Mtivation and How to Maintain It
Philosophy and Psychology
Submitted By hquinn
A Reaction Paper Many of the people around us act as a catalyst to help us to imagine and reach out to accomplish great things. Hillary Clinton once said that “It takes a village.” and by that she meant our teachers, neighbors, friends, parents, clergy, etc. These people, unless unlimitedly talented, are challenged at times to motivate those that they love, guide, and advise. The never ending questions is what triggers people to act.
Scholars refer to internal and external factors that drive people to act. Such factors include values that are inherent,, curiosity or interests. Although internal factors are not externally motivated or rewarded, they can be influence by people to move or act in specific ways. The interplay between the internal factors and the external factors is the premise in which self-determination theory was developed. Results from research has shown that rewards, verbal recognition, and the desire for good grades are elements that motivate people. These elements are referred to as external factors.
Self Determination Theory Self-determination theory by Ryan and Deci (2000) presents a broad framework through which the personality and human motivation can be studied. The theory presents various extrinsic and intrinsic values of motivation and looks at the various roles of both values in the social and cognitive development. The theory presents six mini theories to argue its main points. They include the cognitive etheory that looks at intrinsic motivation, Organismic Integration Theory that looks at extrinsic motivation, Casualty Orientation Theory that looks at the difference in individuals that leads to varying motivation values, Basic Psychological Needs Theory, the Goal Contents Theory and the Relationship Motivation Theory.
Intrinsic Motivation Ryan and Deci (2000) holds that intrinsic motivation is perhaps the most important type of motivation that human beings have. The authors argue that the tendency to seek out challenges and novelty is a value that is inherent in all human beings. They give an example of a child in a healthy state and how they tend to be active in learning new things, despite the absence of any external rewards. This example depicts the existence of an internal force that pushes individuals into actions despite the absence of external factors. Such internal factors are important for the social and cognitive development of a person. Despite the existence of such intrinsic factors, research also points to the need for support to enhance intrinsic values for the prosperity of values. This is due to the presence of disruptive conditions in the environment that might inhibit their development. The theory of self-determination, therefore, explores the various factors that help in shaping the intrinsic values and addresses those factors that inhibit intrinsic values of motivation. Ryan and Deci (2000) developed the cognitive evaluation theory to explore this phenomenon.
Cognitive Evaluation Theory Cognitive evaluation theory is a sub-theory in the theory of self-determination that seeks to explore the factors that are responsible for the flourishing of the intrinsic values against those that undermine those values. The theory looks at the social and environmental factors that are responsible for such actions. According to the authors, cognitive evaluation theory is an important factor that should be developed to support studies done on the effects of external factors on intrinsic values of motivation. First, the theory fronts an argument that social events such as communication, feedback and rewards are important factors that have been found to enhance intrinsic motivation values. Research has shown that positive feedback has been instrumental in the promotion of intrinsic motivation while negative feedback has been found to diminish intrinsic motivation. Essentially, those that receive positive feedback feel more appreciated, therefore, their intrinsic values are further developed to self-motivate the person to an even greater degree. Through cognitive evaluation theory, Ryan and Deci (2000) add an important factor that has been subject to various research and debates. They add the aspect of autonomy and competence in the role of extrinsic values in self-motivation. For instance, research has pointed to the fact that various extrinsic values that are undertaken to influence the intrinsic values are understood by those targeted as extrinsic values as opposed to being intrinsic values. In this view, extrinsic values such as rewards and positive feedback are understood to influence external motivation as opposed to the inward drive or push to take action. In a similar manner, actions such as threats or having too much control on the person results in low intrinsic motivation.
In this sense, Ryan and Deci (2000) sought to investigate how using external factors such as rewards, feedback or punishments can be used to conduce internally perceived locus of casualty. Ryan and Deci (2000) introduce the aspect of autonomy and competence in extrinsic factors to help change the focus from an extrinsic perspective to an internal perspective. Research has shown that giving rewards or positive feedback that is accompanied with autonomy will be perceived as an intrinsic motivating factor. The same is true to the level of control that is given to those that are sought to be motivated. Giving students or workers more control in what they do is also an important factor that results to a highly motivated student or workforce.
Evaluation of Ryan and Deci’s Theory This part reviews the theory of self-determination as fronted by Ryan and Deci (2000). The evaluation will cover the cognitive recognition theory as explained by the authors. First, with the increase in the social and environmental factors that influence the motivation of various people it was an important and timely research carried out with the two scholars. As pointed out in various scholarly research, social and environmental factors affect motivation of different persons differently. This is also a fact that is reiterated by Ryan and Deci (2000) in their theory. The two authors also differentiate the two source of motivation. These can either be internal motivation or external motivation. From the cognitive recognition theory, Ryan and Deci (2000) present an accepted assertion that there are factors that inhibit or promote intrinsic factors of motivation. They give examples of factors such as positive feedback, communication or rewards as factors that can be used in promoting the intrinsic values of motivation. However, the most important part of the theory is the inclusion of autonomy and competence in the previously conducted researches on the perception of using external factors such as rewards on intrinsic forms of motivation. The study conducted by Ryan and Deci (2000) was important because it helped in enabling persons to use external factors such as rewards while tuning them to correspond to the intrinsic of values of an individual in a bid to motivate them. Through the introduction of competence, more control and autonomy, the authors were able to use external factors and channeling them to conform to the intrinsic values of individuals. Their research has particularly helpful in schools and work environment as teachers and managers employ the use of more freedom and autonomy to motivate their students or workers. References
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American psychologist, 55(1), 68.