Historical Trends in Motivation Research

  • Heinz Heckhausen
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the various different historical branches of research on motivation. In general, research on motivation can be divided into four conceptually different approaches based on the problems they address: first, volitional approaches which conceptualize volition as externally caused (heterogenetic position) or internally driven (autogenetic position) and examine them phenomenologically or experimentally; second, approaches of instinct theory, which describes the content of motivation with more or less comprehensive lists of instincts and tries to assess motivational processes with concepts of behavioral ethology such as innate causal mechanisms; third, approaches of personality theory, which can be distinguished based on whether their orientation lies in motivational, cognitive, or personality theory; and, lastly, the approaches of association theory which are divided into approaches based on learning or activation.

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz Heckhausen
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for Psychological ResearchMunichGermany

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