Motivation Psychology Explained

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Motivation is one of the most important psychological variables when achieving your goals in many areas. Do you need help staying motivated or know how to stay motivated? Read on for a complete understanding of what inspires and motivates you and some helpful tips for creative self-motivational tools.


Introduction To Motivation Psychology

Psychologists have long been interested in motivation—the underlying factors that energize, direct, and sustain behaviour. In the early 1900s, researchers focused on how our internal mental and emotional processes keep us motivated to act. This field of study is called motivation psychology.

Motivation psychology is the scientific study of why we do what we do. It covers various topics, from child development and eating disorders to job satisfaction and leadership. Researchers in this field try to understand how our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours are interconnected. By understanding these processes, we can better manage our motivation and achieve our goals.

Internal motivators are the forces within us that drive us to behave in specific ways. These include things like our needs, values, and beliefs. For example, if you believe that hard work will lead to success, you’re more likely to put forth extra effort when challenges arise. Internal motivators are often unconscious—we’re unaware of why we do what we do.

External motivators come from outside of us and can influence our behaviour positively and negatively. External motivators can include things like rewards (such as money or grades), punishments (such as detention or getting fired), or social pressure ( peer pressure or family expectations). While external motivators can be powerful, they only sometimes lead to lasting change or desired outcomes. For example, a student may study for a test only.


The History Of Motivation Psychology

The history of motivation psychology is exciting and has its roots in early theories of human motivation. These early theories were developed through the study of animal behaviour and the observation of human behaviour. The early ideas focused on humans being motivated by physiological needs such as hunger, thirst, and sex.

The work of B.F. Skinner is often cited as being influential in the development of motivation psychology. Skinner’s work focused on operant conditioning, which states that consequences determine behaviour. Skinner found that reinforcement (rewards) could increase desired behaviours while punishment could decrease undesired behaviours.

Skinner’s work led to the development of various theories of motivation, including positive reinforcement theory, opposing reinforcement theory, and intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation theory. These theories have been used to explain multiple human behaviours, including productivity at work, academic achievement, and sports performance.


Psychological Components Of Motivation

There are three psychological components of motivation:

  1. Direction
  2. Intensity
  3. Persistence

Direction refers to whether a person’s motivation is directed towards positive outcomes (approach motivation) or away from negative ones (avoidance motivation). Intensity is the strength of a person’s motivational drive. Persistence is the ability to maintain motivation over time.

People can be motivated by different things at different times. The key is to figure out what motivates you at any given moment and harness that energy to achieve your goals.


Understanding Your Motivation

It can be challenging to stay motivated. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, save money, or get better grades, there will be times when you feel like giving up. That’s why it’s essential to understand your motivation.

Your motivation is what drives you to achieve your goals. It’s what keeps you going when things get tough. Without motivation, it would not be easy to accomplish anything in life.

There are two main types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation comes from external factors, such as rewards or punishments. Intrinsic motivation comes from within oneself, such as a desire to do something or a sense of satisfaction.

Most people have a mix of both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. For example, you may be extrinsically motivated to lose weight to fit into your favourite clothes again. But you may also be intrinsically motivated by knowing that you’re taking care of your body and improving your health.

It’s important to identify what motivates you so that you can stay on track when things get tough. If you’re struggling to stay motivated, ask yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve? Once you know your motives, it will be easier to find the strength to keep going, even when things are tough.


Psychological Elements Mentality

One of the critical psychological elements that affect motivation is a mentality. A person’s mindset can influence how they approach and view challenges, affecting how motivated they are to achieve their goals.

There are two main types of mindset: fixed and growth. People with fixed mindsets believe their abilities and talents are set in stone and cannot improve or change. This can lead to a fear of failure, as people with a fixed mindset strive to avoid any situation where they might fail. On the other hand, people with a growth mindset believe that their abilities can be developed through effort and practice. This leads to a greater willingness to take on challenging tasks, as people with a growth mindset see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Which type of mindset do you have? If you need more clarification, look at how you react to obstacles and setbacks. Do you see them as insurmountable problems or as opportunities for growth? Your answer will give you insight into your mentality and whether it’s helping or hindering your motivation levels.


Benefits Of High And Low Motivation

When it comes to motivation, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one person may not work for another. However, some general benefits of both high and low motivation can be helpful to keep in mind.

The benefits of high motivation include increased productivity, improved performance, and greater satisfaction. On the other hand, low motivation can lead to decreased productivity, poor performance, and dissatisfaction.

Highly motivated people are often more productive because they have a clear goal and are driven to achieve it. They are also usually more satisfied with their work because they feel accomplished when completing it.

Lowly motivated people may have a more challenging time getting started on projects or may not put as much effort into them. As a result, their work may suffer in quality or quantity. Additionally, they may feel less satisfied with their work because it didn’t meet their expectations.


Increasing Your Motivation

There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to increasing your motivation. First, it’s essential to set yourself realistic goals. Trying to achieve something impossible is only going to lead to frustration. Second, breaking down your goals into smaller, more manageable pieces is essential.

This will make them seem less daunting and more achievable. Third, it’s important to reward yourself for making progress towards your goals. This could be as simple as taking a break or treating yourself to a new book once you’ve reached a milestone. Finally, it’s important to remember that motivation is only sometimes constant. There will be times when you feel more motivated than others, and that’s okay. Try to ride out the low points and keep working towards your goal.



In conclusion, motivation psychology is an important topic because it helps explain why people do what they do. By understanding the different motivators, we can better understand why people make the choices they do and how we can use this knowledge to improve our lives. If you’re interested in learning more about motivation psychology, check out our other articles.