Motivation: History of the Concept

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Originally, motivation was analyzed as a singular determinant of human thoughts, feelings, and actions. It was quickly recognized, however, that motivation operates in concert with other determinants (e.g., cognition, affect, habits). This insight has allowed the psychology of motivation to progress to a very sophisticated level to answer to the question as to which of the human needs are to be differentiated and how these needs manage to guide and energize people. It has also promoted considering the concept of goals (on top of incentives and expectations) which allowed a better understanding of action control; willpower is nowadays analyzed in terms of the effective (effortful and/or automatic) self-regulation of goal pursuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Attributions
  • Expectancies
  • Goal setting
  • Goal striving
  • Goals
  • Human needs
  • Implementation intentions
  • Incentives
  • Mental contrasting
  • Personal projects
  • Priming
  • Quasineeds
  • Self-efficacy beliefs
  • Self-regulation
  • Willpower

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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