Expanded Perspectives

  • Heinz Heckhausen


Behavior appears to be motivated either from “within” (intrinsic) or from “without” (extrinsic). This distinction is nearly as old as the empirical research in motivation itself. It seems to arise whenever researchers examine behavior that serves to satisfy a physiological need or avoids an aversive body state and then attempt to attribute behavior, its modification (learning), and its underlying motivation to external behavioral consequences in the form of reinforcement — reward, nonreward, and punishment. This radical instrumental conception, which ultimately views behavior only as the organism’s means of mastering homeostatic crises to seek pleasure and avoid displeasure, has regularly been challenged, particularly when results from animal experiments were indiscriminately applied to humans.


Intrinsic Motivation Task Difficulty Causal Attribution Action Tendency Attributional Style 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz Heckhausen
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für psychologische ForschungMünchen 40Germany

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