Motivation – Concept, examples, types, importance and theories


We explain what motivation is, the theories that explain it and examples. In addition, differences between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Motivation is the force that drives us to initiate or sustain an action.

Generally, when we talk about motivation we refer to the internal or external forces that act on an individual to shoot, direct or sustain a behavior. In technical terms, many authors define it as “the dynamic root of behavior”,which means that every form of behavior is born in some kind of motive.

Put in simpler terms, motivation is the psychic energy that pushes us to undertake or sustain an action or behavior. Its disappearance necessarily entails the abandonment of what is done. Therefore, it is much more difficult to achieve goals when you lack motivation.

Motivation allows us to create habits, try new things, sustain the effort in some task that we consider rewarding or productive, and is even necessary to meet certain fundamental needs.

On the other hand, you can distinguish between:Positive motivation. Invite action to make a profit.Negative motivation. Actions are taken to avoid a possible negative consequence.

It May Help: OptimismTheories of Motivation

The study of motivation includes different perspectives and approaches, from the different branches and areas of psychological knowledge. Broadly speaking, we can identify four different theories around the subject:Content theory. It proposes the understanding of motivation based on its link with human needs, as Understood by Maslow in his famous pyramid, in which he represented the hierarchy of human needs. Thus, according to this approach to motivation, behind it there is always some kind of unmet need.Incentive theory. This approach supposes motivation as the result of a stimulus or incentive, material or of another nature, that affects the behavior in a positive way (inciting action) or negatively (inhibiting action). Such incentives are called reinforcers, and their effects will be, respectively, positive reinforcement (offer the possibility of a reward) or negative (offer the possibility of punishment).Theory of the reduction of impulses. This theory starts from the consideration that human beings have fundamental basic impulses (hunger, thirst, etc.) that, as time passes, gain strength and motivation if they are dissatisfied, and in the same way when satisfied they lose strength, that is, they are reduced.Theory of cognitive dissonance. It’s not exactly a theory about motivation, but it can be applied to it. It states that individuals actively attempt to diminish their sense of subjective dissonance about the world around them, their own desires or feelings, and others. That is, people have a motivational impulse that leads them to undertake actions to directly or indirectly correct other ailments and perceptions.Importance of motivation

Psychology is enormously interested in motivation. On the one hand, it is the source of energy to complete the tasks we have set ourselves. On the other hand, it is a factor that influences other emotional and psychic variables such as stress, self-esteem, concentration, among others.

But in the everyday environment, the possibility of staying motivated is essential to perform many of the tasks that, in one way or another, involve some kind of effort or postponement of pleasure. It is as simple as that, without motivation, the action becomes difficult, slow or unsustainable over time. Examples of motivation

Motivation plays an important role in our daily lives. When we set out to start a new habit or abandon one we no longer want, our success or failure will largely depend on how motivated we are.

For example, a person who is willing to quit smoking, can do so more or less easily depending on the internal and external motivations he has.

Their motivations can be diverse. For example, you may feel motivated by social pressures. Or because the doctor warned him that he has a disease that smoking would aggravate. Another motivation would be that his partner imposed an ultimatum on him. Depending on the values of the individual, each scenario will be more or less motivating. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

Two types of motivation are generally recognized: intrinsic and extrinsic, depending on whether they come from inside or outside the individual, respectively.Intrinsic motivation. It is the motivation that is born within the individual himself, that is, in his own desires for satisfaction of needs, self-realization and / or personal determination, regardless of the validation or external reward that the behavior may entail. It is usually the most valuable and productive type of motivation, since it generates high margins of commitment on the part of the subject.Extrinsic motivation. Unlike the previous one, this motivation has its roots outside the individual, that is, in the expectation of receiving a reward (material or not) that arises as a by-product of the action or motivated behavior. This type of motivation is weaker than the intrinsic one, since it does not come from the inner commitment of the individual, but from the expectation of a future benefit.Personal motivation

Personal motivation is the common term we give to the internalized energy we have to undertake changes and sustain decisions. It is our load of inner motivation focused specifically on what we consider our successes or our values.

A person with a lot of personal motivation requires little help to get towards what they want or to sustain a habit they want. On the contrary, one with little personal motivation fluctuates in her desire, is fickle and often needs others to lead her and excite her with what she paradoxically wants for herself. Work motivationThe motivation of employees increases their productivity.

Work motivation does not have to do directly with motivation as we have understood it so far. In reality, it refers to the emotional and psychic conditions that a job provides its employees to sustain their high enough productivity and engagement rates over time.

Highly motivated workers outperform and deliver more than the strictly necessary minimum. Generally this is because they enjoy the necessary conditions to assume the work as something deeper, personal and important, than simply an activity that is carried out to obtain in return an economic remuneration or salary. References”Motivation” on Wikipedia.”What is motivation” in CIPSIA Psicológos.”Motivation, concept and main theories” in Gestiópolis.”Motivation” in The Encyclopaedia Britannica.

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