Process of Motivation

Motivation is defined as the energy or the force that stimulates a person to act towards the fulfilment of one's desired goal. Before one can achieve a deeper understanding of motivation, one must be able to gain knowledge of its basic process and the elements involved in it.

This article is a part of the guide:

Discover 22 more articles on this topic

Browse Full Outline

The process of motivation involves three elements: motives, behaviour and goals.

Quiz 1 Quiz 2 Quiz 3 All Quizzes


A motive is something that drives a person to perform an action. It is anything that arouses one to behave or act. Action originates from motives. Motives are connected to the cognitive process of a person, and influence his behaviour in one or more ways. Motives are either needs or wants that create a state of imbalance, whether physiologically or psychologically, within an individual.

Basically, there are three kinds of motives: biological, stimulus and social. Biological motives are mostly comprised of needs, such as hunger, thirst, pain, air (need for respiration), sex and maternal needs. On the other hand, stimulus motives include curiosity, exploration, sensory stimulation and the like. Social motives are power, affiliation, belongingness, achievement and other social needs and wants. Many psychologists also categorize motives into two major categories: primary and secondary motives. Primary motives are also known as biological drives, while secondary motives are also called psychosocial motives and are an umbrella group for stimulus and social drives.


Behavior is the action that results from a person’s motives. Behavior can also be viewed as a series of activities a person does in order to achieve a goal. Human behaviour can be classified as common or unusual. For instance, it is common for a person to eat when he feels hungry, and it would be unusual for him to go on fasting when he feels hunger.


In order to correct the state of imbalance caused by a motive, goals are needed to be attained. If motives are the drives and behavior is the means, then goals are the ends. The achievement of a goal through a behaviour tends to satisfy the motive. Goals can be inward, such as self-improvement, and/or outward, as in higher position, greater power or a better salary. There are many factors that influence a person in coming up with his goals. Some of these include the cultural norms and values he gains while growing up. Other factors are the biological and inherited capabilities he has. His learning influences, personal experience as well as mobility in his social and physical environment affect what one’s goals are.

Full reference: 

(Jan 1, 2012). Process of Motivation. Retrieved Jun 13, 2024 from

You Are Allowed To Copy The Text

The text in this article is licensed under the Creative Commons-License Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

This means you're free to copy, share and adapt any parts (or all) of the text in the article, as long as you give appropriate credit and provide a link/reference to this page.

That is it. You don't need our permission to copy the article; just include a link/reference back to this page. You can use it freely (with some kind of link), and we're also okay with people reprinting in publications like books, blogs, newsletters, course-material, papers, wikipedia and presentations (with clear attribution).

Want to stay up to date? Follow us!