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Motivation is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to act towards a desired goal and elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal directed behaviors. It can be considered a driving force; a psychological one that compels or reinforces an action toward a desired goal. For example, hunger is a motivation that elicits a desire to eat.
Motivation has been shown to have roots in physiological, behavioral, cognitive, social areas. Motivation may be rooted in a basic impulse to optimize well-being, minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure. It can also originate from specific physical needs such as eating, sleeping or resting, and sex.
Motivation is an inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner. "It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day." These inner conditions such as wishes, desires, goals, activate to move in a particular direction in behavior.
Types of theories and models 
Mono-motivational theories 
A class of theories about why people do things seeks to reduce the number of factors down to one and explain all behaviour through that one factor. For example, economics has been criticized for using self-interest as a mono-motivational theory.  Mono-motivational theories are often criticized for being too reductive or too abstract.
Conscious and unconscious motivations 
A number of motivational theories emphasize the distinction between conscious and unconscious motivations. In evolutionary psychology, the "ultimate", unconscious motivation may be a cold evolutionary calculation, the conscious motivation could be more benign or even positive emotions. For example, while it may be in the best interest of a male's genes to have multiple partners and thus break up with or divorce one before moving onto the next, the conscious rationalization could be, "I loved her at the time". 
Freud is associated with the idea that human beings have many unconscious motivations that cause them to make important decisions because of these unconscious forces, such as choosing a partner.
Non-psychological theories 
Platonic theory of motivation 
In The Republic, Plato advances a tri-partite theory of the soul, which consists of three parts: reason, spirit and appetite. All parts of the soul have desires, however not all desires are the same. Desires take many different forms and have many different responses or results.
Machiavellism argues that human beings are motivated to seek power and status above all. Modern research argues that people who are high in this trait do indeed seek power and money, and are willing to use others as instruments towards that end.
Psychological theories and models 
Rational motivations 
The idea that human beings are rational and human behaviour is guided by reason is an old one, however recent research (on Satisficing for example) has significantly undermined the idea of homo economicus or of perfect rationality in favour of a more bounded rationality. The field of behavioural economics is particularly concerned with the limits of rationality in economic agents.
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation 
Motivation can be divided into two types: intrinsic (internal) motivation and extrinsic (external) motivation.
- Intrinsic motivation
Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists within the individual rather than relying on external pressures or a desire for reward. Intrinsic motivation has been studied since the early 1970s. Students who are intrinsically motivated are more likely to engage in the task willingly as well as work to improve their skills, which will increase their capabilities. Students are likely to be intrinsically motivated if they:
- attribute their educational results to factors under their own control, also known as autonomy
- believe they have the skills to be effective agents in reaching their desired goals, also known as self-efficacy beliefs
- are interested in mastering a topic, not just in achieving good grades
- Extrinsic motivation
Extrinsic motivation refers to the performance of an activity in order to attain an outcome, whether or not that activity is also intrinsically motivated. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of the individual. Common extrinsic motivations are rewards (for example money or grades) for showing the desired behavior, and the threat of punishment following misbehavior. Competition is in an extrinsic motivator because it encourages the performer to win and to beat others, not simply to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity. A cheering crowd and the desire to win a trophy are also extrinsic incentives.
- Comparison of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
Social psychological research has indicated that extrinsic rewards can lead to overjustification and a subsequent reduction in intrinsic motivation. In one study demonstrating this effect, children who expected to be (and were) rewarded with a ribbon and a gold star for drawing pictures spent less time playing with the drawing materials in subsequent observations than children who were assigned to an unexpected reward condition. While the provision of extrinsic rewards might reduce the desirability of an activity, the use of extrinsic constraints, such as the threat of punishment, against performing an activity has actually been found to increase one's intrinsic interest in that activity. In one study, when children were given mild threats against playing with an attractive toy, it was found that the threat actually served to increase the child's interest in the toy, which was previously undesirable to the child in the absence of threat.
For those children who received no extrinsic reward, self-determination theory proposes that extrinsic motivation can be internalized by the individual if the task fits with their values and beliefs and therefore helps to fulfill their basic psychological needs.
- Operant conditioning
Operant conditioning a term coined by B.F. Skinner, is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behaviour. Skinner believed that internal thoughts and motivations could not be used to explain behaviour; instead to look at external, observable causes of human behaviour. His theory explained how we acquire the range of learned behaviors we exhibit each and every day.
