PSY 355 Sources of Motivation
PSY 355 Sources of Motivation
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S O U R C E S O F M O T I V A T I O N | 1 Sources of Motivation Name PSY 355 Instructor S O U R C E S O F M O T I V A T I O N | 2 Sources of Motivation Motivation is a crucial element to leading a successful life. A lack of sufficient motivation would make it difficult for an individual to achieve any goals in life. All tasks in life require a certain level of motivation, no matter how simple or complex these tasks may be. Individual levels of motivation are driven by both internal and external sources. Internal sources of motivation can include biological and psychological variables while incentives and goals that drive motivation are considered external sources. An individual’s behavior relies heavily upon these internal and external sources of motivation. Rabideau (2005, para.2) states that, “motivation is the basic drive for all of our actions. Motivation refers to the dynamics of our behavior, which involves our needs, desires, and ambitions in life.” Motivation The term motivation is derived from the Latin term motivus, which means “a moving cause” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010). When an individual experiences motivational change he or she can experience a strong desire to complete a task or achieve a goal. This task may be as simple as getting a glass of water to something more complicated like finishing college with a high GPA. Motives and incentives are the driving factors behind motivation. Incentives are positive rewards or outcomes while motives are what push people to seek out these positive incentives. Incentives can include money, good grades, praise, and so on. These incentives are gained when the level of motivation has reached a sufficient level allowing the individual to receive (or achieve) their incentive. Motives can be placed into two key categories, primary and secondary. Primary motives tend to be geared more towards sustainment and survival and can S O U R C E S O F M O T I V A T I O N | 3 include hunger, thirst, sex drive, and pain avoidance. Success and achievement are considered secondary motives. Motivation has often been studied on both physiological and psychological levels. When studying the physiological aspects of motivation scientists performed extensive studies of the brain. Various experiments were performed to test chemical and electrical brain stimulation as well as lesion tests to study how different parts of the brain affected behavior. There are also various neurotransmitters within the brain that can have a significant effect on levels of motivation. Motivation on the psychological level is based primarily on individual behavior and the interactions between motivation and behavior. Sources of Motivation Internal and external sources of motivation rely heavily upon one another when it comes to encouraging and individual to achieve a goal or seek out some other form of fulfillment. Deckers (2010, ch.1) states that, “the push/pull metaphor of motivation suggests that internal and external sources combine to motivate behavior in both animals and humans.” When an individual is motivated to do something, it is typically a mixture of both internal and external sources of motivation. One particular source of motivation that many people encounter is emotional motivation. Emotions are a result of physiological changes that occur within an individual which can result in psychological and behavioral repercussions (Deckers, 2010). All humans are capable of experiencing emotions, which is why emotions are a significant source of motivation. One example of how emotions can affect motivation would be a case in which an individual were S O U R C E S O F M O T I V A T I O N | 4 having difficult attaining an important goal that they had set. As a result, this individual may become angry or sad, which can in turn affect the level of motivation that the individual experiences. These emotions might cause an increase in motivation so that the individual is eventually able to attain his or her goal. Achievement is another prominent source of motivation. “Two different types of achievementrelated attitudes include taskinvolvement and egoinvolvement. Taskinvolvement is a motivational state in which a person's main goal is to acquire skills and understanding whereas the main goal in egoinvolvement is to demonstrate superior abilities” (Rabideau, para.7). When an individual desires to achieve a certain goal or task, he or she is driven by internal dispositions to improve their selfworth or quality of life. Most of society places goal achievement on a high pedestal, which becomes one of the primary influential factors behind achievement motivation. Incentives play a large role in achievement motivation. There are often positive incentives to achievement. An individual who strives to achieve a promotion at work may be driven by the incentive of obtaining a higher salary, for example. Motivation and Behavior “Psychologists study motivational forces to help explain observed changes in behavior that occur in an individual” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010, para.2). Motivation is one of the vital forces behind human behavior. Sources of motivation, both internal and external, have the ability to initiate specific behaviors. When an individual is motivated to achieve a specific goal, he or she will then begin a course of action to achieve this goal. Once this course of action is started, the individual’s behaviors will also adapt so that the goal can be achieved. Ormrod S O U R C E S O F M O T I V A T I O N | 5 (2010, para.3) points out that, “Motivation increases the amount of effort and energy that learners expend in activities directly related to their needs and goals. It determines whether they pursue a task enthusiastically and wholeheartedly, on the one hand, or apathetically and lackadaisically, on the other.” If an individual sets a goal to finish college with a high GPA, this individual will adjust his or her behaviors so that this goal can eventually be achieved. Perhaps they will begin studying more and taking more notes in class. These behaviors would be a direct result of the motivation that the individual has to achieve a high GPA. Their course of action is directed by their motivation to succeed. Motivation may also play a role in cognition, which would mean that it can affect how an individual learns and processes information. “The more learners are motivated to achieve academic success, the more proud they will be of an A and the more upset they will be by an F or perhaps even a B” (Ormrod, 2010, para.5). Another example of how motivation can directly affect behavior would be a case in which an individual had a severe lack of food. If this person were on the verge of starvation, he or she would be motivated to seek out food wherever possible. This individual may even go as far as stealing food from a store. Although this act may not be part of the typical behavioral patterns for this individual, the motivation to find food is so strong that it can have a vast impact on how the individual behaves. The individual is driven by primary motives (survival) which is then exhibited in his or her behaviors. Once the incentive has been obtained the motivation to obtain food would diminish, which would also be evident in the behavior of this individual. Conclusion S O U R C E S O F M O T I V A T I O N | 6 Motivation has a great impact on behavior and can play an immense role in how an individual approaches all aspects of life. Sources of motivation may vary from one person to the next, but everyone is capable of experiencing both internal and external sources of motivation. These sources of motivation can range from the need to survive to the need to achieve one’s goals in life. Whether it is a case of life or death or merely a case of obtaining a high GPA, motivation is a key element that must be acknowledged as an important driving force behind human behavior. S O U R C E S O F M O T I V A T I O N | 7 References Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation: Biological, Psychological, and Environmental (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon Encyclopædia Britannica. (2010). Motivation. Retrieved October 11, 2010, from Encyclopedia Britannica Online http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/394212/ motivation Ormrod, J.E. (2010). Essentials of Education Psychology (2009 ed.). Pearson, Allyn, Bacon, Prentice Hall. Retrieved October 11, 2010 from http://www.education.com/reference/article/motivationaffectsbehaviorcognition/ Rabideau, S. (2005). Effects of Achievement Motivation on Behavior. Rochester Institute of Technology. Retrieved October 11, 2010 from http://www.personalityresearch.org/papers/rabideau.html
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