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Select Choice Group Work from Home Training

Day 3

My name is Jerome Robinson.  I will teach you how to be a better you.  I will help you grow in every direction of your life.  A lot of what I will teach you may bore you in the beginning.  The Bible bored me when I first started reading it. I do NOT like reading.  But I know that reading is the single source and main ingredient in my journey towards success.  Over 30-years ago, I looked at what other successful people did to get where they got in life.  The answer was almost always the same.  Study by reading self help books, watch videos on self help, role play, train, practice and rehearse every day for a minimum of 4-hours a day.  I started off training 10-hours a day which later became 8 hours, then 6 hours, then 4 hours down to 2 hours.  I do not recommend training for less than 2 hours everyday even though some trainers will tell you to train 30-minutes.  I am a competitive person and I wanted to be the very best.  So I pushed myself harder than everyone else and worked smarter.  I trained with some of the greatest coaches of all time.  I personally met and shook hands with Tony Robbins.  This guy is so bigtime, he owns his own island and is revered as the greatest trainer of all time.  I studied under Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightengale, Stephen Schiffman, and many others.  I have personally met Geoffrey Gitomer and I have taken his course as well as many others.  I have hired personal trainers & consultants to get one-on-one training so that I could be the best sales professional that I could be in my industry.  Needless to say that I still have a long way to go.  I consider myself a Student FOREVER.  I feel that I can learn from my 90 year old father or my 2 year old daughter.  I recommend that you never be so stubborn as to put a ceiling on your potential to grow.  Never stop learning and know that you can learn from people when you least expect it, even your very own child.  They can be some of your greatest little sales munchkins.

I teach sales to everyone, whether you are a tech or an Admin.  Everybody in our company could use this training.  So please take it seriously.  Please remember to take a lot of notes and take this seriously.  It gets a lot better and less boring, a lot more exciting, entertaining & fun.  Knowledge is power and I will give you the tools to give you the raise that you've always been looking for.  You'll be making over $180,000 a year in no time!

If you are training to be any other position other than sales, you will receive additional training for those fields.  But please still continue on with this training as it will be necessary and play a pivotal role in your success in the future.  Thank you in advance for participating.

Your 5-year Plan


*You will need a blank notebook for this next exercise.

“planning is essential” – Winston Churchill


“planning is everything” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


“A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week. “– George S. Patton


PLAN:  A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective, similar to strategy. It is commonly understood as a temporal set of intended actions through which one expects to achieve a goal. 

Plans can be formal or informal:

  • Structured and formal plans, used by multiple people, are more likely to occur in projects, diplomacy, careers, economic development, military campaigns, combat, sports, games, or in the conduct of other business. In most cases, the absence of a well-laid plan can have adverse effects: for example, a non-robust project plan can cost the organization time and money.

  • Informal or ad hoc plans are created by individuals in all of their pursuits.

The most popular ways to describe plans are by their breadth, time frame, and specificity; however, these planning classifications are not independent of one another. For instance, there is a close relationship between the short- and long-term categories and the strategic and operational categories.

It is common for less formal plans to be created as abstract ideas, and remain in that form as they are maintained and put to use. More formal plans as used for business and military purposes, while initially created with and as an abstract thought, are likely to be written down, drawn up or otherwise stored in a form that is accessible to multiple people across time and space. This allows more reliable collaboration in the execution of the plan.


Do you know who you are?

Do you know how much money you make?

Do you know how much money you want to make in 5-years from now?

Do you know how much money that you want to make in 1-year?

Do you know how much money you are going to make next month?

Do you know how much money you are going to make this month?

Do you know how much money you are going to make this week?

Do you know how much money you are going to make today?

You have no clue, or else you wouldn’t have been asked to attend this class.

Let’s get a clue.  There is no way you could be truly successful unless you have a goal with a plan to get there.  Your goal is your end point and your plan is your guide map to get there.

Most of us run around like a chicken with our heads cut off without direction; without a plan, like a wandering tumbleweed. 

Lions have a plan.  Sharks have a plan.  Tigers have a plan.  Cheetahs have a plan.  Even Alligators have a plan before they actually kill.  They calculate their movements.  They move strategically.  They move with precision.  They have a game plan of attack.


Who else do you know that plans ahead? Maybe a basketball or a football team?  Do you think that they plan for a big game?  You betcha.  They plan a whole year in advance..  How about a boxer?  Yeah, that’s right, a boxer.  A boxer and trainer will train for months.  They will watch many videos of their future opponent to ascertain their weaknesses and plans for the big attack.  They call it, “A game plan”.  Do you have one?

PLANNING: The term planning implies the working out of sub-components in some degree of elaborate detail. Broader-brush enunciations of objectives may qualify as metaphorical roadmaps. Planning literally just means the creation of a plan; it can be as simple as making a list. It has acquired a technical meaning.

Planning can refer to the planned use of any and all resources, as in the succession of Five-Year Plans. - Wikipedia


Why do you need a game plan?  The same reason that they do.  You will not succeed without one.  How do you know what direction to go in?  South?  North? East or West?  Have you ever seen a mouse in a maze?  Do you ever feel like you're spinning your wheels day after day with no means to an end, like a wandering tumbleweed?  Think back to what brought you here?  You needed money, right?  You tried different things in life that didn’t pan out as you had hoped. But there lies the problem.  You hoped.  Notice I did not say that things didn’t pan out as you planned”.  That’s because you didn’t plan or at least you didn’t plan very well.  Things are about to change.  But only if you let them.  Only if you embrace your new plan.  That’s of course if you create a good, solid, well put together and realistic plan.  I will show you how.  All you have to do is trust me.


PLANNERS: Planners are the professionals that have the requisite training to take or make decisions that will help or balance their life.


So you will hear me talk a lot about how much money you can make. Let me be the first to tell you that I will not BS you.  Not today, not tomorrow.  I’ve set goals.  I wanted cars. I bought them.  I wanted a Porsche.  I bought that too.  I didn’t settle for just any Porsche. I got a top of the line 450 horsepower Porsche SUV.  I like old cars, so I bought many.  I didn’t just settle for one motorcycle.  When 1,000 cc wasn’t enough, I upped it to 1,900.  When a 1-story house wasn’t enough, I got 2.  I wanted to buy an airplane, so I took flying lessons.  I set goals, and I achieved them.  What can you say for yourself?  When are you going to trust me?  I can teach you how to make a lot of money.  I can show you how to be a success.  All you need is a plan and I will show you how to make one and follow it.

METHODOLOGY: The discipline of planning has occupied great minds and theoreticians. Concepts such as top-down planning (as opposed to bottom-up planning) reveal similarities with the systems thinking behind the top-down model.

The subject touches such broad fields as psychology, game theory, communications and information theory, which inform the planning methods that people seek to use and refine; as well as logic and science (i.e. methodological naturalism) which serve as a means of testing different parts of a plan for reliability or consistency.

The specific methods used to create and refine plans depends on who is to make it, who is to put it to use, and what resources are available for the task. The methods used by an individual in their mind or personal organizer, may be very different from the collection of planning techniques found in a corporate board-room, and the planning done by a project manager has different priorities and uses different tools to the planning done by an engineer or industrial designer.


Close your eyes for a moment and think about what you want to have in 5-years.


Now open them.  Think of the house that you want to live in?  What color is it?  Does it have a fence?  Does it have shutters?  Does it have a garden or a flower bed?  Does it have a fireplace?  Does your house have wood floors?  How big is the garage; can it fit 2 or 3 cars?  Do you own a 4-wheeler?  Do you own an airplane or a helicopter? What kind of car do you want? BMW?  Mercedes Benz?  How about a Porsche or Ferrari?  Maybe it’s an old school car?  Maybe it’s a brand new Dodge pickup?  Do you like motorcycles?  Want one?  How about your own swimming pool?  How about a huge yard for your kids to play in?  Would you like to send your kids to a top of the line private or public school?  Do you want to go on vacations?  How about a cruise?  How about a trip to Paris or Australia?  How about England or Italy?  Do you like the bahamas?  You can own your own boat that will take you there once a month. Do you suffer from depression? Money can buy you a lot of therapy.  Are you sick of McDonalds?  How about Texas DeBrazil or The Capital Grill or Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse?  You can dine like a king or queen.  Interested in clubbing?  Try The Blue Martini.  Like basketball, get box seats or meet the players on the floor.  Even my 8-year old son has pictures with The Orlando Magic Cheerleaders.   You need to set goals.  Only then, can you achieve them.


STRATEGY: (Greek "στρατηγία"—stratēgia, "art of troop leader; office of general, command, generalship") is a high level plan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty.

Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve these goals are usually limited.

Henry Mintzberg from McGill University defined strategy as "a pattern in a stream of decisions" to contrast with a view of strategy as planning while Max McKeown (2011) argues that "strategy is about shaping the future" and is the human attempt to get to "desirable ends with available means".


You need to write all of the WANTS on a piece of paper.  Let me elaborate.  Figure out what it is that you want to have in 5-years.  What will your spouse look like?  What is the color of your car(s)?  Be as detailed as possible about your house.  What pictures will you have on your wall?  What tools will you have in the garage?  Will you have a spa or whirlpool? For a clothes washing machine, will it be a top loader or a front loader?  Do you want an art desk and station for your portraits?  Do you want your name on the side of your camaro?  How big is your family room TV?  Do you have an exercise room / gym in your new home?  Will you have a house cleaner and a landscaper?  I do.  Why not you?  Do you collect guns?  Have you ever held a Desert Eagle?  Do you like horseback riding?  Want to learn?

GOAL:  A goal is a desired result a person or a system envisions, plans and commits to achieve a personal or organizational desired end-point in some sort of assumed development. Many people endeavor to reach goals within a finite time by setting deadlines.

It is roughly similar to purpose or aim, the anticipated result which guides reaction, or an end, which is an object, either a physical object or an abstract object, that has intrinsic value.


Think about all that you want to have in 5-years.  Let your imaginations run wild, however, be somewhat realistic.  Saying that you will have a Rolls Royce, a Bentley and a Ferrari is maybe somewhat unrealistic.  Let’s face it; do you even know how much an oil change is for a Ferrari?  On the other hand, some people don’t know how to dream big enough.  I have coached some people that do not have any aspirations or goals; I have coached some people who want very little out of life.  Why is it that one person wants a Ferrari while the other doesn’t seem to care about their own health?  The person who doesn’t care has clothes that are torn and unwashed, teeth falling out, not showered, and just doesn’t seem to care while the other cares about how they present themselves, what they want out of life and sometimes even has a plan.  Is this always true?  No.  I’ve seen a person with perfect teeth and dress to the 9’s and carry themselves well and want so much for themselves and yet they have no plan which results in autonomic failure on a lower level.  Let’s face it, you need a plan.


GOAL-SETTING:  Goal-setting ideally involves establishing specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bounded (S.M.A.R.T.) objectives. Work on the goal-setting theory suggests that it can serve as an effective tool for making progress by ensuring that participants have a clear awareness of what they must do to achieve or help achieve an objective. On a personal level, the process of setting goals allows people to specify and then work towards their own objectives, most commonly, financial or career-based goals. Goal-setting comprises a major component of personal development.

A goal can be long-term or short-term. The primary difference is the time required to achieve them.


Did a doctor have a plan when they decided to become a doctor?  You betcha.  They needed to raise capital (whether it be by their parents or by grants or a job). They needed to plan out the next 10-years of their life because that’s what it will take (at minimum).  How will they eat?  Where will they live?  How will they clothe themselves?  School books are expensive.  They needed to plan.  The ones who created and followed a good plan succeeded and the ones that did not, failed.


SHORT-TERM GOALS: Short-term goals expect accomplishment in a short period of time, such as trying to get a bill paid in the next few days. The definition of a short-term goal need not relate to any specific length of time. In other words, one may achieve (or fail to achieve) a short-term goal in a day, week, month, year, etc. The time-frame for a short-term goal relates to its context in the overall timeline that it is being applied to. For instance, one could measure a short-term goal for a month-long project in days; whereas one might measure a short-term goal for someone's lifetime in months or in years. Planners usually define short-term goals in relation to a long-term goal or goals.


When the military prepares for a strike or war, they plan.  When families go on vacation, someone plans the trip.  When a house is being built, an architect makes a plan and the city approves or denies the plan.  When a successful business is formed, it is hatched with a plan.  When a good chess player plays a good game, it is very well planned and practiced.  Do you think that Donald Trump plans?  Do you think that any successful business man goes into battle or starts their day without a plan?  When are you going to admit to yourself that you need a plan?


PERSONAL GOALS:  Individuals can set personal goals. A student may set a goal of a high mark in an exam. An athlete might run five miles a day. A traveler might try to reach a destination-city within three hours. Financial goals are a common example, to save for retirement or to save for a purchase.

Managing goals can give returns in all areas of personal life. Knowing precisely what one wants to achieve makes clear what to concentrate and improve on, and often subconsciously prioritizes that goal.

Goal-setting and planning ("goal work") promotes long-term vision and short-term motivation. It focuses intention, desire, acquisition of knowledge, and helps to organize resources.

Efficient goal work includes recognizing and resolving all guilt, inner conflict or limiting belief that might cause one to sabotage one's efforts. By setting clearly defined goals, one can subsequently measure and take pride in the achievement of those goals. One can see progress in what might have seemed a long, perhaps impossible, grind.


So let’s create a Great plan.  But first, we will create a not-so-great one.  Usually, the first plan that one creates is usually not as good as the one that they revise one month later.  The best plan is not usually created in a day.  It takes time, molding, multiple revisions and careful and systematic recalculations. It takes discipline, time, persistence and a great imagination to see your future for not just what it COULD be, but rather what it WILL be.  Only you can do that, not me


ACHIEVING PERSONAL GOALS:  Achieving complex and difficult goals requires focus, long-term diligence and effort. Success in any field requires forgoing excuses and justifications for poor performance or lack of adequate planning; in short, success requires emotional maturity. The measure of belief that people have in their ability to achieve a personal goal also affects that achievement.

Long-term achievements rely on short-term achievements. Emotional control over the small moments of the single day makes a big difference in the long term.


Did you write down what you will be?

PERSONAL GOAL ACHIEVEMENT AND HAPPINESS: There has been a lot of research conducted looking at the link between achieving desired goals, changes to self-efficacy and integrity and ultimately changes to Subjective well-being. Goal Efficacy refers to how likely an individual is to succeed in achieving their goal. Goal integrity refers to how consistent one's goals are with core aspects of the self. Research has shown that a focus on goal efficacy is associated with well being factor happiness (subjective well-being) and goal integrity is associated with the well-being factor meaning (psychology).  Multiple studies have shown the link between achieving long-term goals and changes in subjective well-being, most research showing that achieving goals that hold personal meaning to an individual, increases feelings of subjective well-being.




SELF-CONCORDANCE MODEL:  The Self-Concordance Model is a model that looks at the sequence of steps that occur from the commencement of a goal to attaining that goal. It looks at the likelihood and impact of goal achievement based on the type of goal and meaning of the goal to the individual. Different types of goals impact goal achievement and the sense of Subjective well-being brought about by achieving the goal. The model breaks down factors that promote striving to achieve a goal, achieving a goal, and the factors that connect goal achievement to changes in Subjective well-being.


SELF-CONCORDANT GOALS: Goals that are pursued to fulfill intrinsic values or are important as they are integrated into an individual's self-concept are called self-concordant goals. Self-concordant goals fulfill basic needs and are aligned with an individual's True Self. Because these goals have personal meaning to an individual and reflect an individual's self-identity, self-concordant goals are more likely to receive sustained effort over time. In contrast, goals that do not reflect an individual's internal drive and are pursued due to external factors (e.g. social pressures) emerge from a non-integrated region of a person and are therefore more likely to be abandoned when obstacles occur. Furthermore the Self-determination theory and research surrounding this theory shows that if an individual effectively achieves a goal, but that goal is not-self endorsed or self-concordant, well-being levels do not change despite goal attainment.


1. The true self is certain and clear about things. The everyday self gets influenced by countless outside influences, leading to confusion.


2. The true self is stable. The everyday self shifts constantly.


3. The true self is driven by a deep sense of truth. The everyday self is driven by the ego, the unending demands of "I, me, mine."


4. The true self is at peace. The everyday self is easily agitated and disturbed.


5. The true self is love. The everyday self, lacking love, seeks it from outside sources.

GOAL MANAGEMENT IN ORGANIZATIONS:  Organizationally, goal management consists of the process of recognizing or inferring goals of individual team-members, abandoning no longer relevant goals, identifying and resolving conflicts among goals, and prioritizing goals consistently for optimal team-collaboration and effective operations.

