Ten major Types of Motivation | Wandofknowledge
Types of motivation
Below are the top 10 types of motivation and how they work-
- Intrinsic Motivation & Extrinsic Motivation- Broadly speaking, there are two general types of motivation: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation states that people are motivated by internal rewards like fulfillment and contentment. Conversely, extrinsic motivation states that people are motivated by external rewards like a bonus or raise as well as negative external factors like getting fired.
However, while the opposite of each other, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be used together. For example, you might be motivated by a potential raise but end up loving the more complex work. Conversely, you might be motivated by the fulfilment of a job well down and then be rewarded with a bonus or raise. For more information on these types of motivations and how to balance them, check out this article on intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation.
- Achievement Motivation- Achievement motivation states that people are driven by the desire to pursue and achieve specific goals. People who are motivated by this type of motivation are motivated by the achievement of a task or goal itself, and not necessarily because of the reward. For example, an entrepreneur might build a business for the joy of building a world-class organization, and not necessarily because of a potential exit.
If you’re driven by achievement motivation, you are typically self- motivated and process-oriented, meaning that you value the process of getting better more than the end result itself. While the achievement of a goal might be seen as an external reward, the actual reward that this type of motivation gives is largely internal. This is because you aren’t enamored by the glitz and glamour of a reward like money, but rather the feeling of accomplishment you get when you complete a worthy task.
- Incentive Motivation- Incentive motivation, unlike achievement motivation, says that people are motivated more by the reward than by the achievement of the goal itself. Instead of being process-oriented and being motivated by movement towards a goal or task, those who are motivated by incentives commit to actions because of an expected reward. For example, if you want a promotion because of the higher salary and not because you’ll feel more fulfilled, you are motivated by incentives rather than by achievement.
However, incentive motivation isn’t a bad thing. In fact, while it seems like the opposite of achievement motivation, the two can actually be used together. For example, if you want a promotion, you can be motivated both by the higher salary as well as the more complex and fulfilling work. In scenarios like this, it’s a win-win, because you are externally rewarded as well as internally fulfilled. Seek goals or tasks that have incentives as well as elements of achievement motivation.
- Fear Motivation- Fear motivation is a motivational type that uses consequences to drive people into action. Fear motivation can be thought of as a “negative motivator” in that you aren’t motivated by a reward but by the avoidance of pain or consequences. Rather than incentivizing yourself or others with positive motivators, fear motivation uses punishment or negative motivators – like getting fired – as a way to keep you productively moving towards specific goals, tasks, or deliverables.
While fear motivation sounds bad, it can actually be used as a positive. For example, if you need to get in shape, you can plan a summer pool party at your house or apartment complex, and use the fear of showing up out of shape as motivation to stick with the gym and your diet. Think of fear motivation as positive stressors or positive constraints that help you outsmart your future self, overcome bad habits, and live the life you want (but might be too afraid to go after).
- Power Motivation- Power motivation is a motivational factor that says people are motivated by control over our own lives and/or the lives of others. Everyone wants choices, and people are often motivated to increase their overall life-options. For this reason, power motivation manifests itself in the desire to affect the direction of our lives and sometimes the lives of those around us.
Power motivation, taken to its extreme, can be seen in real-world horrors like Nazi Germany and other scenarios where the hunger to control others outweighs any moral obligation or code. However, when scaled back, power motivation is actually a positive. For example, while it might be bad to control others, trying to place control over your own life can be a good thing. Power motivation, then, motivates you to be intentional in your thoughts and actions so that you can manifest the life you want to live.
- Affiliation & Social Motivation- Humans are social creatures, and social motivation – also known as affiliation motivation-states that people are motivated by social factors like belonging and acceptance. Humans have an innate desire to connect with others, and social motivation causes us to seek connections by contributing to a social group. Social motivation can be macro and manifest itself in a desire to help the world, or it can be macro and manifest itself in our love for family and friends. Evolutionary psychology tells us that all humans are motivated by these social factors. For this reason, it’s important to always seek new connections as well as continue to grow the connections you already have. Finding a group of people who love and accept you can motivate you to new heights and result in true happiness.
- Competence & Learning Motivation-Competence motivation, also known as learning motivation, is similar to achievement motivation in that people are motivated by the process itself rather than by the reward at the end. However, the difference is that people who are motivated by competence motivation are literally motivated by the act of learning as they move towards the completion of a goal or task.
For example, if you want a promotion, not because of the higher salary but because you’ll learn new valuable skills, you’re motivated by competence or learning motivation. This is an extremely valuable motivator and should be used in almost any motivational strategy. This is because new, relevant skills are often more valuable than even money because, unlike material things, they’re assets that no one can take away from you.
- Expectancy Theory of Motivation- The expectancy theory of motivation is a psychological theory that says people are motivated by their expectation of a specific outcome as a result of their actions or effort. This motivational theory is similar to both extrinsic motivation and incentive motivation, except for the fact that it measures the degree to which you should you achieve the goal motivated by a reward, based on your belief that you’ll actually receive it,
This means that if you want to motivate yourself by external rewards, you need to choose rewards in which know that if you perform a specific set of actions you’ll achieve. If you think the reward will go away once you get there or that your actions won’t result in the reward you covet, you’ll become demotivated, and vice versa. For more information, check out this article on the expectancy theory of motivation.
- Equity Theory of Motivation- The equity theory of motivation is a motivational theory that states people are motivated not by a reward but by their perceived level of fairness. This level of fairness is known as “equity”, and people can become motivated or demotivated depending on their specific level of equity. What’s interesting is that equity not only means how fair you think people are to you but also how fair you think people are to others.
For example, if you have a co-worker who didn’t get a raise you know they deserve, you might become demotivated even though you’re adequately paid. Of course, if you don’t think you’re paid what you deserve, your perceived level of fairness will also be low, resulting in demotivation. For more information, check out the article on the equity theory of motivation.
- Arousal Theory of Motivation- The arousal theory of motivation is a psychological theory that says individual people are motivated by a specific and unique level of arousal. In psychology, arousal means mental alertness or attentiveness, and the arousal theory believes that if a person’s mental alertness drops below or rises above a certain point, it causes stress, depression, and demotivation. If, however, mental alertness can stay at an optimal level in the middle of too high and too low, a person can maximize their motivation and achieve the success they want. Depending on the person, specific inputs can increase or decrease arousal.
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