Motivational Concepts

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivational theories Pages: 9 (2890 words) Published: June 4, 2009
Motivation is a word used to refer to the reason or reasons for engaging in a particular behavior, especially human behavior as studied in psychology and neuropsychology. These reasons may include basic needs such as food or a desired object, hobbies, goal, state of being, or ideal. The motivation for a behavior may also be attributed to less-apparent reasons such as altruism or morality. According to Geen,[1] motivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of human behavior. 'Motivation', along with related words such as motive, is derived from the Latin verb movere, 'to move'. Motivational concepts

Reward and reinforcement
A reward, tangible or intangible, is presented after the occurrence of an action (i.e. behavior) with the intent to cause the behavior to occur again. This is done by associating positive meaning to the behavior. Studies show that if the person receives the reward immediately, the effect would be greater, and decreases as duration lengthens. Repetitive action-reward combination can cause the action to become habit. Rewards can also be organized as extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic rewards are external to the person; for example, praise or money. Intrinsic rewards are internal to the person; for example, satisfaction or accomplishment. Some authors distinguish between two forms of intrinsic motivation: one based on enjoyment, the other on obligation. In this context, obligation refers to motivation based on what an individual thinks ought to be done. For instance, a feeling of responsibility for a mission may lead to helping others beyond what is easily observable, rewarded, or fun. A reinforcer is different from reward, in that reinforcement is intended to create a measured increase in the rate of a desirable behavior following the addition of something to the environment. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation is when people engage in an activity, without obvious external incentives, such as a hobby. Intrinsic motivation has been studied by educational psychologists since the 1970s, and numerous studies have found it to be associated with high educational achievement and enjoyment by students. There is currently no universal theory to explain the origin or elements of intrinsic motivation, and most explanations combine elements of Fritz Heider's attribution theory, Bandura's work on self-efficacy and other studies relating to locus of control and goal orientation. Though it is thought that students are more likely to be intrinsically motivated if they: Attribute their educational results to internal factors that they can control (e.g. the amount of effort they put in), Believe they can be effective agents in reaching desired goals (i.e. the results are not determined by dumb luck), Are interested in mastering a topic, rather than just rote-learning to achieve good grades. Note that the idea of reward for achievement is absent from this model of intrinsic motivation, since rewards are an extrinsic factor. In knowledge-sharing communities and organizations, people often cite altruistic reasons for their participation, including contributing to a common good, a moral obligation to the group, mentorship or 'giving back'. In work environments, money may provide a more powerful extrinsic factor than the intrinsic motivation provided by an enjoyable workplace. The most obvious form of motivation is coercion, where the avoidance of pain or other negative consequences has an immediate effect. Extreme use of coercion is considered slavery. While coercion is considered morally reprehensible in many philosophies, it is widely practiced on prisoners, students in mandatory schooling, within the nuclear family unit (on children), and in the form of conscription. Critics of modern capitalism charge that without social safety networks, wage slavery is inevitable. However, many capitalists such as Ayn Rand have been very vocal against coercion[citation needed]. Successful...
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