Push and pull 
This model is usually used when discussing motivation within the context of tourism. Push factors determine the desire to go on holiday, whereas pull factors determine the choice of destination. Push motives are connected with internal forces, for example the need for relaxation or escapism, while pull factors are the external factors, such as landscape, cultural image or the climate of a destination, that induce a traveller to visit a certain location. Push factors can be stimulated by external and situational aspects of motivation in the shape of pull factors. Then again pull factors are issues that can arise from a location itself and therefore ‘push’ an individual to choose to experience it. Since then, a large number of theories have been developed over the years in many studies there is no single theory that illustrates all motivational aspects of travelling. Many researchers have highlighted that because several motives may occur at the same time it should not be assumed that only one motive drives an individual to perform an action, as was presumed in previous studies. On the other hand, since people are not able to satisfy all their needs at once, they usually seek to satisfy some or a few of them.
The self-control aspect of motivation is increasingly considered to be a subset of emotional intelligence; it is suggested that although a person may be classed as highly intelligent (as measured by many traditional intelligence tests), they may remain unmotivated to pursue intellectual endeavours. Vroom's "expectancy theory" provides an account of when people may decide to exert self-control in pursuit of a particular goal.
A drive or desire can be described as a deficiency or need that activates behavior that is aimed at a goal or an incentive. These drives are thought to originate within the individual and may not require external stimuli to encourage the behavior. Basic drives could be sparked by deficiencies such as hunger, which motivates a person to seek food whereas more subtle drives might be the desire for praise and approval, which motivates a person to behave in a manner pleasing to others. Another basic drive is the sexual drive which like food motivates us because it is essential to our survival. The desire for sex is wired deep into the brain of all human beings as glands secrete hormones that travel through the blood to the brain and stimulates the onset of sexual desire. The hormone involved in the initial onset of sexual desire is called dihydroepiandosterone (DHEA). The hormonal basis of both men and women's sex drives is testosterone. Men naturally have more testosterone than women do and so are more likely than woman to think about sex, have sexual fantasies, seek sex and sexual variety (whether positions or partners), masturbate, want sex at an early point in a relationship, sacrifice other things for sex, have permissive attitudes for sex, and complain about low sex drive in their partners.
By contrast, the role of extrinsic rewards and stimuli can be seen in the example of training animals by giving them treats when they perform a trick correctly. The treat motivates the animals to perform the trick consistently, even later when the treat is removed from the process.
Incentive theory 
A reward, tangible or intangible, is presented after the occurrence of an action (i.e. behavior) with the intention of causing the behavior to occur again. This is done by associating positive meaning to the behavior. Studies show that if the person receives the reward immediately, the effect is greater, and decreases as delay lengthens. Repetitive action-reward combination can cause the action to become habit. Motivation comes from two sources: oneself, and other people. These two sources are called intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, respectively.
Reinforcers and reinforcement principles of behavior differ from the hypothetical construct of reward. A reinforcer is any stimulus change following a response that increases the future frequency or magnitude of that response, therefore the cognitive approach is certainly the way forward as in 1973 Maslow described it as being the golden pineapple. Positive reinforcement is demonstrated by an increase in the future frequency or magnitude of a response due to in the past being followed contingently by a reinforcing stimulus. Negative reinforcement involves stimulus change consisting of the removal of an aversive stimulus following a response. Positive reinforcement involves a stimulus change consisting of the presentation or magnification of a positive stimulus following a response. From this perspective, motivation is mediated by environmental events, and the concept of distinguishing between intrinsic and extrinsic forces is irrelevant.
Applying proper motivational techniques can be much harder than it seems. Steven Kerr notes that when creating a reward system, it can be easy to reward A, while hoping for B, and in the process, reap harmful effects that can jeopardize your goals.
Incentive theory in psychology treats motivation and behavior of the individual as they are influenced by beliefs, such as engaging in activities that are expected to be profitable. Incentive theory is promoted by behavioral psychologists, such as B.F. Skinner and literalized by behaviorists, especially by Skinner in his philosophy of Radical behaviorism, to mean that a person's actions always have social ramifications: and if actions are positively received people are more likely to act in this manner, or if negatively received people are less likely to act in this manner.
Incentive theory distinguishes itself from other motivation theories, such as drive theory, in the direction of the motivation. In incentive theory, stimuli "attract", to use the term above, a person towards them, as opposed to the body seeking to reestablish homeostasis and pushing towards the stimulus. In terms of behaviorism, incentive theory involves positive reinforcement: the reinforcing stimulus has been conditioned to make the person happier. For instance, a person knows that eating food, drinking water, or gaining social capital will make them happier. As opposed to in drive theory, which involves negative reinforcement: a stimulus has been associated with the removal of the punishment—the lack of homeostasis in the body. For example, a person has come to know that if they eat when hungry, it will eliminate that negative feeling of hunger, or if they drink when thirsty, it will eliminate that negative feeling of thirst.