For any successful commercial system, it means deriving profits by making the best quality of goods or the best quality of services available to the end-user (customer) at the best possible cost. Goal management includes:

  • Assessment and dissolution of non-rational blocks to success

  • Time management

  • Frequent reconsideration (consistency checks)

  • Feasibility checks

  • Adjusting milestones and main-goal targets

Morten Lind and J.Rasmussen distinguish three fundamental categories of goals related to technological system management.

  1. Production goal

  2. Safety goal

  3. Economy goal

An organizational goal-management solution ensures that individual employee goals and objectives align with the vision and strategic goals of the entire organization. Goal-management provides organizations with a mechanism to effectively communicate corporate goals and strategic objectives to each person across the entire organization. The key consists of having it all emanate from a pivotal source and providing each person with a clear, consistent organizational-goal message. With goal-management, every employee understands how their efforts contribute to an enterprise's success.

An example of goal types in business management:

  • Consumer goals: this refers to supplying a product or service that the market/consumer wants

  • Product goals: this refers to supplying a product outstanding compared to other products,perhaps due to the likes of quality, design, reliability and novelty

  • Operational goals: this refers to running the organization in such a way as to make the best use of management skills, technology and resources

  • Secondary goals: this refers to goals which an organization does not regard as priorities


GOAL COMMITMENT:  People perform better when they are committed to achieving certain goals. Through an understanding of the effect of goal setting on individual performance, organizations are able to use goal setting to benefit organizational performance. Locke and Latham have indicated three moderators that indicate goal setting success:[7]

  1. The importance of the expected outcomes of goal attainment, and;

  2. Self-efficacy – one's belief that they are able to achieve the goals, and;

  3. Commitment to others – promises or engagements to others can strongly improve commitment.


GOAL-PERFORMANCE RELATIONSHIP:  Locke et al. (1981) examined the behavioral effects of goal-setting, concluding that 90% of laboratory and field studies involving specific and challenging goals led to higher performance than did easy or no goals.

While some managers believe it is sufficient to urge employees to ‘do their best,’ Locke and Latham have a contradicting view on this. The authors state that people who are told to ‘do their best’ don't. ‘Doing your best’ has no external referent, which makes it useless in eliciting specific behavior. To elicit some specific form of behavior from others, it is important that this person has a clear view of what is expected from him/her. A goal is thereby of vital importance because it facilitates an individual in focusing their efforts in a specified direction. In other words, goals canalize behavior (Cummings & Worley p. 368). However, when goals are established at a management level and thereafter solely promulgated from the top, employee motivation with regard to achieving these goals is rather suppressed (Locke & Latham, 2002 p. 705). To increase motivation, employees not only must be allowed to participate in the goal setting process, but the goals must be challenging as well. (Cummings & Worley p. 369).


GOAL SETTING AND FEEDBACK:  Without proper feedback channels it is impossible for employees to adapt or adjust to the required behavior. Keep track of performance to allow employees to see how effective they have been in attaining their goals.  Goal setting and feedback go hand in hand. Without feedback, goal setting is unlikely to work. Providing feedback on short-term objectives helps to sustain motivation and commitment to a goal. Feedback should be provided on the strategies followed to achieve the goals and the final outcomes achieved, as well. Feedback on strategies used to obtain goals is very important, especially for complex work, because challenging goals put focus on outcomes rather than on performance strategies, so they impair performance. Properly-delivered feedback is also very essential, and the following hints may help for providing a good feedback:

  • Create a positive context for feedback.

  • Use constructive and positive language.

  • Focus on behaviors and strategies.

  • Tailor feedback to the needs of the individual worker.

  • Make feedback a two-way communication process.

Advances in technology can facilitate providing feedback. Systems analysts have designed computer programs that track goals for numerous members of an organization. Such computer systems may maintain every employee’s goals, as well as their deadlines. Separate methods may check the employee’s progress on a regular basis, and other systems may require perceived slackers to explain how they intend to improve.

More difficult goals require more cognitive strategies and well-developed skills. The more difficult the tasks, the smaller the group of people who possess the necessary skills and strategies. From an organizational perspective, it is thereby more difficult to successfully attain more difficult goals, since resources become more scarce.


HONING GOAL SETTING USING TEMPORAL MOTIVATION THEORY:  Locke and Latham (2004) note that goal setting theory lacks "the issue of time perspective". Taking this into consideration, Steel and Konig (2006) utilize their Temporal Motivation Theory (TMT) to account for goal setting effects, and suggest new hypotheses regarding a pair of its moderators: goal difficulty and proximity. The effectiveness of goal setting can be explained by two aspects of TMT: the principle of diminishing returns and temporal discounting.  Similar to the expression "the sum of the parts can be greater than the whole", a division of a project into several, immediate, subgoals appears to take advantage of these two elements.


EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION:  The more employees are motivated, the more they are stimulated and interested in accepting goals. These success factors are interdependent. For example, the expected outcomes of goals are positively influenced when employees are involved in the goal setting process. Not only does participation increase commitment in attaining the goals that are set, participation influences self-efficacy as well. Additionally, feedback is necessary to monitor one's progress. When feedback is not present, an employee might think (s)he is not making enough progress. This can reduce self-efficacy and thereby harm the performance outcomes in the long run.

  • Goal-commitment, the most influential moderator becomes especially important when dealing with difficult or complex goals. If people lack commitment to goals, they lack motivation to reach them. To commit to a goal, one must believe in its importance or significance.

  • Attainability: individuals must also believe that they can attain — or at least partially reach — a defined goal. If they think no chance exists of reaching a goal, they may not even try.

  • Self-efficacy: the higher someone’s self-efficacy regarding a certain task, the more likely they will set higher goals, and the more persistence they will show in achieving them.


LIMITATIONS:  Goal-setting theory has limitations. In an organization, a goal of a manager may not align with the goals of the organization as a whole. In such cases, the goals of an individual may come into direct conflict with the employing organization. Without aligning goals between the organization and the individual, performance may suffer.

For complex tasks, goal-setting may actually impair performance. In these situations, an individual may become preoccupied with meeting the goals, rather than performing tasks.

Some evidence suggests that goal-setting can foster unethical behavior when people do not achieve specified goals.

Some people feel that goal setting may have the drawback of inhibiting implicit learning: goal setting may encourage simple focus on an outcome without openness to exploration, understanding, or growth.

Developments in goal-setting theory


GOAL CHOICE:  Self-efficacy, past performance and various other social factors influence goal setting.  Failure to meet previous goals often leads to setting lower (and more likely achievable) goals.


LEARNING GOALS:  There are times when having specific goals is not a best option; this is the case when the goal requires new skills or knowledge. “Tunnel vision” is a consequence of specific goals; if one is too focused on attaining a specific goal they ignore the need to learn new skills or acquire new information.  In situations like this, the best option is to set a learning goal. A learning goal is a generalized goal to achieve knowledge in a certain topic or field, but it can ultimately lead to better performance in specific goals related to the learning goals. Locke and Latham attribute this response to metacognition. They believe that “a learning goal facilitates or enhances metacognition—namely, planning, monitoring, and evaluating progress toward goal attainment".  This is necessary in environments with little or no guidance and structure. Although jobs typically have set goals, individual goals and achievement can benefit from metacognition.


FRAMING:  How goals are viewed influences performance. When one feels threatened and or intimidated by a high goal they perform poorer than those who view the goal as a challenge.  The framing of a goal as a gain or a loss influences one’s eventual performance.


AFFECT:  Realization of goals has an effect on feelings of success and satisfaction. Achieving goals has a positive effect, and failing to meet goals has negative consequences. However, the effect of goals is not exclusive to one realm. Success in one’s job can compensate for feelings of failure in one’s personal life.


GROUP GOALS: The relationship between group goals and individual goals influences group performance; when goals are compatible there is a positive effect, but when goals are incompatible the effects can be detrimental to the group’s performance.  There is another factor at work in groups, and that is the sharing factor; a positive correlation exists between sharing information within the group and group performance.  In the case of group goals, feedback needs to be related to the group, not individuals, in order for it to improve the group’s performance.


GOALS AND TRAITS:  On a basic level the two types of goals are learning goals and performance goals. Each possesses different traits associated with the kind of goal that is selected.

1.) Learning goals

• Tasks where skills and knowledge can be acquired

2.) Performance goals

• Avoid tasks where error and judgment are possible

• Select tasks that are easy to accomplish and will make one appear successful

A more complex trait-mediation study is the one conducted by Lee, Sheldon, and Turban, which yielded the following results:

"Amotivated orientation" (low confidence in one’s capabilities) is associated with goal-avoidance motivation, and more generally, associated with lower goals levels and lower performance.  Amotivation is a state of lacking any motivation to engage in an activity, characterized by a lack of perceived competence and/or a failure to value the activity or its outcomes.

"Control orientation" (extrinsic motivation) is associated with both avoidance and approach goals. Approach goals are associated with higher goal levels and higher performance.

"Autonomy goals" (intrinsic motivation) leads to mastery goals, enhanced focus, and therefore enhanced performance.


Learned helplessness is the condition of a human that has learned to behave helplessly, failing to respond even though there are opportunities for it to help itself by avoiding unpleasant circumstances or by gaining positive rewards. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation.  Organisms that have been ineffective and less sensitive in determining the consequences of their behaviour are defined as having acquired Learned Helplessness.


Learned helplessness can also be a motivational problem. Individuals who have failed at tasks in the past conclude erroneously that they are incapable of improving their performance.   This might set children behind in academic subjects and dampen their social skills.

Children with learned helplessness typically fail academic subjects, and are less intrinsically motivated than others. In turn, the student will give up trying to gain respect or advancement through academic performance.


Child abuse by neglect can be a manifestation of learned helplessness: when parents believe they are incapable of stopping an infant's crying, they may simply give up trying to do anything for the child.  Another example of learned helplessness in social settings involves loneliness and shyness. Those who are extremely shy, passive, anxious and depressed may learn helplessness to offer stable explanations for unpleasant social experiences. However, Gotlib and Beatty (1985) found that people who cite helplessness in social settings may be viewed poorly by others, resulting in a situation that reinforces the problematic thinking. A third example is aging, when some older people may respond to the deaths of friends and family members, the loss of jobs and income, and the development of age-related health problems by neglecting their medical care needs.

Social problems resulting from learned helplessness may seem unavoidable; however, when induced in experimental settings learned helplessness resolves with the passage of time.   Learned helplessness in response to experiences can be prevented or minimized by "immunization" and, when present, may be reversed by therapy. People can be immunized against the perception that events are uncontrollable by increasing their awareness of previous experiences, when they were able to effect a desired outcome.  Therapy can instruct people in the fact of contingency and bolster people's self esteem.

MACRO-LEVEL GOALS:  This is goal setting applied to the company as a whole. Cooperative goals reduce the negative feelings that occur as a result of alliances and the formation of groups.   The most common parties involved are the company and its suppliers. The three motivators for macro-level goals are: self-efficacy, growth goals, and organizational vision.


GOALS AND SUBCONSCIOUS PRIMING:  The effects of subconscious priming and conscious goals are independent, although a conscious goal has a larger effect. The interaction effect is that priming can enhance the effects of difficult goals, but it has no effect on easy goals.   There is also the situation in which priming and conscious goals conflict with one another, and in this situation the conscious goals have a greater effect on performance.  Later, we will learn how your subconscious mind plays an integral part of your predetermined future. We will pave the way to a future where you are in control with your 5-year plan.


Self-determination theory (SDT) is a macro theory of human motivation and personality, concerning people's inherent growth tendencies and their innate psychological needs. It is concerned with the motivation behind the choices that people make without any external influence and interference. Self-determination theory focuses on the degree to which an individual’s behavior is self-motivated and self-determined.

In the 1970s, research on Self-determination theory evolved from studies comparing the intrinsic and extrinsic motives, and from growing understanding of the dominant role intrinsic motivation played in an individual’s behavior but it was not until the mid-1980s that Self-determination theory was formally introduced and accepted as a sound empirical theory. Research applying Self-determination theory to different areas in social psychology has increased considerably since the 2000s.

Key studies that led to emergence of Self-determination theory included research on intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to initiating an activity for its own sake because it is interesting and satisfying in itself, as opposed to doing an activity to obtain an external goal (extrinsic motivation). Different types of motivations have been described based on the degree they have been internalized. Internalization refers to the active attempt to transform an extrinsic motive into personally endorsed values and thus assimilate behavioral regulations that were originally external.

Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan later expanded on the early work differentiating between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and proposed three main intrinsic needs involved in self-determination.  According to Deci and Ryan, the three psychological needs motivate the self to initiate behavior and specify nutrients that are essential for psychological health and well-being of an individual. These needs are said to be universal, innate and psychological and include the need for competence, autonomy, and psychological relatedness.


BASIC THEORY:  Self-determination theory is centered on the belief that human nature shows persistent positive features, that it repeatedly shows effort, agency and commitment in their lives that the theory calls "inherent growth tendencies." People also have innate psychological needs that are the basis for self-motivation and personality integration.


Self-determination theory identifies three innate needs that, if satisfied, allow optimal function and growth:

  1. Competence (the ability to do something successfully or efficiently)

  2. Relatedness (the state of being connected or associated; the state of having developed from the same origin; the state of being part of the same family)

  3. Autonomy (the right or condition of self-government)


These needs are seen as universal necessities that are innate, not learned, and seen in humanity across time, gender and culture.

Deci and Vansteenkiste claim that there are three essential elements of the theory:

  1. Humans are inherently proactive with their potential and mastering their inner forces (such as drives and emotions)

  2. Humans have inherent tendency toward growth development and integrated functioning

  3. Optimal development and actions are inherent in humans but they don’t happen automatically

To actualize their inherent potential they need nurturing from the social environment.

If this happens there are positive consequences (e.g. well being and growth) but if not, there are negative consequences. So Self-determination theory emphasizes humans’ natural growth toward positive motivation, however this is thwarted if their basic needs are not fulfilled.


Self-determination theory supports three basic psychological needs that must be satisfied to foster well-being and health; these needs can be universally applied. However, some may be more salient than others at certain times and will be expressed differently based on time, culture or experience.


Seek to control the outcome and experience mastery


Is the universal want to interact, be connected to, and experience caring for others


Is the universal urge to be causal agents of one's own life and act in harmony with one's integrated self; however, Deci and Vansteenkiste note this does not mean to be independent of others


Self-determination theory claims to give a different approach to motivation, considering what motivates a person at any given time as opposed to seeing motivation as a unitary concept. Self-determination theory makes distinctions between different types of motivation and the consequences of them.

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation is the natural, inherent drive to seek out challenges and new possibilities that Self-determination theory associates with cognitive and social development.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET) is a sub-theory of Self-determination theory that specifies factors explaining intrinsic motivation and variability with it and looks at how social and environmental factors help or hinder intrinsic motivations. Cognitive Evaluation Theory focuses on the needs of competence and autonomy.

Claiming social context events like feedback on work or rewards lead to feelings of competence and so enhance intrinsic motivations. DecI found positive feedback enhanced intrinsic motivations and negative feedback diminished it. Vallerand and Reid went further and found that these effects were being mediated by perceived control.

Autonomy however must accompany competence in order for people to see their behaviors as self determined by intrinsic motivation. For this to happen there must be immediate contextual support for both needs or inner resources based on prior development support for both needs.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory and intrinsic motivation is also linked to relatedness through the hypothesis that intrinsic motivation will flourish if linked with a sense of security and relatedness. Grolnick and Ryan found lower intrinsic motivation in children who believed their teachers to be uncaring or cold and so not fulfilling their relatedness needs.

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation comes from external sources. Deci and Ryan developed Organismic Integration Theory (OIT), as a sub-theory of Self-determination theory, to explain the different ways in which extrinsically motivated behavior is regulated.

Organismic Integration Theory details the different forms of extrinsic motivation and the contexts in which they come about. It is the context of such motivation that concerns the Self-determination theory theory as these contexts affect whether the motivations are internalized and so integrated into the sense of self.

Organismic Integration Theory describes four different types of extrinsic motivations that often vary in terms of their relative autonomy:

  1. Externally regulated behavior: Is the least autonomous, it is performed because of external demand or possible reward. Such actions can be seen to have an externally perceived locus of control.

  2. Introjected regulation of behavior: describes taking on regulations to behavior but not fully accepting said regulations as your own. Deci and Ryan claim such behavior normally represents regulation by contingent self-esteem, citing ego involvement as a classic form of introjections.  This is the kind of behavior where people feel motivated to demonstrate ability to maintain self-worth. While this is internally driven Deci and Ryan say introjected behavior is on an externally perceived locus of control because they aren’t perceived as part of self.

