Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sources of Motivation

     Whether consciously or unconsciously motivation is what causes individuals to act in particular ways. Therefore, motivation is a key aspect of behavior. Motivation determines what the actions of individuals. Motivation occurs because of different sources, which have varying effects on individuals. Therefore, there is a strong relationship between motivation and behavior. Motivation is also exhibited in those behaviors. Deckers (2010), “motivation stems from the sequence of events that moves from motives or anticipated incentives to end-states where motives are satisfied or incentives are attained” (p. 7).
Motivation Defined
     Motivation is the process by which an individual moves into action (Deckers, 2010). It involves the emotional, social, biological, and cognitive forces that activate behavior (Cherry, 2013). Motivation causes an individual to act or take action, whether consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, it is simple put as an individual taking action to eat when hungry or going to college to obtain knowledge. Motivation describes why an individual does something or takes action. For example, a motivated doctor may take action in taking care of his or her patients by frequently checking up on his or her patients at a hospital and frequently spends extra time at work after hours doing so. Motivation is also the process that guides, initiates, and maintains an individual’s goal-oriented behaviors.
Sources of Motivation
     Deckers (2010), “motivation can originate from internal sources, described as biological and psychological variables, and from external sources, such as incentives and goals” (p. 1). Internal sources developed during an individual’s unique personal history and common evolutionary history, and external sources refer to what is available in an individual’s environment (Deckers, 2010). Motivational sources determine certain behaviors, which an individual has no choice over. As for internal sources, an individual’s psychological variables and biological variables determine what will be motivating (Deckers, 2010). Psychological variables pertain to motives studied indirectly through measurable indicators (Deckers, 2010). Anxiety and happiness are examples of psychological variables. Biological variables pertain to the material characteristics of the brain and body, which serve to motivate behavior (Deckers, 2010). Hunger is an example of a biological variable.
     As for external sources, they are incentives and goals, which are available in an individual’s environment. Incentives are the environmentally available anticipated aversive events or rewards. External incentives and goals pull an individual toward the end-state (Deckers, 2010). Examples of incentives and goals are a rewarding career, money, and the admiration by other individuals. These two sources of motivation are what move an individual into action.
The Relationship between Motivation and Behavior
     Deckers (2010), “to be motivated is to be moved into action, or to decide on a change in action, according to the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer” (p. 3). Schopenhauer made the first speculations on the relationship between motivation and behavior (Deckers, 2010). Actions or behaviors will not occur spontaneously; therefore actions or behaviors occur because of either internal motives or environmental incentives (Deckers, 2010). Motives are an individual’s internal disposition to approach and of concern with positive incentives and avoid negative incentives. Incentives are an individual’s aversive event or an anticipated reward that is available in his or her environment. Attaining an incentive is the goal of an individual’s motive; therefore linking motives to incentives (Deckers, 2010).
     Motives or motivation are what drives an individual’s behavior. The sources of motivation are what push and pull an individual to behave in a particular way, therefore motivated behavior is the result of how an individual push and pull toward a certain end-state (Deckers, 2010). Deckers (2010), “for human motivation, biological and psychological motives push an individual into action while environmental prospects like incentives and goals pull an individual” (p. 4). An individual’s behavior is the result of a desire to meet a perceived need that motivates him or her to satisfy that need, such as the need for food, therefore one will eat. To fulfill a motivation an individual will perform a certain behavior aligned with accomplishing certain goals, such as the goal of knowledge, therefore one will attend college (Deckers, 2010). Motivation is goal-oriented and the behavior exhibited is the means by which an individual meets or accomplishes goals.  
Motivation Exhibited in Behavior
    Motivation plays a key role in the behavior of individuals. There are numerous reasons motivation exhibits in behavior by individuals. One, motivated to acquire knowledge exhibits behavior, such as reading a book or goes to college. One, motivated by hunger exhibits behaviors of acquiring food. Motivation exhibited in behavior accomplishes goals and fulfills needs. Motivation drives individuals to behave in particular ways to allow the accomplishment or meeting of a goal, and to fulfill needs. Deckers (2010), “motivation is the impetus or reason for doing the behavior; it initiates the action” (p. 7).
     Motivation moves or motives an individual into action. Motivation has several sources, such as internal and external sources, which have different effects on different individuals. To understand the relationship between motivation and behavior allows one to understand how motivation exhibited in behavior. Understanding the sources of motivation allows one to understand the resulting exhibited behaviors, and why they occur.
Cherry, K. (2013). Psychology. Retrieved from

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