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UK Coaching Team
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Talent and Performance Developing Mindsets

The Psychology of Motivation

In the fifth of a series of eight resources, Performance Psychology Consultant Philippa McGregor explores the topic of motivation, with a particular focus on self-determination theory and achievement goal theory

Motivation is determined by our beliefs, values, cognitions and significant others (Deci & Ryan, 2000). It is the key psychological determinant behind every action we take and effort we exert (Keegan & Lavallee, 2010). 

Our motivation is governed by the internal and/or external forces that drive the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of our behaviour. 

The internal and external forces of motivation led to the identification of two major types of motivation:

  1. Intrinsic motivation – doing something for its own sake (novelty or challenge)
  2. Extrinsic motivation – doing something as a means to a certain reward/outcome  

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