  3. Regulation through identification: Is a more autonomy driven form of extrinsic motivation. It involves consciously valuing a goal or regulation so that said action is accepted as personally important.

  4. Integrated Regulation: Is the most autonomous kind of extrinsic motivation. Occurring when regulations are fully assimilated with self so they are included in a person's self evaluations and beliefs on personal needs. Because of this, integrated motivations share qualities with intrinsic motivation but are still classified as extrinsic because the goals that are trying to be achieved are for reasons extrinsic to the self, rather than the inherent enjoyment or interest in the task.

Extrinsically motivated behaviors can be integrated into self. Organismic Integration Theory proposes internalization is more likely to occur when there is a sense of relatedness.

Ryan, Stiller and Lynch found children will internalize school’s extrinsic regulations when they felt secure and cared for by parents and teachers.

Internalization of extrinsic motivation is also linked to competence. Organismic Integration Theory suggests that feelings of competence in activities should facilitate internalization of said actions.

Autonomy is particularly important when its regulations are trying to be integrated into a person’s sense of self. If an external context allows a person to integrate regulations they must feel competent, related and autonomous. They must also understand in terms of their other goals the regulation in order for a sense of autonomy to be facilitated. This was supported by Deci, Eghrari, Patrick and Leone who found in laboratory settings if a person was given a meaningful reason for uninteresting behavior along with support for their sense of autonomy and relatedness they internalized and integrated their behavior.

Basic needs and intrinsic motivation

White and deCharms proposed that the need for competence and autonomy is the basis of intrinsic motivation and behavior. This is a link between people's basic needs and their motivations.


Deci found that offering people extrinsic rewards for behavior that is intrinsically motivated undermined the intrinsic motivation as they grew less interested in it. Initially intrinsically motivated behavior becomes controlled by external rewards, which undermines their autonomy.

Further research by Amabile, DeJong and Lepper found other external factors like deadlines, which restrict and control, also decrease intrinsic motivation.

Situations that give autonomy as opposed to taking it away also have a similar link to motivation. Studies looking at choice have found that increasing a participant’s options and choices increases their intrinsic motivation to said activities.


Deci found that giving people unexpected positive feedback on a task increases people’s intrinsic motivation to do it, meaning that this was because the positive feedback was fulfilling people's need for competence. In fact, giving positive feedback on a task served only to increase people's intrinsic motivation and decreased extrinsic motivation for the task.

Vallerand and Reid found negative feedback has the opposite effect (i.e., decreasing intrinsic motivation by taking away from people's need for competence).


INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES:  Self-determination theory argues that needs are innate but can be developed in a social context. Some people will develop stronger needs than others, creating individual differences. However individual differences within the theory focus on concepts resulting from the degree which needs have been satisfied or not satisfied.

Within Self-determination theory there are two general individual difference concepts, Causality Orientations and Life Goals.


CAUSALITY ORIENTATIONS:  Causality orientations are motivational orientations that refer to either the way people orient to an environment and regulate their behaviour because of this or the extent to which they are self determined in general across many settings. Self-determination theory created three orientations: autonomous, controlled and impersonal.

  1. Autonomous Orientations: result from satisfaction of the basic needs

  2. Strong controlled orientations: Result from satisfaction of competence and relatedness needs but not of autonomy and is linked to regulation through internal and external contingencies, which lead to rigid functioning and diminished well being.

  3. Impersonal Orientations: Results from failing to fulfil all three needs. This is also related to poor functioning and ill being.

According to the theory people have some amount of each of the orientations, which can be used to make predictions on a person's psychological health and behavioral outcomes


Life goals are long term goals people use to guide their activities and they fall into two categories:

  1. Intrinsic Aspirations: Contain life goals like affiliation generativity and personal development.

  2. Extrinsic Aspirations: Have life goals like wealth, fame and attractiveness.

There have been several studies on this subject that chart intrinsic goals being associated with greater health, wellbeing and performance.

Deci (1971): External rewards on intrinsic motivation

Deci investigated the effects of external rewards on intrinsic motivation in two laboratories and one field experiment. Based on the results from earlier animal and human studies regarding intrinsic motivation the author explored two possibilities. In the first two experiments he looked at the effect of extrinsic rewards in terms of a decrease in intrinsic motivation to perform a task. Earlier studies showed contradictory or inconclusive findings regarding decrease in performance on a task following an external reward. The third experiment was based on findings of developmental learning theorists and looked at whether a different type of reward enhances intrinsic motivation to participate in an activity.


Principles of Self-determination theory have been applied in many domains of life, e.g., job demands; parenting; teaching; and health. Besides the domains mentioned above, self-determination theory research has been widely applied to the field of sports.


Murcia, Roman, Galindo, Alonso and Gonzalez-Cutre looked at the influence of peers on enjoyment in exercise. Specifically, the researchers looked at the effect of motivational climate generated by peers on exercisers by analyzing data collected through questionnaires and rating scales. The assessment included evaluation of motivational climate, basic psychological needs satisfaction, levels of self-determination and self-regulation (amotivation, external, introjected, identified and intrinsic regulation) and also the assessment of the level of satisfaction and enjoyment in exercising.

Data analysis revealed that a climate in which the peers are supportive and there is an emphasis on cooperation, effort and personal improvement, influences variables like basic psychological needs, motivation and enjoyment. The task climate positively predicted the three basic psychological needs (competence, autonomy and relatedness) and so positively predicted self-determined motivation. Task climate and the resulting self-determination were also found to positively influence the level of enjoyment the exercisers experienced during the activity.


Awareness has always been associated with autonomous functioning; however it was only recently that the Self-determination theory researchers incorporated the idea of mindfulness and its relationship with autonomous functioning and emotional wellbeing in their research.

Brown and Ryan conducted a series of five experiments to study mindfulness: They defined mindfulness as open, undivided attention to what is happening within as well as around oneself.

From their experiments, the authors concluded that when individuals act mindfully, their actions are consistent with their values and interests. Also, there is a possibility that being autonomous and performing an action because it is enjoyable to oneself increases mindful attention to one’s actions.


Another area of interest for Self-determination theory researchers is the relationship between subjective vitality and self-regulation. Ryan and Deci define vitality as energy available to the self, either directly or indirectly, from basic psychological needs. This energy allows individuals to act autonomously.

Many theorists have posited that self-regulation depletes energy but Self-determination theory researchers have proposed and demonstrated that only controlled regulation depletes energy, autonomous regulation can actually be vitalizing.


According to self-determination theory, individuals who attribute their actions to external circumstances rather than internal mechanisms are far more likely to succumb to peer pressure. In contrast, individuals who consider themselves autonomous tend to be initiators of actions rather than followers. Research examining the relationship between self-determination theory and alcohol use among college students has indicated that individuals with the former criteria for decision making are associated with greater alcohol consumption and drinking as a function of social pressure. For instance, in a study conducted by Knee and Neighbors, external factors in the individuals who claim to not be motivated by internal factors were found to be associated with drinking for extrinsic reasons, and with stronger perceptions of peer pressure, which in turn was related to heavier alcohol use. Given the evidence suggesting a positive association between an outward motivation and drinking, and the potential role of perceived social influence in this association, understanding the precise nature of this relationship seems important. Further, it may be hypothesized that the relationship between self-determination and drinking may be mediated to some extent by the perceived approval of others.


Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a popular approach to positive behavioral change. Used initially in the area of addiction (Miller & Rollnick, 2002) it is now used for a wider range of issues. It is a client-centered method that doesn't persuade or coerce patients to change and instead attempts to explore and resolve their ambivalent feelings, which allows them to choose themselves whether to change or not.

Markland, Ryan, Tobin, and Rollnick believe that Self-determination theory provides a framework behind how and the reasons why MI works. They believe that MI provides an autonomy-supportive atmosphere, which allows clients to find their own source of motivation and achieve their own success (in terms of overcoming addiction). Patients randomly assigned to an MI treatment group found the setting to be more autonomy-supportive than those in a regular support group.


Several studies explored the link between self-determination theory and environmental behaviors to determine the role of intrinsic motivation for environmental behavior performance and to account for the lack of success of current intervention strategies.


Intervention strategies have to be effective in bridging the gap between attitudes and behaviors. Monetary incentives, persuasive communication, and convenience are often successful in the short term, but when the intervention is removed, behavior is discontinued. In the long run, such intervention strategies are therefore expensive and difficult to maintain. Self-determination theory explains that environmental behavior that is not motivated intrinsically is not persistent. On the other hand, when self-determination is high, behavior is more likely to occur repeatedly. The importance of intrinsic motivation is particularly apparent with more difficult behaviors. While they are less likely to be performed in general, people with high internal motivation are more likely to perform them more frequently than people with low intrinsic motivation. 5 Subjects scoring high on intrinsic motivation and supporting ecological well-being also reported high levels of happiness.  According to Osbaldiston and Sheldon (2003), autonomy perceived by an individual leads to an increased frequency of environmental behavior performance. In their study, 162 university students chose an environmental goal and performed it for a week. Perceived autonomy, success in performing chosen behavior, and their future intention to continue were measured. The results suggested that people with higher degree of self-perceived autonomy successfully perform behaviors and are more likely to do so in the long-term.

Based on the connection between self-determination theory and environmental behaviors, Pelletier et al. suggest that successful intervention should emphasize self-determined motivation for performing environmental behaviors.

Motivation is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to act towards a desired goal and elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal-directed behaviors. It can be considered a driving force; a psychological one that compels or reinforces an action toward a desired goal. For example, hunger is a motivation that elicits a desire to eat. Motivation is the purpose or psychological cause of an action.

Motivation has been shown to have roots in physiological, behavioral, cognitive, and social areas. Motivation may be rooted in a basic impulse to optimize well-being, minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure. It can also originate from specific physical needs such as eating, sleeping or resting, and sex.

Motivation is an inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner. "It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. These inner conditions such as wishes, desires and goals, activate to move in a particular direction in behavior.


MOTIVATIONAL THEORIES: a class of theories about why people do things seeks to reduce the number of factors down to one and explain all behavior through that one factor. For example, economics has been criticized for using self-interest as a mono-motivational theory. Mono-motivational theories are often criticized for being too reductive or too abstract.


A number of motivational theories emphasize the distinction between conscious and unconscious motivations. In evolutionary psychology, the "ultimate", unconscious motivation may be a cold evolutionary calculation, the conscious motivation could be more benign or even positive emotions. For example, while it may be in the best interest of a male's genes to have multiple partners and thus break up with or divorce one before moving onto the next, the conscious rationalization could be, "I loved her at the time".

Freud is associated with the idea that human beings have many unconscious motivations that cause them to make important decisions because of these unconscious forces, such as choosing a partner.


Machiavellism argues that human beings are motivated to seek power and status above all. Modern research argues that people who are high in this trait do indeed seek power and money, and are willing to use others as instruments towards that end.


The idea that human beings are rational and human behavior is guided by reason is an old one. However, recent research (on Satisficing for example) has significantly undermined the idea of homo economics or of perfect rationality in favor of a more bounded rationality. The field of behavioral economics is particularly concerned with the limits of rationality in economic agents.


Motivation can be divided into two types: intrinsic (internal) motivation and extrinsic (external) motivation.

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that is driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself, and exists within the individual rather than relying on external pressures or a desire for reward. Intrinsic motivation has been studied since the early 1970s.The phenomenon of intrinsic motivation was first acknowledged within experimental studies of animal behavior. In these studies, it was evident that the organisms would engage in playful and curiosity driven behaviors in the absence of reward. Intrinsic motivation is a natural motivational tendency and is a critical element in cognitive, social, and physical development. Students who are intrinsically motivated are more likely to engage in the task willingly as well as work to improve their skills, which will increase their capabilities. Students are likely to be intrinsically motivated if they:

  • attribute their educational results to factors under their own control, also known as autonomy

  • believe they have the skills to be effective agents in reaching their desired goals, also known as self-efficacy beliefs

  • are interested in mastering a topic, not just in achieving good grades

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation refers to the performance of an activity in order to attain an outcome, whether or not that activity is also intrinsically motivated. Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of the individual. Common extrinsic motivations are rewards (for example money or grades) for showing the desired behavior, and the threat of punishment following misbehavior. Competition is in an extrinsic motivator because it encourages the performer to win and to beat others, not simply to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity. A cheering crowd and the desire to win a trophy are also extrinsic incentives.

Comparison of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

Social psychological research has indicated that extrinsic rewards can lead to over justification and a subsequent reduction in intrinsic motivation. In one study demonstrating this effect, children who expected to be (and were) rewarded with a ribbon and a gold star for drawing pictures spent less time playing with the drawing materials in subsequent observations than children who were assigned to an unexpected reward condition. While the provision of extrinsic rewards might reduce the desirability of an activity, the use of extrinsic constraints, such as the threat of punishment, against performing an activity has actually been found to increase one's intrinsic interest in that activity. In one study, when children were given mild threats against playing with an attractive toy, it was found that the threat actually served to increase the child's interest in the toy, which was previously undesirable to the child in the absence of threat.

For those children who received no extrinsic reward, self-determination theory proposes that extrinsic motivation can be internalized by the individual if the task fits with their values and beliefs and therefore helps to fulfill their basic psychological needs.

Operant conditioning

Operant conditioning, a term coined by B.F. Skinner, is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Skinner believed that internal thoughts and motivations could not be used to explain behavior; instead to look at external, observable causes of human behavior. His theory explained how we acquire the range of learned behaviors we exhibit each and every day.


PUSH & PULL:  This model is usually used when discussing motivation within the context of tourism. Push factors determine the desire to go on holiday, whereas pull factors determine the choice of destination. Push motives are connected with internal forces, for example the need for relaxation or escapism, while pull factors are the external factors, such as landscape, cultural image or the climate of a destination, that induce a traveler to visit a certain location.  Push factors can be stimulated by external and situational aspects of motivation in the shape of pull factors. Then again pull factors are issues that can arise from a location itself and therefore ‘push’ an individual to choose to experience it. Since then, a large number of theories have been developed over the years in many studies; there is no single theory that illustrates all motivational aspects of travelling. Many researchers have highlighted that because several motives may occur at the same time it should not be assumed that only one motive drives an individual to perform an action, as was presumed in previous studies. On the other hand, since people are not able to satisfy all their needs at once, they usually seek to satisfy some or a few of them.


SELF-CONTROL:  The self-control aspect of motivation is increasingly considered to be a subset of emotional intelligence; it is suggested that although a person may be classed as highly intelligent (as measured by many traditional intelligence tests), they may remain unmotivated to pursue intellectual endeavors. Vroom's "expectancy theory" provides an account of when people may decide to exert self-control in pursuit of a particular goal.


Expectancy theory proposes that an individual will decide to behave or act in a certain way because they are motivated to select a specific behavior over other behaviors due to what they expect the result of that selected behavior will be. In essence, the motivation of the behavior selection is determined by the desirability of the outcome. However, at the core of the theory is the cognitive process of how an individual processes the different motivational elements. This is done before making the ultimate choice. The outcome is not the sole determining factor in making the decision of how to behave.

Expectancy theory is about the mental processes regarding choice, or choosing. It explains the processes that an individual undergoes to make choices. In the study of organizational behavior, expectancy theory is a motivation theory first proposed by Victor Vroom of the Yale School of Management.

"This theory emphasizes the needs for organizations to relate rewards directly to performance and to ensure that the rewards provided are those rewards deserved and wanted by the recipients."

Victor H. Vroom (1964) defines motivation as a process governing choices among alternative forms of voluntary activities, a process controlled by the individual. The individual makes choices based on estimates of how well the expected results of a given behavior are going to match up with or eventually lead to the desired results. Motivation is a product of the individual’s expectation that a certain effort will lead to the intended performance, the instrumentality of this performance to achieving a certain result, and the desirability of this result for the individual, known as valence.


In 1964, Vroom developed the Expectancy theory through his study of the motivations behind decision making. His theory is relevant to the study of management. Currently, Vroom is a John G. Searle Professor of Organization and Management at the Yale University School of Management.


The Expectancy Theory of Motivation explains the behavioral process of why individuals choose one behavioral option over another. It also explains how they make decisions to achieve the end they value. Vroom introduces three variables within the expectancy theory which are valence (V), expectancy (E) and instrumentality (I). The three elements are important behind choosing one element over another because they are clearly defined: effort-performance expectancy (E>P expectancy), performance-outcome expectancy (P>O expectancy).

Three components of Expectancy theory: Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence

1. Expectancy: Effort → Performance (E→P)

2. Instrumentality: Performance → Outcome (P→O)

3. Valence- V(R)


Expectancy is the belief that one's effort (E) will result in attainment of desired performance (P) goals. Usually based on an individual's past experience, self-confidence (self efficacy), and the perceived difficulty of the performance standard or goal. This will affect how the individual's decision making process because they will ultimately choose behaviors that will insure their desired goals. There are 3 components associated with the individual's Expectancy perception. They are self efficacy, goal difficulty, and perceived control.

1. Self efficacy- the person’s belief about their ability to successfully perform a particular behavior. The individual will assess whether they have the required skills or knowledge desired to achieve their goals.

2. Goal difficulty- when goals are set too high or performance expectations that are made too difficult. This will most likely lead to low expectancy. This occurs when the individual believes that their desired results are unattainable.

3. Perceived Control- is one's belief in their control over their performance. In order for expectancy to be high, individuals must believe that they have some degree of control over the expected outcome. If an individual does not believe they have any control over the outcome the motivation to increase effort will be low.

Some examples of expectancy include:

If I study tonight for an exam it will improve my grade tomorrow

If I practice my swing in the batting cages I will perform better in the game

Instrumentality: Performance → Outcome (P→O)

Instrumentality is the belief that a person will receive a reward if the performance expectation is met. This reward may come in the form of a pay increase, promotion, recognition or sense of accomplishment. Instrumentality is low when the reward is the same for all performances given.

Factors associated with the individual's instrumentality for outcomes are trust, control and policies. If individuals trust their superiors, they are more likely to believe their leaders' promises. When there is a lack of trust in leadership, people often attempt to control the reward system. When individuals believe they have some kind of control over how, when, and why rewards are distributed, Instrumentality tends to increase. Formalized written policies impact the individuals' instrumentality perceptions. Instrumentality is increased when formalized policies associate rewards to performance.


VALENCE:  the value an individual places on the rewards of an outcome, which is based on their needs, goals, values and Sources of Motivation. Influential factors include one's values, needs, goals, preferences and sources that strengthen their motivation for a particular outcome.

Valence is characterized by the extent to which a person values a given outcome or reward. This is not an actual level of satisfaction rather the expected satisfaction of a particular outcome.

The valence refers to the value the individual personally places on the rewards. -1 →0→ +1

-1= avoiding the outcome 0 = indifferent to the outcome +1 = welcomes the outcome

In order for the valence to be positive, the person must prefer attaining the outcome to not attaining it.


The Expectancy Theory of motivation can help managers understand how individuals make decisions regarding various behavioral alternatives, and why they pursue these decisions. Valence is one behavioral alternative, where the decision is measured on the value of the reward. If management understands the desired outcomes from their employees, they can design and build a reward system that is satisfactory. The model below shows the direction of motivation, when behavior is energized:

Motivational Force (MF) = Expectancy x Instrumentality x Valence

When deciding among behavioral options, individuals select the option with the greatest amount of motivational force (MF). Expectancy and instrumentality are attitudes (cognitions), whereas valence is rooted in an individual’s value system.

Examples of valued outcomes in the workplace include, pay increases and bonuses, promotions, time off, new assignments, recognition, etc. If management can effectively determine what their employee values, this will allow the manager to motivate employees in order to get the highest result and effectiveness out of the workplace.


Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory is one such management theory focused on motivation. According to Holdford and Lovelace-Elmore (2001, p. 8), Vroom asserts, “intensity of work effort depends on the perception that an individual’s effort will result in a desired outcome”. Vroom suggests that “for a person to be motivated, effort, performance and motivation must be linked” (Droar, 2006, p. 2). Three factors direct the intensity of effort put forth by an individual, according to Vroom; expectancy, instrumentality, and preferences (Holdford and Lovelace-Elmore, 2001).

In order to enhance the performance-outcome tie, managers should use systems that tie rewards very closely to performance. Managers also need to ensure that the rewards provided are deserved and wanted by the recipients.  In order to improve the effort-performance tie, managers should engage in training to improve their capabilities and improve their belief that added effort will in fact lead to better performance.

- Emphasizes self-interest in the alignment of rewards with employee's wants.

- Emphasizes the connections among expected behaviors, rewards and organizational goals

Expectancy Theory, though well known in work motivation literature, is not as familiar to scholars or practitioners outside that field.

Now for the good stuff...

A drive or desire can be described as a deficiency or need that activates behavior that is aimed at a goal or an incentive. These drives are thought to originate within the individual and may not require external stimuli to encourage the behavior. Basic drives could be sparked by deficiencies such as hunger, which motivates a person to seek food whereas more subtle drives might be the desire for praise and approval, which motivates a person to behave in a manner pleasing to others. Another basic drive is the sexual drive which like food motivates us because it is essential to our survival. The desire for sex is wired deep into the brain of all human beings as glands secrete hormones that travel through the blood to the brain and stimulates the onset of sexual desire. The hormone involved in the initial onset of sexual desire is called dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). The hormonal basis of both men and women's sex drives is testosterone. Men naturally have more testosterone than women do and so are more likely than woman to think about sex, have sexual fantasies, seek sex and sexual variety (whether positions or partners), masturbate, want sex at an early point in a relationship, sacrifice other things for sex, have permissive attitudes for sex, and complain about low sex drive in their partners.

By contrast, the role of extrinsic rewards and stimuli can be seen in the example of training animals by giving them treats when they perform a trick correctly. The treat motivates the animals to perform the trick consistently, even later when the treat is removed from the process.


A reward, tangible or intangible, is presented after the occurrence of an action (i.e. behavior) with the intention of causing the behavior to occur again. This is done by associating positive meaning to the behavior. Studies show that if the person receives the reward immediately, the effect is greater, and decreases as delay lengthens. Repetitive action-reward combination can cause the action to become habit. Motivation comes from two sources: oneself, and other people. These two sources are called intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation, respectively.

Reinforcers and reinforcement principles of behavior differ from the hypothetical construct of reward. A reinforcer is any stimulus change following a response that increases the future frequency or magnitude of that response, therefore the cognitive approach is certainly the way forward as in 1973 Maslow described it as being the golden pineapple. Positive reinforcement is demonstrated by an increase in the future frequency or magnitude of a response due to in the past being followed contingently by a reinforcing stimulus. Negative reinforcement involves stimulus change consisting of the removal of an aversive stimulus following a response. Positive reinforcement involves a stimulus change consisting of the presentation or magnification of a positive stimulus following a response. From this perspective, motivation is mediated by environmental events, and the concept of distinguishing between intrinsic and extrinsic forces is irrelevant.

Applying proper motivational techniques can be much harder than it seems. Steven Kerr notes that when creating a reward system, it can be easy to reward A, while hoping for B, and in the process, reap harmful effects that can jeopardize your goals.

Incentive theory in psychology treats motivation and behavior of the individual as they are influenced by beliefs, such as engaging in activities that are expected to be profitable. Incentive theory is promoted by behavioral psychologists, such as B.F. Skinner and literalized by behaviorists, especially by Skinner in his philosophy of Radical behaviorism, to mean that a person's actions always have social ramifications: and if actions are positively received people are more likely to act in this manner, or if negatively received people are less likely to act in this manner.

Incentive theory distinguishes itself from other motivation theories, such as drive theory, in the direction of the motivation. In incentive theory, stimuli "attract", to use the term above, a person towards them, as opposed to the body seeking to reestablish homeostasis and pushing towards the stimulus. In terms of behaviorism, incentive theory involves positive reinforcement: the reinforcing stimulus has been conditioned to make the person happier. For instance, a person knows that eating food, drinking water, or gaining social capital will make them happier. As opposed to in drive theory, which involves negative reinforcement: a stimulus has been associated with the removal of the punishment—the lack of homeostasis in the body. For example, a person has come to know that if they eat when hungry, it will eliminate that negative feeling of hunger, or if they drink when thirsty, it will eliminate that negative feeling of thirst.


Escapism and seeking are major factors influencing decision making. Escapism is a need to breakaway from a daily life routine, turning on the television and watching an adventure film, whereas seeking is described as the desire to learn, turning on the television to watch a documentary. Both motivations have some interpersonal and personal facets for example individuals would like to escape from family problems (personal) or from problems with work colleagues (interpersonal). This model can also be easily adapted with regard to different studies.


There are a number of drive theories. The Drive Reduction Theory grows out of the concept that people have certain biological drives, such as hunger. As time passes the strength of the drive increases if it is not satisfied (in this case by eating). Upon satisfying a drive the drive's strength is reduced. The theory is based on diverse ideas from the theories of Freud to the ideas of feedback control systems, such as a thermostat.

Drive theory has some intuitive or folk validity. For instance when preparing food, the drive model appears to be compatible with sensations of rising hunger as the food is prepared, and, after the food has been consumed, a decrease in subjective hunger. There are several problems, however, that leave the validity of drive reduction open for debate. The first problem is that it does not explain how secondary reinforcers reduce drive. For example, money satisfies no biological or psychological needs, but a paycheck appears to reduce drive through second-order conditioning. Secondly, a drive, such as hunger, is viewed as having a "desire" to eat, making the drive a homuncular being—a feature criticized as simply moving the fundamental problem behind this "small man" and his desires.

Drive reduction theory cannot be a complete theory of behavior, or a hungry human could not prepare a meal without eating the food before he finished cooking it. The ability of drive theory to cope with all kinds of behavior, from not satisfying a drive (by adding on other traits such as restraint), or adding additional drives for "tasty" food, which combine with drives for food in order to explain cooking render it hard to test.


Suggested by Leon Festinger, cognitive dissonance occurs when an individual experiences some degree of discomfort resulting from an inconsistency between two cognitions: their views on the world around them, and their own personal feelings and actions. For example, a consumer may seek to reassure themselves regarding a purchase, feeling in retrospect that another decision may have been preferable. Their feeling that another purchase would have been preferable is inconsistent with their action of purchasing the item. The difference between their feelings and beliefs causes dissonance, so they seek to reassure themselves.

While not a theory of motivation, per se, the theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance. The cognitive miser perspective makes people want to justify things in a simple way in order to reduce the effort they put into cognition. They do this by changing their attitudes, beliefs, or actions, rather than facing the inconsistencies, because dissonance is a mental strain. Dissonance is also reduced by justifying, blaming, and denying. It is one of the most influential and extensively studied theories in social psychology.

Motivation, as defined by Pritchard and Ashwood, is the process used to allocate energy to maximize the satisfaction of needs.


The American motivation psychologist Abraham H. Maslow developed the hierarchy of needs consisting of five hierarchic classes. According to Maslow, people are motivated by unsatisfied needs. The needs, listed from basic (lowest-earliest) to most complex (highest-latest) are as follows:

  • Physiology (hunger, thirst, sleep, etc.)

  • Safety/Security/Shelter/Health

  • Belongingness/Love/Friendship

  • Self-esteem/Recognition/Achievement

  • Self actualization

The basic requirements build upon the first step in the pyramid: physiology. If there are deficits on this level, all behavior will be oriented to satisfy this deficit. Essentially, if you have not slept or eaten adequately, you won't be interested in your self-esteem desires. Subsequently we have the second level, which awakens a need for security. After securing those two levels, the motives shift to the social sphere, the third level. Psychological requirements comprise the fourth level, while the top of the hierarchy consists of self-realization and self-actualization.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory can be summarized as follows:

  • Human beings have wants and desires which influence their behavior. Only unsatisfied needs influence behavior, satisfied needs do not.

  • Needs are arranged in order of importance to human life, from the basic to the complex.

  • The person advances to the next level of needs only after the lower level need is at least minimally satisfied.

  • The further the progress up the hierarchy, the more individuality, humanness and psychological health a person will show.


During the early nineties Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan proposed the self-determination theory (Self-determination theory). This theory focuses on the degree to which an individual’s behaviour is self-motivated and self-determined. Self-determination theory identifies three innate needs that, if satisfied, allow optimal function and growth: competence, relatedness, and autonomy. These three psychological needs motivate the self to initiate specific behaviour and mental nutriments that are essential for psychological health and well-being. When these needs are satisfied, there are positive consequences, such as well-being and growth, leading people to be motivated, productive and happy. When they are thwarted, people's motivation, productivity and happiness plummet.

There are three essential elements to the theory:

  • Humans are inherently proactive with their potential and mastering their inner forces (such as drive and emotions).

  • Humans have an inherent tendency towards growth, development and integrated functioning.

  • Optimal development and actions are inherent in humans but they do not happen automatically.


Achievement motivation is an integrative perspective based on the premise that performance motivation results from the way broad components of personality are directed towards performance. As a result, it includes a range of dimensions that are relevant to success at work but which are not conventionally regarded as being part of performance motivation. The emphasis on performance seeks to integrate formerly separate approaches as need for achievement with, for example, social motives like dominance. Personality is intimately tied to performance and achievement motivation, including such characteristics as tolerance for risk, fear of failure, and others.

Achievement motivation can be measured by The Achievement Motivation Inventory, which is based on this theory and assesses three factors (in 17 separated scales) relevant to vocational and professional success. This motivation has repeatedly been linked with adaptive motivational patterns, including working hard, a willingness to pick learning tasks with much difficulty, and contributing success to effort.

Achievement motivation was studied intensively by David C. McClelland, John W. Atkinson and their colleagues since the early 1950s. Their research showed that business managers who were successful demonstrated a high need to achieve no matter the culture. There are three major characteristics of people who have a great need to achieve according to McClelland’s research.

  1. They would prefer a work environment in which they are able to assume responsibility for solving problems.

  2. They would take calculated risk and establish moderate, attainable goals.

  3. They want to hear continuous recognition, as well as feedback, in order for them to know how well they are doing.


Goal-setting theory is based on the notion that individuals sometimes have a drive to reach a clearly defined end state. Often, this end state is a reward in itself. A goal's efficiency is affected by three features: proximity, difficulty and specificity. Good goal setting incorporates the SMART criteria, in which goals are: specific, measurable, accurate, realistic, and timely. An ideal goal should present a situation where the time between the initiation of behavior and the end state is close. This explains why some children are more motivated to learn how to ride a bike than to master algebra. A goal should be moderate, not too hard or too easy to complete. In both cases, most people are not optimally motivated, as many want a challenge (which assumes some kind of insecurity of success). At the same time people want to feel that there is a substantial probability that they will succeed. Specificity concerns the description of the goal in their class. The goal should be objectively defined and intelligible for the individual. A classic example of a poorly specified goal is to get the highest possible grade. Most children have no idea how much effort they need to reach that goal.


Social-cognitive models of behavior change include the constructs of motivation and volition. Motivation is seen as a process that leads to the forming of behavioral intentions. Volition is seen as a process that leads from intention to actual behavior. In other words, motivation and volition refer to goal setting and goal pursuit, respectively. Both processes require self-regulatory efforts. Several self-regulatory constructs are needed to operate in orchestration to attain goals. An example of such a motivational and volitional construct is perceived self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is supposed to facilitate the forming of behavioral intentions, the development of action plans, and the initiation of action. It can support the translation of intentions into action.

John W. Atkinson, David Birch and their colleagues developed the theory of "Dynamics of Action" to mathematically model change in behavior as a consequence of the interaction of motivation and associated tendencies toward specific actions. The theory posits that change in behavior occurs when the tendency for a new, unexpressed behavior becomes dominant over the tendency currently motivating action. In the theory, the strength of tendencies rises and falls as a consequence of internal and external stimuli (sources of instigation), inhibitory factors, and consummatory factors such as performing an action. In this theory, there are three causes responsible for behavior and change in behavior:

  1. Instigation (Ts) - increases tendency when an activity has intrinsic ability to satisfy;

  2. Inhibition (Taf) - decreases tendency when there are obstacles to performing an activity; and

  3. Consummation - decreases a tendency as it is performed.

Conscious motivation

This is a kind of motivation that people are aware of.

Unconscious motivation

Some psychologists believe that a significant portion of human behavior is energized and directed by unconscious motives. According to Maslow, "Psychoanalysis has often demonstrated that the relationship between a conscious desire and the ultimate unconscious aim that underlies it need not be at all direct."

Thematic Apperception Test

Psychologists David C. McClelland and John W. Atkinson argued that motivation should be unconscious. They refined measures of motivation by means of content analysis of imaginative thought using, for example, the Thematic Apperception Test.

Intrinsic motivation and the 16 basic desires theory

Starting from studies involving more than 6,000 people, Professor Steven Reiss has proposed a theory that found 16 basic desires that guide nearly all human behavior. The 16 basic desires that motivate our actions and define our personalities are:

  • Acceptance, the need for approval

  • Curiosity, the need to learn

  • Eating, the need for food

  • Family, the need to raise children

  • Honor, the need to be loyal to the traditional values of one's clan/ethnic group

  • Idealism, the need for social justice

  • Independence, the need for individuality

  • Order, the need for organized, stable, predictable environments

  • Physical activity, the need for exercise

  • Power, the need for influence of will

  • Romance, the need for sex and for beauty

  • Saving, the need to collect

  • Social contact, the need for friends (peer relationships)

  • Social status, the need for social standing/importance

  • Tranquility, the need to be safe

  • Vengeance, the need to strike back and to compete

Attribution Theory

The attribution theory is a theory developed by psychologist, Fritz Heider that describes the processes by which individuals explain the causes of their behavior and events.  A form of attribution theory developed by psychologist Bernard Weiner describes an individual’s beliefs about how the causes of success or failure affect their emotions and motivations. Bernard Weiner’s theory can be defined into two perspectives: intrapersonal or interpersonal. The intrapersonal perspective includes self-directed thoughts and emotions that are attributed to the self. The interpersonal perspective includes beliefs about the responsibility of others and other directed effects of emotions; the individual would place the blame on another individual.

Individuals formulate explanatory attributions to understand the events they experience and to seek reasons for their failures. When individuals seek positive feedback from their failures, they use the feedback as motivation to show improved performances. For example, using the intrapersonal perspective, a student who failed a test may attribute their failure for not studying enough and would use their emotion of shame or embarrassment as motivation to study harder for the next test. A student who blames their test failure on the teacher would be using the interpersonal perspective, and would use their feeling of disappointment as motivation to rely on a different study source other than the teacher for the next test.

Approach versus avoidance

Approach motivation is a motivation to experience a positive outcome. In contrast, avoidance motivation is a motivation not to experience a negative outcome.  Research suggests that, all else being equal, avoidance motivations tend to be more powerful than approach motivations. Because people expect losses to have more powerful emotional consequences than equal-size gains, they will take more risks to avoid a loss than to achieve a gain.

Practical applications

The control of motivation is only understood to a limited extent. There are many different approaches of motivation training, but many of these are considered pseudoscientific by critics. To understand how to control motivation it is first necessary to understand why many people lack motivation.

Employee motivation

Workers in any organization need something to keep them working. Most of the time, the salary of the employee is enough to keep him or her working for an organization. An employee must be motivated to work for a company or organization. If no motivation is present in an employee, then that employee’s quality of work or all work in general will deteriorate. People differ on a personality dimension called locus of control. This variable refers to an individual's beliefs about the location of the factors that control their behavior. At one end of the continuum are high internals who believe that opportunity to control their own behavior rests within themselves. At the other end of the continuum there are high externals who believe that external forces determine their behavior. Not surprisingly, compared with internals, externals see the world as an unpredictable, chancy place in which luck, fate, or powerful people control their destinies. When motivating an audience, you can use general motivational strategies or specific motivational appeals. General motivational strategies include soft sell versus hard sell and personality type. Soft sell strategies have logical appeals, emotional appeals, advice and praise. Hard sell strategies have barter, outnumbering, pressure and rank. Also, you can consider basing your strategy on your audience personality. Specific motivational appeals focus on provable facts, feelings, right and wrong, audience rewards and audience threats.

Job Characteristics Model

The Job Characteristics Model (JCM), as designed by Hackman and Oldham attempts to use job design to improve employee motivation. They show that any job can be described in terms of five key job characteristics:

1. Skill Variety - the degree to which the job requires the use of different skills and talents

2. Task Identity - the degree to which the job has contributed to a clearly identifiable larger project

3. Task Significance - the degree to which the job has an impact on the lives or work of other people

4. Autonomy - the degree to which the employee has independence, freedom and discretion in carrying out the job

5. Task Feedback - the degree to which the employee is provided with clear, specific, detailed, actionable information about the effectiveness of his or her job performance

The JCM links the core job dimensions listed above to critical psychological states which results in desired personal and work outcomes. This forms the basis of this 'employee growth-need strength." The core dimensions listed above can be combined into a single predictive index, called the Motivating Potential Score.

Motivating Potential Score


The motivating potential score (MPS) can be calculated, using the core dimensions discussed above, as follows:


Jobs that are high in motivating potential must be high on at least one of the three factors that lead to experienced meaningfulness, and also must be high on both Autonomy and Feedback If a job has a high MPS, the job characteristics model predicts that motivation, performance and job satisfaction will be positively affected and the likelihood of negative outcomes, such as absenteeism and turnover, will be reduced.

Employee Recognition Programs

Employee recognition is not only about gifts and points. It's about changing the corporate culture in order to meet goals and initiatives and most importantly to connect employees to the company's core values and beliefs. Strategic employee recognition is seen as the most important program not only to improve employee retention and motivation but also to positively influence the financial situation. The difference between the traditional approach (gifts and points) and strategic recognition is the ability to serve as a serious business influencer that can advance a company’s strategic objectives in a measurable way. "The vast majority of companies want to be innovative, coming up with new products, business models and better ways of doing things. However, innovation is not so easy to achieve. A CEO cannot just order it, and so it will be. You have to carefully manage an organization so that, over time, innovations will emerge.


Some authors, especially in the transhumanist movement, have suggested the use of "smart drugs", also known as nootropics, as "motivation-enhancers". These drugs work in various ways to affect neurotransmitters in the brain. It is generally widely accepted that these drugs enhance cognitive functions, but not without potential side effects. The effects of many of these drugs on the brain are emphatically not well understood, and their legal status often makes open experimentation difficult.


Motivation is of particular interest to educational psychologists because of the crucial role it plays in student learning. However, the specific kind of motivation that is studied in the specialized setting of education differs qualitatively from the more general forms of motivation studied by psychologists in other fields.

Motivation in education can have several effects on how students learn and how they behave towards subject matter. It can:

  1. Direct behavior toward particular goals

  2. Lead to increased effort and energy

  3. Increase initiation of, and persistence in, activities

  4. Enhance cognitive processing

  5. Determine what consequences are reinforcing

  6. Lead to improved performance.

Because students are not always internally motivated, they sometimes need situated motivation, which is found in environmental conditions that the teacher creates.

If teachers decided to extrinsically reward productive student behaviors, they may find it difficult to extricate themselves from that path. Consequently student dependency on extrinsic rewards represents one of the greatest detractors from their use in the classroom.

The majority of new student orientation leaders at colleges and universities recognize that distinctive needs of students should be considered in regard to orientation information provided at the beginning of the higher education experience. Research done by Whyte in 1986 raised the awareness of counselors and educators in this regard. In 2007, the National Orientation Directors Association reprinted Cassandra B. Whyte's research report allows readers to ascertain improvements made in addressing specific needs of students over a quarter of a century later to help with academic success.

Generally, motivation is conceptualized as either intrinsic or extrinsic. Classically, these categories are regarded as distinct. Today, these concepts are less likely to be used as distinct categories, but instead as two ideal types that define a continuum:

  • Intrinsic motivation occurs when people are internally motivated to do something because it either brings them pleasure, they think it is important, or they feel that what they are learning is significant. It has been shown that intrinsic motivation for education drops from grades 3-9 though the exact cause cannot be ascertained. Also, in younger students it has been shown that contextualizing material that would otherwise be presented in an abstract manner increases the intrinsic motivation of these students.

  • Extrinsic motivation comes into play when a student is compelled to do something or act a certain way because of factors external to him or her (like money or good grades).

Cassandra B. Whyte researched and reported about the importance of locus of control and academic achievement. Students tending toward a more internal locus of control are more academically successful, thus encouraging curriculum and activity development with consideration of motivation theories.

Academic motivation orientation may also be tied with one's ability to detect and process errors. Fisher, Nanayakkara, and Marshall conducted neuroscience research on children's motivation orientation, neurological indicators of error monitoring (the process of detecting an error), and academic achievement. Their research suggests that students with high intrinsic motivation attribute performance to personal control and that their error-monitoring system is more strongly engaged by performance errors. They also found that motivation orientation and academic achievement were related to the strength in which their error-monitoring system was engaged.

Motivation has been found to be an important element in the concept of Andragogy (what motivates the adult learner), and in treating Autism Spectrum Disorders, as in Pivotal Response Therapy.

Doyle and Moeyn have noted that traditional methods tended to use anxiety as negative motivation (e.g. use of bad grades by teachers) as a method of getting students to work. However, they have found that progressive approaches with focus on positive motivation over punishment has produced greater effectiveness with learning, since anxiety interferes with performance of complex tasks.

Indigenous Education, Learning, and Motivation

For many indigenous students (such as Native American children), motivation may be derived from social organization; an important factor educators should account for in addition to variations in Sociolinguistics and Cognition. While poor academic performance among Native American students is often attributed to low levels of motivation, Top-down classroom organization is often found to be ineffective for children of many cultures, who depend on a sense of community purpose and competence to effectively engage in material. Horizontally-structured, community-based learning strategies often provide a more structurally supportive environment for motivating indigenous children, who tend to be driven by “social/affective emphasis, harmony, holistic perspectives, expressive creativity, and nonverbal communication. This drive is also traceable to a cultural tradition of community-wide expectations of participation in the activities and goals of the greater group, rather than individualized aspirations of success or triumph.

Structure for social learning in indigenous communities also often allows siblings to co-parent younger children in their acquisition of behaviors and traditions, which fosters the dynamic of community-motivated engagement from a young age. Furthermore, it is commonplace for children to assist and demonstrate for their younger counterparts without being prompted by authority figures. Observation techniques are demonstrated in such examples as weaving in Chiapas, Mexico, where it is commonplace for children to learn by "a more skilled other" within the community. The assumption of responsibility amongst children is also apparent within Mayan weaving apprenticeships; often, when the "more skilled other" is tasked with multiple obligations, an older child will step in and guide the learner. Sibling guidance is supported from early youth, where learning through play encourages horizontally-structured environments through alternative educational models such as "Intent Community Participation. Research also suggests that formal Westernized schooling can actually reshape the traditionally collaborative nature of social life in indigenous communities  This research is supported cross-culturally, with variations in motivation and learning often reported higher between indigenous groups and their national Westernized counterparts than between indigenous groups across international continental divides.

Self-Determination in Education

Self-determination is the ability to make choices and exercise a high degree of control, such as what the student does and how they do it (Deci et al., 1991; Reeve, Hamm, & Nix, 2003; Ryan & Deci, 2002). Self-determination can be supported by providing opportunities for students to be challenged, such as leadership opportunities, providing appropriate feedback and fostering, establishing and maintaining good relationships between teachers and students. These strategies can increase students' interest, competence, creativity and desire to be challenged and ensure that students are intrinsically motivated to study. On the other hand, students who lack self-determination are more likely to feel their success is out of their control. Such students lose motivation to study, which causes a state of "helpless learning". Students who feel helpless readily believe they will fail and therefore cease to try. Over time, a vicious circle of low achievement develops.

Physical activity in education

Physical activity is body movement that works your muscles and requires more energy than resting. According to a blog by the American Intercontinental University, college students should make time for exercise to maintain and increase motivation. AIU states that regular exercise has impeccable effects on the brain. With consistent running routines, there are more complex connections between neurons, meaning the brain is able to access its brain cells more flexibly. By performing well physically, motivation will be present in education because of how well the brain is performing. After exercising, the brain can have more desire to obtain knowledge and better retain the information. In addition, exercise can relieve stress. Exercising can ease anxiety and relieve negative effects of stress on the body. Without stress factors, individuals can perform better and more efficiently, since their minds will have a more positive outlook. This positive mood will help keep students motivated and more open and willing to succeed academically. Lastly, exercise increases focus and concentration that could also help students maintain their motivation and focus on their studies. AIU claims that exercise may have improved the students’ ability to participate and retain information during the class after they had exercised. By being able to retain information and be more willing to participate will keep the students motivated and perform academically well.

Healthy sleeping habits in education

Sleep is a natural periodic state of rest for the mind and body. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it is important and essential for students to obtain the right amount of sleep in order to succeed in academics. AASM states that getting good nights of sleep is one of the best ways to maximize performance in finals. It is possible that the more chaotic and sporadic one’s sleeping schedule is, the harder it will be for that individual to get an A or B on an exam. Dr. Kushida from AASM proclaims that sleep loss may lead to learning and memory impairment. In addition, she also comments that lack of sleep can lead to decreased attention and vigilance. So, with small amounts of sleep, individuals cannot maintain all their memory or focus needed to score well in their classes. Therefore, sleep is a requirement in education if the individual wants to succeed academically. The right amount of sleep will enable individuals to keep their motivation and good grades in education. Without sleep, students and individual’s memory capacity can become so minimal that it is possible for them not to even remember what they are supposed to do in a day’s time. In addition, with a lack of sleep, students cannot physically withhold and function for a long time, since their bodies will not have the energy. So, with enough sleep, students’ minds will be clearer and have more potential to contain information. At the same time, students would be granted with more motivation and energy since their minds and bodies will be more willing to obtain information.

At lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, such as physiological needs, money is a motivator, however it tends to have a motivating effect on staff that lasts only for a short period (in accordance with Herzberg's two-factor model of motivation). At higher levels of the hierarchy, praise, respect, recognition, empowerment and a sense of belonging are far more powerful motivators than money, as both Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation and Douglas McGregor's theory X and theory Y (pertaining to the theory of leadership) demonstrate.

According to Maslow, people are motivated by unsatisfied needs. The lower level needs such as Physiological and Safety needs will have to be satisfied before higher level needs are to be addressed. We can relate Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory with employee motivation. For example, if a manager is trying to motivate his employees by satisfying their needs; according to Maslow, he should try to satisfy the lower level needs before he tries to satisfy the upper level needs or the employees will not be motivated. Also he has to remember that not everyone will be satisfied by the same needs. A good manager will try to figure out which levels of needs are active for a certain individual or employee.

Maslow has money at the lowest level of the hierarchy and shows other needs are better motivators to staff. McGregor places money in his Theory X category and feels it is a poor motivator. Praise and recognition are placed in the Theory Y category and are considered stronger motivators than money.

  • Motivated employees always look for better ways to do a job.

  • Motivated employees are more quality oriented.

  • Motivated workers are more productive.

The average workplace is about midway between the extremes of high threat and high opportunity. Motivation by threat is a dead-end strategy, and naturally staff are more attracted to the opportunity side of the motivation curve than the threat side. Motivation is a powerful tool in the work environment that can lead to employees working at their most efficient levels of production.

Nonetheless, Steinmetz also discusses three common character types of subordinates: ascendant, indifferent, and ambivalent who all react and interact uniquely, and must be treated, managed, and motivated accordingly. An effective leader must understand how to manage all characters, and more importantly the manager must utilize avenues that allow room for employees to work, grow, and find answers independently.

The assumptions of Maslow and Herzberg were challenged by a classic study at Vauxhall Motors' UK manufacturing plant. This introduced the concept of orientation to work and distinguished three main orientations: instrumental (where work is a means to an end), bureaucratic (where work is a source of status, security and immediate reward) and solidarity (which prioritizes group loyalty).

Other theories which expanded and extended those of Maslow and Herzberg included Kurt Lewin's Force Field Theory, Edwin Locke's Goal Theory and Victor Vroom's Expectancy theory. These tend to stress cultural differences and the fact that individuals tend to be motivated by different factors at different times.

According to the system of scientific management developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor, a worker's motivation is solely determined by pay, and therefore management need not consider psychological or social aspects of work. In essence, scientific management bases human motivation wholly on extrinsic rewards and discards the idea of intrinsic rewards.

In contrast, David McClelland believed that workers could not be motivated by the mere need for money—in fact, extrinsic motivation (e.g., money) could extinguish intrinsic motivation such as achievement motivation, though money could be used as an indicator of success for various motives, e.g., keeping score. In keeping with this view, his consulting firm, McBer & Company, had as its first motto "To make everyone productive, happy, and free." For McClelland, satisfaction lay in aligning a person's life with their fundamental motivations.

Elton Mayo found that the social contacts a worker has at the workplace are very important and that boredom and repetitiveness of tasks lead to reduced motivation. Mayo believed that workers could be motivated by acknowledging their social needs and making them feel important. As a result, employees were given freedom to make decisions on the job and greater attention was paid to informal work groups. Mayo named the model the Hawthorne effect. His model has been judged as placing undue reliance on social contacts within work situations for motivating employees.