Escape-seeking dichotomy model 
Escapism and seeking are major factors influencing decision making. Escapism is a need to breakaway from a daily life routine, turning on the television and watching an adventure film, whereas seeking is described as the desire to learn, turning on the television to watch a documentary. Both motivations have some interpersonal and personal facets for example individuals would like to escape from family problems (personal) or from problems with work colleagues (interpersonal). This model can also be easily adapted with regard to different studies.
Drive-reduction theory 
There are a number of drive theories. The Drive Reduction Theory grows out of the concept that people have certain biological drives, such as hunger. As time passes the strength of the drive increases if it is not satisfied (in this case by eating). Upon satisfying a drive the drive's strength is reduced. The theory is based on diverse ideas from the theories of Freud to the ideas of feedback control systems, such as a thermostat.
Drive theory has some intuitive or folk validity. For instance when preparing food, the drive model appears to be compatible with sensations of rising hunger as the food is prepared, and, after the food has been consumed, a decrease in subjective hunger. There are several problems, however, that leave the validity of drive reduction open for debate. The first problem is that it does not explain how secondary reinforcers reduce drive. For example, money satisfies no biological or psychological needs, but a pay check appears to reduce drive through second-order conditioning. Secondly, a drive, such as hunger, is viewed as having a "desire" to eat, making the drive a homuncular being—a feature criticized as simply moving the fundamental problem behind this "small man" and his desires.
Drive reduction theory cannot be a complete theory of behavior, or a hungry human could not prepare a meal without eating the food before he finished cooking it. The ability of drive theory to cope with all kinds of behavior, from not satisfying a drive (by adding on other traits such as restraint), or adding additional drives for "tasty" food, which combine with drives for food in order to explain cooking render it hard to test.
Cognitive dissonance theory 
Suggested by Leon Festinger, cognitive dissonance occurs when an individual experiences some degree of discomfort resulting from an inconsistency between two cognitions: their views on the world around them, and their own personal feelings and actions. For example, a consumer may seek to reassure himself regarding a purchase, feeling, in retrospect, that another decision may have been preferable. His feeling that another purchase would have been preferable is inconsistent with his action of purchasing the item. The difference between his feelings and beliefs causes dissonance, so he seeks to reassure himself.
While not a theory of motivation, per se, the theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. The cognitive miser perspective makes people want to justify things in a simple way in order to reduce the effort they put into cognition. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, or actions, rather than facing the inconsistencies, because dissonance is a mental strain. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Need theories 
Motivation, as defined by Pritchard and Ashwood, is the process used to allocate energy to maximize the satisfaction of needs.
The American motivation psychologist Abraham H. Maslow developed the hierarchy of needs consisting of five hierarchic classes. According to Maslow, people are motivated by unsatisfied needs. The needs, listed from basic (lowest-earliest) to most complex (highest-latest) are as follows:
- Physiology (hunger, thirst, sleep, etc.)
- Self actualization
The basic requirements build upon the first step in the pyramid: physiology. If there are deficits on this level, all behavior will be oriented to satisfy this deficit. Essentially, if you have not slept or eaten adequately, you won't be interested in your self-esteem desires. Subsequently we have the second level, which awakens a need for security. After securing those two levels, the motives shift to the social sphere, the third level. Psychological requirements comprise the fourth level, while the top of the hierarchy consists of self-realization and self-actualization.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory can be summarized as follows:
- Human beings have wants and desires which influence their behavior. Only unsatisfied needs influence behavior, satisfied needs do not.
- Needs are arranged in order of importance to human life, from the basic to the complex.
- The person advances to the next level of needs only after the lower level need is at least minimally satisfied.
- The further the progress up the hierarchy, the more individuality, humanness and psychological health a person will show.
Herzberg's two-factor theory 
Frederick Herzberg's two-factor theory, a.k.a. intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, concludes that certain factors in the workplace result in job satisfaction, but if absent, they don't lead to dissatisfaction but no satisfaction. The factors that motivate people can change over their lifetime, but "respect for me as a person" is one of the top motivating factors at any stage of life.
He distinguished between:
- Motivators; (e.g. challenging work, recognition, responsibility) which give positive satisfaction, and
- Hygiene factors; (e.g. status, job security, salary and fringe benefits) that do not motivate if present, but, if absent, result in demotivation.
The name Hygiene factors is used because, like hygiene, the presence will not make you healthier, but absence can cause health deterioration.
The theory is sometimes called the "Motivator-Hygiene Theory" and/or "The Dual Structure Theory."
Herzberg's theory has found application in such occupational fields as information systems and in studies of user satisfaction (see Computer user satisfaction).
His theory concentrates on the importance of internal job factors as motivating forces for employees. He designed it to increase job enrichment for employees. Herzberg wanted to create the opportunity for employee's to take part in planning, performing, and evaluating their work. He suggested to do this by
- Removing some of the control management has over employees and increasing the accountability and responsibility they have over their work. Which would in return increase employee autonomy, authority and freedom.
