Psychology Motivation
by
Michael Richter, Rex A. Wright, Kerstin Brinkmann, Guido H. E. Gendolla
  • LAST REVIEWED: 02 December 2016
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 February 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0039

Introduction

References to the construct of motivation are ubiquitous in most domains of life. Parents worry about how to motivate their children to apply themselves at school; business organizations send their employees to motivation seminars to improve the quality and quantity of their performance; women wonder how to motivate their husbands to devote more time to household chores. Given the frequency with which the motivation construct is referenced, one might think that there would be strong agreement about its meaning, at least within the motivation research community. However, there is in fact only modest agreement. Most researchers agree that goals, motives, needs, and incentives are key concepts; however, researchers vary in their understanding of defining characteristics. Thus, for example, whereas some would define motivation in terms of increased desire to attain or avoid an outcome, others would define it in terms of increased energy or effort expended at a given point or across time. The lack of agreement about definition has worked against the emergence of a coherent approach in the study of motivation and complicated the transfer of motivation knowledge. This is highlighted by a review of motivation textbooks, which reveals marked variation in organizational structure and theories presented. Fortunately, motivation definitions within the motivation research community do have a commonality. Specifically, they have in common an emphasis on variables and processes that determine the initiation, direction, and maintenance of behavior. We have drawn on this commonality in preparing this bibliography, listing theories and relevant references that we view as central to motivation as an area of study. We have refrained from explicitly discussing the key concepts of motivation psychology and from presenting theories in the context of a classification scheme. The references included in this article cover the most important key concepts. By studying them, readers will learn about the concepts and be able to organize the theories as they see fit. Importantly, our listing of theories is neither exhaustive nor evaluative. It is a mere sampling of perspectives, with conceptual focuses ranging from grand to limited. Readers can—and, indeed, are encouraged to—make their own judgments about the legitimacy and utility of the perspectives presented.

Textbooks

Textbooks on motivation psychology aim to cover the whole range of aspects of human motivation. However, given the diversity and heterogeneity of motivation research, the content and structure of textbooks differ. There is currently no single textbook that covers all phenomena and theories related to motivation psychology. Most textbooks present motivation-related aspects grouped around one main theme. Geen 1995 approaches motivation from a social psychological perspective. McClelland 2009 focuses on needs and motives. Petri and Govern 2004 emphasize biological and physiological process. Atkinson and Birch 1978 extensively discuss drive and instinct theories. Weiner 1980 presents in detail attribution theories related to motivation. Heckhausen and Heckhausen 2008 focus on processes that are characteristic of human motivation.

  • Atkinson, J. W., and D. Birch. 1978. An introduction to motivation. 2d ed. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand.

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    This textbook extensively discusses drive and instinct theories. It presents in detail early theories that are rarely discussed in more recent motivation textbooks.

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    • Geen, G. R. 1995. Human motivation: A social psychological approach. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

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      Good textbook for undergraduate students. The book has a strong emphasis on social psychological aspects of motivation. The level of detail differs between the presented approaches.

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      • Heckhausen, J., and H. Heckhausen. 2008. Motivation and action. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

        DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511499821Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

        Good textbook for undergraduate students. Most individual chapters are well written and provide a good overview of the discussed topic. However, the individual chapters are only loosely connected, and only phenomena that are characteristic of human motivation are discussed.

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        • McClelland, D. C. 2009. Human motivation. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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          This textbook provides a very good introduction to the motive perspective of motivation but lacks information on many other important approaches.

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          • Petri, H. L., and J. M. Govern. 2004. Motivation: Theory, research, and applications. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

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            Good textbook for undergraduate students, with a strong focus on biological and physiological processes related to motivation.

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            • Weiner, B. 1980. Human motivation. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

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              A very readable textbook with a limited scope. It covers Freud’s and Hull’s drive theories, Lewin’s field theory, Atkinson’s achievement theory, and social learning theory, as well as an extensive discussion of attribution theory of motivation.

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              Journals

              Given the lack of peer-reviewed journals with an explicit focus on motivation, most research addressing motivation-related phenomena is published in journals with an emphasis on other domains of psychology (like social psychology and personality psychology, psychophysiology, or applied psychology). There is currently only one peer-reviewed journal that explicitly focuses on motivation, Motivation and Emotion. It is published by Springer and appears four times a year.

              Societies and Conferences

              Many big societies offer special interest subgroups on motivation (for instance, the Special Interest Group “Motivation and Emotion” of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (Earli) or the Special Interest Group “Motivation in Education” of the American Educational Research Association), and each year a handful of conferences with an explicit focus on motivation take place (for instance, the International Conference on Motivation ICM 2012 or the 5th Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Motivation). There is also an international association with an exclusive, interdisciplinary emphasis on motivation research, the Society for the Study of Motivation (SSM).

              Action Control Theory

              Action control theory aims to explain how non-dominant action tendencies may override dominant action tendencies and determine behavior. The theory postulates six control mechanisms that allow individuals to protect action intentions and to avoid takeover by dominant action tendencies. These mechanisms are the control of attention, the control of information encoding, affect regulation, motivation regulation, environment control, and restricted information processing. Action control is optimal when the action goal is accessible, the actual state is accessible, the discrepancy between both is accessible, and actions that reduce this discrepancy are possible. The psychological state of optimal action control is called action orientation. If action control is suboptimal (that is, if one of the four aspects is lacking), action control is degenerated; this state is labeled state orientation. Introductions to the theory can be found in Kuhl 1982, Kuhl 1984, and Kuhl 1987. An extensive overview of research on action control theory is available in Kuhl and Beckmann 1994, which also introduces the action control scale, a widely used measure of action and state orientation. Beckmann and Kuhl 1984 provide an example of empirical research on the theory.

              • Beckmann, J., and J. Kuhl. 1984. Altering information to gain action control: Functional aspects of human information processing in decision making. Journal of Research in Personality 18:224–237.

                DOI: 10.1016/0092-65668490031-XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Empirical paper that demonstrates how selective information processing is used to protect a behavioral intention.

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                • Kuhl, J. 1982. Action- vs. state-orientation as a mediator between motivation and action. In Cognitive and motivational aspects of action. Edited by W. Hacker, W. Volpert, and M. von Cranach, 67–85. Berlin: VEB Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften.

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                  Introduction to Kuhl’s theory. Essential reading.

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                  • Kuhl, J. 1984. Volitional aspects of achievement motivation and learned helplessness: Toward a comprehensive theory of action control. In Normal personality processes. Vol. 13 of Progress in experimental personality research. Edited by B. A. Maher, 99–171. New York: Academic Press.

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                    Substantial review of the empirical research on action control and elaborate presentation of action control theory.

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                    • Kuhl, J. 1987. Action control: The maintenance of motivational states. In Motivation, intention and volition. Edited by F. Halisch and J. Kuhl, 279–291. Berlin: Springer.

                      DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-70967-8_19Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Introduction of action control theory and its predictions.

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                      • Kuhl, J., and J. Beckmann. 1994. Volition and personality: Action versus state orientation. Göttingen, Germany: Hogrefe & Huber.

