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Donald Hebb realised that existing theories were too focused on reacting to the immediate environment. Thoughts, ideas and goals could be just as strong for triggering action as sights and sounds.
Together with John Atkinson, they noted that the study of motivation had undergone a "paradigm shift", where motivation couldn't be seen as how actions get started, but how the organism decides to change its behaviour from one thing to another.
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When Ivan Pavlov and his dogs led to the discovery of learned behaviour through repeated exposure, and Edward Thorndike discovered the Law of Effect that stated that rewarded behaviours tended to increase, many psychologists were impelled to separate psychology from armchair introspection and
Thorndike’s Law of Effect led B.F. Skinner to the study of instrumental conditioning, where behaviour could be manipulated by applying rewards and punishments.
To describe this paradigm, some terminology is useful since they are often confused in popular discussions:
This theory is not focused on how human motivation can be controlled and manipulated from without, but how it is functionally designed and experienced from within.
Intrinsic motivation is when we are more motivated to pursue actions when it emanates from the self.
While motivation is a huge topic, and the science on it is not in agreement, there are many takeaways we can use to understand how motivation operates and use it to improve our lives.
Neuroscience offers clues on how motivation works within the brain.
People have three basic psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Our internal motivations often depend on how these needs are met.
Goals that satisfy these needs tend to be more motivating, while goals that don't may cause harm. The underlying reasons fo...
Procrastination is delaying an intended course of action despite expecting negative consequences for the delay.
Possible causes for procrastination:
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