- Creating complete and natural work units where is it possible. An example would be allowing employees to create a whole unit or section instead of only allowing them to create part of it.
- Providing regular and continuous feedback on productivity and job performance directly to employees instead of through supervisors
- And encouraging encouraging employees to take on new and challenging task and becoming experts at a task.
From: Psychology and Work Today by Shultz and Shultz .
Alderfer's ERG theory 
Alderfer, expanding on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, created the ERG theory. This theory posits that there are three groups of core needs — existence, relatedness, and growth, hence the label: ERG theory. The existence group is concerned with providing our basic material existence requirements. They include the items that Maslow considered to be physiological and safety needs. The second group of needs are those of relatedness- the desire we have for maintaining important personal relationships. These social and status desires require interaction with others if they are to be satisfied, and they align with Maslow's social need and the external component of Maslow's esteem classification. Finally, Alderfer isolates growth needs as an intrinsic desire for personal development. These include the intrinsic component from Maslow's esteem category and the characteristics included under self-actualization.
Self-determination theory 
Self-determination theory (SDT), developed by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, focuses on the importance of intrinsic motivation in driving human behavior. Like Maslow's hierarchical theory and others that built on it, SDT posits a natural tendency toward growth and development. Unlike these other theories, however, SDT does not include any sort of "autopilot" for achievement, but instead requires active encouragement from the environment. The primary factors that encourage motivation and development are autonomy, competence feedback, and relatedness.
Temporal motivation theory 
The latest approach in developing a broad, integrative theory of motivation is Temporal Motivation Theory. Introduced in a 2006 Academy of Management Review article, it synthesizes into a single formulation the primary aspects of several other major motivational theories, including Incentive Theory, Drive Theory, Need Theory, Self-Efficacy and Goal Setting. It simplifies the field of motivation and allows findings from one theory to be translated into terms of another. Another journal article that helped to develop the Temporal Motivation Theory, "The Nature of Procrastination, " received American Psychological Association's George A. Miller award for outstanding contribution to general science.
Achievement motivation 
Achievement motivation is an integrative perspective based on the premise that performance motivation results from the way broad components of personality are directed towards performance. As a result, it includes a range of dimensions that are relevant to success at work but which are not conventionally regarded as being part of performance motivation. Especially it integrates formerly separated approaches as Need for Achievement with, for example, social motives like dominance. The Achievement Motivation Inventory is based on this theory and assesses three factors (in 17 separated scales) relevant to vocational and professional success. This motivation has repeatedly been linked with adaptive motivational patterns, including working hard, a willingness to pick learning tasks with much difficulty, and contributing success to effort.
Achievement motivation was studied intensively by David McClelland and his colleagues since the early 1950s. Their researched showed that business managers who were successful demonstrated a high need to achieve no matter the culture. There are three major characteristics of people who have a great need to achieve according to McClelland’s research.
- They would prefer a work environment in which they are able to assume responsibility for solving problems.
- They would take calculated risk and establish moderate, attainable goals.
- They want to hear continuous recognition. As well as feedback, in order for them to know how well they are doing. 
Cognitive theories 
Goal-setting theory 
Goal-setting theory is based on the notion that individuals sometimes have a drive to reach a clearly defined end state. Often, this end state is a reward in itself. A goal's efficiency is affected by three features: proximity, difficulty and specificity. Good goal setting incorporates the SMART criteria, in which goals are: specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, and timely. An ideal goal should present a situation where the time between the initiation of behavior and the end state is close. This explains why some children are more motivated to learn how to ride a bike than to master algebra. A goal should be moderate, not too hard or too easy to complete. In both cases, most people are not optimally motivated, as many want a challenge (which assumes some kind of insecurity of success). At the same time people want to feel that there is a substantial probability that they will succeed. Specificity concerns the description of the goal in their class. The goal should be objectively defined and intelligible for the individual. A classic example of a poorly specified goal is to get the highest possible grade. Most children have no idea how much effort they need to reach that goal.
Models of behavior change 
Social-cognitive models of behavior change include the constructs of motivation and volition. Motivation is seen as a process that leads to the forming of behavioral intentions. Volition is seen as a process that leads from intention to actual behavior. In other words, motivation and volition refer to goal setting and goal pursuit, respectively. Both processes require self-regulatory efforts. Several self-regulatory constructs are needed to operate in orchestration to attain goals. An example of such a motivational and volitional construct is perceived self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is supposed to facilitate the forming of behavioral intentions, the development of action plans, and the initiation of action. It can support the translation of intentions into action.
Conscious motivation 
This is a kind of motivation that people are aware of.