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                        This book provides an extensive introduction to Kuhl’s theory. Furthermore, it introduces the action control scale, a questionnaire measure of state and action orientation.

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                        Cognitive Dissonance Theory

                        Cognitive Dissonance Theory can be described as being concerned broadly with how people live with behavioral decisions that they make. It proposes that people experience an unpleasant psychological tension, called “cognitive dissonance,” whenever they freely choose to act in a manner that is contrary to, or dissonant with, beliefs that they hold (cognitions). In theory, the dissonance increases in proportion to the number and importance of dissonant cognitions relative to all (dissonant + consonant) cognitions and inspires people to realign their beliefs to make them comport with their action. Good theoretical introductions can be found in Festinger 2009 (first published in 1957) as well as in Brehm and Cohen 1962. Aronson and Mills 1959, Brehm 1956, and Zanna and Cooper 1974 are classical empirical texts on dissonance theory. A recent overview of the theory, its evolution, and the empirical evidence can be found in Cooper 2007.

                        Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis

                        The Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis asserts that altruistic motivation derives from the experience of other-oriented emotion congruent with the welfare of another person in need (empathic concern). It construes altruism as pro-social behavior carried out with the ultimate purpose of improving the victim’s welfare and in absence of any self-interest. The greater the empathic concern, the greater the strength of the motive to improve the victim’s welfare. Batson 1991, Batson 2011, and Batson and Shaw 1991 provide good introductions to the theory as well as comprehensive reviews of the evidence.

                        • Batson, C. D. 1991. The altruism question: Toward a social-psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

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                          A full and seasoned summary of reasoning and evidence relevant to the hypothesis.

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                          • Batson, C. D. 2011. Altruism in humans. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                            A tour de force culmination of Batson’s research and thinking. Builds on the Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis to extent a theory of altruistic motivation.

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                            • Batson, C. D., and L. L. Shaw. 1991. Evidence for altruism: Toward a pluralism of prosocial motives. Psychological Inquiry 2:107–122.

                              DOI: 10.1207/s15327965pli0202Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              A detailed presentation of Empathy-Altruism Hypothesis. The paper also provides a summary of the empirical work on the hypothesis and a detailed discussion of the distinction between egoism and altruism.

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                              Field Theory

                              According to Kurt Lewin’s field theory, human behavior is a function of an individual’s psychological reality at a given moment, the life space. The life space represents all behavior-relevant elements that have subjective relevance for the individual (e.g., needs, goals, actions, daydreams). Drawing on this general idea, Lewin postulated a person model and an environment model. The person model describes behavior as a function of tension states associated with different behavioral goals, needs, and intentions and the dynamics between these tension states. The environment model describes behavior as a function of forces arising from psychological regions with negative and positive valence that act on the individual. The models differ regarding the dynamic concept (tension vs. forces), but they are linked by the postulated covariation between tension and valence. In addition to the original papers by Lewin (see Lewin 1939, Lewin 1943, Lewin 1982, and Lewin 1971), good introductions to his theory can be found in Beckmann and Heckhausen 2008 and Hall, et al. 1998. Even if empirical research drawing on Lewin’s theory is currently rare, its impact on psychological theorizing and on applied psychology is still visible. Kruglanski, et al. 2012 provide an example of the impact of Lewin’s ideas on current theorizing; Brager and Holloway 1993 elaborate on an adaption of field theory to organizational psychology.

                              • Beckmann, J., and H. Heckhausen. 2008. Motivation as a function of expectancy and incentive. In Motivation and action. Edited by J. Heckhausen and H. Heckhausen, 99–136. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511499821.006Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                A short but comprehensive introduction to Lewin’s field theory. It is highly recommended as introductory reading.

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                                • Brager, G., and S. Holloway. 1993. Assessing prospects for organizational change: The uses of force field analysis. Administration in Social Work 16:15–28.

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                                  This paper constitutes an example of the application of Lewin’s field theory to applied psychology. Specifically, the authors explain how Lewin’s force field analysis may be used to analyze organizational structures.

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                                  • Hall, C. S., G. Lindzey, and J. B. Campbell. 1998. Theories of personality. 4th ed. New York: Wiley.

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                                    A textbook on personality theory that includes a readable introduction to Lewin’s theory. Adapted to the level of undergraduate students.

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                                    • Kruglanski, A. W., J. J. Bélanger, X. Chen, C. Köpetz, A. Pierro, and L. Mannetti. 2012. The energetics of motivated cognition: A force-field analysis. Psychological Review 119:1–20.

                                      DOI: 10.1037/a0025488Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      This paper presents a theory that predicts energy investment, task choice, and goal attainment as a function of competing (field) forces.

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                                      • Lewin, K. 1939. Field theory and experiment in social psychology: Concepts and methods. American Journal of Sociology 44:868–896.

                                        DOI: 10.1086/218177Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        Compared to the other work of Lewin, this paper provides a short introduction to his theory. Recommended reading for graduate students.

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                                        • Lewin, K. 1943. Defining the “field at a given time.” Psychological Review 50:292–310.

                                          DOI: 10.1037/h0062738Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                          Extending the preceding publications of Lewin, this paper presents field theory as a general scientific method to analyze causal relationships. Very readable.

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                                          • Lewin, K. 1971. Principles of topological psychology. Translated by F. Heider and G. M. Heider. New York: McGraw-Hill.

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                                            Extensive discussion of the concept of life space, the environment model, and the person model. This text is essential for the understanding of Lewin’s theoretical ideas. First published in 1936 (New York: McGraw-Hill).

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                                            • Lewin, K. 1982. The conceptual representation and the measurement of psychological forces. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International.

                                              DOI: 10.1037/13613-000Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              This book presents an extensive discussion of the concept of psychological force and its measurement. Essential reading for the understanding of Lewin’s idea of psychological force. Originally published in 1938 (Durham, NC: Duke Univ. Press).

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                                              Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis

                                              The Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis asserted originally that frustration leads invariably to an increase in aggressive drive (the motivation to harm) and that all aggressive (i.e., intentionally harmful) behavior can be traced to frustration. It defined frustration in terms of interference with goal-directed action, that is, goal pursuit. In theory, the strength of the aggressive drive generated should depend on the degree of pursuit interference, the number of pursuits blocked, and the importance of the pursuit or pursuits blocked. The hypothesis has been subject to various modifications since it was first proposed in 1939 (Dollard, et al. 2001). More recent introductions can be found in Dill and Anderson 1995 and in Berkowitz 1969. A summary of the empirical research that has examined the Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis can be found in Berkowitz 1989.

                                              Goal-Setting Theory

                                              Goal-setting theory predicts performance as a function of goal characteristics and has become very popular in work and organizational psychology. Specifically, performance should depend on goal difficulty and goal specificity. Performance should rise with goal difficulty as individuals are committed to the goal and possess the ability to attain the goal, if there are no conflicting goals. Furthermore, specific goals should lead to a better performance than unspecific or no goals. These effects of goal characteristics on performance should be mediated by effort, attentional focus, and employment of goal-adequate strategies. Locke and Latham developed their theory inductively by integrating empirical research on the association between goals and performance. In Locke and Latham 1990 and Locke and Latham 2002, they presented these analyses. In two more recent papers, they provided an update of their theory discussing recent empirical findings (Latham and Locke 2007, Locke and Latham 2006).

