax (now renamed to climate change: 4:03).

  • Paris Andreou Wellness
    Paris Andreou Wellness 15 days ago +1

    Good info, but the constant swallowing and stress of the speaker is so distracting for me! Drink some water, relax and practice and prepare more!

    • It's Liz Hewes
      It's Liz Hewes 11 days ago +2

      We all get better with practice. Kudos to her for doing something (public speaking) that many people find terrifying.

  • Robopecha
    Robopecha 15 days ago +3

    i can see how i can use these strategies if i own a company or something, but the title says its about motivating myself and at no point she talks about how to translate her theories into using them on myself. because that is the tricky part. and that is exactly why i watched this. so in terms of the title the video is a total fail. its just clickbait.

  • Sigifredo Coria
    Sigifredo Coria 16 days ago +2

    Wow shes beautiful!

  • marccas10
    marccas10 17 days ago

    She could motivate me very easily.

  • Awaecnan
    Awaecnan 17 days ago

    LOVE ted talks! you explained how to change your behaviour really well, thanks for the tips I'll remember this next time!

  • Davi Soares
    Davi Soares 17 days ago

    The only thing bad about this video. Is that it ends

  • Metalosopher
    Metalosopher 18 days ago

    @ 8:50 It proves that we have no free will and that we are programmable bio-robots. You just need the right programing and you can program any human to do anything.

  • debbie debbie
    debbie debbie 18 days ago +4

    I'm having a hard time focusing on this video...😬😲🙄
    Start at 8 or 9 minutes...

  • happentodie
    happentodie 18 days ago +1

    My god that woman is about as hot as it gets ,

  • luann glass
    luann glass 18 days ago +1

    What's up with that skirt? Paleeeeze.... Do you have a mirror at home? Apparently not... GET ONE.

  • Dung Nguyen Quoc
    Dung Nguyen Quoc 18 days ago +1

    I thought about a mobile app which we can list all the important tasks to finish each day. We'll get reward after finishing any task. We have chart to see what we've done in a week or month and finally we can share our result to other people in the community. Does anyone know the app like that?

  • j blah
    j blah 18 days ago

    Lady all u need are deez nuts. Lol

  • mnml:rgrt
    mnml:rgrt 19 days ago

    people learn from their mistakes as well as history repeat itself

  • DoThaWork
    DoThaWork 19 days ago

    Why is she holding a vaping device?

  • Donna S
    Donna S 19 days ago +5

    Very impressive and motivating! I love how you go in-depth by breaking the information down into easy understanding! My ADD brain needed this! Thank you, keep up the good work and don't allow the negatives or critics to hinder your growth and mindset!