Motivated cognition is the effect of motivations on various mental processes such as memory, information processing, reasoning, judgment, and decision-making. Many of these processes have applications in social phenomena such as self-evaluation, personal perception, stereotypes, persuasion, and communication. Motivations can be described as any stimulus that triggers certain actions or behaviors. Three main categories of motivation are physiological needs, desires, and rewards. Physiological needs include requirements for food, water, sleep, and oxygen. Desires include wants such as wanting a large income, wanting someone to love you, etc. Rewards can be internal or external. Internal rewards include feelings of pleasure and satisfaction while external rewards include money, gifts, approval, and status.
Social cognitive theories focus on how humans think about and act in their environment. These theories explain behavior by looking at the interactions between individuals and their environments. The most widely accepted theory in this category is called the Self-Control Model. This model states that people decide what behavior will occur next based on which response they select from all possible choices available to them at any given moment. Selection of an option depends on whether or not it satisfies a need or desire. If it does, then the person will choose that option. If not, then another choice will be made until either a need or desire is satisfied or all options have been considered.
Motivated reasoning is a cognitive science and social psychology phenomena that use emotionally biased reasoning to develop reasons or make judgments that are most wanted rather than those that truly represent the evidence while decreasing cognitive dissonance. Motivated reasoning is often used by individuals who do not want to change their minds because it provides a reason for believing what they want to believe, thus alleviating any discomfort caused by the recognition of being wrong.
There are two types of motivated reasoning: directional and nondirectional. Directional motivated reasoning is when you come up with reasons for or against something based on your expectations or desires for the outcome. For example, if I expect the test score to be high, then I will only study for questions about which I know I'll get right. If I think the test score should be low, I won't study for questions I'd normally know. Nondirectional motivated reasoning occurs when you come up with reasons for or against something regardless of what you expect will happen. For example, if I don't think the test score will affect my grade, I might study even though I knew I wouldn't try to raise it.
Directional reasoning is easier to do because it follows what's known as "confirmation bias", which is our tendency to search for information that confirms what we already believe and avoid finding information that contradicts it.
"The cognitive approach to motivation indicates that motivation is the result of people's ideas, beliefs, expectations, and objectives," according to Essentials of Understanding Psychology (Feldman 2017). The level of motivation a person has will be determined by their expectations of the conditions they are confronted with. If these expectations are high but the obstacles in their path are large, they will not be as motivated as someone who expects to succeed despite the obstacles.
Other factors that influence how motivated a person is include their personality, experiences, and circumstances. Motivation is a process that can be triggered by events or cues in a person's environment. This means that something as simple as noticing that another person is able to motivate others provides us with an opportunity to learn about ourselves and our world.
People differ in how much effort they are willing to put in versus how much they want to achieve. They may have strong motivations for some things while being only moderately interested in other things. In addition, some people may be more motivated by material rewards such as money or awards, while others may be more motivated by non-material rewards such as recognition or feelings of accomplishment. It is also possible for one thing to be both a material reward and an emotional one at the same time.
Motivated behavior is oriented toward or away from specific stimuli and is distinguished by significant activity, vigor, persistence, and expenditure of effort in both the onset and maintenance of behavior.
Characteristics of Motivated Behavior: Directed toward a goal; begins with the intention to succeed at what is sought; involves an active process that proceeds with persistent efforts over a prolonged period; may be interrupted by pauses for rest or food but which are immediately resumed.
Examples of motivated behaviors include working hard at a task, playing sports competitively, and studying for an exam. A person who is not motivated to engage in a given activity will likely show little interest in it and avoid situations that would require them to perform such an action. For example, someone who does not enjoy cooking would not want to spend their time cooking if they were sick with the flu.
Motivation can be internal or external. Internal motivation comes from within you alone, while external motivation comes from without. For example, someone who enjoys teaching music lessons might find this activity externally motivated because they are paid to do so. However, if they did not get paid to teach music lessons, they would still find this activity internally motivated because it gives them pleasure. External motivation can also be referred to as reinforcement or punishment.
Motivation is the process through which individuals's desires, wants, and ambitions lead, influence, or explain their conduct. It explains how and why people behave the way they do. Motivation is a human psychological trait that influences a person's level of commitment. When motivated, a person will try harder to achieve his or her goals.
There are three main types of motivations: intrinsic, extrinsic, and competitive. Intrinsic motivations include interests such as enjoyment and curiosity. These are done voluntarily for the pleasure it gives us. An example of an intrinsic motivation would be when someone likes what they do because it shows in their work. Intrinsic motivations are the most effective at bringing out the best in someone.
Extrinsic motivations include rewards such as money and recognition. These are done voluntarily to obtain something else (such as food or shelter). An example of an extrinsic motivation would be when someone does something for payment. Like intrinsic motivations, extrinsic motivations can bring out the best in someone. They just need to be presented with some choice in the matter.
Competitive motivations include comparisons to others and beliefs about consequences. Someone who is competitive will try harder to succeed because he or she feels like there is a competition between him- or herself and others similar to him-or herself.