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Motivation is a theoretical construct, used to explain behavior. It is the scientific word used to represent the reasons for our actions, our desires, our needs, etc. Motives are hypothetical constructs, used to explain why people do what they do. A motive is what prompts a person to act in a certain way or at least develop an inclination for specific behavior.[1] For example, when someone eats food to satisfy the need of hunger, or when a student does his/her work in school because they want a good grade. Both show a similar connection between what we do and why we do it. According to Maehr and Meyer, “Motivation is a word that is part of the popular culture as few other psychological concepts are”.[2] Wikipedia readers will have a motive (or motives) for reading an article, even if such motives are complex and difficult to pinpoint. At the other end of the range of complexity, hunger is frequently the motive for seeking out and consuming food.
A collage of motivation examples.
Types of theories and models
Monist and pluralistic motivational theories
Conscious and unconscious motivations
Psychological theories and models
Rational motivations
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
Push and pull
Incentive theory
Escape-seeking dichotomy model
Drive-reduction theory
Cognitive dissonance theory
Content theories
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
Herzberg’s two-factor theory
Alderfer’s ERG theory
Self-determination theory
Temporal motivation theory
Achievement motivation
Cognitive theories
Goal-Setting Theory
Expectancy theory
Models of behavior change
Thematic Apperception Test
Intrinsic motivation and the 16 basic desires theory
Attribution theory
Approach versus avoidance
Practical applications
Employee motivation
Job characteristics model
Motivating potential score
Employee recognition programs

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