                                              Goal Systems Theory

                                              Goal systems theory concerns mental representations of motivational networks composed of goals and means. It addresses the architecture of goal systems that give rise to the possibilities of choice and substitution, intrinsic motivation, and unconscious motivation induced by subliminal priming. The theory distinguishes between structural and allocational aspects of goal pursuits and addresses a variety of classical motivational problems from a novel perspective. Moreover, it offers a structural analysis of intrinsic motivation in terms of a fusion between a means and a goal, such that the activity becomes an “end in itself.” This structural view of intrinsic motivation is “content-free”; that is, it is assumed to apply to all motivational contents. In this sense it contrasts with the Deci and Ryan depiction of intrinsic motivation that views it as tied to specific motives of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Introductions to the theory can be found in Kruglanski, et al. 2002 as well as in Shah and Kruglanski 2000a and Shah and Kruglanski 2000b. Examples for the empirical research drawing on goal systems theory can be found in Kopetz, et al. 2011 and Zhang, et al. 2007.

                                              • Kopetz, C., T. Faber, A. Fishbach, and A. W. Kruglanski. 2011. The multifinality constraints effect: How goal multiplicity narrows the means set to a focal end. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 100:810–826.

                                                DOI: 10.1037/a0022980Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                This article presents a research program that examines the constraints exercised by multiple goals on the consideration set of means and the effects of goal commitment on broadening that set.

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                                                • Kruglanski, A. W., J. Y. Shah, A. Fishbach, R. Friedman, W. Y. Chun, and D. Sleeth-Keppler. 2002. A theory of goal-systems. In Advances in experimental social psychology. Vol. 34. Edited by M. P. Zanna, 331–378. New York: Academic Press.

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                                                  Presents a general theory of goal pursuit based on a cognitive representation of goals and means. The theory distinguishes between structural and allocational aspects of goal pursuits and addresses a variety of classical motivational problems from a novel perspective, including problems of choice and preference, substitution, multifinality, and intrinsic motivation.

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                                                  • Shah, J. Y., and A. W. Kruglanski. 2000a. Aspects of goal-networks: Implications for self-regulation. In Handbook of self-regulation. Edited by M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, and M. Zeidner, 86–108. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

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                                                    This early publication sketches out goal systems theory. It is a precursor of the Kruglanski, et al. 2002 chapter and hence is largely redundant with and less developed than that chapter.

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                                                    • Shah, J. Y., and A. W. Kruglanski. 2000b. The structure and substance of intrinsic motivation. In Intrinsic motivation: Controversies and new directions. Edited by C. Sansone and J. M. Harackiewicz, 105–127. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

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                                                      Offers a structural analysis of intrinsic motivation in terms of a fusion between a means and a goal, such that the activity becomes an “end in itself.” This structural view of intrinsic motivation is “content free”; that is, it is assumed to apply to all motivational contents.

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                                                      • Zhang, Y., A. Fishbach, and A. W. Kruglanski. 2007. The dilution model: How additional goals undermine the perceived instrumentality of a shared path. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 92:389–401.

                                                        DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.92.3.389Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        This set of studies examines the dilution of association between means and goals as a consequence of multifinal means associations. The authors find that a weakening of association occurs as a function of number of goals attached to a means.

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                                                        Hull’s Drive Reduction Theory

                                                        Hull’s theory is an example of the class of drive reduction theories that share the idea that individuals execute actions to reduce drive level. According to Hull’s original idea, behavior is the product of drive and habit. Drive refers to an unpleasant state of tension that arises as a function of a biological need. Examples of drives are thirst and the need for warmth. The unpleasant, arousing drive state urges the individual to take actions that fulfill the underlying need. The successful reduction of a drive reinforces the behavior that has led to drive reduction (that is, the likelihood that the behavior is executed again to reduce the drive is increased). For all his theoretical ideas regarding the determinants of behavior, Hull provided mathematical formulas. For example, in an elaboration of his basic idea he predicted that the likelihood that an organism will respond to a certain stimulus is a joint function of habit strength, drive strength, incentive motivation, the delay between action and reinforcement, reactive inhibition, conditioned inhibition, reaction threshold, and random error. The theory was very popular in the middle of the 20th century, but there is not much active research on the theory these days. In addition to the comprehensive works Hull, et al. 1940 and Hull 1943, a good introduction to Hull’s theory can be found in Beckmann and Heckhausen 2008. Perin 1942 and Williams 1938 provide examples of the empirical work that Hull has drawn on. Critical acclaims of Hull’s work can be found in Mills 1978 and Schultz and Schultz 2012.

                                                        • Beckmann, J., and H. Heckhausen. 2008. Situational determinants of behavior. In Motivation and action. Edited by J. Heckhausen and H. Heckhausen, 69–98. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                          DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511499821Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          A short introduction to the important elements of Hull’s drive theory. Good introductory text for undergraduate students.

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                                                          • Hull, C. L. 1943. Principles of behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

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                                                            Classical work of Hull on the concept of drive and its relation to behavior. Essential reading for the understanding of Hull’s work.

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                                                            • Hull, C. L., C. l. Hovland, R. T. Ross, M. Hall, D. T. Perkins, and F. B. Fitch. 1940. Mathematico-deductive theory of rote learning: A study in scientific methodology. New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. Press.

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                                                              Comprehensive work on the determinants of behavior with a strong focus on mathematical formulas. Difficult to read.

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                                                              • Mills, J. 1978. Hull’s theory of learning: II. A criticism of the theory and its relationship to the history of psychological thought. Canadian Psychological Review 19:116–127.

                                                                DOI: 10.1037/h0081468Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                This paper provides a good overview of Hull’s theoretical model, criticizes the model, and discusses its importance for current psychological theorizing.

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                                                                • Perin, C. I. 1942. Behavioral potentiality as a joint function of the amount of training and the degree of hunger at the time of extinction. Journal of Experimental Psychology 30:93–113.

                                                                  DOI: 10.1037/h0058987Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Classical paper that supports Hull’s prediction that habit and drive determine behavior.

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                                                                  • Schultz, D. P., and S. E. Schultz. 2012. A history of modern psychology. 10th ed. Mason, OH: Cengage.

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                                                                    This book includes a comprehensive presentation of Hull’s theory with a special focus on its impact on modern psychology.

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                                                                    • Williams, S. B. 1938. Resistance to extinction as a function of the number of reinforcements. Journal of Experimental Psychology 23:506–521.

                                                                      DOI: 10.1037/h0053675Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      Empirical paper demonstrating the link between habit and behavior.

