Sources of Motivation

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Sources of Motivation

Motivation consists of both internal and external factors that stimulate energy or desire in an individual or group of individuals to pursue, be continually interested, and be persistent in accomplishing a goal. It is also the process that causes an individual to act in a certain way, or to have reason for ones behavior. (Business Dictionary, 2012). Whether it be negative or positive behavior, there is some force behind why individuals make the choices that they do. Some people are motivated to behave in ways that are productive and others are motivated to chose behaviors that are undesirable, inappropriate, or that will cause themselves or others harm. Examining the reasons behind what motivates individuals, whether it be emotions, basic needs, incentives, drive, arousal, survival, safety, or financial reasons, among many others, will help to understand motivation and how it relates to every behavior one exhibits.

The basic motivations of humans have been examined over many centuries and several philosophers (Socrates, Locke, Bentham, Thorndike, and Freud, etc) all have theories of human motivation which have been examined and put forth, mostly in variations of the concept of hedonism. Hedonism is “the pursuit of pleasure and the avoidance of pain.”(Deckers, 2010) These include basic reactions to pleasure and pain, but are complicated by human decisions to forgo instant pleasure in order to achieve longer term goals that could possibly bring more pleasure over a period of time, this was Freud's reality principle. Freud also believed that pleasure is gained from unconscious or impulsive behavior in order to reduce tension or displeasure from an immediately previous increase in tension, this is known as his pleasure principle (Deckers, 2010 ch.2 p.25).

Decisions based on effects, including reinforcers and punishers was…...

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