William Ouchi introduced Theory Z, a hybrid management approach consisting of both Japanese and American philosophies and cultures. Its Japanese segment is much like the clan culture where organizations focus on a standardized structure with heavy emphasis on socialization of its members. All underlying goals are consistent across the organization. Its American segment retains formality and authority amongst members and the organization. Ultimately, Theory Z promotes common structure and commitment to the organization, as well as constant improvement of work efficacy.

In Essentials of Organizational Behavior, Robbins and Judge examine recognition programs as motivators, and identify five principles that contribute to the success of an employee incentive program:

  • Recognition of employees' individual differences, and clear identification of behavior deemed worthy of recognition

  • Allowing employees to participate

  • Linking rewards to performance

  • Rewarding of nominators

  • Visibility of the recognition process

Subjective well-being

Subjective well-being (SWB) refers to how people experience the quality of their lives and includes both emotional reactions and cognitive judgments. Psychologists have defined happiness as a combination of life satisfaction and the relative frequency of positive and negative affect. Subjective well-being therefore encompasses moods and emotions as well as evaluations of one's satisfaction with general and specific areas of one's life.  Concepts encompassed by Subjective well-being include positive and negative affect, happiness, and life satisfaction. Positive psychology is particularly concerned with the study of Subjective well-being. Subjective well-being tends to be stable over time and is strongly related to personality traits. There is evidence that health and Subjective well-being may mutually influence each other, as good health tends to be associated with greater happiness, and a number of studies have found that positive emotions and optimism can have a beneficial influence on health.


Affect balance

Affect balance refers to the emotions, moods, and feelings a person has. These can be all positive, all negative, or a combination of both positive and negative. Some research shows also that feelings of reward are separate from positive and negative effects.

Life satisfaction

Life satisfaction (global judgments of one's life) and satisfaction with specific life domains (e.g. work satisfaction) are considered cognitive components of Subjective well-being. The term "happiness" is also commonly used in regards to Subjective well-being and has been defined variously as "satisfaction of desires and goals" (therefore related to life satisfaction), as a "preponderance of positive over negative affect" (therefore related to emotional components of Subjective well-being), and as a "consistent, optimistic mood state" and may imply an affective evaluation of one's life as a whole. Life satisfaction can also be known as the "stable" component in one's life. Affective concepts of Subjective well-being can be considered in terms of momentary emotional states as well as in terms of longer-term moods and tendencies (i.e. how much positive and/or negative affect a person generally experiences over any given period of time). Life satisfaction and in some research happiness are typically considered over long durations, up to one's lifetime. "Quality of life" has also been studied as a conceptualization of Subjective well-being. Although its exact definition varies, it is usually measured as an aggregation of well-being across several life domains and may include both subjective and objective components.

Measuring Subjective well-being

Life satisfaction and Affect balance are generally measured separately and independently. Life satisfaction is generally measured using a self-report method. A common measurement for life satisfaction is questionnaires. Affect balance is also generally measured using a self-report method. An example of a measurement of Affect balance is PANAS (Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule). The issue with the current measurements of life satisfaction and affect balance is that they are self-reports. The problem with self-reports is that the participants may be lying or at least not telling the whole truth on the questionnaires. Participants may be lying or holding back from revealing certain things because they are either embarrassed or they may be filling in what they believe the researcher wants to see in the results. To gain more accurate results, other methods of measurement have been used to determine one’s Subjective well-being. Another way to corroborate or confirm that the self-report results are accurate is through informant reports. Informant reports are given to the participant’s closest friends and family and they are asked to fill out either a survey or a form asking about the participants mood, emotions, and overall lifestyle. The participant may write in the self-report that they are very happy, however that participant’s friends and family record that he/she is always depressed. This would obviously be a contradiction in results which would ultimately lead to inaccurate results. Another method of gaining a better understanding of the true results is through ESM, or the Experience Sampling Method. In this measure, participants are given a beeper/pager that will randomly ring throughout the day. Whenever the beeper/pager sounds, the participant will stop what he/she is doing and record the activity they are currently engaged in and their current mood and feelings. Tracking this over a period of a week or a month will give researchers a better understanding of the true emotions, moods, and feelings the participant is experiencing. A third measurement to ensure validity is the Day Reconstruction Method. In this measure, participants fill out a diary of the previous days’ activities. The participant is then asked to describe each activity and provide a report of how they were feeling, what mood they were experiencing, and any emotions that surfaced. Thus to ensure valid results, a researcher may tend to use self-reports along with another form of measurement mentioned above. Someone with a high level of life satisfaction and a positive affect balance is said to have a high level of Subjective well-being.


Theories of the causes of Subjective well-being tend to emphasise either top-down or bottom-up influences.

Top-down perspective

In the top-down view, global features of personality influence the way a person perceives events. Individuals may therefore have a global tendency to perceive life in a consistently positive or negative manner, depending on their stable personality traits. Top-down theories of Subjective well-being suggest that people have a genetic predisposition to be happy or unhappy and this predisposition determines their Subjective well-being "setpoint". Set Point theory implies that a person's baseline or equilibrium level of Subjective well-being is a consequence of hereditary characteristics and therefore, almost entirely predetermined at birth. Evidence for this genetic predisposition derives from behavior-genetic studies that have found that positive and negative affectivity each have high heritability (40% and 55% respectively in one study). Numerous twin studies confirm the notion of set point theory, however, they do not rule out the possibility that it is possible for individuals to experience long term changes in Subjective well-being.

Diener et al. note that heritability studies are limited in that they describe long-term Subjective well-being in a sample of people in a modern western society but may not be applicable to more extreme environments that might influence Subjective well-being and do not provide absolute indicators of genetic effects. Additionally, heritability estimates are inconsistent across studies.

Further evidence for a genetically influenced predisposition to Subjective well-being comes from findings that personality has a large influence on long-term Subjective well-being. This has led to the dynamic equilibrium model of Subjective well-being. This model proposes that personality provides a baseline for emotional responses. External events may move people away from the baseline, sometimes dramatically, but these movements tend to be of limited duration, with most people returning to their baseline eventually.

Bottom-up perspective

From a bottom-up perspective, happiness represents an accumulation of happy experiences. Bottom-up influences include external events, and broad situational and demographic factors, including health and marital status. Bottom-up approaches are based on the idea that there are universal basic human needs and that happiness results from their fulfilment. In support of this view, there is evidence that daily pleasurable events are associated with increased positive affect, and daily unpleasant events or hassles are associated with increased negative affect.

However, research suggests that external events account for a much smaller proportion of the variance in self-reports of Subjective well-being than top-down factors, such as personality. A theory proposed to explain the limited impact of external events on Subjective well-being is hedonic adaptation. Based originally on the concept of a "hedonic treadmill", this theory proposes that positive or negative external events temporarily increase or decrease feelings of Subjective well-being, but as time passes people tend to become habituated to their circumstances and have a tendency to return to a personal Subjective well-being "setpoint" or baseline level.

The hedonic treadmill theory originally proposed that most people return to a neutral level of Subjective well-being (i.e. neither happy nor unhappy) as they habituate to events. However, subsequent research has shown that for most people, the baseline level of Subjective well-being is at least mildly positive, as most people tend to report being at least somewhat happy in general and tend to experience a positive mood when no adverse events are occurring. Additional refinements to this theory have shown that people do not adapt to all life events equally, as people tend to adapt rapidly to some events (e.g. imprisonment), slowly to others (e.g. the death of a loved one), and not at all to others (e.g. noise and sex).

Personality and genetics

A number of studies have found that Subjective well-being constructs are strongly associated with a range of personality traits, including those in the five factor model. Findings from numerous personality studies show that genetics account for 20-48% of the variance in Five-Factor Model and the variance in subjective well-being is also heritable. Specifically, neuroticism predicts poorer subjective well-being whilst extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience tend to predict higher subjective well-being. A meta-analysis found that neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were significantly related to all facets of Subjective well-being examined (positive, negative, and overall affect; happiness; life satisfaction; and quality of life). Neuroticism was the strongest predictor of overall Subjective well-being and is the strongest predictor of negative affect.

A large number of personality traits are related to Subjective well-being constructs, although intelligence has negligible relationships. Positive effect is most strongly predicted by extraversion, to a lesser extent agreeableness, and more weakly by openness to experience. Happiness was most strongly predicted by extraversion, and also strongly predicted by neuroticism, and to a lesser extent by the other three factors. Life satisfaction was significantly predicted by neuroticism, extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Quality of life was very strongly predicted by neuroticism, and also strongly predicted by extraversion and conscientiousness, and to a modest extent by agreeableness and openness to experience. One study found that subjective well-being was genetically indistinct from personality traits, especially those that reflected emotional stability (low Neuroticism), and social and physical activity (high Extraversion), and constraint (high Conscientiousness).

DeNeve (1999) argued that there are three trends in the relationship between personality and Subjective well-being. Firstly, Subjective well-being is closely tied to traits associated with emotional tendencies (emotional stability, positive affectivity, and tension). Secondly, relationship enhancing traits (e.g. trust, affiliation) are important for subjective well-being. Happy people tend to have strong relationships and be good at fostering them. Thirdly, the way people think about and explain events is important for subjective well-being. Appraising events in an optimistic fashion, having a sense of control, and making active coping efforts facilitates subjective well-being. Trust, a trait substantially related to Subjective well-being, as opposed to cynicism involves making positive rather than negative attributions about others. Making positive, optimistic attributions rather than negative pessimistic ones facilitates subjective well-being.

The related trait of eudaimonia or psychological well-being, is also heritable. Evidence from one study supports 5 independent genetic mechanisms underlying the Ryff facets of psychological well-being, leading to a genetic construct of eudaimonia in terms of general self-control, and four subsidiary biological mechanisms enabling the psychological capabilities of purpose, agency, growth, and positive social relations.

Social Influences

A person's level of subjective well-being is determined by many different factors and social influences prove to be a strong one. Results from the famous Framingham Heart Study indicate that friends three degrees of separation away (that is, friends of friends of friends) can affect a person's happiness. From abstract: "A friend who lives within a mile (about 1.6 km) and who becomes happy increases the probability that a person is happy by 25%."

Positive psychology

The study of Subjective well-being is a central concern of positive psychology. Positive psychology was founded by Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) who identified that psychology is not just the study of pathology, weakness, and damage; but it is also the study of strength and virtue. Researchers in positive psychology have pointed out that in almost every culture studied the pursuit of happiness is regarded as one of the most valued goals in life. Understanding individual differences in Subjective well-being is of key interest in positive psychology, particularly the issue of why some people are happier than others. Some people continue to be happy in the face of adversity whereas others are chronically unhappy at the best of times. Additionally, positive psychology has investigated how people might improve their level of Subjective well-being and maintain these improvements over the longer term, rather than returning to baseline. Lyubomirsky (2001) argued that Subjective well-being is influenced by a combination of personality/genetics (studies have found that genetic influences usually account for 35-50% of the variance in happiness measures), external circumstances, and activities that affect Subjective well-being. She argued that changing one's external circumstances tends to have only a temporary effect on Subjective well-being, whereas engaging in activities (mental and/or physical) that enhance Subjective well-being can lead to more lasting improvements in Subjective well-being.



According to Sonja Lyubomirsky the determinants of happiness are a combination of a person's genetic set-point, intentional activities and life circumstances

Subjective well-being and wealth

Research indicates that wealth is related to many positive outcomes in life. Such outcomes include: improved health and mental health, greater longevity, lower rates of infant mortality, experience fewer stressful life events, and less frequently the victims of violent crimes However, research suggests that wealth has a smaller impact on Subjective well-being than people generally think, even though higher incomes do correlate substantially with life satisfaction reports.

In a study done by Aknin, Dorton, & Dunn (2009), researchers asked participants from across the income spectrum to report their own happiness and to predict the happiness of others and themselves at different income levels. In study 1, predicted happiness ranged between 2.4-7.9 and actual happiness ranged between 5.2-7.7. In study 2, predicted happiness ranged between 15-80 and actual happiness ranged between 50-80. These findings show that people believe that money does more for happiness than it really does. However, some research indicates that while socioeconomic measures of status do not correspond to greater happiness, measures of sociometrical status (status compared to people encountered face-to-face on a daily basis) do correlate to increased subjective well-being, above and beyond the effects of extroversion and other factors.

The Easterlin Paradox also suggests that there is no connection between a society's economic development and its average level of happiness. Through time, the Easterlin has looked at the relationship between happiness and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) across countries and within countries. There are three different phenomena to look at when examining the connection between money and Subjective well-being; rising GDP within a country, relative income within a country, and differences in GDP between countries.

More specifically, when making comparisons between countries, a principle called the Diminishing Marginal Utility of Income (DMUI) stands strong. Veenhoven (1991) said, "[W]e not only see a clear positive relationship [between happiness and GNP per capita], but also a curvilinear pattern; which suggest that wealth is subject to a law of diminishing happiness returns." Meaning a $1,000 increase in real income, becomes progressively smaller the higher the initial level of income, having less of an impact on subjective well-being. Easterlin (1995) proved that the DMUI is true when comparing countries, but not when looking at rising gross domestic product within countries.

Subjective well-being and health

There are substantial positive associations between health and Subjective well-being so that people who rate their general health as "good" or "excellent" tend to experience better Subjective well-being compared to those who rate their health as "fair" or "poor". A meta-analysis found that self-ratings of general health were more strongly related to Subjective well-being than physician ratings of health. The relationship between health and Subjective well-being may be bidirectional. There is evidence that good subjective well-being contributes to better health. A review of longitudinal studies found that measures of baseline subjective well-being constructs such as optimism and positive affect predicted longer-term health status and mortality. Conversely, a number of studies found that baseline depression predicted poorer longer-term health status and mortality. Baseline health may well have a causal influence on subjective well-being so causality is difficult to establish. A number of studies found that positive emotions and optimism had a beneficial impact on cardiovascular health and on immune functioning. Changes in mood are also known to be associated with changes in immune and cardiovascular response. There is evidence that interventions that are successful in improving subjective well-being can have beneficial effects on aspects of health. For example, meditation and relaxation training have been found to increase positive affect and to reduce blood pressure. The effect of specific types of subjective well-being is not entirely clear. For example, how durable the effects of mood and emotions on health are remains unclear. Whether some types of subjective well-being predict health independently of others is also unclear. Another example that relates back to mediation and relaxation training consists of going to church. Howard Mumford Jones shows that churches are a place where people feel like they belong. Meditation has the power to increase happiness because it can improve self-confidence and reduces anxiety, which increases your well-being.

Research suggests that probing your happiness is one of the most important things a doctor can do to predict your health and longevity. In health-conscious modern societies, most people overlook one’s emotions as a vital component of one’s health, while over focusing on diet and exercise. According to Diener & Biswas-Diener, people who are happy become less sick than people who are unhappy. There are 3 types of health: morbidity, survival, and longevity. Evidence suggests that all 3 can be improved through happiness. Morbidity, simply put, is whether or not someone develops a serious illness, such as finding out you have the flu or cancer. In a 30-year longitudinal study, participants who were high in positive emotions were found to have lower rates of many health problems. Some of these illnesses/problems include lower death rates from heart disease, suicide, accidents, homicides, mental illnesses, drug dependency, and liver disease related to alcoholism. Additionally, results showed that depressed participants were more likely to have heart attacks and recurrences of heart attacks when compared to happy people. Survival is the term used for what happens to a person after he/she has already developed or contracted a serious illness. Although happiness has been shown to increase health, with survival, this may not be the case. Survival may be the only area of health that evidence suggests happiness may actually be sometimes detrimental. It is unclear why exactly research results suggest this is the case, however Diener & Biswas-Diener offer an explanation. It is possible that happy people fail to report symptoms of the illness, which can ultimately lead to no treatment or inadequate treatment. Another possible reason may be that happy people tend to be optimistic, leading them to take their symptoms too lightly, seek treatment too late, and/or follow the doctor’s instructions half-heartedly. And lastly, Diener & Biswas-Diener suggest that people with serious illnesses may be more likely to choose to live out the rest of their days without painful or invasive treatments. Longevity is the third area of health, which is measured by an individual’s age of death. Head researcher Deborah Danner of the University of Kentucky was determined to find a link between an individual’s happiness and that individual’s longevity. Danner recruited 180 Catholic nuns from a nearby convent to be the participants of her study. Nuns were chosen because they live very similar lives. This eliminates many confounding variables that might be present in other samples, which can lead to inaccurate results. Such confounding variables could be drug use, alcohol abuse, diet, and sexual risk taking. Since there are few differences among the nuns as far as the confounding variables, this sample offered the best option to match a controlled laboratory setting. Results showed that nuns who were considered happy or positive in their manner and language on average lived 10 years longer than the nuns who were considered unhappy or negative in their manner and language. A follow-up study by health researcher Sarah Pressman examined 96 famous psychologists to determine if similar results from the nun research would be seen as well. Pressman’s results showed that the positive or happy psychologists lived, on average, 6 years longer. The psychologists who were considered negative or unhappy lived, on average, 5 years less.