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                                                                      Instinct Theories

                                                                      According to instinct theories, human behaviors are instincts, innate biological programs that help the individual to survive. Instinct theories were popular at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. Important theorists were William James, William McDougal, and Sigmund Freud. James 2007 (first published in 1890) postulated a list of instincts (e.g., play, shame, love) that were said to underlie all complex behavior. The instincts were said to be automatically elicited by sensory stimuli without knowledge of the goal toward the behavior leads. McDougal 2011 (first published in 1908) conceptualized instincts as behavior patterns that are unlearned, uniform in expression, and universal in a given species. Like James, McDougal postulated a list of human instincts (e.g., submission, jealousy, and mating). Extending James’s perspective, he postulated that instincts comprise a cognitive component (knowing that an objective can satisfy the instinct), an affective component (feeling that the instinct object arouses), and a conative component (striving toward or away from the object). Freud 1949 explained human behavior by two instincts: the life instinct (Eros) and the death instinct (Thanatos). The life instinct was said to underlie sexual behavior, the death instinct aggressive behavior. Instinct theories were seriously criticized. The main critique was that postulating instincts does not explain behavior but only labels it. Exemplary critiques can be found in Dunlap 1919, Harlow 1969, and Kuo 1921.

                                                                      Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

                                                                      According to Abraham H. Maslow, human behavior is driven by underlying needs. The needs are structured hierarchically, and higher-order needs only govern behavior if lower-order needs are (mostly) fulfilled. Maslow 1943 postulated the following five levels of needs: (1) physiological needs (e.g., hunger), (2) safety needs (e.g., the need for security), (3) love needs (e.g., the need to belong to others), (4) esteem needs (e.g., the need for personal worth), (5) need for self-actualization. The four lower-order needs arise as a function of deprivation, whereas the self-actualization needs do not arise from deprivation but from a desire for personal growth. Critics of Maslow’s theory have pointed out that the central concepts are not well defined (e.g., Daniels 1982) and that the empirical evidence does not support the theory (e.g., Soper, et al. 1995; Wahba and Bridgewell 1976). Despite this lack of empirical evidence, the theory is popular in applied settings for its descriptive value and plausibility.

                                                                      Mcclelland’s Theory of Human Motives

                                                                      According to McClelland, human motivation is characterized by three basic needs that select, direct, and energize behavior: the need for achievement, the need for power, and the need for affiliation. The need for achievement refers to the desire to do something better or more efficiently than it has been done before. The need for power refers to an individual’s desire to control and influence others. The need for affiliation refers to the desire for affection and close relationship. Even if all individuals “possess” all of the three motives, the relative importance of the motives varies between individuals. McClelland, et al. 1989 further differentiate between implicit and explicit motives. Implicit motives represent stable, unconscious needs representing affective preferences, whereas explicit motives are conscious and represent the motives and values that individuals ascribe to themselves. An individual’s motive strength may not only differ between implicit and explicit motives; research also suggests that incongruence between explicit and implicit motives decreases well-being (see Job, et al. 2010 and Langens 2007). To assess individual differences in motive dispositions, various measures have been developed. Questionnaire measures assess self-reported, explicit motives (for an example see McClelland 1991), while projective tests assess unconscious, implicit motives (for an overview see Schultheiss and Pang 2007). An overview of recent research on implicit motives can be found in Kehr, et al. 2011. An excellent conceptual overview is provided by Schultheiss and Brunstein 2010 as well as by McClelland 2009.

                                                                      • Job, V., D. Oertig, V. Brandstätter, and M. Allemand. 2010. Discrepancies between implicit and explicit motivation and unhealthy eating behavior. Journal of Personality 78:1209–1238.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00648.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Empirical paper presenting two studies that demonstrate the association between implicit and explicit motives and unhealthy eating behavior.

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                                                                        • Kehr, H. M., T. M. Thrash, and R. A. Wright, eds. 2011. Special issue: New directions in implicit motive research. Motivation and Emotion 35.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1007/s11031-011-9240-ySave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          Special issue on implicit motives. Provides a good overview of current research on implicit motives.

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                                                                          • Langens, T. A. 2007. Congruence between implicit and explicit motives and emotional well-being: The moderating role of activity inhibition. Motivation and Emotion 31:49–59.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1007/s11031-006-9038-5Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            This empirical paper demonstrates the positive impact of the congruency between explicit and implicit motives on well-being.

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                                                                            • McClelland, D. C. 1991. The personal values questionnaire. Boston: McBer.

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                                                                              Questionnaire that assesses self-reported need for achievement, need for power, and need for affiliation.

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                                                                              • McClelland, D. C. 2009. Human motivation. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                This textbook of McClelland includes a compacted but nevertheless comprehensive presentation of his theory of human needs. It also includes a discussion of the difference between explicit (conscious) and implicit (unconscious) motives.

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                                                                                • McClelland, D. C., R. Koestner, and J. Weinberger. 1989. How do self-attributed and implicit motives differ? Psychological Review 96:690–702.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.96.4.690Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  This paper provides a literature review as well as a theoretical discussion of the differences between explicit (self-attributed) and implicit motives. Essential reading that underlies much of the current empirical work on the effects of incongruence between implicit and explicit motives.

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                                                                                  • Schultheiss, O. C., and J. C. Brunstein. 2010. Implicit motives. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195335156.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    This edited textbook gives an extensive overview of the three important implicit motives, their measurement, basic concepts and processes, and applied aspects.

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                                                                                    • Schultheiss, O. C., and J. Pang. 2007. Measuring implicit motives. In Handbook of research methods in personality psychology. Edited by R. W. Robins, R. C. Fraley, and R. Krueger, 322–344. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                                      Overview of measures of implicit motives. Provides a good guideline for researchers who plan to conduct their own study using implicit motive measures.

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                                                                                      Motivational Intensity Theory

                                                                                      Motivational intensity theory aims to predict effort mobilization and subjective goal value in instrumental tasks. According to the theory, effort mobilization is a function of task difficulty as long as task success is possible, the necessary effort is justified by the importance of success, and goal value is a direct function of effort (Brehm, et al. 1983). Drawing on this basic prediction, recent extensions, which have focused on the effort mobilization predictions of the theory, have incorporated the impact of mood states (Gendolla 2000), ability (e.g., Annis, et al. 2001), and fatigue (e.g., Wright and Stewart 2012). Most of the empirical research supporting motivational intensity theory’s predictions drew on an integrative model of Wright 1996 and employed cardiovascular measures to assess effort mobilization. Discussion of theoretical aspects can be found in Brehm and Self 1989 as well as in two of Wright’s theoretical articles (Wright 1996 and Wright 2008). Recent overviews of the empirical work supporting motivational intensity theory can be found in Wright and Kirby 2001 and Gendolla, et al. 2012.

                                                                                      • Annis, S., R. A. Wright, and B. J. Williams. 2001. Interactional influence of ability perception and task demand on cardiovascular response: Appetitive effects at three levels of challenge. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research 6:82–107.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-9861.2001.tb00108.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Empirical paper that demonstrates the impact of task difficulty and ability on effort mobilization.

