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PSY165: Learning, Motivation, and Achievement (Zahm): Home


Welcome to the Research Guide for PSY165.  Please use this guide to find resources for your Critique Report and Abstract assignment.  Please contact myself or any BCC Librarian if you have any questions.

What is?


Motivation is everywhere. Whether it is adults working 60-hour weeks, students studying for an examination, children playing a sport, or a baby crying for food, motivated behavior is ubiquitous. Psychologists are interested in a wide variety of motivations, ranging from behaviors that satisfy basic physiological needs (e.g., hunger, thirst) to those that lead us to play and explore as we attempt to master our environment. This entry provides a brief overview of different perspectives in the field of motivation and briefly examines the types of controversies studied by motivation researchers.

Motivation is defined as that which moves us to action and is evident in subdisciplines such as social, personality, developmental, experimental, industrial-organizational, physiological, and cognitive psychology. One critical theme in the study of motivation centers on identifying the underlying reasons for why a person is motivated to behave in a certain way. Consider why a college student eats at the school cafeteria. Is this student eating to reduce a physiological drive? Because it is a convenient way to socialize with friends? Because he has paid for a meal plan and feels obligated to eat? Because the food is so readily available? Because he associates a certain time of day with eating? Because he is taking part in an ice cream-eating...

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Jessica Langlois
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