Definition Of Motivation In Psychology

Motivation is a small part of us that encourages us to act. Interested psychologists and business people have an understanding of the driving forces behind motivation. If you want to go a little deeper and explore your own motivation, first look at how psychologists define the term. In this article we will be taking a deeper walk on the definition of motivation In psychology in a very simple way, and we will further discuss the types of motivation in psychology, and the basic components of motivation. All you need to do is read this article till the end. You may also want to grab a bottle of coke, to feel more relaxed, we are in for deep stock on motivation in educational psychology.

Definition Of Motivation In Psychology

Definition Of Motivation In Psychology

Psychologists define motivation in educational psychology as the process by which activities are started, directed, and supported to meet specific needs. Needs can be psychological (for example, in need of validation) or physical (for example, in need of food). The idea is that motivation leads us to achieve a goal.

Psychologists have different theories about the forces that actually drive an individual to act. Some of these theories are based on needs, while others are based on instinct and excitement. In fact, motivation can rarely be reduced to a one driving force in any circumstance.

Types of Motivation in educational psychology

There are considerably two main types of motivation in psychology according to definition: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation comes from the individual. If you are intrinsically motivated, do something for your personal satisfaction. A good example of intrinsic motivation is completing a puzzle because you find it difficult.

In contrast, extrinsic motivation is to do something to get a reward or avoid punishment. In this particular case, the motivation for your behavior comes from something outside of you, such as a reward or a good grade.

Components of Motivation

There are three main components of motivation, according to the definition of motivation in psychology:

  • Activation
  • Persistence, and 
  • Intensity
  • Activation: In the definition of and explanation of the components of motivation in psychology, Activation is the decision to begin to do a particular kind of behavior at any point.
  • Persistence: This is when a person continues to put in the required effort to achieve a particular goal even when there are clear obstacles.
  • Intensity is defined as the concentration and the energy that a person puts into accomplishing or achieving his or her goals.

Definition and Explanations of the Theories of Motivation in Psychology

Psychologists down through the years have identified three main theories of motivation in their definition to explain motivation in psychology and whether that motivation is biological, emotional, social, or cognitive. These theories include the theory of instinct, the theory of drives and needs, and the theory of arousal.

Definition Of Motivation In Psychology

Instinct Theory

In the types of theories of motivation in educational psychology, instinct theory says that we are motivated to achieve goals through our instincts. Instinct is a pattern of the firm, innate behavior that acts as an impulse. Hence instinct theory postulates that behaviors occur so that we can satisfy basic survival needs. An example of an instinctive drive is fear, which enables people to abstain from situations that are dangerous.

Drives and Needs Theory

According to the definition and explanations of the drives and needs theory of motivation in psychology, we have this biological needs for food, water, and shelter. The theory of drives and needs states that our behavior is motivated by the need to satisfy these needs. That is why we find eating, drinking, and resting.

Arousal Theory

Arousal theory suggests that people adopt behaviors to keep their level of arousal at a personally optimal level. For example, a person with a high need for arousal can adopt risky behaviors such as skydiving or climbing. A person with little arousal can be satisfied reading a book.

The Application Of Motivational Theories

Types of Motivation in educational psychology

When we think about these theories, we often classify them based on life experiences.


The pursuit of satisfying biological needs can be reflected, for example, in the acquisition of money. Once the basic needs are met, other theories can play a role. Most people who only work for money prefer not to work. However, the acquisition of things that money can offer can grow, and the appreciation that goes with it can motivate someone to fight for more money, to have a sense of belonging, pride, and success. However, you may be chasing things you don’t need, and true compliance may be lacking.

Avoid Pain, Gain Pleasure: 

Gaining pleasure can go hand in hand with the theory of arousal, as some people can be motivated simply by looking for positive feelings. If an action appears to be more enjoyable than pain, it is probably the preferred course of action. If you are motivated to watch a movie instead of doing the dishes, it can be the result of the balance between pain and pleasure. Many people can be different from working on their goals because it’s not fun, but over time, when the goals are behind schedule, the benefits of working on them can increase. Share it by postponing things until the final minute.

Drive to Be Excellent: 

Some people inherently cannot tolerate being second to anything; they are driven to be first; to win and be the best y all posible means. ExampleS are olympic athletes, they are driven to excel, as are some big entrepreneurs and world leaders. 

Muhammad Ali said, and i quote, “I hated every minute of training, but I told myself, ‘Don’t quit. You better suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'” Sacrifice leads to success in this case.


Some people are motivated to help others. A philanthropist would be an example of someone motivated by this desire to make the world a better place. The motivation to help others can come from an intrinsic disposition associated with a sense of common good and a fundamental empathy for others.

Power, Fame: 

Political leaders may be the most obvious class of people motivated by the need for power and fame, but many other professions may find this motivating. This is based in part on the desire to influence others. This can include, for example, recognizing that you are right and that others are wrong, or that you can judge others.


The basic motivation to achieve may be based on genetic and environmental conditions, but for some people, it is what motivates them to achieve goals in themselves. A passionate person can wake up every day with the desire to achieve what he wants in life.

Getting the Help You Nee

Think about what really motivates you. Recognize yourself first. Note what motivates you to achieve your course and adjust accordingly.

Set Realistic Goals

Goals can be difficult: they have to be big enough to inspire you and small enough to be achieved. Make sure you set achievable but difficult goals that will help you stay on your agenda.

Keep a Journal

Keeping a Journal helps you connect with that little voice within you that ignites the fire in your soul to achieve your goals. It can help clear your mind and remind you of what you have already achieved, which can be a motivation in itself!


Motivation in educational psychology, has the proven thought that exercise and see how your motivation improves! Exercise has been identified to reduce the risk of severe depression, increase energy, improve sleep, relieve stress, and improve mood – all of which can affect your motivation.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Adequate sleep can have a positive effect on your motivation, as lack of sleep has proven to be an alternative system for the motivation process. So ensure you get all of your Zs.


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