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22 Types of Motivation

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Motivation is the will to do things. It is associated with enthusiasm, ambition, initiative, determination and resilience. The following are common types of motivation.

Art For Art's Sake

The idea that art is its own reward that requires no other motivation.


The avoidance of negative stimuli such as pain.

Cognitive Dissonance

A desire to achieve internal consistency. For example, a desire for actions to be consistent with an individual's beliefs.

Convenience And Comfort

At the most primitive level, organisms have the motivation to conserve their energy. This may translate into modern human motivations such as a desire for convenience and comfort.


Commonly cited desires that affect motivation include eating, acceptance, curiosity, family, honor, independence, order, physical activity, power, romance, social contact, status, tranquility and vengeance.


The theory that the desire to achieve goals or satisfy needs builds over time until that goal or need is satisfied and the cycle resets.

ERG Theory

The theory that motivation is primarily related to existence, relatedness and growth.


The observation that motivation is often impacted by expectations. For example, if you expect that if you work hard that you will receive a large bonus you may be more motivated than if you have low expectations.

Extrinsic Motivation

Motivation driven by external rewards such as money, status and praise.

Fear Of Missing Out

A fear of missed opportunities such as a sense that life is passing you by.

Hygiene Factors

Hygiene factors are basic expectations that don't increase motivation but dramatically decrease motivation if they are not met.


A Japanese concept of motivation that is often translated "a reason for being." The idea is associated with self-directed goals that act as a person's primary motivation on a long term basis.

Intrinsic Motivation

Behavior that is intrinsically rewarding. For example, studying a topic out of a desire to master it as opposed to being motivated by grades.

Locus Of Control

Locus of control is the extent to which an individual feels they control the events that surround their life. It is known to be a factor in motivation.


Needs are a basic type of motivation that include physiological requirements, safety, love, belonging, esteem, self-actualization and self-transcendence as per Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.


Behaviors that an individual feels pulled towards.


Behaviors that an individual pushes themselves to do. For example, a student may push to study all night before an exam.

Rational Motivation

Doing what seems most rational.


The motivation to resist commands, rules and actions that are perceived as a violation of personal freedoms.

Rewarding Stimuli

Motivation driven by the brain's reward system such as a desire to eat sugary foods.

Self Determination

The will to self define your existence as opposed to being shaped by external pressures.

Self Efficacy

The level of confidence that an individual has in their abilities is a strong factor in motivation.
Overview: Motivation
The will to do things.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about motivation.
Attitude Change
Bucket List
Curiosity Drive
Employee Motivation
ERG Theory
Esprit De Corps
Expectancy Theory
Extrinsic Motivation
Flow Theory
Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic Reward
Locus Of Control
Peak Experiences
Silent Goal
Skin In The Game
Status Seeking
Work Motivation
More ...
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Intrinsic Motivation

The definition of motivation with examples.


The definition of mediocrity with examples.

Profit Motive

An overview of the profit motive with examples.


The definition of ambition with examples.

Extrinsic Motivation

The definition of extrinsic motivation with examples.

Human Behavior

An overview of human behavior with examples.


The common types of inspiration with examples.


An overview of growth with examples.

Learned Helplessness

The definition of learned helplessness with examples.

Middle Opposite

A list of opposites for middle.

Bucket List

An overview of bucket lists with examples.


An overview of determination with examples.

Positive Emotions

An a-z list of positive emotions.

Thought Processes

A list of thinking approaches and types.


A few logic terms explained.

Cognitive Biases

A list of common cognitive biases explained.

Abstract Ideas

A few dangers of being too abstract.

Objective vs Subjective

The difference between objective and subjective.

Intellectual Diversity

A definition of intellectual diversity with examples.

Creative Value

The definition of creative value with examples.

Anecdotal Evidence

The definition of anecdotal evidence with examples.

Benefit Of Doubt

The definition of benefit of doubt with examples.


The definition of pessimism with examples.
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