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  • 1. 1 Sources of Motivation Jody Marvin PSY 355 June 4, 2012 Dr. Rockel Etienne
  • 2. 2 Sources of Motivation A central theme in psychology is the study of motivation. Factors that direct and energize behavior of humans include biological, cognitive (psychological), and social aspects (environmental). As an illustration, comparing motivation as a journey explains that motives are physiological and psychological needs, whereas the external objects are incentives and goals (Deckers, 2010). In addition, motivation is a driving force that alerts the mind to change, pushes and creates the pursuit toward change, and pulls the individual toward the end-stage result (Deckers, 2010). Consequently, you not only need to think you can, you need the capability and knowledge to 'move into action' causing changes in behavior. According to Deckers (2010), “The meaning of motivation is to be moved into cognition, feeling, and action," (p. 2). Depending on what people want to achieve and how strongly people want to attain the final achievement, motivation refers to the driving force behind behavior that leads to pursing the achievement and cause others avoidance (Deckers, 2010). Incentive approaches are theories of motivation in which behavior is a response to external stimulus and its rewarding properties (Hardy & Carlo, 2005). Direction and arousal toward goal-oriented behavior are factors within a human or animal. Charles Darwin attributed the extent of animal and human behavior to instinct (biologically determined innate), patterns of behavior. For example, when our safety if threatened we are programmed to „fight or flight‟ and when we are hungry we are motivated to get food. Darwin emphasizes the innate programmed genetic behaviors responsible for primal energy sources (Huitt, 2012). Concurrently, a need (food) is a requirement for survival, whereas gourmet food is a want. Both are very different, however; both can be motivating depending on intrinsic or extrinsic motivation.
  • 3. 3 Emotions are a universal functional reaction to external stimulus causing the shaping of responses to a current situation. The push to fulfill the need is a psychological tension and physical arousal that motivates the action to reduce the tension. The drive‟s strength is dependent on the strength of the need. In addition, homeostasis is the physiological tendency of the body to maintain this steady state of „comfortable tension.‟ Subsequently, moved to motivate requires energy that powers the muscles and strengthens the neural connections within the brain known as cathexis (Deckers, 2010). Known as adaption energy (Hans Selye, 1976), cathesix is a pleasurable motivator for behavior (as cited Deckers, 2010, p. 54). The amount of adaptive energy is relative to the amount of mental energy produced when processing information from the environment. The physical component, glucose, feeds the brain, which possibly creates new brain cells while enhancing the existing. As an illustration, “In the case of older rats, when their supply of glucose runs low, their memory for the maze becomes impaired (McNay et al., 2000; McNay & Gold, 2002; McNay et al., 2006)” (as cited in Deckers, 2010, p. 74). The goal or situation determines what the animal or human does. Motivation and behavior do not happen spontaneously. Theories of motivation in which behavior is explained as a response to the external stimulus and rewarding properties, uses incentives as a way to get you to do something (Decker, 2010). Action and behavior do not happen at the same time. In theory, we must be induced by internal motives or environmental influences to 'move into action'. Motives are internal dispositions that push us to the end whereas environmental influences are the incentives and goals that pull the individual to the end-state (Deckers, 2010). The goal of the motive is the incentive. Incentives are things that attract or lure people into actions, and are great motivators.
  • 4. 4 Self-determination is the theory of human motivation that allows the effect of the social context or environment to influence the motivation (Hardy & Carlo, 2005). Three inborn and universal needs necessary for an individual to gain a complete essence of self include autonomy (need for control of one‟s behavior), competence (master the challenging tasks in life), and relatedness (sense of belonging, intimacy, and security) (Huitt, 2012). In contrast, cognitive knowledge includes the knowledge and competence necessary for an individual to fulfill the desired behavior. Depending on a person‟s biological attributes and psychological dispositions determines the outcome of the individuals motivating factors (Deckers, 2010). For example, a psychological variable may include a need for belongingness, friendly social interactions, and relationships with others. The mind versus the brain is explained if the mind determines how much a person wants to study as compared to the brain‟s ability to function with the necessary need for clarity to optimal learning (Deckers, 2010). Based on operant conditioning, motivation focuses on drive reduction, depriving basic need causes tension, and appropriate actions reduce tension. Drive-reduction involves meeting a current need like hungry - find food or thirsty-find water. In contrast, behavior may be stimulated by activities that drive tension rather than reduce it (Hardy & Carlo, 2006). Concurrently, goalsetting theory defines specific goals, gets continuing feedback about the progress toward the goals, believes the goal is possible, and sets a high enough goal to remain motivated. A high commitment to the goal is mandatory. Intrinsic motivation suggests when we do something for the sheer enjoyment; we receive from doing it the reward in the process (Huitt, 2012). Today‟s theory of human motivation draws on biological, psychological, and social processes that focus on various issues. The intrinsic unpredictability of the world that people experience, the innate differences in the attributes of individuals, and the aesthetic pleasure obtained from
  • 5. 5 one‟s environment creates an understanding of why the theoretical issues exist to understanding human motivation.
  • 6. 6 References Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation: Biological, psychological, and environmental (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Hardy, S. A., & Carlo, G. (2005). Identity as a source of moral motivation. Human Development, 48(4), 232-256. http://search.proquest.com/docview/224020782?accountid=35812 Huitt, H. (2012). Motivation to learn: An overview - Educational Psychology Interactive. Retrieved from http:/www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/motivationmotivate.html/