Introduction to Motivation

What you’ll learn to do: explain motivation, how it is influenced, and major theories about motivation

Photo of a man rappeling down a cliff-face while someone belays for him, holding the rope down on the ground.

Motivation to engage in a given behavior can come from internal and/or external factors. Multiple theories have been put forward regarding motivation—biologically oriented theories that say the need to maintain bodily homeostasis motivates behavior, Bandura’s idea that our sense of self-efficacy motivates behavior, and others that focus on social aspects of motivation. In this section, you’ll learn about these theories as well as the famous work of Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs.

Learning Objectives

  • Illustrate intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
  • Describe basic theories of motivation, including concepts such as instincts, drive reduction, and self-efficacy
  • Explain the basic concepts associated with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs