Motivation: Introduction to the Theory, Concepts, and Research

  • Paulina ArangoEmail author
Part of the Literacy Studies book series (LITS, volume 15)


Motivation is a psychological construct that refers to the disposition to act and direct behavior according to a goal. Like most of psychological processes, motivation develops throughout the life span and is influenced by both biological and environmental factors. The aim of this chapter is to summarize research on the development of motivation from infancy to adolescence, which can help understand the typical developmental trajectories of this ability and its relation to learning. We will start with a review of some of the most influential theories of motivation and the aspects each of them has emphasized. We will also explore how biology and experience interact in this development, paying special attention to factors such as: school, family, and peers, as well as characteristics of the child including self-esteem, cognitive development, and temperament. Finally, we will discuss the implications of understanding the developmental trajectories and the factors that have an impact on this development, for both teachers and parents.


Motivation Achievement Motivational theories Influences on motivation 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Escuela de Psicología, Universidad de los AndesSantiagoChile

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