The concept of motivation refers to the attempt of explaining reasons for the particular behavior. According to L. Curral and P. Marques-Quinteiro, “motivation is dependent on three psychological processes: arousal, direction and intensity” (Nate). The first process is determined by driving force that induces and stimulates further actions. Secondly, for the successful achievement of a goal, these actions should be accurately planed and directed. Finally, motivation should be strong enough not to give up on the halfway but achieve the stated goal.
Majority of scholars (E. A. Locke and J. R. Baum, A. Fejes, B. Resnick, R. M. Ryan and E. L. Deci, J. H. Kim and C. H. Lee, C. L. Cheng, et al.) define motivation as “inner drive… that causes behavior”, “the power that triggers action…” (Nate). Others (R. Mayer, D. Myers, J. M. Hays and A. V. Hill, et al.) consider motivation as “desire to attain some goal” (Nate).
Jones, George and Hill define motivation as “physical forces that determine the direction of a person’s behavior, a person’s level of effort and a person’s level of persistence in the face of obstacles” (Nate). According to Hawkins, motivation is “the internal force which initiates, directs, sustains and terminates all important activities… and influences the level of performance and the efficiency achieved” (Nate). J. Thijs assumes that “motivation is dependent on the fulfillment of fundamental, innate psychological needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy” (Nate).
In general, from the point of sources motivation is classified into intrinsic and extrinsic. The phenomenon of intrinsic motivation relies on the notion that person performs particular activity due to its own sake, personal interest and “inherent satisfaction” arising from “innate psychological needs” rather than “some separable consequence” (Ryan and Deci 57). The reasons for the intrinsic motivation are closely related to the emotions which person receives from a certain activity.
These emotions may either appear from the feeling of enjoyment, fun, excitement, or appeal to novelty, challenge, aesthetic value of the activity as well as associate with with the improvement of ones knowledge, skills, capacities, and positive experience which the person feels interest in. Extrinsic motivation triggers when an activity is performed in order “to earn a reward or avoid a punishment” (Cherry), or “enhance and maintain self-esteem and the feeling of worth” (Ryan and Deci 62). Along with the mentioned sources for extrinsic motivation, Ryan and Deci (2000) also point out the reason of competence: “Adopting as one’s own an extrinsic goal requires that one feel efficacious with respect to it. Students will more likely adopt and internalize a goal if they understand it and have the relevant skills to succeed at it” (64).
There is a correlation between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations which can be described as following: on the one hand, “excessive external rewards for an already internally rewarding behavior can actually lead to a reduction in intrinsic motivation, a phenomenon known as the overjustification effect”, while, on the other hand, external rewards may boost intrinsic motivation as “if a reward boosts ones feeling of competence after doing good work, enjoyment of the task may increase”, D. Myers says (Cherry).
Motivation is directly related to the behavior. While motivation is a desire and reason to achieve some goals, behavior is a range of steps and actions towards this goal. The stronger the motivation, the more clearly defined, planned and structured the behavior will be. Thus, if a person does not have enough motivation to achieve some goal, he will behave correspondingly.
For example, besides being interested in biology, a student wants to become a good doctor and cure people in the future. So, his motivation, which is personal interest and desire to be a qualified specialist, determines his behavior: read books on biology, prepare for the lessons, etc. Yet, there is another student who wants to be, say, a singer. As a result, his level of motivation, reflected in, for instance, bad grades, will be low or absent at all because this issue does not bear any importance to the latter person.
While motivation determines particular behavior, the behavior, in turn, reflects, ones motivation. For example, lets look at the desire to loose weight. In this case, goal will be the reduction of body mass, while the motivation can be caused by some disease, wish to be attractive for some person, and even a bet. Once strengthening individual motivation, it will be reflected in persons corresponding behavior: doing exercises, keeping diet, etc.
Summarizing all above-mentioned information, this paper describes the phenomenon of motivation. The essay performs definitions of motivation, offered by various scholars, as well as analyzes main sources of motivation and relation between motivation and behavior.
- Boyer, Nate. How Scholars Define Motivation. 2014. Web. 8 Aug. 2014.
- Cherry, Kendra. “The Difference Between Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation”. Online Psychology Newsletter 2014. Web. 8 Aug. 2014.
- Ryan, Richard M., Edward L. Deci. “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions”. Contemporary Educational Psychology 25 (2000): 54–67. Web. 8 Aug. 2014.