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A Summary of Motivational Studies in the Daily Life of Individuals Essay Sample

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A Summary of Motivational Studies in the Daily Life of Individuals Essay Sample

Motivation can bring about life changes from mundane to the extravagant. A man dropping 100lbs before his first child is born, a woman determined to graduate college to get out of the ghetto, or a child learning an instrument to hear the praise of an elder all of these involve motivation. Motivation stimulates transformations in areas of physical activity, learning, mood, memory, occupations, creativity, and understanding. The achievement of any goal depends on person’s motivation. Motivation affects perseverance in the execution of goals, and the degree to which this is accomplished is related to mental and physical health of an individual. The types of motivation vary depending on the goal that is yet to be accomplished. Extrinsic motivation exists when the course of motivation is an outside factor such as a reprimand or reward. While intrinsic motivation stems from many more tasks such as pursuit of interesting task, anticipate challenging tasks, persistence despite failure, or making changes when warranted. In many individuals, there is not an either or situation between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation rather people utilize both concepts to achieve goals. (Ormrod, 2012)

When there is a lack of motivation individual’s may have mental health issues. There are also different forms of motivation compared to the Western philosophy bringing information about cultural motivation into question. The following research studies exemplify the use or concept of motivation in a variety of daily life activities, lack of motivation with mental state, and cultural divides with concerns to motivation. Every study chosen is linked to one another through motivation.

The amount of attention individual’s practice during a given day is variable and dependent upon the tasks the individual encounters along with working memory. Since attention plays a role in the motivation of an individual; distractions and the interruption are a negative effect on attention and motivation. Researchers began a study focused on working memory performance on day to day related activities with regard to controls of attention and motivation. The study included 101 participants in the age range of 21-30 who varied from university students to married and employed individuals. Researchers screened the individuals for existing depressive symptoms to rule out pre-existing conditions that could affect the results of the research.

Recruitment for the study was done via advertisements for interested individuals then they were contacted via telephone interview to obtain relevant information. Potential candidates were then invited to a session aimed at giving information about the study, incentives associated with the study, and questionnaires about pertaining to demographics was obtained. Once individuals had been informed they could sign up for the study. During the study individuals were gathered into rooms with three to six computers to work individually on tasks. Tasks ranged from visual acuity, self-reporting, twelve different cognitive tasks, three varying working memory tasks, and then concluded with another self-report. To address the negative effect subscale was included on each session from each individual and then correlated to their test scores.

The results showed that motivation was hindered when negative effect of outside forces had occurred on a particular session day. If a person was distracted or angry their motivation to follow through with the cognitive or working memory testing was below their previous average score. The difference between each individual’s day to day structure depending on how systematic their routine was normally. In some individuals, the variability and their attention to task were hindered leading to lack of motivation. However, this was not the case in all individuals and because of this weak link further questions arise. Future studies would need to focus on dissuasion modeling performance and the context to the study participants. (Brose, Lindenberger, Lovden, Schmiedek, 2012)

Motivation not only relates to attention and working memory but also the degree of contextual motivation with concern to exercise motivation. Researchers constructed a study analyzing the interaction between self motivation to exercise versus three contextual motivations of health, leisure, and relationship motivations to exercise. Researchers anticipated that self-made motivations about health and leisure motivations to be the most prevailing reasoning for exercise. A total of 449 exercisers split between men and women between ages 16-53 within Spain were utilized for the study. Managers of different sports complexes were contacted and individuals involved with study answered the questionnaires prior to their exercise routine.

A trained research assistant implemented the testing and provided informed consent information. Participants ranged from frequent to very frequent range of exercisers and only a few did not identify themselves on a scale of frequency. Researchers utilized the Spanish versions of Basic Psychological Needs in Exercise Scale and Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire. To measure motivation in the context of each individual’s life the Elderly Motivation Scale of Vallerand and the Dispositional Flow Scale-2 were measured with participants. Data was measured using structural equation modeling, data analysis, and invariance analysis across a multi group analysis.

