Good news, slackers! It’s not your fault you’re lazy—it’s your brain chemistry that makes you focus on what a hassle it is to accomplish things, instead of on the rewards of doing so.
A new study finds that the amount of effort a person decides to expend on a given task seems to depend on which parts of their brain have the highest dopamine levels. If so the so-called ‘pleasure chemical’ is highest in the parts of your brain known as the striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, then you probably focus on rewards, like the hardest workers in this test study by a team at University of Vanderbilt.
Slackers, though, tend to have higher dopamine levels in the emotion and risk awareness brain function area, called the insula, and focus on the costs of completing the task. So if you stop worrying about how bad your office chair is for your back, maybe you’ll get those TPS reports finished faster.