Cultural variations

Although all cultures seem to value happiness, there are variations across cultures in how happiness is defined. There is also evidence that people in more individualistic cultures tend to rate themselves as higher in subjective well-being compared to people in more collectivistic cultures.

In Western cultures, predictors of happiness include elements that support personal independence, a sense of personal agency, and self-expression. In Eastern cultures, predictors of happiness focus on an interdependent self that is inseparable from significant others. Compared to people in individualistic cultures, people in collectivistic cultures are more likely to base their judgments of life satisfaction on how significant others appraise their life than on the balance of inner emotions experienced as pleasant versus unpleasant. Pleasant emotional experiences have a stronger social component in East Asian cultures compared to Western ones. For example, people in Japan are more likely to associate happiness with interpersonally engaging emotions (e.g. friendly feelings), whereas people in the United States are more likely to associate happiness with interpersonally disengaging emotions (e.g. pride). There are also cultural differences in motives and goals associated with happiness. For example, Asian Americans tend to experience greater happiness after achieving goals that are pleasing to or approved of by significant others compared to European Americans. There is also evidence that high self-esteem, a sense of personal control and a consistent sense of identity are more strongly related to Subjective well-being in Western cultures than they are in Eastern ones. However, this is not to say that these things are unimportant to Subjective well-being in Eastern cultures. Research has found that even within Eastern cultures, people with high self-esteem and a more consistent sense of identity are somewhat happier than those who are low in these characteristics. There is no evidence that low self-esteem and so on are actually beneficial to Subjective well-being in any known culture.

A large body of research evidence has confirmed that people in individualistic nations report higher levels of happiness than people in collectivistic ones and that socioeconomic factors alone are insufficient to explain this difference.] In addition to political and economic differences, individualistic versus collectivistic nations reliably differ in a variety of psychological characteristics that are related to Subjective well-being, such as emotion norms and attitudes to the expression of individual needs. Collectivistic cultures are based around the belief that the individual exists for the benefit of the larger social unit, whereas more individualistic cultures assume the opposite. Collectivistic cultures emphasise maintaining social order and harmony and therefore expect members to suppress their personal desires when necessary in order to promote collective interests. Self-regulation is therefore considered more important than self-expression or individual rights. Individualistic cultures by contrast emphasise the inalienable value of each person and expect that individuals will be self-directive and self-sufficient. Although people in collectivistic cultures may gain happiness from the social approval they receive from suppressing self-interest, research seems to suggest that self-expression produces a greater happiness "payoff" compared to seeking approval outside oneself.


Cognition is the process by which the sensory input is transformed, reduced, elaborated, stored, recovered, and used. In science, cognition is a group of mental processes that includes the attention of working memory, producing and comprehending language, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. Various disciplines, such as psychology, philosophy and linguistics all study cognition. However, the term's usage varies across disciplines; for example, in psychology and cognitive science, "cognition" usually refers to an information processing view of an individual's psychological functions. It is also used in a branch of social psychology called social cognition to explain attitudes, attribution, and groups dynamics.] In cognitive psychology and cognitive engineering, cognition is typically assumed to be information processing in a participant’s or operator’s mind or brain.

Cognition is a faculty for the processing of information, applying knowledge, and changing preferences. Cognition, or cognitive processes, can be natural or artificial, conscious or unconscious. These processes are analyzed from different perspectives within different contexts, notably in the fields of linguistics, anesthesia, neurology and psychiatry, psychology, philosophy, anthropology, systemics, and computer science.Within psychology or philosophy, the concept of cognition is closely related to abstract concepts such as mind, intelligence. It encompasses the mental functions, mental processes (thoughts), and states of intelligent entities (humans, collaborative groups, human organizations, highly autonomous machines, and artificial intelligences).


The word cognition comes from the Latin verb cognosco (con 'with' + gnōscō 'know'), itself a cognate of the Ancient Greek verb gnόsko "γνώσκω" meaning 'I know' (noun: gnόsis "γνώσις" = knowledge), so broadly, 'to conceptualize' or 'to recognize'.]

Origins of Cognition

"Cognition" is a word that dates back to the 15th century when it meant "thinking and awareness. "Attention to the cognitive process came about more than twenty-three centuries ago, beginning with Aristotle and his interest in the inner-workings of the mind and how they affect the human experience. Aristotle focused on cognitive areas pertaining to memory, perception, and mental imagery. The Greek philosopher found great importance in ensuring that his studies were based on empirical evidence; scientific information that is gathered through thorough observation and conscientious experimentation. Centuries later, as psychology became a blooming study in Europe and then gaining a following in America, other scientists like Wilhelm Wundt, Herman Ebbinghaus, Mary Whiton Calkins, and William James, to name a few, would offer their contributions to the study of cognition.

Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) heavily emphasized the notion of what he called introspection; examining the inner feelings of an individual. With introspection, the subject had to be careful to describe their feelings in the most objective manner possible in order for Wundt to find the information scientific. Though Wundt's contributions are by no means minimal, modern psychologists find his methods to be quite subjective, and choose to rely on more objective procedures of experimentations to make conclusions about the human cognitive process.

Herman Ebbinghaus (1850-1909) conducted cognitive studies that mainly examined the function and capacity of human memory. Ebbinghaus developed his own experiment in which he constructed over 2,000 syllables made out of nonexistent words, for instance EAS. He would then examine his own personal ability to learn these non-words. He purposely chose non-words as opposed to real words to control for the influence of pre-existing experience with what the words may symbolize, thus enabling easier recollection of them. Ebbinghaus observed and hypothesized a number of variables that may have affected his ability to learn and recall the non-words he created. One of the reasons he concluded was the amount of time between the presentation of the list of stimuli. His work heavily influenced the study of serial position and its effect on memory, discussed in subsequent sections.

Mary Whiton Calkins (1863-1930) was an influential American female pioneer in the realm of psychology. Her work also focused on the human memory capacity. A common theory, called the Recency effect, can be attributed to the studies that she conducted. The recency effect, also discussed in the subsequent experiment section, is the tendency for individuals to be able to accurately recollect the final items presented in a sequence of stimuli. Her theory is closely related to the aforementioned study and conclusion of the memory experiments conducted by Herman Ebbinghaus.

William James (1842-1910) is another pivotal figure in the history of cognitive science. James was quite discontent with Wundt's emphasis on introspection and Ebbinghaus' use of nonsense stimuli. He instead chose to focus on the human learning experience in everyday life and its importance to the study of cognition. James' major contribution was his textbook Principles of Psychology that preliminarily examines many aspects of cognition like perception, memory, reasoning, and attention to name a few.


When the mind makes a generalization such as the concept of tree, it extracts similarities from numerous examples; the simplification enables higher-level thinking.

The sort of mental processes described as cognitive are largely influenced by research which has successfully used this paradigm in the past, likely starting with Thomas Aquinas, who divided the study of behavior into two broad categories: cognitive (how we know the world), and affective (how we understand the world via feelings and emotions). Consequently, this description tends to apply to processes such as memory, association, concept formation, pattern recognition, language, attention, perception, action, problem solving and mental imagery. Traditionally, emotion was not thought of as a cognitive process. This division is now regarded as largely artificial, and much research is currently being undertaken to examine the cognitive psychology of emotion; research also includes one's awareness of one's own strategies and methods of cognition called metacognition and includes metamemory.

Empirical research into cognition is usually scientific and quantitative, or involves creating models to describe or explain certain behaviors.

While few people would deny that cognitive processes are a function of the brain, a cognitive theory will not necessarily make reference to the brain or other biological processes (compare neurocognitive). It may purely describe behavior in terms of information flow or function. Relatively recent fields of study such as cognitive science and neuropsychology aim to bridge this gap, using cognitive paradigms to understand how the brain implements these information-processing functions (see also cognitive neuroscience), or how pure information-processing systems (e.g., computers) can simulate cognition (see also artificial intelligence). The branch of psychology that studies brain injury to infer normal cognitive function is called cognitive neuropsychology. The links of cognition to evolutionary demands are studied through the investigation of animal cognition. And conversely, evolutionary-based perspectives can inform hypotheses about cognitive functional systems' evolutionary psychology.

The theoretical school of thought derived from the cognitive approach is often called cognitivism.

The phenomenal success of the cognitive approach can be seen by its current dominance as the core model in contemporary psychology (usurping behaviorism in the late 1950s). Cognition is severely damaged in dementia.

Social process

For every individual, the social context in which he or she is embedded provides the symbols of his or her representation and linguistic expression. Human society sets the environment where the newborn will be socialized and develop his or her cognition. For example, face perception in human babies emerges by the age of two months: young children at a playground or swimming pool develop their social recognition by being exposed to multiple faces and associating the experiences to those faces. Education has the explicit task in society of developing cognition. Choices are made regarding the environment and permitted action that lead to a formed experience.

Language acquisition is an example of an emergent behavior. From a large systemic perspective, cognition is considered closely related to the social and human organization functioning and constraints. For example, the macro-choices made by the teachers influence the micro-choices made by students..

Piaget's theory of cognitive development

For years, sociologists and psychologists have conducted studies on cognitive development or the construction of human thought or mental processes.

Jean Piaget was one of the most important and influential people in the field of Developmental Psychology. He believed that humans are unique in comparison to animals because we have the capacity to do "abstract symbolic reasoning." His work can be compared to Lev Vygotsky, Sigmund Freud, and Erik Erikson who were also great contributors in the field of Developmental Psychology. Today, Piaget is known for studying cognitive development in children. He studied his own three children and their intellectual development and came up with a theory that describes the stages children pass through during development.

Piaget's theory of developmental psychology tackled cognitive development from infancy to adulthood.


Age or Period


Sensorimotor stage

Infancy (0–2 years)

Intelligence is present; motor activity but no symbols; knowledge is developing yet limited; knowledge is based on experiences/ interactions; mobility allows a child to learn new things; some language skills are developed at the end of this stage. The goal is to develop object permanence; achieves basic understanding of causality, time, and space.

Pre-operational stage

Toddler and Early Childhood (2–7 years)

Symbols or language skills are present; memory and imagination are developed; non reversible and nonlogical thinking; shows intuitive problem solving; begins to see relationships; grasps concept of conservation of numbers; egocentric thinking predominates.

Concrete operational stage

Elementary and Early Adolescence (7–12 years)

Logical and systematic form of intelligence; manipulation of symbols related to concrete objects; thinking is now characterized by reversibility and the ability to take the role of another; grasps concepts of the conservation of mass, length, weight, and volume; operational thinking predominates nonreversible and egocentric thinking

Formal operational stage

Adolescence and Adulthood (12 years and on)

Logical use of symbols related to abstract concepts; Acquires flexibility in thinking as well as the capacities for abstract thinking and mental hypothesis testing; can consider possible alternatives in complex reasoning and problem solving.


Common Cognitive Experiments

Serial position

The serial position experiment is meant to test a theory of memory that states that when information is given in a serial manner, we tend to remember information in the beginning of the sequence, called the primacy effect, and information in the end of the sequence, called the recency effect. Consequently, information given in the middle of the sequence is typically forgotten, or not recalled as easily. This study predicts that the recency effect is stronger than the primacy effect because the information that is most recently learned is still in working memory when asked to be recalled. On the other hand, information that is learned first still has to go through a retrieval process. This experiment focuses on human memory processes.[18]

Word superiority

The word superiority experiment presents a subject with a word or a letter by itself for a brief period of time, i.e. 40ms, and they are then asked to recall the letter that was in a particular location in the word. By theory, the subject should be able to correctly recall the letter when it was presented in a word than when it was presented in isolation. This experiment focuses on human speech and language.


In the Brown-Peterson experiment, participants are briefly presented with a trigram and in one particular version of the experiment, they are then given a distractor task asking them to identify whether a sequence of words are in fact words, or non-words (due to being misspelled, etc.). After the distractor task, they are asked to recall the trigram which they were presented with before the distractor task. In theory, the longer the distractor task, the harder it will be for participants to correctly recall the trigram. This experiment focuses on human short-term memory.

Memory span

During the memory span experiment, each subject is presented with a sequence of stimuli of the same kind; words depicting objects, numbers, letters that sound similar, and letters that sound dissimilar. After being presented with the stimuli, the subject is asked to recall the sequence of stimuli that they were given in the exact order in which they were given it. In one particular version of the experiment, if the subject recalled a list correctly, the list length increased by one for that type of material, and vice versa if it was recalled incorrectly. The theory is that people have a memory span of about seven items for numbers, the same for letters that sound dissimilar and short words. The memory span is projected to be shorter with letters that sound similar and longer words.

Visual search

In one version of the visual search experiment, participants are presented with a window that displayed circles and squares scattered across it. The participant is to identify whether there is a green circle on the window. In the "featured" search, the subject is presented with several trial windows that have blue squares or circles and one green circle or no green circle in it at all. In the "conjunctive" search, the subject is presented with trial windows that have blue circles or green squares and a present or absent green circle whose presence the participant is asked to identify. What is expected is that in the feature searches, reaction time, that is the time it takes for a participant to identify whether a green circle is present or not, should not change as the number of distractors increases. Conjunctive searches where the target is absent should have a longer reaction time than the conjunctive searches where the target is present. The theory is that in feature searches, it is easy to spot the target or if it is absent because of the difference in color between the target and the distractors. In conjunctive searches where the target is absent, reaction time increases because the subject has to look at each shape to determine whether it is the target or not because some of the distractors, if not all of them, are the same color as the target stimuli. Conjunctive searches where the target is present take less time because if the target is found, the search between each shape stops.

Knowledge representation

The semantic network of knowledge representation systems has been studied in various paradigms. One of the oldest is the leveling and sharpening of stories as they are repeated from memory studied by Bartlett. The semantic differential used factor analysis to determine the main meanings of words, finding that value or "goodness" of words is the first factor. More controlled experiments examine the categorical relationships of words in free recall. The hierarchical structure of words has been explicitly mapped in George Miller's Wordnet. More dynamic models of semantic networks have been created and tested with neural network experiments based on computational systems such as latent semantic analysis (LSA), Bayesian analysis, and multidimensional factor analysis. The semantics (meaning) of words is studied by all the disciplines of cognitive science.


Organizational behavior is a field of study that investigates the impact that individuals, groups and structures have on behavior within an organization for the purpose of applying such knowledge towards improving an organization's effectiveness. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes sociology, psychology, communication, and management; and it complements the academic studies of organizational theory (which is focused on organizational and intra-organizational topics) and human resource studies (which is more applied and business-oriented). It may also be referred to as organizational studies or organizational science.


Organizational studies encompass the study of organizations from multiple viewpoints, methods, and levels of analysis. For instance, one textbook divides these multiple viewpoints into three perspectives: modern, symbolic, and postmodern. Another traditional distinction, present especially in American academia, is between the study of "micro" organizational behavior — which refers to individual and group dynamics in an organizational setting — and "macro" strategic management and organizational theory which studies whole organizations and industries, how they adapt, and the strategies, structures and contingencies that guide them. To this distinction, some scholars have added an interest in "meso" scale structures - power, culture, and the networks of individuals and i.e. ronit units in organizations — and "field" level analysis which study how whole populations of organizations interact.

Whenever people interact in organizations, many factors come into play. Modern organizational studies attempt to understand and model these factors. Like all modernist social sciences, organizational studies seek to control, predict, and explain. There is some controversy over the ethics of controlling workers' behavior, as well as the manner in which workers are treated (see Taylor's scientific management approach compared to the human relations movement of the 1940s). As such, organizational behavior or OB (and its cousin, Industrial psychology) have at times been accused of being the scientific tool of the powerful. Those accusations notwithstanding, OB can play a major role in organizational development, enhancing organizational performance, as well as individual and group performance/satisfaction/commitment.

One of the main goals of organizational theorists is, according to Simms (1994), "to revitalize organizational theory and develop a better conceptualization of organizational life." An organizational theorist should carefully consider levels assumptions being made in theory, and is concerned to help managers and administrators.