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                                                                                        • Brehm, J. W., and E. A. Self. 1989. The intensity of motivation. Annual Review of Psychology 40:109–131.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.1146/annurev.ps.40.020189.000545Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Original presentation of motivational intensity theory. Essential reading.

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                                                                                          • Brehm, J. W., R. A. Wright, S. Solomon, L. Silka, and J. Greenberg. 1983. Perceived difficulty, energization, and the magnitude of goal valence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 19:21–48.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1016/0022-10318390003-3Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            First empirical tests of the theory. Essential reading.

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                                                                                            • Gendolla, G. H. E. 2000. On the impact of mood on behavior: An integrative theory and a review. Review of General Psychology 4:378–408.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1037//1089-2680.4.4.378Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              This paper draws on the predictions of motivational intensity theory to predict mood effects on effort mobilization.

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                                                                                              • Gendolla, G. H. E., R. A. Wright, and M. Richter. 2012. Effort intensity: Some insights from the cardiovascular system. In The Oxford handbook of human motivation. Edited by R. Ryan, 420–438. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                Qualitative review of the empirical research supporting motivational intensity theory. The paper also includes an introduction to the theory.

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                                                                                                • Wright, R. A. 1996. Brehm’s theory of motivation as a model of effort and cardiovascular response. In The psychology of action: Linking cognition and motivation to behavior. Edited by P. Gollwitzer and J. Bargh, 424–453. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                                                  By integrating motivational intensity theory and the active coping approach of Paul Obrist, the author formulates a model that predicts effort-related cardiovascular responses. Most of the research on motivational intensity theory has drawn on the link between effort and sympathetic impact on the heart presented in this paper. Essential reading.

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                                                                                                  • Wright, R. A. 2008. Refining the prediction of effort: Brehm’s distinction between potential motivation and motivation intensity. Social and Personality Psychology Compass 2:682–701.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-90004.2008.00093.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    This short article elaborates on actual motivation (effort) and potential motivation (success importance), two of motivational intensity theory’s central concepts.

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                                                                                                    • Wright, R. A., and L. D. Kirby. 2001. Effort determination of cardiovascular response: An integrative analysis with applications in social psychology. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 33:255–307.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/S0065-26010180007-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Qualitative review of the empirical research supporting motivational intensity theory.

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                                                                                                      • Wright, R. A., and C. C. Stewart. 2012. Multifaceted effects of fatigue on effort and associated cardiovascular responses. In How motivation affects cardiovascular response: Mechanisms and applications. Edited by R. A. Wright and G. H. E. Gendolla, 199–218. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1037/13090-010Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        Qualitative review of studies on fatigue effects on effort mobilization. Extension of motivational intensity theory.

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                                                                                                        Objective Self-Awareness Theory

                                                                                                        Objective self-awareness theory contends that self-focus promotes self-evaluation in terms of salient standards and values. Where people are able and willing to align themselves with the standards and values, self-focus improves the chance of alignment. Where they are unable or unwilling to align themselves, it does not. Self-focus is believed to be induced by situational features that draw attention to the self, such as mirrors and audiences. Duval and Wicklund 1972 constitutes the original statement of the theory. Recent overviews of the development of the theory as well as the empirical evidence have been provided by Duval and Silvia 2001 and Silvia and Duval 2001. An extension of the theory to the study of cardiovascular responses has been provided by Gendolla, et al. 2008.

                                                                                                        Reactance Theory

                                                                                                        According to reactance theory (Brehm 1980, Brehm and Brehm 1981), a real or perceived reduction in personal freedom results in an aversive affective state called (psychological) reactance. Reactance elicits a motivation to restore the lost or threatened freedom. The strength of reactance depends on the importance of the lost or threatened freedom as well as on the level of constraint. The higher the importance of the lost freedom and the more extensive the constraint, the higher the level of reactance. As reactance increases, the motivation to restore the freedom increases. The specific behavior that is executed to restore freedom may vary. For instance, individuals may engage in the behavior that was restricted (see Brehm 1980), may engage in a behavior that is similar to the behavior that has been restricted (e.g., smoking after the interdiction of drugs; see Quick and Stephenson 2008 for an empirical demonstration), or they may change their attitude toward the restricted behavior (see Wright 1986 for an empirical example). Reactance may also lead to negative attitudes toward the behavior that has been imposed (see Rains and Turner 2007 for an empirical example) and toward the source of restrictions (see Miller, et al. 2007 for an example). Research also addressed the mechanisms underlying reactance effects (for a good introduction see Silvia 2006).

                                                                                                        • Brehm, J. W. 1980. A theory of psychological reactance. New York: Academic Press.

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                                                                                                          Brehm’s book extensively introduces reactance theory and constitutes an essential reading for researchers working with reactance theory.

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                                                                                                          • Brehm, J. W., and S. S. Brehm. 1981. Psychological reactance: A theory of freedom and control. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

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                                                                                                            Comprehensive presentation of reactance theory with a discussion of unresolved issues.

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                                                                                                            • Miller, C. H., L. T. Lane, L. M. Deatrick, A. M. Young, and K. A. Potts. 2007. Psychological reactance and promotional health messages: The effects of controlling language, lexical concreteness, and the restoration of freedom. Human Communication Research 33:219–240.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2007.00297.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Empirical paper on the negative effects of reactance in the frame of promotional health messages.

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                                                                                                              • Quick, B. L., and M. T. Stephenson. 2008. Examining the role of trait reactance and sensation seeking on perceived threat, state reactance, and reactance restoration. Human Communication Research 34:448–476.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2008.00328.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                Empirical paper showing that psychological reactance leads to engagement in behavior that is similar to the restricted behavior.

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                                                                                                                • Rains, S. A., and M. Turner. 2007. Psychological reactance and persuasive health communication: A test and extension of the intertwined model. Human Communication Research 33:241–269.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2007.00298.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  This paper reports studies on affective and cognitive processes underlying psychological reactance demonstrating some of the negative side effects of reactance.

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                                                                                                                  • Silvia, P. J. 2006. Reactance and the dynamics of disagreement: Multiple paths from threatened freedom to resistance to persuasion. European Journal of Social Psychology 36:673–685.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.309Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    This paper examines the link between the reactance state and cognitive and behavioral outcomes.

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                                                                                                                    • Wright, R. A. 1986. Attitude change as a function of threat to attitudinal freedom and extent of agreement with a communicator. European Journal of Social Psychology 16:43–50.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.2420160109Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      Empirical paper demonstrating the impact of reactance on attitude change.