Unconscious motivation 
Some psychologists believe that a significant portion of human behavior is energized and directed by unconscious motives. According to Maslow, "Psychoanalysis has often demonstrated that the relationship between a conscious desire and the ultimate unconscious aim that underlies it need not be at all direct."
Thematic Appreception Test 
As psychologists David McClelland and John Atkinson argue that motivation should be unconscious, the Thematic Appreception Test measures motivation by presenting people with some drawings and let people tell stories the drawings they see.
Intrinsic motivation and the 16 basic desires theory 
Starting from studies involving more than 6,000 people, Professor Steven Reiss has proposed a theory that found 16 basic desires that guide nearly all human behavior. The 16 basic desires that motivate our actions and define our personalities are:
- Acceptance, the need for approval
- Curiosity, the need to learn
- Eating, the need for food
- Family, the need to raise children
- Honor, the need to be loyal to the traditional values of one's clan/ethnic group
- Idealism, the need for social justice
- Independence, the need for individuality
- Order, the need for organized, stable, predictable environments
- Physical activity, the need for exercise
- Power, the need for influence of will
- Romance, the need for sex and for beauty
- Saving, the need to collect
- Social contact, the need for friends (peer relationships)
- Social status, the need for social standing/importance
- Tranquility, the need to be safe
- Vengeance, the need to strike back and to compete
Attribution Theory 
The attribution theory is a theory developed by psychologist, Fritz Heider that describes the processes by which individuals explain the causes of their behavior and events. A form of attribution theory developed by psychologist, Bernard Weiner describes an individual’s beliefs about how the causes of success or failure affect their emotions and motivations. Bernard Weiner’s theory can be defined into two perspectives: intrapersonal or interpersonal. The intrapersonal perspective includes self-directed thoughts and emotions that are attributed to the self. The interpersonal perspective includes beliefs about the responsibility of others and other directed affects of emotions; the individual would place the blame on another individual.
Individuals formulate explanatory attributions to understand the events they experience and to seek reasons for their failures. When individuals seek positive feedback from their failures, they use the feedback as motivation to show improved performances. For example, using the intrapersonal perspective, a student who failed a test may attribute their failure for not studying enough and would use their emotion of shame or embarrassment as motivation to study harder for the next test. A student who blames their test failure on the teacher would be using the interpersonal perspective, and would use their feeling of disappointment as motivation to rely on a different study source other than the teacher for the next test.
Approach versus avoidance 
Approach motivation is a motivation to experience a positive outcome. In contrast, avoidance motivation is a motivation not to experience a negative outcome. Research suggests that, all else being equal, avoidance motivations tend to be more powerful than approach motivations. Because people expect losses to have more powerful emotional consequences than equal-size gains, they will take more risks to avoid a loss than to achieve a gain.
Practical applications 
The control of motivation is only understood to a limited extent. There are many different approaches of motivation training, but many of these are considered pseudoscientific by critics. To understand how to control motivation it is first necessary to understand why many people lack motivation.
Employee motivation 
Workers in any organization need something to keep them working. Most of the time, the salary of the employee is enough to keep him or her working for an organization. An employee must be motivated to work for a company or organization. If no motivation is present in an employee, then that employee’s quality of work or all work in general will deteriorate. People differ on a personality dimension called locus of control. This variable refers to individual's beliefs about the location of the factors that control their behavior. At one end of the continuum are high internals who believe that opportunity to control their own behavior rests within themselves. At the other end of the continuum there are high externals who believe that external forces determine their behavior. Not surprisingly, compared with internals, externals see the world as an unpredictable, chancy place in which luck, fate, or powerful people control their destinies. When motivating an audience, you can use general motivational strategies or specific motivational appeals. General motivational strategies include soft sell versus hard sell and personality type. Soft sell strategies have logical appeals, emotional appeals, advice and praise. Hard sell strategies have barter, outnumbering, pressure and rank. Also, you can consider basing your strategy on your audience personality. Specific motivational appeals focus on provable facts, feelings, right and wrong, audience rewards and audience threats.
Job Characteristics Model 
The Job Characteristics Model (JCM), as designed by Hackman and Oldham  attempts to use job design to improve employee motivation. They have identified that any job can be described in terms of five key job characteristics;
1. Skill Variety - the degree to which a job requires different skills and talents to complete a number of different activities
2. Task Identity - this dimension refers to the completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work versus a partial task as part of a larger piece of work
3. Task Significance - is the impact of the task upon the lives or work of others
4. Autonomy - is the degree of independence or freedom allowed to complete a job
5. Task Feedback - individually obtaining direct and clear feedback about the effectiveness of the individual carrying out the work activities
The JCM links these core job dimensions listed above to critical psychological states which results in desired personal and work outcomes. This forms the basis of this 'employee growth-need strength." The core dimensions listed above can be combined into a single predictive index, called the Motivating Potential Score.