While Classical philosophies rarely took upon a task of developing a specific theory of organizations, some had used implicit conceptions of general organization in construct views on politics and virtue; the Greek philosopher Plato, for example, wrote about the essence of leadership, emphasized the importance of specialization and discussed a primordial form of incentive structures in speculating how to get people to embody the goal of the just city in The Republic. Aristotle also addressed such topics as persuasive communication. The writings of 16th century Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli laid the foundation for contemporary work on organizational power and politics. In 1776, Adam Smith advocated a new form of organizational structure based on the division of labor. One hundred years later, German sociologist Max Weber wrote about rational organizations and initiated discussion of charismatic leadership. Soon after, Frederick Winslow Taylor introduced the systematic use of goal setting and rewards to motivate employees. In the 1920s, Australian-born Harvard professor Elton Mayo and his colleagues conducted productivity studies at Western Electric's Hawthorne plant in the United States.

Though it traces its roots back to Max Weber and earlier, organizational studies began as an academic discipline with the advent of scientific management in the 1890s, with Taylorism representing the peak of this movement. Proponents of scientific management held that rationalizing the organization with precise sets of instructions and time-motion studies would lead to increased productivity. Studies of different compensation systems were carried out.

After the First World War, the focus of organizational studies shifted to how human factors and psychology affected organizations, a transformation propelled by the identification of the Hawthorne Effect. This Human Relations Movement focused on teams, motivation, and the actualization of the goals of individuals within organizations.

Prominent early scholars included Chester Barnard, Henri Fayol, Frederick Herzberg, Abraham Maslow, David McClelland, and Victor Vroom.

The Second World War further shifted the field, as the invention of large-scale logistics and operations research led to a renewed interest in rationalist approaches to the study of organizations. Interest grew in theory and methods native to the sciences, including systems theory, the study of organizations with a complexity theory perspective and complexity strategy. Influential work was done by Herbert Alexander Simon and James G. March and the so-called "Carnegie School" of organizational behavior.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the field was strongly influenced by social psychology and the emphasis in academic study was on quantitative research. An explosion of theorizing, much of it at Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon, produced Bounded Rationality, Informal Organization, Contingency Theory, Resource Dependence, Institutional Theory, and Organizational Ecology theories, among many others.

Starting in the 1980s, cultural explanations of organizations and change became an important part of study. Qualitative methods of study became more acceptable, informed by anthropology, psychology and sociology. A leading scholar was Karl Weick.

Elton Mayo

Elton Mayo, an Australian national, headed the Hawthorne Studies at Harvard. In his classic writing in 1931, Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization, he advised managers to deal with emotional needs of employees at work.

Mary Parker Follett

Mary Parker Follett was a pioneer management consultant in the industrial world. As a writer, she provided analyses on workers as having complex combinations of attitude, beliefs, and needs. She told managers to motivate employees on their job performance, a "pull" rather than a "push" strategy.

Douglas McGregor

Douglas McGregor proposed two theories/assumptions, which are very nearly the opposite of each other, about human nature based on his experience as a management consultant. His first theory was "Theory X", which is pessimistic and negative; and according to McGregor it is how managers traditionally perceive their workers. Then, in order to help managers replace that theory/assumption, he gave "Theory Y" which takes a more modern and positive approach. He believed that managers could achieve more if they start perceiving their employees as self-energized, committed, responsible and creative beings. By means of his Theory Y, he in fact challenged the traditional theorists to adopt a developmental approach to their employees. He also wrote a book, The Human Side of Enterprise, in 1960; this book has become a foundation for the modern view of employees at work.

Current state of the field

Organizational behavior is a growing field. Organizational studies departments generally form part of business schools, although many universities also have industrial psychology and industrial economics programs.

The field is highly influential in the business world with practitioners such as Peter Drucker and Peter Senge, who turned the academic research into business practices. Organizational behaviour is becoming more important in the global economy as people with diverse backgrounds and cultural values must work together effectively and efficiently. It is also under increasing criticism as a field for its ethnocentric and pro-capitalist assumptions (see Critical Management Studies).

During the last 20 years, organizational behavior study and practice has developed and expanded through creating integrations with other domains:

  • Anthropology became an interesting prism to understanding firms as communities, by introducing concepts like Organizational culture, 'organizational rituals' and 'symbolic acts' enabling new ways to understand organizations as communities.

  • Leadership Understanding: the crucial role of leadership at various levels of an organization in the process of change management.

  • Ethics and their importance as pillars of any vision and one of the most important driving forces in an

  •  organization.

  • Aesthetics: Within the last decades a field emerged that focuses on the aesthetic sphere of our existence in organizations, drawing on interdisciplinary theories and methods from the humanities and disciplines such as theatre studies, literature, music, visual studies and many more.

Methods used in organizational studies

A variety of methods are used in organizational studies, many of which are found in other social sciences.

Quantitative methods

Further information: Quantitative research

  • multiple regression

  • non-parametric statistics

  • time series analysis

  • Meta-analysis


Computer simulation

Main article: computer simulation in organizational studies

Computer simulation is a prominent method in organizational studies and strategic management. While there are many uses for computer simulation (including the development of engineering systems inside high-technology firms), most academics in the fields of strategic management and organizational studies have used computer simulation to understand how organizations or firms operate. More recently, however, researchers have also started to apply computer simulation to understand organizational behaviour at a more micro-level, focusing on individual and interpersonal cognition and behavior such as team working.

While the strategy researchers have tended to focus on testing theories of firm performance, many organizational theorists are focused on more descriptive theories, the one uniting theme has been the use of computational models to either verify or extend theories. It is perhaps no accident that those researchers using computational simulation have been inspired by ideas from biological modeling, ecology, theoretical physics and thermodynamics, chaos theory, complexity theory and organization studies since these methods have also been fruitfully used in those areas.

Qualitative methods

Further information: Qualitative research

  • ethnography, which involves direct participant observation

  • single and multiple case analysis

  • grounded theory approaches

  • other historical methods

Theories and models

Current theories of organization can be divided into two broad categories:

  • Organizational Behavior - focusing on the behavior of individuals within organizations

  • Organization Theory - focusing on the behavior of organizations and populations of organizations

Organizational Behavior

Chester Barnard recognized that individuals behave differently when acting in their organizational role than when acting separately from the organization. Organizational behavior studies these differences to describe and model the behavior of individuals and groups in organizations. Organizational Behavior draws most heavily on psychology and social psychology.

Decision making

  • Rational Decision-Making Model

  • Garbage can model

Theories of decision making can be subdivided into three categories
  • Normative (concentrates on how decision should be made)

  • Descriptive (concerned with how the thinker came up with their judgement)

  • Prescriptive (Aim to improve decision making)


Managerial roles

Main article: Mintzberg's managerial roles

In the late 1960s Henry Mintzberg, a graduate student at MIT undertook a careful study of five executives to determine what those managers did on their jobs. On the basis of his observations, Mintzberg classifies managerial roles into three categories: interpersonal roles; decisional roles; and informational roles

  • Scientific management

Personality traits theories

  • Big Five personality traits

  • Holland's Typology of Personality and Congruent Occupations

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Control and stress modelling

  • Herzberg's Two factor theory

  • Theory X and Theory Y

Motivation in organizations

Motivation that forces either internal or external to a person that arouses enthusiasm and resistance to pursue a certain course of action. According to Baron et al. (2008): "Although motivation is a broad and complex concept, organizational scientists have agreed on its basic characteristics. Drawing from various social sciences, we define motivation as the set of processes that arouse, direct, and maintain human behavior toward attaining some goal"

There are many different motivation theories such as:

  • Attribution theory

  • Equity theory

  • Maslow's hierarchy of needs

  • Incentive theory (psychology)

  • Model of emotional labor in organizations

  • Frederick Herzberg two-factor theory

  • Expectancy theory

there are other theories like: X and Y theory by Mr. Paul Balogun (it focus on the activities of people who are conformity to organizational rules and the nonconformist

Organization Theory

Organizational Theory studies the organization as a whole or populations of organisations. The focus of organizational theory is to understand the structure and processes of organizations and how organizations interact with industries and societies.

Systems theory

Main article: Systems theory

The systems framework is also fundamental to organizational theory as organizations are complex dynamic goal-oriented processes. One of the early thinkers in the field was Alexander Bogdanov, who developed his Tectology, a theory widely considered a precursor of Bertalanffy's General Systems Theory, aiming to model and design human organizations. Kurt Lewin was particularly influential in developing the systems perspective within organizational theory and coined the term "systems of ideology", from his frustration with behavioural psychologies that became an obstacle to sustainable work in psychology (see Ash 1992: 198-207). The complexity theory perspective on organizations is another systems view of organizations. German sociologist Niklas Luhmann (1927 - 1998) developed a sociological system theory and describes organisations - alongside interactions and society - as one of three main entities.

The systems approach to organizations relies heavily upon achieving negative entropy through openness and feedback. A systemic view on organizations is transdisciplinary and integrative. In other words, it transcends the perspectives of individual disciplines, integrating them on the basis of a common "code", or more exactly, on the basis of the formal apparatus provided by systems theory. The systems approach gives primacy to the interrelationships, not to the elements of the system. It is from these dynamic interrelationships that new properties of the system emerge. In recent years, systems thinking has been developed to provide techniques for studying systems in holistic ways to supplement traditional reductionist methods. In this more recent tradition, systems theory in organizational studies is considered by some as a humanistic extension of the natural sciences.

Organization structures and dynamics

  • Incentive theory is a concept of human resources or management theory. In the corporate sense, it states that firm owners should structure employee compensation in such a way that the employees' goals are aligned with owners' goals. As it applies to the operations of firms, it is more accurately called the principal–agent problem.

  • Complexity theory and organizations

  • Contingency theory

  • French & Raven's Five bases of Power

  • Hybrid organization

  • Informal Organization

  • Merger integration

  • Model of Organizational Citizenship behavior

  • Model of Organizational justice

  • Model of Organizational Misbehavior

  • Resource dependence theory

  • Mintzberg's Organigraph


Bureaucracy is most commonly attributed to Max Weber. Weber argued that bureaucracy was the application of rational-legal authority to the organization of work: through the application of rationality, bureaucracy was the most technically efficient form of organization. Charles Perrow has extended this work, showing the continuing application of bureaucratic concepts to the study of organizations. Perrow argues that all organizations can be understood in terms of bureaucracy and that organizational failures are more often a result of insufficient application of bureaucratic principles.

Weber's principles of bureaucratic organization:

  • A formal organizational hierarchy

  • Management by rules

  • Organization by functional specialty and selecting people based on their skills and technical qualifications

  • An "up-focused" (to organization's board or shareholders) or "in-focused" (to the organization itself) mission

  • Purposefully impersonal to apply the same rules and structures to all people

Institutional Theory

Main article: Institutional Theory

Strategic Management

Main article: Strategic Management

Organizational Ecology

Main article: Organizational Ecology

Organizational Ecology models apply concepts from evolutionary theory to the study of populations of organizations, focusing on birth (founding), growth and change, and death (firm mortality). In this view, organizations are 'selected' based on their fit with their operating environment.

Economic Theories of Organization

  • Theory of the Firm

  • Transaction Cost Economics

  • Agency Theory

Organizational Culture

Main article: Organizational culture

There are two broad approaches of organizational culture.

The first studies the impact of regional and national cultures on the organization. In this school of thought, the regional or national culture has a significant impact on all aspects of organizational behavior. Understanding these differences is important for both working with other organizations from other cultures and in structuring organizations for and managing people from other cultures. This is exemplified by Geert Hofstede's Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory. In an ongoing research program, Hofstede has surveyed a large number of cultures and identified six dimensions of national culture that affect the behavior of individuals in organizations:

  • Power Distance

  • Individualism

  • Uncertainty Avoidance

  • Masculinity

  • Long Term Orientation

The second approach to organizational culture emphasizes the culture of the organization itself. This approach presumes that organizations can be characterized by cultural dimensions such as beliefs, values, rituals, symbols, and so forth. Within this approach, the approaches generally consist of either developing models for understanding organizational culture or developing typologies of organizational culture. Edgar Schein developed a model for understanding organizational culture and identified three levels of organizational culture:

  • Artifacts and Behaviors

  • Espoused Values

  • Shared Basic Assumptions

Schein argued that if any of these three levels were divergent tension would result: if, for example, espoused values or desired behaviors were not consistent with the basic assumptions of an organization it is unlikely that these values or behaviors would be rejected.

Typologies of organizational culture identified specific organizational culture and related these cultures to performance or effectiveness of the organization.


Narcissism is a term that originated with Narcissus in Greek mythology who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. Currently it is used to describe the pursuit of gratification from vanity, or egotistic admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, that derive from arrogant pride. 


The term narcissism comes from the Greek myth of Narcissus, a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. These advances eventually led Narcissus to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, Narcissus "lay gazing enraptured into the pool, hour after hour," and finally changed into a flower that bears his name, the narcissus.


A 2012 popular book on power-hungry narcissists suggests that narcissists typically display most, and sometimes all, of the following traits:

  • An obvious self-focus in interpersonal exchanges

  • Problems in sustaining satisfying relationships

  • A lack of psychological awareness (see insight in psychology and psychiatry, egosyntonic)

  • Difficulty with empathy

  • Problems distinguishing the self from others (see narcissism and boundaries)

  • Hypersensitivity to any insults or imagined insults (see criticism and narcissists, narcissistic rage and narcissistic injury)

  • Vulnerability to shame rather than guilt

  • Haughty body language

  • Flattery towards people who admire and affirm them (narcissistic supply)

  • Detesting those who do not admire them (narcissistic abuse)

  • Using other people without considering the cost of doing so

  • Pretending to be more important than they really are

  • Bragging (subtly but persistently) and exaggerating their achievements

  • Claiming to be an "expert" at many things

  • Inability to view the world from the perspective of other people

  • Denial of remorse and gratitude


Hotchkiss identified what she called the seven deadly sins of narcissism:

  1. Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all unhealthy narcissism, and the inability to process shame in healthy ways.

  2. Magical thinking: Narcissists see themselves as perfect, using distortion and illusion known as magical thinking. They also use projection to dump shame onto others.

  3. Arrogance: A narcissist who is feeling deflated may reinflate by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.

  4. Envy: A narcissist may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person's ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.

  5. Entitlement: Narcissists hold unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance because they consider themselves special. Failure to comply is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an "awkward" or "difficult" person. Defiance of their will is a narcissistic injury that can trigger narcissistic rage.

  6. Exploitation: Can take many forms but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the other is in a subservient position where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the subservience is not so much real as assumed.

  7. Bad boundaries: Narcissists do not recognize that they have boundaries and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. Those who provide narcissistic supply to the narcissist are treated as if they are part of the narcissist and are expected to live up to those expectations. In the mind of a narcissist there is no boundary between self and other.


Empirical studies

Within psychology, there are two main branches of research into narcissism, clinical and social psychology. These approaches differ in their view of narcissism with the former treating it as a disorder, thus as discrete, and the latter treating it as a personality trait, thus as a continuum. These two strands of research tend loosely to stand in a divergent relation to one another, although they converge in places.

Campbell and Foster (2007) review the literature on narcissism. They argue that narcissists possess the following "basic ingredients":

  • Positive: Narcissists think they are better than others.

  • Inflated: Narcissists' views tend to be contrary to reality. In measures that compare self-report to objective measures, narcissists' self-views tend to be greatly exaggerated

  • Agentic: Narcissists’ views tend to be most exaggerated in the agentic domain, relative to the communion domain.

  • Special: Narcissists perceive themselves to be unique and special people.

  • Selfish: Research upon narcissists’ behavior in resource dilemmas supports the case for narcissists as being selfish.

  • Oriented toward success: Narcissists are oriented towards success by being, for example, approach oriented.

Narcissists tend to demonstrate a lack of interest in warm and caring interpersonal relationships. [Campbell and Forster (2007)]. There are several ongoing controversies within narcissism literature, namely whether narcissism is healthy or unhealthy, a personality disorder, a discrete or continuous variable, defensive or offensive, the same across genders, the same across cultures, and changeable or unchangeable.

Campbell and Foster (2007) argue that self-regulatory strategies are of paramount importance to understanding narcissism. Self-regulation in narcissists involves such things as striving to make oneself look and feel positive, special, successful and important. It comes in both intra-psychic, such as blaming a situation rather than self for failure, and interpersonal forms, such as using a relationship to serve one’s own self.


Sexual narcissism

Sexual narcissism has been described as an egocentric pattern of sexual behavior that involves an inflated sense of sexual ability and sexual entitlement. In addition, sexual narcissism is the erotic preoccupation with oneself as a superb lover through a desire to merge sexually with a mirror image of oneself. Sexual narcissism is an intimacy dysfunction in which sexual exploits are pursued, generally in the form of extramarital affairs, to overcompensate for low self-esteem and an inability to experience true intimacy. This behavioral pattern has been tied to domestic violence in men and sexual coercion in couples.

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