Motivation and Actions, Psychology of

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Traditionally, research on motivation and action has focused on the role of motives and needs, but also on expectations, attributions, and control beliefs. Nowadays, when it comes to answering the question of how motivation relates to action, research includes the concept of goals. But pursuing goals with the right content and structure in the proper situational context does not yet guarantee effective goal attainment. People often have to engage in self-regulatory thought to further their goal pursuits. In this article, we review the history and current research associated with these three broad perspectives on motivation and action.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Action control
  • Attributions
  • Behavior change interventions
  • Dwelling
  • Expectancy-value models
  • Fantasies
  • Fantasy realization theory
  • Goals
  • Implementation intentions
  • Impulsivity
  • Indulging
  • Intention-behavior relation
  • Mental contrasting
  • Motives
  • Self-completion theory
  • Self-control
  • Self-efficacy
  • Self-regulation
  • Strategic automaticity
  • Thinking about the future

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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