is defined as forces acting either on or within a person to initiate
behaviour. The word is derived from the Latin term motivus
("a moving cause"), which suggests the activating properties of
the processes involved in psychological motivation.
study motivational forces to help explain observed changes in
behaviour that occur in an individual. Thus, for example, the
observation that a person is increasingly likely to open the refrigerator
door to look for food as the number of hours since the last meal
increases can be understood by invoking the concept of motivation.
As the above example suggests, motivation is not typically measured
directly but rather inferred as the result of behavioral changes
in reaction to internal or external stimuli. It is also important
to understand that motivation is primarily a performance variable.
That is, the effects of changes in motivation are often temporary.
An individual, highly motivated to perform a particular task because
of a motivational change, may later show little interest for that
task as a result of further change in motivation.
are often categorized into primary, or basic, motives, which are
unlearned and common to both animals and humans; and secondary,
or learned, motives, which can differ from animal to animal and
person to person. Primary motives are thought to include hunger,
thirst, sex, avoidance of pain, and perhaps aggression and fear.
Secondary motives typically studied in humans include achievement,
power motivation, and numerous other specialized motives.
have also sometimes been classified into "pushes" and "pulls." Push
motives concern internal changes that have the effect of triggering
specific motive states. Pull motives represent external goals that
influence one's behaviour toward them. Most motivational situations
are in reality a combination of push and pull conditions. Behaviour
is, thus, often a complex blend of internal pushes and external