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Understanding Psychological Theories of Motivation: An Introductory Guide,9780415561433
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Understanding Psychological Theories of Motivation: An Introductory Guide



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We all think we know what motivation is. At an experiential level, we observe motivated behaviour all the time; we talk confidently about the causes of motivation both for ourselves and others. As part of our roles as educators, we try to influence motivation. In this sense we already have a working knowledge of motivation; it is part of our everyday experience, vocabulary and behaviour.But the problem is that it is this very familiarity with motivation that leads students to have folk understandings of motivation; some of these understandings may align themselves with theory but many do not. So when translating experience of motivation to writing about motivation academically, it is important to know the difference between a folk understanding and a robust theory.This book is for students who have heard about theories of motivation but have never studied any of them in particular detail. For example, you may have heard of goal theory but do you know about the four types of goals that students are supposed to operate with? You may have heard about intrinsic motivation but do you know about the associated theory, namely, self-determination theory? Do you know what self-handicapping is? What about self-worth theory? And if you have heard of them, could you write knowledgeably about them in an assignment that you would be graded on?If you can answer "yes" to all of the questions above then you probably don't need to read this book; if you are not sure or you definitely don't know the answers to the questions above, then this book is for you. This book will take you through the major theories in motivation, explain them to you, point you to the evidence that supports the various theories and tell you about the major debates within each theory. In short, if you have an interest in motivation but have never studied at an academic level, then there should be something for you in this book.

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