Motivation Concepts Table and Analysis Motivation describes how an individual behaves and the reason(s) why he or she behaves in that way. Many psychologists have developed theories and study the behaviors of individuals to determine the motivators that cause certain behaviors. An individual’s behavior is influenced by his or her needs and wants. “Theories of motivation are created to help us explain, predict, and influence behavior” (Stipek, 2006-2011). Psychologists believe that if they can determine why an individual behaves the way he or she does, there is a possibility to change and influence his or her behavior. As one theory is developed, it is also modified later and sometimes dispute. The Motivation Concepts Table (Table 1) shows both grand theories and mini-theories.
Motivation Concepts Table
Time Period Created
Key Theory Concepts
Will (Grand Theory)
The Will Theory is based on that will initiates and drives action and decides whether or not to act and how to behave when acting
Instinct (Grand Theory)
Charles Darwin, William James, William McDougall
This theory is based on the biological determination is the cause of motivation and how the surrounding resources are used to adapt to an environment.
Drive (Grand Theory)
Woodworth, Freud, Hull
The theory entails satisfying bodily needs through motivated behavior.
Achievement Motivation Theory (mini-theory)
David McClelland, John Atkinson
This theory was developed to explain how individuals respond to challenges and having the strong urge for success and accomplishment.
Intrinsic Motivation (mini-theory)
Developed to explain individuals who behave in effective and healthy ways.
Goal-Setting Theory (mini-theory)
Developed to explain individuals who seek feedback and are driven by clearly defined goals.
References: Motivation at a Glance ISchool. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sites.google.com/site/motivationataglanceischool/achievement-motivation-theory Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion. (5th ed.). New York: Wiley Stipek, D. (2006-2011). education.com. Retrieved from http://www.education.com/reference/article/defining-achievement-motivation/