As defined by Burger (2008), motivation is the driving force in all human activities which is aimed at goal achievement. In other words, motivation has also been defined as the determination and zest with a kind of excitement that makes one to endure and persevere in order to reach greater heights. In regard to human life, the source of the driving force (motivation) comes either from an internal source or external source. It has been noted that, motivation is dynamic and keeps changing from time to time. In this phenomenon, attainment of one goal gives a new drive to aim to a higher goal and the process continues throughout an individual’s life. On the contrary, de-motivation is also evident in people’s lives and may lead to great withdrawing and a bleak of all aspects of life. Despite the narrowing of the topic to address humans, it be effectively used in describing animal behavior. With regard to the topic, various theorists have contributed extensive efforts in analyzing and discussing the concept. Primarily, the concept of motivation is related with individuals desire to maximize pleasure and minimize physical pain. This will expound on the concept of motivation and more precisely identify and critically evaluate the role of internal and external factors affecting motivation (Burger 2008).
To begin with, motivation is disintegrated into two broad categories which include the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation exists within the individual and does not rely on external pressure. In this case, the motivation is driven by enjoyment or interest in the tasks itself. Based on research carried by different educational and social psychologists, intrinsic motivation is in most cases associated with high academic achievement and enjoyment by learners. Fritz Heider’s attribution theory has profoundly explained the concept of intrinsic motivation. Bandura’s and Ryan’s and Deci in the theory of self efficiency and cognitive evaluation theory respectively have adequately explained the topic of intrinsic motivation (Burger 2008).
On the other hand, extrinsic motivation refers to the driving force in individual behavior which yields from outside the individual. As depicted by Burger (2008), money, coercion, grades, and punishment among other rewards are the key motivations of individuals. From another perspective, an issue like competition has been identified to be a key factor in motivating people to behave in different manner. With regard to the Self determination theory, individuals can internalize extrinsic motivation if they view the tasks matches their beliefs and values. By so doing, individuals are able to fulfill there primary psychological needs (Burger 2008).
In relation with intrinsic motivation, the key drive is the enjoyment or the interest in the activity being undertaken. There are various internal and external factors affecting the level of intrinsic motivation among individuals. For instance in the academic field, learners are highly motivated by the achievements they may gain from their academic excellence. In this case, by evaluating the factors determining the achievement of a certain task, individuals will be highly motivated if they realize they are potential in handling the situation. In this regard, the amount of effort to be put into a certain activity or task is a key determinant of the level of motivation. For instance in educational arena, students will get motivated if they realize the tasks to be accomplished require less effort. Also in the professional field, the level of ease in performing a task is a key determinant of the level of motivation (Burger 2008).
On the other hand, the level of participation and the degree of utility required from an individual in performing a task determines the level of motivation. For instance, students will get more motivating in performing their tasks if they realize they are the only effective agents in attaining their desired goals. The recognition that, results cannot be attained by lick will definitely reinforce the driving force in individuals. It has further been observed that, the motivation in students is also determined by individual learners’ abilities in mastering a topic. It should be noted that, the level of motivation is always varied among individuals (Atkinson Et al 1996).
Many theorists have developed different theories explaining on how various external and internal factors determines the level of motivation. To begin with, the incentive theory is a vital theory in explaining the motivational factors. In regard to this theory, a tangible or intangible reward given to an individual will significantly alter his level of motivation. Research and experiments carried on the theory shows that, the impact of the rewards varies with the length of time the reward is offered. For instance, if the reward is offered immediately, the level of motivation will be very high. On the contrary, lengthening the time when the reward will be offered leads to gradual diminishing of the level of motivation (Pavlov 1927).
Additionally, the theory also outlines that, a rein-forcer can also be an effective factor of manipulating the individual’s behavior. This factor is slightly different from reward in that it is intended to develop a measured increase in the level of desirable behavior. Basically, the theory is developed on the belief that people are always ready to engage in behaviors which they perceive to be profitable. The theory gains much support from Behavioral psychologists like B.F skimmer. The concept of wanting and liking are stressed in this scenario; whereby the stimulus is aimed at attracting the person to behaving in a certain manner. It should been noted that, stimulus is very crucial in manipulating individual behavior (Burger 2008).
The need hierarchy theory developed by Abram Maslow has been highly celebrated fro its role in explaining motivational factors of individuals. With regard to the theory, human behavior is influenced by the various needs and wants facing an individual. Based on this, the unsatisfied needs will be a key factor in deciding how a person will behave. On the contrary, satisfied needs have no role in determining the behavior of any individual. According to Abraham Maslow, the needs of people are endless and thus people’s behavior will continue to be manipulated by these needs influencing their level of motivation. Significantly, the hierarchical nature of human needs is also well depicted in the theory; whereby an individual will advance to the next level (Nevid 2007).
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