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                                                                                                                      Regulatory Focus Theory

                                                                                                                      According to regulatory focus theory (see Higgins 1997 and Higgins 1998), two basic needs determine the strategies that individuals adopt when pursuing goals: the need for growth and self-fulfillment and the need for security. Activation of the need for growth and self-fulfillment leads to a focus on aspirations and on strategic means of goal pursuit that ensure the match to the desired end state (promotion focus). Activation of the need for security results in a focus on duties and obligations and on strategic means of goal pursuit that avoid mismatches to the desired end state (prevention focus). The needs and regulatory focuses can be activated by situational factors or may be emphasized chronically as personality traits. Both regulatory focuses have an impact on behavior, affect, emotions, and cognitions. For instance, goals are represented as aspirations and accomplishments in a promotion focus but are represented as responsibilities and safety in a prevention focus. Individuals with a promotion focus show approach strategies, whereas individuals with a prevention focus prefer avoidance strategies (Higgins, et al. 1994). Under promotion focus, success leads to joy and failure leads to sadness; under prevention focus, success leads to calm and failure to fear (Higgins, et al. 1997). Promotion focus leads to an explorative, global cognitive processing style, whereas prevention focus results in a local and careful processing (Förster and Higgins 2005). A good source for information about current and past research on regulatory focus theory is the website of HigginsLab.

                                                                                                                      Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory

                                                                                                                      Reinforcement sensitivity theory (Gray 1982 and Gray 1987) postulates three brain systems that control human behavior in response to reward and punishment. According to the theory, the behavioral approach system (BAS) is located in the basal ganglia and activated by signals of reward and nonpunishment. BAS activation leads in general to the activation of behavior (approach behavior and active avoidance) and is associated with the experience of positive affect. The behavioral inhibition system (BIS) is located in the septohippocampal system. It is activated by signals of punishment and nonreward, and its activation inhibits ongoing behavior. Activation of the BIS is associated with the experience of anxiety. The fight-flight system (FFS) plays a minor role in the original formulation of the theory, and its predictions are less developed. The FFS should react to primary (nonconditioned) signals of punishment and non-reward. A revised version of the theory has been presented by Gray and McNaughton 2000, Corr 2004, and McNaughton and Corr 2004. The revised version mainly kept the labels of the three systems, but the predictions regarding the functioning of the three systems largely changed. The BAS and the BIS may be activated by situational stimuli (reward and punishment), but individuals also differ in chronic BAS and BIS activity. Carver and White 1994 propose a measure of chronic BAS and BIS activity that draws on the original theory; Jackson 2009 introduces a measure that draws on the revised version of the theory. Good critical reviews of the (original) theory have been provided by Matthews and Gilliland 1999 and Pickering, et al. 1997.

                                                                                                                      • Carver, C. S., and T. L. White. 1994. Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: The BIS/BAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 67:319–333.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.67.2.319Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Presentation and validation of the frequently employed questionnaire that assesses dispositional BAS and BIS activity.

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                                                                                                                        • Corr, P. J. 2004. Reinforcement sensitivity theory and personality. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 28:317–332.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2004.01.005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Relatively short and concise presentation of the revised version of reinforcement sensitivity theory.

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                                                                                                                          • Gray, J. A. 1982. The neuropsychology of anxiety: An inquiry into the functions of the septo-hippocampal system. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                            Introduction of reinforcement sensitivity theory. Essential reading.

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                                                                                                                            • Gray, J. A. 1987. The psychology of fear and stress. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                              Extensive presentation of reinforcement sensitivity theory.

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                                                                                                                              • Gray, J. A., and N. McNaughton. 2000. The neuropsychology of anxiety: An inquiry into the functions of the septo-hippocampal system. 2d ed. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                Extensive presentation of the revised version of reinforcement sensitivity theory.

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                                                                                                                                • Jackson, C. J. 2009. Jackson-5 scales of revised Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory (r-RST) and their application to dysfunctional real world outcomes. Journal of Research in Personality 43:556–569.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2009.02.007Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  This paper introduces a questionnaire measure of dispositional BAS, BIS, and FFFS activity drawing on the revised reinforcement sensitivity theory.

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                                                                                                                                  • Matthews, G., and K. Gilliland. 1999. The personality theories of H. J. Eysenck and J. A. Gray: A comparative review. Personality and Individual Differences 26:583–626.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1016/S0191-88699900166-XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Good review of the empirical research on reinforcement sensitivity theory.

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                                                                                                                                    • McNaughton, N., and P. J. Corr. 2004. A two-dimensional neuropsychology of defense: Fear/anxiety and defensive distance. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews 28:285–305.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2004.03.005Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Extensive discussion of the revised version of reinforcement sensitivity theory.

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                                                                                                                                      • Pickering, A. D., P. J. Corr, J. H. Powell, V. Kuari, J. C. Thornton, and J. A. Gray. 1997. Individual differences in reactions to reinforcing stimuli are neither black nor white: To what extent are they gray? In The scientific study of human nature: A tribute to H. J. Eysenck at eighty. Edited by N. Nyborg, 36–67. Oxford: Pergamon.

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                                                                                                                                        This paper extensively reviews and discusses the research on reinforcement sensitivity theory.

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                                                                                                                                        Risk-Taking Model

                                                                                                                                        John W. Atkinson proposed the risk-taking model, a theory that predicts task choice and performance in achievement situations. According to the theory, the choice is a function of two opposing forces: the tendency to avoid failure (i.e., to minimize negative affect) and the tendency to achieve success (i.e., to maximize positive affect). Each of these tendencies is determined by the situational factors expectancy and value as well as by the personality factor motive. Expectancy and value are negatively related, and all variables determine multiplicatively the resulting motivational force. As a result, a person whose personality is characterized by hope for success rather than fear of failure should choose tasks of intermediate difficulty, whereas a person with high fear of failure should avoid this difficulty level. Good, brief introductions to the theory can be found in Atkinson 1957 and in Brunstein and Heckhausen 2008. A more comprehensive introduction is provided in Atkinson and Feather 1966. Beckmann and Heckhausen 2008 provide an overview of empirical findings on the theory. Atkinson, et al. 1960 and Weinstein 1969 provide examples of empirical research on Atkinson’s theory.

                                                                                                                                        Rubicon Model of Action Phases

                                                                                                                                        According to the Rubicon model of action phases, goal pursuit consists of four consecutive tasks: (1) choosing between potential goals (predecisional phase), (2) planning the implementation of a chosen goal (postdecisional phase), (3) acting on the chosen goal (actional phase), (4) assessing what has been achieved and what still needs to be done to achieve the goal (postactional phase). Each action phase is associated with a different mode of thought (mind-set): The predecisional phase is associated with the deliberative mind-set, the postdecisional phase with the implemental mind-set, the action phase with the actional mind-set, and the postactional phase with the evaluative mind-set. Comprehensive reviews of the theory can be found in Achtziger and Gollwitzer 2007, Achtziger and Gollwitzer 2008, and Gollwitzer 1990. Empirical research on the model has mainly examined the link between the different action phases and psychological processes and behavior (for representative examples see the classical work of Heckhausen and Gollwitzer 1986 and Heckhausen and Gollwitzer 1987, as well as the more recent Puca 2001 and Brandstätter and Frank 2002). More recently, research has focused on the impact of how people define the implementation of goals (see Gollwitzer and Sheeran 2006 for an overview). Accordingly, general intentions lead to less successful goal attainment than implementation intentions that define the how, when, and where of goal pursuit. A good source of information about past and recent research on the Rubicon model of action phases and implementation goals is Social Psychology & Motivation, the web page of Peter M. Gollwitzer’s lab at the University of Konstanz.

