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PSY 355 Sources of Motivation

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Sources of Motivation
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PSY 355
October 11, 2010
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S O U R C E S O F M O T I VA T I O N | 2
Sources of Motivation
Motivation is a crucial element to leading a successful life. A lack of sufficient
motivation would make it difficult for an individual to achieve any goals in life. All tasks in life
require a certain level of motivation, no matter how simple or complex these tasks may be.
Individual levels of motivation are driven by both internal and external sources. Internal sources
of motivation can include biological and psychological variables while incentives and goals that
drive motivation are considered external sources. An individual’s behavior relies heavily upon
these internal and external sources of motivation. Rabideau (2005, para.2) states that,
“motivation is the basic drive for all of our actions. Motivation refers to the dynamics of our
behavior, which involves our needs, desires, and ambitions in life.”
Motivation
The term motivation is derived from the Latin term motivus, which means “a moving
cause” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2010). When an individual experiences motivational change
he or she can experience a strong desire to complete a task or achieve a goal. This task may be
as simple as getting a glass of water to something more complicated like finishing college with a
high GPA. Motives and incentives are the driving factors behind motivation. Incentives are
positive rewards or outcomes while motives are what push people to seek out these positive
incentives. Incentives can include money, good grades, praise, and so on. These incentives are
gained when the level of motivation has reached a sufficient level allowing the individual to
receive (or achieve) their incentive. Motives can be placed into two key categories, primary and
secondary. Primary motives tend to be geared more towards sustainment and survival and can

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