Motivating Potential Score 
The motivating potential score (MPS) can be calculated, using the core dimensions discussed above, as follows:
Jobs that are high in motivating potential must be high on at least one of the three factors that lead to experienced meaningfulness, and also must be high on both Autonomy and Feedback. If a job has a high MPS, the job characteristics model predicts that motivation, performance and job satisfaction will be positively affected and the likelihood of negative outcomes, such as absenteeism and turnover, will be reduced.
Employee Recognition Programs 
Employee recognition is not only about gifts and points. It's about changing the corporate culture in order to meet goals and initiatives and most importantly to connect employees to the company's core values and beliefs. Strategic employee recognition is seen as the most important program not only to improve employee retention and motivation but also to positively influence the financial situation. The difference between the traditional approach (gifts and points) and strategic recognition is the ability to serve as a serious business influencer that can advance a company’s strategic objectives in a measurable way. "The vast majority of companies want to be innovative, coming up with new products, business models and better ways of doing things. However, innovation is not so easy to achieve. A CEO cannot just order it, and so it will be. You have to carefully manage an organization so that, over time, innovations will emerge."
Some authors, especially in the transhumanist movement, have suggested the use of "smart drugs", also known as nootropics, as "motivation-enhancers". These drugs work in various ways to affect neurotransmitters in the brain. It is generally widely accepted that these drugs enhance cognitive functions, but not without potential side effects. The effects of many of these drugs on the brain are emphatically not well understood, and their legal status often makes open experimentation difficult.
Motivation is of particular interest to educational psychologists because of the crucial role it plays in student learning. However, the specific kind of motivation that is studied in the specialized setting of education differs qualitatively from the more general forms of motivation studied by psychologists in other fields.
Motivation in education can have several effects on how students learn and how they behave towards subject matter. It can:
- Direct behavior toward particular goals
- Lead to increased effort and energy
- Increase initiation of, and persistence in, activities
- Enhance cognitive processing
- Determine what consequences are reinforcing
- Lead to improved performance.
Because students are not always internally motivated, they sometimes need situated motivation, which is found in environmental conditions that the teacher creates.
If teachers decided to extrinsically reward productive student behaviors, they may find it difficult to extricate themselves from that path. Consequently student dependency on extrinsic rewards represents one of the greatest detractors from their use in the classroom.
The majority of new student orientation leaders at colleges and universities recognize that distinctive needs of students should be considered in regard to orientation information provided at the beginning of the higher education experience. Research done by Whyte in 1986 raised the awareness of counselors and educators in this regard. In 2007, the National Orientation Directors Association reprinted Cassandra B. Whyte's research report allowing readers to ascertain improvements made in addressing specific needs of students over a quarter of a century later to help with academic success.
Generally, motivation is conceptualized as either intrinsic or extrinsic. Classically, these categories are regarded as distinct. Today, these concepts are less likely to be used as distinct categories, but instead as two ideal types that define a continuum:
- Intrinsic motivation occurs when people are internally motivated to do something because it either brings them pleasure, they think it is important, or they feel that what they are learning is significant. It has been shown that intrinsic motivation for education drops from grades 3-9 though the exact cause cannot be ascertained. Also, in younger students it has been shown that contextualizing material that would otherwise be presented in an abstract manner increases the intrinsic motivation of these students.
- Extrinsic motivation comes into play when a student is compelled to do something or act a certain way because of factors external to him or her (like money or good grades).
Cassandra B. Whyte researched and reported about the importance of locus of control and academic achievement. Students tending toward a more internal locus of control are more academically successful, thus encouraging curriculum and activity development with consideration of motivation theories.
Academic motivation orientation may also be tied with one's ability to detect and process errors. Fisher, Nanayakkara, and Marshall conducted neuroscience research on children's motivation orientation, neurological indicators of error monitoring (the process of detecting an error), and academic achievement. Their research suggests that students with high intrinsic motivation attribute performance to personal control and that their error-monitoring system is more strongly engaged by performance errors. They also found that motivation orientation and academic achievement were related to the strength in which their error-monitoring system was engaged.
Doyle and Moeyn have noted that traditional methods tended to use anxiety as negative motivation (e.g. use of bad grades by teachers) as a method of getting students to work. However, they have found that progressive approaches with focus on positive motivation over punishment has produced greater effectiveness with learning, since anxiety interferes with performance of complex tasks.
