The 10 types of personal motivation (definitions and examples)


In this article, we will see the different types of motivation that exist. We will also see some definitions and examples of these motivations.

Motivation is a word that in Latin means "cause of movement." Etymology often helps us to understand the original meaning of a term, and in the case of motivation, the idea behind the word is clear.

Motivation is the type of reason why we carry out certain actions. And it is that not all people are driven in the same way when it comes to taking their actions. 

There are different types of personal motivation that we will see in this article (with definitions and examples).

Personal motivation

What is Motivation?

All the actions we do during the day in the background have one motivation or another. From the most everyday acts such as eating to the most far-sighted behaviors such as preparing a wedding, they have at least one personal motivation behind them.

Therefore, motivation has been a concept of great interest in psychology. It is a basic aspect that determines our behavior, and that is responsible for us performing all kinds of acts. From those so basic related to immediate survival to intentional behaviors that pursue certain objectives for years.

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Anyway, the truth is that there is a unique theory about motivation. The Maslow pyramid or the three McClelland factors are among the best known, and they try to explain the types of personal motivation that lead us to carry out different behaviors.

The 10 types of personal motivation

Both the conscious part of our mind and the unconscious can generate our motivations. Sometimes we seem to be very clear about the reasons why you make us act in a certain way, although it is not always the case.

Below we are going to see the different types of motivation that exist. We will see that definitions and examples represent the wide variety of reasons why human beings can be encouraged to behave.

1. Extrinsic motivation

The extrinsic motivation is intimately linked to the idea of a prize or reward. This is a very clear case of incentive of a behavior, which is none other than the idea that you will enjoy a benefit that will be given externally if something is done.

If you tell a child that if he behaves well you are going to give him a toy, he will try to behave well. In the same way, if you tell a person that by eating an insect he will earn 5,000 euros, he may eat it, which he would almost certainly never do.

If you want to know more about this type of motivation, read the following article.

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2. Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation is closely linked to the pleasure associated with personal growth. Performing certain activities is very feasible when the person has a high degree of intrinsic motivation.

For example, there are many people who learn yoga or do some kind of sport just because of the pleasure that this activity gives them. Although it can be lazy, especially when you do not have the acquired habit, these people manage to overcome it thanks to their great intrinsic motivation.

3. Positive motivation

A positive motivation is related to the benefit of maintaining a behavior.

In this case, it is not taken into account whether the motivation is external or internal, but the fact that the person has managed to maintain the good habit in question by thinking about the associated benefits.

4. Negative motivation

In the negative motivation, emphasis is placed on maintaining the behavior to avoid something.

For example, it may be that the person avoids taking drugs because he is not judged by his environment such as family, friends, society, etc. (external motivation) or because he considers that doing so will lead to discomfort the next day, problems in everyday life, loss of health, etc. (internal motivation).

5. Basic motivation

Basic Motivation refers to the degree of commitment you have to an activity.

It is mainly used in the world of sport, and is based on the motivation generated in self-improvement within the discipline in question. 

The results and performance mark the degree of satisfaction based on this type of basic motivation.

6. Daily motivation

Daily motivation is that of day-to-day life. It is also widely used in the world of sports, and taking as an example a person who practices some type of physical activity, this motivation is linked to the degree of pleasure and satisfaction at the immediate level that the activity in question produces.

7. Ego-centered motivation

Ego-centered motivation feeds on comparison. A person with a lot of motivation of this type is motivated when compared to other people and sees that he can stand out.

It happens in athletes but also in the field of work, in comparisons at a materialistic level, etc.

8. Task-centered motivation

The motivation focused on the task is related to impressions about an activity. A person can be very motivated when he sees that things are going well for him.

For example, if a basketball player sees that he progresses because he understands the tactics and perfects the technique, he can be very motivated and improve, while there are other people who are not motivated only by this.

9. Homeostatic motivation

Homeostatic motivation explains human behavior through the satisfaction of the most primary needs. The body tries to respond to its needs, such as hunger and thirst, but also more instinctive ones.

For example, a person can act in a certain way due to the desire to maintain intimate relationships with someone.

10. Emotional motivation

This type of motivation has to do with the emotions a person feels. It is one of the most complex, and it is that a behavior can be motivated by certain traumas, mental disorders, need for attachment, etc. An example would be love or friendship relationships, in which the person seeks to satisfy the needs of the social beings that we are.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative, I have no authority to make a diagnosis or recommend treatment. I invite you to visit a psychologist to treat your particular case.