                                                                                                                                        • Achtziger, A., and P. M. Gollwitzer. 2007. Rubicon model of action phases. In Encyclopedia of social psychology. Vol. 2. Edited by R. F. Baumeister and K. D. Vohs, 769–771. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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                                                                                                                                          Brief introduction to the theory explaining the four action phases and the associated mind-sets. Good introductory text for undergraduate students.

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                                                                                                                                          • Achtziger, A., and P. M. Gollwitzer. 2008. Motivation and volition in the course of action. In Motivation and action. Edited by J. Heckhausen and H. Heckhausen, 275–299. London: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511499821Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Extensive presentation of the theory. Includes many references to classic and recent empirical research related to the theory. Review questions guide the learner.

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                                                                                                                                            • Brandstätter, V., and E. Frank. 2002. Effects of deliberative and implemental mindsets on persistence in goal-directed behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 28:1366–1378.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/014616702236868Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Empirical paper on the link between mind-sets and task persistence.

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                                                                                                                                              • Gollwitzer, P. M. 1990. Action phases and mind-sets. In The handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behavior. Vol. 2. Edited by E. T. Higgins and R. M. Sorrentino, 53–92. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                                                                                                This chapter provides a comprehensive overview of the Rubicon model of action phases by presenting the model in detail and discussing related models and ideas.

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                                                                                                                                                • Gollwitzer, P. M., and P. Sheeran. 2006. Implementation intentions and goal achievement: A meta-analysis of effects and processes. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology 38:69–119.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1016/S0065-26010638002-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Quantitative overview of studies contrasting effects of general versus implementation intention.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Heckhausen, H., and P. M. Gollwitzer. 1986. Information processing before and after the formation of an intent. In Human memory and cognitive capabilities: Mechanisms and performances: Symposium in memoriam Hermann Ebbinghaus 1885, Berlin Humboldt University 1985. Edited by F. Klix and H. Hagendorf, 1071–1082. Amsterdam: Elsevier/North Holland.

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                                                                                                                                                    Empirical paper examining differences in cognitive processing between the postdecisional action phase and the actional action phase.

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                                                                                                                                                    • Heckhausen, H., and P. M. Gollwitzer. 1987. Thought contents and cognitive functioning in motivational versus volitional states of mind. Motivation and Emotion 11:101–120.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1007/BF00992338Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      First published paper that explicitly addressed the association between the four action phases and cognitive functioning.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Puca, R. M. 2001. Preferred difficulty and subjective probability in different action phase. Motivation and Emotion 25:307–326.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1023/A:1014815716476Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        This paper presents two studies that demonstrate that a deliberative mind-set leads to higher realism than an implemental mind-set.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Social Psychology & Motivation.

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                                                                                                                                                          Web page of Peter M. Gollwitzer’s lab at the University of Konstanz. A good reference for recent work on the model.

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                                                                                                                                                          Self-Determination Theory

                                                                                                                                                          Self-determination is a broad framework that specifies intrinsic and extrinsic sources of motivation and their effects on behavior, well-being, and development. Self-determination theory also postulates that human behavior is driven by three innate psychological needs: the need for relatedness (i.e., the need to interact with others and to care for them), the need for competence (i.e., the urge to feel effective in dealing with one’s environment), and the need for autonomy (the need to act in accordance with one’s interests and values). The specific predictions of self-determination theory are formulated in five subtheories that all draw on the three basic needs. (1) Cognitive evaluation theory is concerned with the factors that affect intrinsic motivation. (2) Organismic integration theory deals with the properties, determinants, and consequences of extrinsic motivation. (3) Causality orientations theory describes three different motivational styles (autonomy orientation, control orientation, and impersonal orientation). (4) Basic psychological need theory elaborates on the three basic needs and their effects on well-being and health. (5) Goal contents theory specifies the relationship between goal content and well-being. A good overview of the considerable research on self-determination theory and its applications can be found on the website Self-Determination Theory. A short introduction to the theory can be found in Deci and Ryan 2008 or Ryan and Deci 2000. The books Deci and Ryan 1985 and Deci and Ryan 2002 as well as the paper Deci and Ryan 2000 provide very comprehensive overviews over the theory and research on the theory. A discussion of self-determination theory from different perspectives can be found in issue 4 of Psychological Inquiry 2000.

                                                                                                                                                          • Deci, E. L., and R. M. Ryan. 1985. Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.

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                                                                                                                                                            First presentation of the theory. This book is fundamental to self-determination theory. Comprehensive presentation of all aspects of the theory, but readers unfamiliar with the theory should start with a less comprehensive text.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Deci, E. L., and R. M. Ryan. 2000. The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry 11:227–268.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Very comprehensive presentation of the theory, with an extensive discussion of the conception of needs in self-determination theory, elaborations on the relationship between the needs and the self, and discussion of the link between self-determination theory and other theoretical approaches.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Deci, E. L., and R. M. Ryan. 2002. Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester, NY: Univ. of Rochester Press.

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                                                                                                                                                                The book provides a good theoretical overview of the theory as well as an overview of associated research.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Deci, E. L., and R. M. Ryan. 2008. Facilitating optimal motivation and psychological well-being across life’s domains. Canadian Psychology 49:14–23.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1037/0708-5591.49.1.14Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  The paper provides a good, very readable introduction to the theory. It covers the important aspects of the theory and presents many references that allow the reader to get more into the details.

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                                                                                                                                                                  • Psychological Inquiry. 2000.

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                                                                                                                                                                    The issue presents a target article by Deci and Ryan on self-determination as well as the comments of eleven researchers on this article and a reply by Deci and Ryan.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Ryan, R. M., and E. L. Deci. 2000. Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist 55:68–78.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1037//0003-066X.55.1.68Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Short and understandable introduction to self-determination theory. Good introductory text for undergraduates.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Self-Determination Theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                        The web page of self-determination theory provides a great deal of information, including an overview of the theory, contact information for researchers, a publication list with free access to some of the articles, and information about the conference on self-determination theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                        Terror Management Theory

                                                                                                                                                                        Terror Management Theory (TMT) is concerned with how people are affected psychologically and behaviorally by the awareness of their own mortality. It asserts that reminders of death inspire mortal fear that leads people to embrace more intensively their cultural world views. Presumably, embracing these views bolsters self-esteem and diminishes mortal fear, allowing an illusion of literal or symbolic immortality. Theoretical introductions can be found in Pyszczynski, et al. 2004 and Pyszczynski, et al. 1999. Becker 2011 (first published in 1973) inspired the authors to develop terror management theory. Burke, et al. 2010 provide a meta-analytic review of the empirical evidence supporting the theory. Goldenberg and Arndt 2008 adapted terror management theory to health psychology.

