Although there are several competing theories on motivation, each has some strengths and weaknesses. One theory emphasizes biological needs while the other emphasizes the role of social practices and experiences. No single theory can fully explain motivation; therefore, motivation should be viewed as a combination of factors that influence behavior. Here are four common perspectives on motivation. This article will focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each perspective. Read on for an introduction to the four perspectives.
Instinct theories began as an attempt to explain human behavior. They were later rejected in favor of other theories. One such theory is known as the drive theory and says that people are motivated by an internal tension resulting from unmet needs. The drive theory emphasizes that our behavior is motivated by the desire to minimize the tension caused by unmet needs, while the exploration theory claims that we are motivated by the sense of mastery that comes from interacting with complex environments.
The third perspective on motivation is called the social-cognitive approach. Social-cognition theories describe motivation as a combination of individual psychology and the interaction surrounding social practices. Social context plays a vital role in understanding motivation. In these theories, the subject operates as a carrier of his or her values, orientations, experiences, and coping mechanisms. Motivating behaviors are thus dynamic, changing over time.
Cognitive perspectives emphasize the role of mental processes in human behavior. These theories assume the role of individual mental processes in motivation, but are increasingly recognizing the role of social context. Bandura termed his theory the social-cognitive theory of learning, although all theories include cognitive and social elements. Although they are all rooted in cognitive theories, their operationalisations differ. For example, Bandura argued that learning motivation is a complex process that requires both individual and social elements.
Self-determination theory is an important concept in understanding human motivation. This theory proposes that people become self-determined when they are able to fulfill their needs and desires. A high-strung individual takes responsibility for their actions and accepts the consequences of their behavior. In fact, self-determined individuals often take responsibility for their own actions and hold their heads up high despite failure. Moreover, they know that they can do better next time.
Self-efficacy is a major motivating factor. The belief in one’s own ability to achieve a certain task motivates a student to complete it. Self-efficacy also leads to higher levels of effort than low-efficacy students. High-efficacy learners often choose more difficult tasks and persevere in the face of difficulties. This approach leads to higher academic performance and higher motivation levels than low-efficacy students.
The goal theory of motivation is based on the idea that an individual’s actions are a function of his or her goals. According to goal theory, an individual will engage in learning activities that will help him or her achieve a specific goal. Thus, perceived value of the task is an essential antecedent of motivation. In addition to providing students with authentic examples, real-world assignments, and relating instruction to prior knowledge, these methods can help individuals establish perceived relevance.
The self-determination theory focuses on the different orientations of motivation. Orientations are the reasons people choose to engage in particular behaviors. For example, a student may be motivated to learn a new skill to gain approval from their parents or to achieve a dream job. Self-determination theory emphasizes that intrinsic motivation is distinct from extrinsic motivation. It also emphasizes the importance of autonomy for students, as autonomy promotes self-determination and high-quality engagement.
Relational perspective: In the relational perspective, values are intrinsically important. When a person identifies a value in an activity, they are motivated by that value. Integrating with oneself is a form of intrinsic motivation. Integrated regulation is similar to intrinsic motivation in terms of self-determination, and both are based on a person’s internalized sense of importance. A person is motivated by the values that he or she has.
Self-motivation theory: The theory of self-motivation asserts that motivation is a function of expectations for future success and the perceived value of the task. The self-determination perspective argues that optimal performance emerges from satisfying intrinsic interests and extrinsic values. Self-efficacy is the primary driver of motivated action. It also highlights attributions as interactions between the individual and the learning context.