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  1. Eva Dreikurs Ferguson

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0562

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Ferguson, E. D. 2010. Motivation. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–3.

Author Information

  1. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Motivation leads to the instigation, persistence, energizing, and directing of behavior. Motivation refers to the energizing and directive states of animals and humans. The term arousal is used to describe the energizing aspect of motivation. The directing or steering aspect is related to goals. Thirsty animals look for water, or a person in a stressful job tries to escape from an unpleasant work situation. For humans, motivation largely involves complex, learned, social states. These states, like the beliefs associated with them, are continuously modified through many experiences.