How to measure motivation

Researchers measure motivation in terms of observable cognitive (e.g., recall, perception), affective (e.g., subjective experience), behavioral (e.g., performance) ,and physiological (e.g., brain activation) responses and using self assessments. Furthermore, motivation is measured in relative terms: compared to previous or subsequent levels of motivation or to motivation during a special goal state (e.g., salient versus non-salient goal).

 As an example , following exposure to a health-goal prime (e.g., gym membership card), a personal might be more motivated to exercise now than she was 20 minutes ago (before exposure to the prime), or than another one that wasn’t exposed to the same prime

Cognitive theories of motivation believe your thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes to elucidate your motivation. Collectively, these are called, “cognitions.” the foremost famous and widely cited of these theories is Cognitive Dissonance (CDT)

CDT indicates that people’s beliefs affect their behavior. Simply put, if we believe one thing, then we are motivated to act during how that matches with the belief; to be consistent. If we aren’t consistent, we experience “cognitive dissonance” where we feel uncomfortable. Dissonance are often almost physically painful, and a cause for strong emotion, if not action. believe how angry a person can get when their favorite sports team loses a game that the person expected them to win. That shows dissonance- the difference between what they believed (team should win) and what actually happened (team lost). Some people yell at the tv or even break it in their anger, all aroused by dissonance!

So, dissonance could also be a strong , “drive-like” motivator to which we’ve to concentrate . it isn’t simply a choice or a choice . it’s almost like being hungry or thirsty.

Cognitive Dissonance And Consonance Matter


Both sides of this “coin” are important. The dissonance, or discomfort once we aren’t consistent, may be a crucial motivator. But equally important is that the great feeling of comfort and “rightness” once we act in ways during which are consistent with our beliefs.
CDT (and CCT) are the foremost powerful and versatile of the theories of motivation. to hunt out the motivation, just find the belief! a person may or won’t remember of their beliefs, but those beliefs will still affect behavior and motivation!


Reward Vs. Dissonance


In the late 1950s, behaviorism was the dominant paradigm in psychology. Behaviorists predicted that every  behavior was motivated by consequences- rewards and punishments. Larger consequences would cause greater motivation, so if someone offered you $50 to undertake to to something, you’d be more motivated to undertake to thereto than if you were offered only $1
to explain an action, look for the beliefs or thoughts that motivated it. These beliefs won’t be obvious, nor may they be conscious. But, you’ll figure them out if you  inspect patterns within the person’s behavior, or for beliefs that were learned early .


Cognitive and Affective Measures of Motivation

a goal in pyschology are often defined because the cognitive representation of a desired end state. goals are organized in associative memory networks connecting each goal to corresponding constructs. Goal-relevant constructs could be activities or objects that contribute to goal attainment also as activities or objects that hinder goal attainment .

Cognitive and affective measures of motivation include the activation, evaluation, and perception of these goal-related constructs and thus the subjective experience they evoke.

A related measure of motivation is that the inhibition of conflicting constructs. In contexts where goal pursuit is faced with conflicting desires which can interfere with the focal goal,the motivation to pursue the goal can express itself through the inhibition of constructsrelated to those conflicting goalsA related measure of motivation is that the inhibition of conflicting constructs. In contextswhere goal pursuit is faced with conflicting desires which can interfere with the focal goal,the motivation to pursue the goal can express itself through the inhibition of constructsrelated to those conflicting goals


Behavioral Measures of Motivation

Speed

In many cases, motivation can happen in terms of the number of some time it takes a person to act within the pursuit of a goal. This duration measure (i.e., speed) are often applied to varied aspects of behavior to measure the strength of motivation. Behavioral measuresof speed include how briskly a person completes a task or how briskly she moves from one task to subsequent .

Performance

Motivation can also be measured in terms of level of performance at a goal-related task –especially if performance is variable and integral to the goal. Performance measures include accuracy, amount (i.e., what proportion has been done), and highest level of accomplishment .