The results of the study showed a correlation between motivation and exercise as a leisure activity with health benefits. Self-made motivation to exercise coincides with health, leisure, and exercise within the motivational for exercising individuals. Physical activities integrate into other activities such as health and leisure. Relationships did not relate to exercise motivation according to the presented data. The result surprising yet many of the individuals surveyed were frequent exerciser and had high confidence levels. Follow up studies with concerns to exercise motivation and beginning exercisers could reveal potential for a link between relationship, social interaction, and exercise motivation. (Gonzalez-Cutre, 2011)

The mental of physical health of an individual plays an important role on the motivation levels and midlife motivation. Researchers investigated the risk of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease to midlife motivation. Motivation includes the implementation of goals, skills for motivation regulation, decision regulation for motivation, and self-efficacy motivation. Previous studies focused on depression and motivation or anxiety disorders and motivation yet there is a gap with concerns to cognitive impairment and motivation. General practitioners were contacted with information about the research study with inclusion criteria being ages 75 and over, absence of dementia, and seen their doctor within the past twelve months. Exclusion criteria included home visit patients, nursing home residents, projected fatality, deafness or blindness, and a non regular patient. Follow up exams would be conduct at 1.5 years and 3 year markers. The next step included clinical interviews within the home of the perspective individuals by physicians and psychologists. The Structured Interview for Diagnosis of Dementia and Alzheimer, Multiinfart Dementia Etiology (SIDAM) was utilized as a clinical evaluation.

The SIDAM consists of both neurophysical testing and demographic questions to obtain potential risk for cognitive impairment. Semantic naming tasks and word recall called Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s (CERAD) were administered lastly. The SIDAM interview, medical history, depressive symptoms were not only obtained at study entry, but also at follow-up I and II marker years. Blood sample for testing for ApoE status were collected at study entry. Lifetime depressions as well as cognitive and physical activity were assessed at follow-up I.

Occupational history and prevalence of depression since last follow-up were assessed at follow-up II. The main prediction by researchers relied on the motivation related to occupational abilities and to derive the motivation researchers utilized the Occupational Information Network. Using a three step procedure of the first job held at one year after education, the longest job they held, and the last job during their professional life leading to data analysis between the previous questionnaires and the ONET to determine amount of motivation. Questions analyzing education, cognitive, physical activity, family framework, depressive symptoms, and vascular issues were all analyzed against one another throughout the three year study. Statistical analysis was utilized to gain correlations between the relevant information of cognitive impairment effects on motivation.

The results of the overall sample which included 2,500 participants’ shows those individuals with higher motivational abilities were 35% less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment over the individuals who scored low on the motivational abilities. The research suggested health behaviors and occupational attainment through a life span lead to greater motivation reducing cognitive impairment later in life. Limitations of the study include not gathering data from nursing home facilities and recruitment via general practitioners. Further research is warranted with a nursing home population under the same method criteria. (Forstmeier, 2012)

Does thinking about thinking lead to greater motivation? Researchers warranted an investigation into peoples’ awareness and their experience of their own motivational state. The research study utilized interviews and a questionnaire to enable participants to express their thoughts, perceptions, values, and meanings, surrounding self-motivation. Interviews and questionnaires gained insight by using a person centered style to gather the viewpoint of the individuals involved. Two questions in particular were the measurement of the motivation. When you are about to start taking action on an important project or goal, how often do you consciously think of the following: What motivates me to do this? How do you see your usual, general level of motivation in life? Responses on a scale of Low 1 to 10 High and a Likert scale. All seventy-six interviewees were obtained through social events and ranged in ages, sex, culture, and work. The study utilized statistical analysis (SPSS) to correlate the answers of the questions to whether or not a person thought about their own motivation.

