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Many sociologists and educationists, especially in the 20th century, conducted numerous researches with an attempt of understanding the complex concept of motivation. Motivation as a concept can be defined as the internal activation of goal-oriented behavior by an individual (Franken, 2001). The concept of motivation has normally been used with reference to human beings but, however, motivation can theoretically be used when explaining animal behaviors and their causes. In fact, many behavioral, humanistic, psychoanalytic, and cognitive theories of motivation have been advanced, all with an attempt to provide an explanation of the motivation concept. According to Franken (2001), psychologists and sociologists have categorized the types of motivation into two major parts; intrinsic and extrinsic. This essay seeks to discuss the broad concept of motivation in human beings, its sources, explain the relationship between motivation and behavior, and finally examine how motivation is normally exhibited in human behavior.

Motivation, as mentioned above, is divided into two major kinds; intrinsic and extrinsic. A number of outside forces can influence a person’s behavior but the internal drive of motivation plays the central role of sustaining the behavior. Internal motivation results in an individual working harder, longer, and with increasing vigor unlike when they are not self-motivated (Pinder, 2007).

In order for an individual to be motivated, a number of sources have been identified to play a significant role. Intrinsic motivation refers to a kind of motivation that originates from the rewards associated with the task at hand or a given activity-the joy that comes from fulfilling a specified task (Dweck, 1996). Educational psychologists have conducted researches into the role of intrinsic motivation and the learning process. They have established that a student can be motivated intrinsically if he or she associates educational results to internal forces that directly control the outcome. For instance, the conviction that better results can be obtained from putting a lot of effort in the studies. Furthermore, Dweck (1996) explains that a student can be intrinsically motivated if he or she believes that attaining the desired goals depend directly on him or her and not out of luck. Interest in fully understanding the content of what is learnt rather than just learning for the sake of good grades is also another source of intrinsic motivation for a student.

On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is a source of motivation that comes from factors outside the individual. An obvious example of this source of motivation is the monetary reward. The use of punishment as well as coercion is also very common when it comes to external sources of motivation (Dweck, 1996). For instance, during competitions, participants may be motivated to emerge triumphant by the cheering crowd. The award of trophies for the champions also serves as extrinsic sources of motivation. Research conducted by social psychologists has revealed that relying solely on extrinsic motivation can diminish intrinsic motivation (Franken, 2001).

However, motivation alone may not be sufficient to make a person successful; knowledge, skills, consistence, diligence, and a focused determination to act towards success are equally necessary. Being among optimistic people and reading self-motivational materials can also be great sources of motivation (Dweck, 1996).  

Motivation has very strong relationship with behavior exhibited by individuals. Motivation acts as the cause that brings a given behavior into existence. For instance, a student who would like to excel in his or her studies will be motivated by the prospect of good grades to work very hard. The excellent grades anticipated by the learner, therefore, act as motivators and studying hard is the resultant behavior (Dweck, 1996). In places of work, employees may increase their output if there are subsequent rewards. The rewards/incentives and recognition from the employer would motivate the employee and thus increased input/output becomes the resultant behavior. Motivation, therefore, can be regarded as a process that results in the formation of some corresponding behavioral tendencies.

As discussed above, motivation leads an individual to behave in a certain way. The way a person behaves demonstrates how motivated he or she is. For example, a person who is motivated by money will work very hard in his or her work to earn it. Someone who is driven (motivated) by the need for recognition will try to behave in such a way as to impress everyone (Franken, 2001). This implies that the behavior exhibited by an individual is a direct reflection of the underlying motivation.

The essay has attempted to explore the broad concept of motivation. It has defined motivation as an internal condition that energizes behavior to proceed in a given direction, usually influenced by needs and desires. The paper has also identified intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation as well as providing an overview of the relationship between motivation and behavior. In general, motivation causes an individual to behave in a specific manner until the driving force or the need is met. Motivation, therefore, is very necessary for the performance of a given activity.

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