Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan


  • Dawn E. BoumanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2064


Motivation is the incentive or reason that activates and gives direction and purpose to a behavior, as well as the condition of being motivated. Motivation encompasses both internal and external forces that influence organisms’ behavior. Motives may include basic needs such as food and avoidance of pain, tangible rewards such as money or other prizes, as well as higher-level needs such as acceptance and approval.

Historical Background

Historically, the field of motivation has both philosophical and physiological roots. Several theories about motivation are mentioned here. Freud described motivational states as a negative force creating a tension people seek to reduce, often on an unconscious level, and over which they have little control. Maslow believed that the positive forces of self-actualization direct human behavior to reach one’s full potential. He proposed a hierarchy progressing from basic physiological needs to belonging needs and further to self-actualization....

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neuropsychology and Medical Psychology, University of CincinnatiDepartment of Neurology and Rehabilitation MedicineCincinnatiUSA