What is Motivation?


Motivation is defined as the direction and intensity of ones efforts. In general, there are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

  • Intrinsic Motivation- engaging in an activity for it’s own sake, particularly for the pleasure and satisfaction. In school, this may mean an individual has a genuine desire for learning, or engaging in an intellectual challenge.
  • Extrinsic Motivation- engaging in behaviors in order to attain contingent outcomes beyond the activity itself. In school, this could look like the desire for a certain income, or pressure from outside sources, like parents.

How Can Motivation Help?

  • Direct behaviors towards a particular goal
  • Leads to increased effort
  • Increases persistence
  • Affects cognitive processes
  • Determines reinforcing or punishing consequences
  • Enhances academic performance (Weinberg & Gould, 2011)

General Motivation Tips

  • Set SMART goals
  • Find a social support network
  • Acknowledge your accomplishments
  • Use the power of positive thinking and believe in yourself
  • Establish a routine

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