Topics: Motivation, Psychology, Human behavior Pages: 3 (876 words) Published: February 23, 2013
Sources of Motivation and Our Behavior

Angela Atwater

PSY 355

February 10, 2013

Dr. Neysa Hatcher

Motivation is what moves us to start exercising regularly, eating healthier or pursing further education. Whatever our goals may be, in order to accomplish them and endure the obstacles along the way, our motives and incentives must remain in focus. Each of us has someone or something that drives us toward an action or shapes our behaviors and it varies from earning a specific income to eating certain foods. We are greatly influenced by our peers, family, media and changing technology and those things that influence us, must also motivate us. Motivation is defined as “being moved into action or to decide on a change in action”, according to philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1841/1960)(Decker,2010). He believed that actions and behaviors do not occur spontaneously, that they are induced by internal motives or environmental incentives. Schopenhauer maintained, “that it is not possible simply to be motivated. It would make no sense if an individual were to say, ‘I am motivated’. Motivated to do what or for what? People are always motivated toward something or away from something.” (Decker,2010). Our emotions such as fear, anger or sadness are components of motivation and they can affect individuals both positively and adversely. Fear, as one example can cause an individual to not take action and negatively affect the outcome of a person’s situation. On the other hand, fear of failure can drive a person to work extremely hard and be competitive in the academic and professional arena. Some successful business people have shared the perspective that they work hard at maintaining their finances because the fear of returning to their poor socioeconomic past is too great.

One sources of motivation as defined by Decker (2010), is internal and includes biological and psychological variables that determine what will be motivating to an individual....

References: Barry, C., & Wentzel, K. R. (2006). Friend Influence on Prosocial Behavior: The Role of Motivational Factors and Friendship Characteristics. Developmental Psychology, 42(1), 153-163. doi:10.1037/0012-1649.42.1.153
Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation: Biological, psychological and environmental (3rd.ed). Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon
Hardy, S. A., & Carlo, G. (2005). Identity as a source of moral motivation. Human Development, 48(4), 232-256. Retrieved from
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