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Subject Psychology

Key-Topics motivation

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631202899.1996.x


Three sets of phenomena have traditionally been of concern in the field of human motivation: (1) the choice or selection of a certain course of action; (2) the energization of the implied behaviors; and (3) the regulation of these behaviors. Accordingly, research on motivation focuses on the determinants of what type of goals people choose, and how they go about implementing them (i.e., when and how goal-directed behavior gets started, is energized, sustained, and stopped). Taking this broad and comprehensive perspective, it is evident that any field in social psychology (e.g., helping behavior , aggression , intergroup relations ) may potentially be analyzed from a motivational point of view, and this extends not only to how people behave in social situations, but also to their social thoughts and feelings. The layperson's understanding of the concept of motivation reflects an important insight. People are referred to as unmotivated when they do not live up to their potential, because they fail to exert respective efforts. Issues of what people can do, that is, their cognitive capabilities and limitations ( see social cognition ) are just the starting point of a motivational analysis, which commonly attempts to discover the determinants and processes that underlie a person's willingness to use his/her potential. The history of motivational theorizing can be summarized ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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