Motivation Meaning from Various Perspectives

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Motivation meaning involves many theories and approaches. In general, people refer motivation as desire or reason to do specific thing. The simplest form of motivation is money. Employees work hard to get more salaries, which is money. However, motivation is not as simple as giving money to increase the job satisfaction. Many researches use definition of motivation as boundary to create independent variable. You do not know what people feel and think, unless from words or behavior. In order to know the motivation, several approaches are implemented and they will be explained at below section, including the theories.

Motivation Meaning

Motivation Meaning from Various Theories and Approaches

The most common ones in motivation meaning are incentive theories. You may feel motivated because of two aspects: intrinsic and extrinsic. What is motivation from intrinsic perspective? This type of motivation comes inside human mind and desire. Student will have motivation to get better score because of self-efficacy. Study showed that student with high self-esteem and self-efficacy will get the top performance. Motivation comes from student feeling to finish the task. When they have proper knowledge, it will bring motivation to do better. It is definition of motivation from intrinsic perspective. Meanwhile, what is motivation from extrinsic aspect? The answer for this question is easy. Money, reward, social status, etc are the examples of extrinsic motivation. Anything comes from environment or social condition will be called as extrinsic aspects.

Understanding motivation definition may come from two points of view. Firstly, you know the goal or achievement that people want to get. It is called content approach. As it mentioned above, money is the simplest form of content motivation. The content might be tangible or intangible. The examples of intangible content are social status and personal satisfaction. Secondly, you can understand definition of motivation from behavior. When you have desire for certain thing, you will act to get what you want. Well, behavior approach focuses on process to achieve the goal.

Another motivation meaning comes from sociocultural theory. In two previous approaches, motivation is a part of human as singular person. On the other hand, social approach sees motivation as collective goal. It does not mean to reduce personal perspective, but evolve to adjust with environment and society situation. The example of motivation definition from this approach is teamwork. Human cannot live on solitary condition. You have goal, but cannot achieve it without a help from other. Unfortunately, your goal is different that gives issue when forced to implement it. In order to achieve personal goal, you need to adjust with others, though it takes time to fulfill the complete personal goal.

Moreover, human cannot be separated from rational and cognitive aspect. In economic, consumer is expected to behave as rational as possible. However, cognitive process is more than thinking logically. This is where motivation definition brings new perspective. It is called cognitive dissonance theory. Motivation appears as the result from discomfort on human life. There is inconsistency between real condition and expected goal. People will try to modify environment to suit their goal.

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In addition, motivation has strong relation to other theories. Maslow introduces hierarchy of needs that consist of five levels. Human acts based on these needs form level one to reach top position. When the first level is fulfilled, they try to accomplish the next one. These levels are physiology, safety, social relationship, self-esteem, and self-actualization. First level is about basic need, such as hunger, thirst, sleepy, and clothes. Second one is about safety, health, ad security. Furthermore, the third one will be love, friendship, or any social relationship.

So, what is motivation? You can answer it with the desire and any reason that drive people to do or achieve something. In order to understand about motivation, you need to create boundary then focus on specific field. Motivation is common variable for research related to education, economic, psychology, and social-related field. Each of them may use different motivation meaning, but the basic principle is still similar.


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