The results showed that most people do not think about their own motivations for their actions. Interestingly enough, persons that perceive their motivation usually think of their motivation is at a higher level compared to a random stranger. Overall, the majority of the interviewee’s did not think about their motivation leading researchers to postulate these individuals could benefit from motivational coaching. Further research is suggested in the direction of motivational coaching versus no coaching to see gather data about the differences between the two settings. (Gelona, 2011)

The meaning and understanding of life is also tied to motivation and researchers have presented a thirty year summary of research that identifies different facets of a person’s life that can be affected by motivation. The areas included were the role social factors in intrinsic motivation, the outcomes of motivation in real life scenarios, the intrinsic and extrinsic motivations role of task and personally, and passion for life in association with motivation. The roles of social factors in intrinsic motivation were researched using competition studies and verbal feedback. Participants were given 8 trials and were not informed of their scores. The time spent on the task during this free-choice period served as the intrinsic motivation individuals then completed a question assessing their self-perceptions of competence. Researchers tested the perceived competence process of competition.

Participants were randomly assigned to either the “win” or “loss” competition condition on the task. Results revealed that participants who had lost the competition felt less competent and less intrinsically motivated than those who had won the competition. Verbal feedback studies were utilized on male participants who engaged in a balancing task and then completed questionnaires. The results showed that positive verbal feedback increased intrinsic motivation and negative feedback decreased motivation. To pursue the other areas of motivation researchers used lab setting and a hierarchal model. Together, these two mechanisms provide a detailed description of how social and personal factors influence motivation in time and how the different types of motivation lead to outcomes.

For the passion and motivation link researchers postulated that most people show to show performance in activities after trial and error of what they find enjoyable. Researchers used 500 college students and had them complete a Passion scale about their beloved activity. After analyzing the information three conclusions were formed. First, many people have some form of passion in their lives. Second, motivation for a passionate interest is prevalent against an uninteresting task. Third, passion correlated to high motivation for the subject. The overall results of all the studies combined show that motivation matters with the quality of life an individual perceives they are living. Further research is suggested for passion psychology and how motivated individuals affect the environment they subside in. (Vallerand, 2012)

The accumulated studies show a range of motivation that an individual could experience in everyday life. Motivation for exercise and passion about interesting tasks that lead to higher motivation could be rationally linked together. If a person is passionate about exercising then that is the motivation they have to sustain their regiments. However, surprising results such as motivation for physical activity has not been shown to be motivated by relationships. The results are surprising but taken on a standalone study does not account for novice exercisers who would have more merit to exercise for social implications.

The motivation and interest of the subject can lead to better motivation and even passion about any given subject that is excelled. Motivation and mental competence are noted and even high motivation throughout life seems to hinder mild cognitive impairment later in life. Studies that follow up on the implications or future of particular studies could lend even more data for the depths of motivational studies. Motivation both intrinsic and extrinsic plays a role in some shape or form throughout the life span of individuals. However, questions about self-determination, self-handicapping, and self-worth were not mentioned in any of the studies and how their definitions may affect motivation with individuals. Overall, a consensus of further research and information is needed in all areas of motivation.


Brose, A., Schmiedek, F., Lövdén, M., & Lindenberger, U. (2012). Daily variability in working memory is coupled with negative affect: The role of attention and motivation. Emotion, 12(3), 605-617. doi:10.1037/a0024436.

Forstmeier, S., Maercker, A., Maier, W., van den Bussche, H., Riedel-Heller, S., Kaduszkiewicz, H., & … Wagner, M. (2012). Motivational reserve: Motivation-related occupational abilities and risk of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease. Psychology And Aging, 27(2), 353-363. doi:10.1037/a0025117

Gelona, J. (2011). Does thinking about motivation boost. The British Psychological Society, 7(1),

González-Cutre, D., Sicilia, Á., & Águila, C. (2011). Interplay of different contextual motivations and their implications for exercise motivation. Journal Of Sports Science & Medicine, 10(2), 274-282.

Ormrod, J. E. (2012). Human learning. (6 ed.). Ohio: Prentice Hall.

Vallerand, R. J. (2012). From motivation to passion: In search of the motivational processes involved in a meaningful life. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 53(1), 42-52. doi:10.1037/a0026377

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