                                                                                                                                                                        Theory of Planned Behavior

                                                                                                                                                                        The theory of planned behavior explains behavior as a function of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control. The attitude toward a certain behavior, the perceived social pressure to engage in that behavior, and the perceived difficulty of performing the behavior determine the strength of an individual’s intention to initiate the behavior. The final decision to engage in the behavior depends on the strength of the intention and on the control over circumstances that interfere with engaging in the behavior. Ajzen 1985 and Ajzen 1991 provide good and comprehensive introductions to his theory of planned behavior. Most of the empirical research on the theory has relied on correlational designs (for an example see Mayhew, et al. 2009). Research employing experimental designs that enable the test of causal hypotheses is rare (for an example of such research, see Sniehotta 2009). There are many articles that have reviewed the empirical evidence supporting the theory. Good reviews have been provided by Armitage and Conner 2001 and Hagger, et al. 2002. A statistical guideline for researchers working with the theory is found in Hankins, et al. 2000. A good source of information about the theory of planned behavior is the web page of Icek Ajzen. In addition to general information, the page provides an up-to-date list of papers on the theory of planned behavior.

                                                                                                                                                                        • Ajzen, I. 1985. From intentions to actions: A theory of planned behavior. In Action-control: From cognition to behavior. Edited by J. Kuhl and J. Beckmann, 11–39. Heidelberg, West Germany: Springer.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Comprehensive introduction to the theory of planned behavior. Essential reading.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Ajzen, I. 1991. The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50:179–211.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1016/0749-59789190020-TSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Comprehensive presentation of the theory of planned behavior. Essential reading.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Armitage, C. J., and M. Conner. 2001. Efficacy of the theory of planned behavior: A meta-analytic review. British Journal of Social Psychology 40:471–499.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1348/014466601164939Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Review of the empirical evidence supporting the theory of planned behavior.

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                                                                                                                                                                              • Hagger, M. S., N. L. D. Chatzisarantis, and S. J. H. Biddle. 2002. A meta-analytic review of the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior in physical activity: Predictive validity and the contribution of additional variables. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology 24:3–32.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Quantitative review of the empirical research on the theory of planned behavior.

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                                                                                                                                                                                • Hankins, M., D. French, and R. Horne. 2000. Statistical guidelines for studies of the theory of reasoned action and the theory of planned behavior. Psychology and Health 15:151–161.

                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/08870440008400297Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                  This paper provides statistical guidelines for how to test the theory’s predictions using multiple regression and structural equation modeling. Useful for researchers who plan to conduct their own study.

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                                                                                                                                                                                  • Icek Ajzen.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    Web page of Icek Ajzen at the University of Massachusetts; provides an overview of the theory of planned behavior as well as an extensive list of theory-related publication.

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                                                                                                                                                                                    • Mayhew, M. J., S. M. Hubbard, C. J. Finelli, T. S. Harding, and D. D. Carpenter. 2009. Using structural equation modeling to validate the theory of planned behavior as a model for predicting student cheating. Review of Higher Education 32:441–468.

                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1353/rhe.0.0080Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                      One of the many papers that have examined the predictions of the theory of planned behavior using correlational designs.

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                                                                                                                                                                                      • Sniehotta, F. 2009. An experimental test of the theory of planned behavior. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being 1:257–270.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1111/j.1758-0854.2009.01013.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                        This paper presents an experimental test of the impact attitudes, subjective norm, and perceived control on persistence. In contrast to most of the empirical research on the theory, it does not rely on a correlational design.

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                                                                                                                                                                                        Theory of Uncertainty Orientation

                                                                                                                                                                                        This theory concerns affective and informational influences on thought and action. It views two needs—to maintain clarity and to attain clarity—as independent informational tendencies that are influenced by the degree of self-relevance and the amount of perceived situational uncertainty. The needs combine with approach and avoidance tendencies to accentuate or inhibit behaviors expressed in action. An introduction to the theory is provided in Sorrentino, et al. 2003. Sorrentino, et al. 1988 present two studies testing the predictions of the theory.

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Sorrentino, R. M., C. R. Bobocel, M. Z. Gitta, J. M. Olson, and E. C. Hewitt. 1988. Uncertainty orientation and persuasion: Individual differences in the effects of personal relevance on social judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 55:357–371.

                                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.55.3.357Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                          Two studies demonstrated that dual process theories of persuasion worked only for uncertainty-oriented persons, while certainty-oriented persons performed in an opposite direction.

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                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sorrentino, R. M., M. L. Smithson, G. Hodson, C. J. R. Roney, and A. M. Walker. 2003. The theory of uncertainty orientation: A mathematical reformulation. Journal of Mathematical Psychology 47:132–149.

                                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1016/S0022-24960200032-9Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                            The authors lay out their theory, which leads to the prediction that motives of uncertainty-oriented people will be actively engaged in uncertain situations and passively engaged in situations of certainty. Certainty-oriented people, however, will have their motives actively engaged in situations of certainty and passively engaged in uncertain situations.

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                                                                                                                                                                                            Vroom’s Expectancy Theory of Work and Motivation

                                                                                                                                                                                            The theory aims to explain how people choose between goal-directed behaviors as a function of expectancy, instrumentality, and valence. Each goal-directed behavior is associated with a motivational force that urges the individual to execute the behavior. This force is a product of expectancy (i.e., the individual’s perception that effort investment will lead to an outcome), instrumentality (i.e., the perceived utility of the behavioral outcome for the attainment of other outcomes), and valence (i.e., affective orientations toward the outcome). According to the theory, individuals will execute the behavior that is associated with the highest motivational force. The level of motivational force should not only predict the choice of a behavior but also behavior-related aspects like satisfaction, performance, and effort. The theory was introduced by Vroom 1995 (first published in 1964). A good, short introduction to the theory can be found in Isaac, et al. 2001. Reviews of the empirical evidence with critical comments on the theory have been provided by Schwab, et al. 1979; Van Erde and Thierry 1996; and Wanous, et al. 1983.

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Isaac, R. G., W. J. Zerbe, and D. C. Pitt. 2001. Leadership and motivation: The effective application of expectancy theory. Journal of Managerial Issues 13:212–226.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              Even if this article has a special focus on leadership motivation, it provides a good and condensed introduction to the theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                              • Schwab, D. P., J. D. Olian-Gottlieb, and H. G. Heneman. 1979. Between-subjects expectancy theory research: A statistical review of studies predicting effort and performance. Psychological Bulletin 86:139–147.

                                                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1037//0033-2909.86.1.139Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                The paper reviews empirical studies that tested the theory’s predictions regarding effort and performance.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                • Van Erde, W., and H. Thierry. 1996. Vroom’s expectancy models and work-related criteria: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology 81:575–586.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1037//0021-9010.81.5.575Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This paper reviews the empirical research on Vroom’s theory, with a critical look on the correlational nature of most studies supporting it. The paper provides a rich source for empirical and theoretical papers on the theory.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Vroom, V. H. 1995. Work and motivation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    In this book Vroom introduced his expectancy theory of work and motivation.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Wanous, J. P., T. L. Keon, and J. C. Latack. 1983. Expectancy theory and occupational/organizational choices: A review and test. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 32:66–86.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1016/0030-50738390140-XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Meta-analytic review of empirical articles that tested the theoretical predictions for occupational choice.

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