Types of motivation: classification and examples. The meaning of motivation

Greetings, friends!

Motivation has a much greater impact on a person than it seems at first glance. Victories, achievements, overcoming – all these are the results of the influence of the right motivation. Researchers in the field of psychology distinguish several types of motivation, each of which has its own distinctive characteristics in terms of manifestation. In this article, we will take a closer look at the classification of types of motivation with examples for each type. But to make it easier to understand everything, let’s first find out what motivation is all about. Let’s get started.

What is motivation?

Motivation is an internal state due to which the activation, direction and maintenance of the personality’s behavior is carried out, aimed at achieving clearly defined goals. Based on this, motivation can be viewed as the main regulator of behavior and the ability of a person to perform actions aimed at satisfying needs.

Motivation is closely related to human development. The reason for its occurrence is that when the goal is achieved, a person will experience satisfaction. This encourages people to take actions aimed at achieving the designated goal with an emphasis on analyzing the effectiveness of the actions taken and their compliance with the expected results.

Each person has their own unique set of motives, which may conflict with the motives of other people. Moreover, each person has his own energy reserves, which are activated to achieve the goal. It is important to note that motivation cannot be at a high level all the time; it is characterized by dynamism.

Types of motivation

It is customary to distinguish several main types of motivation:

1. Positive and negative motivation

  • Positive motivation is triggered by rewarding behavior – this extends to internal and external rewards. Example: “If I read 30 pages every day, I will have read 54 books by the end of the year.”
  • Negative motivation is reflected in the behavior with which a person minimizes the likelihood of negative consequences – this affects both internal and external consequences. Example: “If I don’t eat right, health problems will begin over time.”

2. External and internal motivation

  • The basis for the manifestation of external motivation is a combination of external factors, which include reward and punishment. It is important to note that this has nothing to do with achieving this goal. The simplest example of extrinsic motivation is the need to come to work at a set time every day. If for this you have to get up early, which often happens against the wishes of the individual, then external motivation pushes to get up and go, no matter what.
  • Intrinsic motivation is directly related to self-realization. For example, when a person performs actions not to gain public approval, but for his own pleasure on a voluntary basis. For example, when a person gets up every day and goes for a run because he knows about the positive effect of running on the body, but at the same time no one forces him to do it.

3. Basic and daily motivation

These types of motivation can be manifested in combination with each other and complement each other.

  • Basic motivation acts as a constant basis of motivation; it determines the level of personality commitment in relation to the achievement of the task. This applies to the results achieved, productivity and the positive consequences of the actions taken. Example: A willingness to train for years to become a champion in a sport.
  • Daily motivation is directly related to the degree of an individual’s interest in carrying out daily duties and the satisfaction obtained from their implementation. Example: the need to find the strength to complete unwanted tasks on a daily basis, by looking for an incentive to complete these tasks.


Based on the results of psychological and sociological research, additional motivational types can be distinguished, in this case we are talking about incentives, which are the basis of motivation. These include:

1. Achievement

Achievement motivation can be seen as one of the most common forms of motivation. This is manifested in the desire of a person to achieve their goals and solve new problems. The person highlights the need to improve their skills and wants to prove their competence to themselves and those around them. This stimulus accompanies a person throughout his life. At the same time, in certain circumstances, the incentive can be based on the need for external recognition, which is manifested in the desire to gain the approval of the closest social environment.

2. Self-development

The need for self-improvement acts as a strong driving force that manifests itself in a person. This incentive is best manifested in a person’s desire to change his life for the better. Many people throughout their lives are faced with the need to improve their inner world and their body. Each person strives to reach new heights in all directions – this is an integral part of the personality.

3. Society

For many people, social factors are the basis of motivation. In most cases, this manifests itself in the desire to become part of a group of like-minded people or in the desire to become closer to people from different spheres. People are social creatures, they feel the need for communication, communication, without society, a person becomes an animal. Another form of social motivation is a person’s sincere desire to improve the lives of others.

4. Fear

Fear motivation is characterized by the presence of a relationship with the likelihood of punishment or negative consequences. This type of motivation is relevant in cases where incentive motivation does not bring the expected results. A striking example is the practical implementation of the “carrot and stick” method , in which the carrot is primarily used, and the stick is responsible for intimidation. The considered type of motivation is actively used in the education system, the same practice is common in the work collective in order to regulate the behavior of employees. Violation of the prescribed rules leads to the application of negative sanctions.

5. Power

Motivation for power is manifested in the desire to control their own life, or the desire of a person to control the actions of other people. Each person wants to influence their life with an emphasis on improving living conditions in the long term. Those who try to control other people deserve special attention. In some cases, this desire can become the basis for the commission of socially disapproved actions. Also, the desire for power can be viewed as a person’s desire to influence representatives of his social group.


In this case, we are talking about the desire or desire of a person to achieve their goals, internal beliefs act as the basis for taking actions.

Self-motivation is the impact of a person on his condition when external motivation ceases to affect him properly. This is manifested in the fact that even in the absence of a desire to perform actions, a person continues to do business, realizing its significance and benefits for his life.

Self-motivation is characterized by an individual character of manifestation, that is, each person prefers his own methods, designed to launch the mechanism of motivation.

The benefits of motivation

Motivation is a universal tool for human development in all areas. Developed motivation brings many benefits to a person, including:

  • Concentration. The person is aware of where he is going and takes action to achieve the goal;
  • Perseverance. Each obstacle is perceived as a temporary difficulty;
  • Energy. People are driven by enthusiasm and anticipation of a positive outcome. The need to achieve a result, regardless of the existing obstacles, is highlighted;
  • Cheerfulness. People with a high degree of motivation experience real pleasure in life and in actions aimed at achieving a goal;
  • Confidence. Motivated people are aware of their weaknesses, work with them, try to minimize their manifestation and focus on developing their strengths, the result of this is the confidence that the goal will be achieved.


Knowledge of motivation and its use in everyday life can be the basis for understanding yourself and those around you. The knowledge gained will help you find an approach to a person, establish productive communication and achieve common goals. This is a unique opportunity to change your life for the better in the long term.