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The science of motivation

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How does the amount of time energy and number of responses affect goal motivation?

Is instrumental or motivated behavior governed by least effort?

How is trying to achieve a goal similar to an economic transaction?

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This should help you with your questions, as well, I've listed some hints after the references, and other sources for you - Good luck!

The science of motivation is the study of what makes human beings do what they do. Psychologists are interested in finding out what motivates people to do certain things so that they are able to understand and predict and hence, try to control or prevent forms of undesirable behaviour.

Motivation refers to an internal process that serves to activate, guide and maintain our behaviour over time (Baron, 1998, p. 382). The scientific study of motivation deals with past events (antecedent conditions) and with anticipated outcomes (goals). (Ferguson, 2000, p. 1).

Motivation seems to be a basic necessity to everything we as humans see that we have to do. Motivation is what enables us to keep working at certain aspects of our life, to stop once we have started, to be continually interested in what is going on around us and why we are often confused by what we have undertaken in the past. By studying motivation, we learn what gives our behaviour its purpose, direction and sustainability. (Bond & McConkey, 2001, p. 6.3).

Before there was the concept of motivation however, psychologists tended to use the term "instinct theory". (William James, 1890). Instead of explaining behaviour with reference to motivation, psychologists attempted to explain behaviour in terms of 'innate patterns of behaviour that are universal in species, independent of experience, and elicited by specific stimuli or conditions'. (Baron, 1998, p. 383). Sigmund Freud was one psychologist who suggested that many forms of complex behaviour, varying from aggression to hunger to love, originated from biologically determined instincts. The main problem with this approach is that instincts can only be inferred from behaviour and that the so-called instincts are not automatically elicited even with the relevant stimuli. As acknowledgment to this basic flaw in the "instinct theory" amplified, support for the theory wavered and was replaced by more substantial theories of motivation.

Psychologists can now use biological and psychological theories of motivation to attempt to determine the drive behind the human instinct. There are several important forms of motivation that include areas such as sexual motivation, aggressive motivation and also hunger and thirst (focusing in this case, on eating disorders).

A theory of motivation proposed by Abraham Maslow (1970), describes psychological needs such as those for food and ...

Solution Summary

The science of motivation is demonstrated.