Skip to content

Types of motivation: the 8 motivational sources

Motivation can be defined as the process that initiates, guides, and maintains behaviors geared toward achieving a goal or meeting a need.

It is the force that makes us act and allows us to move forward even in difficult situations. Going to get a glass of water when one is thirsty, studying throughout the night to pass the driving test that is so desired or training hard to be the best of a championship, are possible thanks to this.

However, just as the challenges and projects we propose are very varied, the types of motivation from which our strength to achieve our goals is born are also varied. That’s exactly what I’m going to talk about in this article: the types of motivation.A theory that analyzes human needs: “Maslow’s Pyramid”Psychology’s interest in motivation

Many psychologists have been interested in the study of motivation, because it is a basic principle in the behavior of human beings: no one moves without a motivation, without a reason for it. Being motivated means carrying out daily tasks without them being a heavy burden and keeps us alive. But not only that, motivation is related to other psychological variables, such as stress level, self-esteem, concentration, etc., and, as many studies have indicated, has an effect on the health and well-being of all of us.

Therefore, there are many theories that speak of human motivation, including the aforementioned Maslow’s Pyramid, McClelland’s three factors or Herzberg’s dual factor theory. When studying motivation, different approaches have been developed that are applicable to different areas: work, sport, learning, etc. This has caused several authors to classify motivation under different names. Types of motivation

The degree of motivation of each individual is not directly proportional to the value of what provokes it, but it is the importance given by the person who receives it that determines the strength or level of motivation.

Below we will explain the different types of motivation, as well as the different sources of motivation that drive us to perform certain acts. Extrinsic motivation vs intrinsic motivation

This way of classifying the types of motivation is one of the most used, and is based on the location of what motivates: are they incentives belonging to the context, or self-administered incentives?1. Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation refers to the fact that motivational stimuli come from outside the individual and from outside the activity. Therefore, motivating factors are external rewards such as money or recognition by others. Extrinsic motivation is not based on the satisfaction of performing the chain of actions that makes up what we are doing, but on a reward that is only related to it indirectly, as if it were a by-product.

For example: an individual can work hard to earn more money or can study very hard because of the social recognition that a good job provides once he has finished his studies. A person with extrinsic motivation for a task that must be delivered, will work it despite having little interest, because the anticipation of the external reinforcer will motivate him to finish it on time.2. Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation refers to the motivation that comes from within the individual rather than from any external reward. It is associated with the desires for self-realization and personal growth, and is related to the pleasure that the person feels when performing an activity, which allows a person to be in a “State of Flow” when performing it.

For example: an individual who attends the training of his football team simply for the pleasure of practicing his favorite sport.

Intrinsic motivation is the type of motivation most linked to good productivity, since where the individual occurs, he does not limit himself to fulfilling the minimum necessary to obtain the reward, but he is personally involved in what he does and decides to put much of his effort into it.

Positive motivation vs negative motivation

This distinction is based on the emotional charge associated with motivation.3. Positive motivation

Positive motivation refers to the process by which an individual initiates or maintains a behavior thanks to obtaining a positive reward, whether external or internal (for the pleasure of the activity).4. Negative motivation

Negative motivation refers to the process by which a person initiates or remains attached to a behavior to avoid an unpleasant consequence, both external (punishment, humiliation, etc.) or internal (avoid the feeling of frustration or failure). Other ways to classify motivation varieties

The specialized literature in sport psychology has also provided information on other types of motivation related to the world of physical activity and sport. Basic motivation vs everyday motivation

This classification of types of motivation is established according to the frequency and intensity of what leads to action.5. Basic motivation

Basic motivation refers to the stable basis of motivation that determines the level of commitment of an athlete to their activity. It refers to an athlete’s interest in sports results, personal performance and/or the positive consequences of both.6. Everyday motivation

Everyday motivation refers to an athlete’s interest in daily activity and the immediate gratification it produces.

Ego-centered motivational orientation vs task-focused motivational orientation

In relation to the way in which motivation interacts more or less with self-esteem and self-concept, we can distinguish between these two concepts. Both orientations are orthogonal and not opposite. Therefore, there can be athletes with both high orientations, both low orientations, with a high ego-centered orientation but low in the task and with a high task orientation but a low ego-centered orientation.7. Ego-centered motivational orientation

This type of motivation refers to the fact that the motivation of athletes depends on challenges and results compared to other athletes.8. Task-focused motivational guidance

Motivation depends on personal challenges and outcomes, and subjective impressions of mastery and progress. That is, what motivates is to surpass oneself, improve personal brands. Let’s move on to practice: how to motivate yourself?

We invite you to learn about a series of strategies and keys to maintain your motivation at high levels.You can consult the article: “The 10 keys to motivate yourself”References:Benjamin Lowry, Paul; Gaskin, James; Twyman, Nathan W.; Hammer, Bryan; Roberts, Tom L. (2013). Taking ‘fun and games’ seriously: Proposing the hedonic-motivation system adoption model (HMSAM). Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 14(11): pp. 617 – 671.Berridge, Kent C; Kringelbach, Morten L (2013). Neuroscience of affect: brain mechanisms of pleasure and displeasure”. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 23(3): pp. 294 – 303.Marinak, Barbara A.; Gambrell, Linda B. (2008). Intrinsic Motivation and Rewards: What Sustains Young Children’s Engagement with Text?. Literacy Research and Instruction. 47: pp. 9 – 26.O’Neill, Jr., H.F.; Drillings, M. (1994). Motivation: Theory and Research. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Uysal, Muzaffer (1994). Testing the push and pull factors. Annals of Tourism Research, 21(4): pp. 844 – 846.


Hi, I'am a developer website, content writer and social media enthusiast. Happy reading....

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.