Indigenous Education, Learning, and Motivation 
For many indigenous students (such as Native American children), motivation may be derived from social organization; an important factor educators should account for in addition to variations in Sociolinguistics and Cognition. While poor academic performance among Native American students is often attributed to low levels of motivation, Top-down classroom organization is often found to be ineffective for children of many cultures, who depend on a sense of community purpose and competence to effectively engage in material. Horizontally-structured, community-based learning strategies often provide a more structurally supportive environment for motivating indigenous children, who tend to be driven by “social/affective emphasis, harmony, holistic perspectives, expressive creativity, and nonverbal communication.” This drive is also traceable to a cultural tradition of community-wide expectations of participation in the activities and goals of the greater group, rather than individualized aspirations of success or triumph.
Structure for social learning in indigenous communities also often allows siblings to co-parent younger children in their acquisition of behaviors and traditions, which fosters the dynamic of community-motivated engagement from a young age. Furthermore, it is commonplace for children to assist and demonstrate for their younger counterparts without being prompted by authority figures. Observation techniques are demonstrated in such examples as weaving in Chiapas, Mexico, where it is commonplace for children to learn by "a more skilled other" within the community. The assumption of responsibility amongst children is also apparent within Mayan weaving apprenticeships; often, when the "more skilled other" is tasked with multiple obligations, an older child will step in and guide the learner. Sibling guidance is supported from early youth, where learning through play encourages horizontally-structured environments through alternative educational models such as "Intent Community Participation." Research also suggests that that formal Westernized schooling can actually reshape the traditionally collaborative nature of social life in indigenous communities  This research is supported cross-culturally, with variations in motivation and learning often reported higher between indigenous groups and their national Westernized counterparts than between indigenous groups across international continental divides.
Self-Determination in Education 
Self-determination is the ability to make choices and exercise a high degree of control, such as what the student does and how they do it (Deci et al., 1991; Reeve, Hamm, & Nix, 2003; Ryan & Deci, 2002). Self-determination can be supported by providing opportunities for students to be challenged, such as leadership opportunities, providing appropriate feedback and fostering, establishing and maintaining good relationships between teachers and students. These strategies can increase students' interest, competence, creativity and desire to be challenged and ensure that students are intrinsically motivated to study. On the other hand, students who lack of self-determination are more likely to feel their success is out of their control. Such students lose motivation to study, which causes a state of "helpless learning". Students who feel helpless readily believe they will fail and therefore cease to try. Over time, a vicious circle of low achievement develops.
Sudbury Model schools' approach 
Sudbury Model schools adduce that the cure to the problem of procrastination, of learning in general, and particularly of scientific illiteracy is to remove once and for all what they call the underlying disease: compulsion in schools. They contend that human nature in a free society recoils from every attempt to force it into a mold; that the more requirements we pile onto children at school, the surer we are to drive them away from the material we are trying to force down their throats; that after all the drive and motivation of infants to master the world around them is legendary. They assert that schools must keep that drive alive by doing what some of them do: nurturing it on the freedom it needs to thrive.
Sudbury Model schools do not perform and do not offer evaluations, assessments, transcripts, or recommendations, asserting that they do not rate people, and that school is not a judge; comparing students to each other, or to some standard that has been set is for them a violation of the student's right to privacy and to self-determination. Students decide for themselves how to measure their progress as self-starting learners as a process of self-evaluation: real lifelong learning and the proper educational evaluation for the 21st century, they adduce. According to Sudbury Model schools, this policy does not cause harm to their students as they move on to life outside the school. However, they admit it makes the process more difficult, but that such hardship is part of the students learning to make their own way, set their own standards and meet their own goals. The no-grading and no-rating policy helps to create an atmosphere free of competition among students or battles for adult approval, and encourages a positive cooperative environment amongst the student body.
At lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, such as physiological needs, money is a motivator, however it tends to have a motivating effect on staff that lasts only for a short period (in accordance with Herzberg's two-factor model of motivation). At higher levels of the hierarchy, praise, respect, recognition, empowerment and a sense of belonging are far more powerful motivators than money, as both Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation and Douglas McGregor's theory X and theory Y (pertaining to the theory of leadership) demonstrate.
According to Maslow, people are motivated by unsatisfied needs. The lower level needs such as Physiological and Safety needs will have to be satisfied before higher level needs are to be addressed. We can relate Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory with employee motivation. For example, if a manager is trying to motivate his employees by satisfying their needs; according to Maslow, he should try to satisfy the lower level needs before he tries to satisfy the upper level needs or the employees will not be motivated. Also he has to remember that not everyone will be satisfied by the same needs. A good manager will try to figure out which levels of needs are active for a certain individual or employee.
Maslow has money at the lowest level of the hierarchy and shows other needs are better motivators to staff. McGregor places money in his Theory X category and feels it is a poor motivator. Praise and recognition are placed in the Theory Y category and are considered stronger motivators than money.
- Motivated employees always look for better ways to do a job.
