Types of motivation: the 8 motivational sources

Types of motivation

Types of motivation: the 8 motivational sources

Motivation can be defined as the process that initiates, guides, and maintains behavior aimed at achieving an objective or meet a need.

It is the force that makes us act and allows us to keep going even in difficult situations. Going for a glass of water when you’re thirsty, studying all night to pass your much-desired driving test, or training hard to be the best in a championship, are all possible thanks to this one.

However, just as the challenges and projects that we propose are very varied, the types of motivation from which our forces are born to achieve our objectives are also varied. That is precisely what I am going to talk about in this article: the types of motivation.

A theory that analyzes human needs: “Maslow’s Pyramid”

Psychology’s interest in motivation

Many psychologists have been interested in the study of motivation, as it is a basic principle in the behavior of human beings: no one moves without motivation, without a reason for it. Being motivated means carrying out daily tasks without being a heavy burden and it keeps us alive. But not only that, motivation is related to other psychological variables, such as stress level, self-esteem, concentration, etc., and, as many studies have indicated, it affects the health and well-being of all of us.

For this reason, many theories speak of human motivation, including the aforementioned Maslow’s Pyramid, McClelland’s three factors, or Herzberg’s dual-factor theory. When studying motivation, different approaches have been developed that apply to different areas: work, sport, learning, etc. This has caused several authors to classify motivation under different names.

Types of motivation

The degree of motivation of each individual is not directly proportional to the value of what causes it, but it is the importance that the person who receives it gives that determines the strength or level of motivation.

Next, we will explain the different types of motivation, as well as the different sources of motivation that drive us to perform certain acts.

Extrinsic motivation vs intrinsic motivation

This way of classifying the types of motivation is one of the most used, and is based on the location of what motivates: is it incentives belonging to the context, or self-administered incentives?

  1. Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation refers to the motivational stimuli from outside of the individual and the outside of the activity. Therefore, the motivating factors are external rewards such as money or recognition from others. Extrinsic motivation is not based on the satisfaction of carrying out the chain of actions that makes up what we are doing, but on a reward that is only indirectly related to it, as if it were a by-product.

For example, an individual may work hard to earn more money or he may study very hard because of the social recognition that a good job provides him once he has finished his studies. A person with extrinsic motivation for a task that must be delivered will work hard at it despite having little interest since the anticipation of the external reinforcer will motivate him to finish it on time.

  1. Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation refers to the motivation from inside the individual rather than any external reward. It is associated with the desire for self-realization and personal growth and is related to the pleasure that the person feels when carrying out an activity, which allows a person to be in a ” State of Flow ” when doing it.

For example, an individual who attends his soccer team training simply for the pleasure of playing his favorite sport.

Intrinsic motivation is the type of motivation most linked to good productivity, since where it occurs the individual does not limit himself to meeting the minimum necessary to obtain the reward, but he is personally involved in what he does and decides to put into it much of your endeavor.

Positive motivation vs negative motivation

This distinction is based on the emotional charge associated with motivation.

  1. Positive motivation

Positive motivation refers to the process by which an individual initiates or maintains adhered behavior by obtaining a positive, either external or internal (for the sake of activity) reward.

  1. Negative motivation

Negative motivation refers to the process by which a person starts or remains attached to behavior to avoid both externally unpleasant consequence (punishment, humiliation, etc.) or internal (avoid the feeling of frustration or failure).

Other ways to classify varieties of motivation

The literature specialized in sport psychology has also provided information on other types of motivation related to the world of physical activity and sport.

Basic motivation vs everyday motivation

This classification of types of motivation is established paying particular attention to the frequency and intensity of what leads to action.

  1. Basic motivation

Basic motivation refers to the stable base of motivation that determines the level of commitment of an athlete to its activity. It refers to an athlete’s interest in sports results, their personal performance, and/or the positive consequences of both.

  1. Daily motivation

Daily motivation refers to the interest of an athlete in daily activity and the immediate gratification it produces.

Ego-centered motivational guidance vs task-centered motivational guidance

About how motivation interacts more or less with self-esteem and self-concept, we can distinguish between these two concepts. Both orientations are orthogonal and not opposite. Thus, there may be athletes with both high orientations. Both low orientations, with a high ego-centered but low task orientation, and with a high task orientation but a low ego-centered orientation.

  1. Ego-centered motivational guidance

This type of motivation refers to the fact that the motivation of athletes depends on challenges and results compared to other athletes.

  1. Task-focused motivational guidance

Motivation depends on personal challenges and results, and subjective impressions of mastery and progress. That is to say, what motivates us to surpass ourselves, to improve personal brands.

You may also like to read: How to motivate yourself to study, in 12 keys

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