Another aspect of performance is persistence, or the extent to which a person continues steadfastly within the pursuit of a goal in spite of inherent difficulties. as an example , a highly motivated student might spend hours studying for an exam despite being tired or tempted by more exciting activities. Persistence could even be expressed in terms of the length of some time a person spends on goal-related activities, in terms of the quantity of goal-related tasks a person completes, or in terms of the extent to which the individual continuesto engage within the goal


Choice

choice broadly describes the act of selecting between objects (e.g., apple versus cookie) and courses of action (e.g., donating, exercising). thanks to their binary nature, choice measures often seem merely indicative of the direction rather than the strength of motivation. However, a choice can also indicate the strength of motivation.For example, when a personal chooses between conflicting goals (e.g., a student chooses to socialize with friends rather than study for an exam), we’ll infer that her motivation for the chosen (socializing) goal is stronger than her motivation for the (academic) goal that wasn’t selected. Furthermore, in repeated sequential-choice paradigms, researchers can measurethe number/frequency of goal-consistent choices and hence infer the strength of motivation


There are differing types of goals: Some have clearly defined beginning and end states (e.g., aten-task project), whereas others represent an on going motivational state with no specificend point (e.g., eating healthily). within the pursuit of those various sorts of goals, different dimensions of motivation arise to drive cognitions and behaviors. Often, quite one dimension of motivation is present during the pursuit of one goal



Outcome-focused motivation: “getting it done”Outcome-focused or extrinsic motivation describes the motivation to achieve the specified endstate of a goal, like completing ten out of ten tasks, being healthy, or making money.


This dimension of motivation stems from the external benefits (or rewards) related to achieving a goal and targets the outcomes or consequences of goal-related actions. As outcome-focused motivation increases, cognitions and behaviors become more congruentwith the goal . Outcome-focused motivation are often captured using many of the measures reviewed within the previous section.


Process-focused motivation: “doing it happily”or “doing it right” Process-focused motivation refers to dimensions of motivation concerned with elements associated with the method of goal pursuit and stems from the interior benefits (enjoyment, boostto self-image) related to pursuing a goal –with less emphasis on goal completion. Were view two sorts of process-focused motivations: intrinsic motivation and means-focused motivation.


Specifically, means-focused motivation cares with “how”actions are performed and emphasizes adherence to the principles , principles, and standards set by the self, relevantothers, or society (e.g., completing ten tasks accurately, making money honestly). This motivation can arise for a spread of reasons. Individuals might specialise in  the means of goal pursuit because they need to find out or master goal-related tasks


Means-focused motivation refers to people’s desire to use “proper”means within the process of goal pursuit.

An increase in process-focused motivation produces judgments, experiences, and behaviors congruent with a stress on process instead of outcome


Motivation Versus Ability and Capacity
In some cases, changes within the measures may capture fluctuations unrelated to motivation. Indeed, goal pursuit may change the pursuer by making her more ready to perform goal tasks (learning) or less physiologically or physically capable of performing those tasks (depletion).

Learning and habituation

Learning can influence the chronic accessibility of constructs, such a student in school of medicine might easily recall health-related constructs, without being particularly motivated to stick to a health goal.Furthermore, the familiarity or habituation that stems from repeated exposure to a stimulus during learning can increase the positive evaluation of such stimulus

Physiological resource

Goal-related tasks are often effortful and may drain or “deplete”an individual of limited physiological resources over time, thus reducing the individual’s capacity to exert more effort subsequently. 

it’s acknowledged by psychologists that reduction in self-control following various sorts of self-regulated responses, including thought suppression, habit breaking, self-presentation under challenging circumstances, difficult choices, and mental/physical endurance.

A decrease in mental or physical effort or a goal-incongruent choice may stem from depletion instead of from a scarcity of motivation. In these cases, measures of motivation would capture available physiological resources instead of motivation. In many cases .exercising self-control causes temporary shifts in motivation and a spotlight (rather than physio logical depletion), which successively undermines further goal pursuit

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