- Motivated employees are more quality oriented.
- Motivated workers are more productive.
The average workplace is about midway between the extremes of high threat and high opportunity. Motivation by threat is a dead-end strategy, and naturally staff are more attracted to the opportunity side of the motivation curve than the threat side. Motivation is a powerful tool in the work environment that can lead to employees working at their most efficient levels of production.
Nonetheless, Steinmetz also discusses three common character types of subordinates: ascendant, indifferent, and ambivalent who all react and interact uniquely, and must be treated, managed, and motivated accordingly. An effective leader must understand how to manage all characters, and more importantly the manager must utilize avenues that allow room for employees to work, grow, and find answers independently.
The assumptions of Maslow and Herzberg were challenged by a classic study at Vauxhall Motors' UK manufacturing plant. This introduced the concept of orientation to work and distinguished three main orientations: instrumental (where work is a means to an end), bureaucratic (where work is a source of status, security and immediate reward) and solidaristic (which prioritizes group loyalty).
Other theories which expanded and extended those of Maslow and Herzberg included Kurt Lewin's Force Field Theory, Edwin Locke's Goal Theory and Victor Vroom's Expectancy theory. These tend to stress cultural differences and the fact that individuals tend to be motivated by different factors at different times.
According to the system of scientific management developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor, a worker's motivation is solely determined by pay, and therefore management need not consider psychological or social aspects of work. In essence, scientific management bases human motivation wholly on extrinsic rewards and discards the idea of intrinsic rewards.
In contrast, David McClelland believed that workers could not be motivated by the mere need for money—in fact, extrinsic motivation (e.g., money) could extinguish intrinsic motivation such as achievement motivation, though money could be used as an indicator of success for various motives, e.g., keeping score. In keeping with this view, his consulting firm, McBer & Company, had as its first motto "To make everyone productive, happy, and free." For McClelland, satisfaction lay in aligning a person's life with their fundamental motivations.
Elton Mayo found that the social contacts a worker has at the workplace are very important and that boredom and repetitiveness of tasks lead to reduced motivation. Mayo believed that workers could be motivated by acknowledging their social needs and making them feel important. As a result, employees were given freedom to make decisions on the job and greater attention was paid to informal work groups. Mayo named the model the Hawthorne effect. His model has been judged as placing undue reliance on social contacts within work situations for motivating employees.
William Ouchi introduced Theory Z, a hybrid management approach consisting of both Japanese and American philosophies and cultures. Its Japanese segment is much like the clan culture where organizations focus on a standardized structure with heavy emphasis on socialization of its members. All underlying goals are consistent across the organization. Its American segment retains formality and authority amongst members and the organization. Ultimately, Theory Z promotes common structure and commitment to the organization, as well as constant improvement of work efficacy.
In Essentials of Organizational Behavior, Robbins and Judge examine recognition programs as motivators, and identify five principles that contribute to the success of an employee incentive program:
- Recognition of employees' individual differences, and clear identification of behavior deemed worthy of recognition
- Allowing employees to participate
- Linking rewards to performance
- Rewarding of nominators
- Visibility of the recognition process
Motivational models are central to game design, because without motivation a player will not be interested in progressing further within a game. Several models for gameplay motivations have been proposed, including Richard Bartle's. Jon Radoff has proposed a four-quadrant model of gameplay motivation that includes cooperation, competition, immersion and achievement. The motivational structure of games is central to the gamification trend, which seeks to apply game-based motivation to business applications.
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Further reading 
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- Baumeister, R.F.; Vohs, K.D. (2004), Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory, and applications, New York: Guilford Press, p. 574, ISBN 1-57230-991-1
- Carver, C.S.; Scheier, M.F. (2001), On the self-regulation of behavior, New York: Cambridge University Press, p. 460, ISBN 0-521-00099-8
- Cervone, D.; Shadel, W.G.; Smith, Ronald E.; Fiori, Marina (2006), "Self-Regulation: Reminders and Suggestions from Personality Science", Applied Psychology: an International Review 55 (3): 333–385, doi:10.1111/j.1464-0597.2006.00261.x
- Cofer, Charles N; Appley, Mortimer H (1967), Motivation: Theory and Research, New York, London, Sydney: John Wiley & Sons
- Fishbein, M.; Ajzen, I. (1975), Belief, attitude, intention, and behavior: An introduction to theory and research, Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley
- Gollwitzer, P.M. (1999), "Implementation intentions: Strong effects of simple plans", American Psychologist 54 (7): 493–503, doi:10.1037/0003-066X.54.7.493
- Jones, Ishmael (2008), The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture (New York: Encounter Books), ISBN 978-1-59403-382-7
- Murphy, Jim (2009), Inner Excellence, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 978-0-07-163504-2