What is motivation? : building conceptual clarity : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Psychology at Massey University
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The following exploratory research was conducted to begin to build conceptual clarity for the currently ambiguous construct of motivation. Motivation is a term that is used extensively within psychology and psychotherapy. The construct of motivation has multiple theories explaining this complex phenomenon, each with their own definition. The vast array of definitions pertaining to motivation creates conceptual confusion between researchers and in turn unreliable motivational measures. Q Methodology was used to bring a subjective viewpoint towards the research. This subjective approach allowed the opinions of the target population to determine the type of information used in analysis. Results indicate that participants view motivation as an internal and emotional process. This research proposed a definition of motivation, as it is referred to in psychotherapy. The findings propose that motivation is an internal process fueled by emotions that energize the body towards action at a conscious level. The thought processes of an individual ignite a purpose which initiates a drive towards a change of state. Positive reinforcement of this action will perpetuate future action. Negative reinforcement of this action will decrease the likelihood of the action reoccurring. These findings are discussed and future recommendations are suggested. A replication of this research would provide further support for these findings.