Motivational Process: What It Is, Stages, And Theories That Explain It

Motivational process

In the field of Psychology, the concept known as “motivation” is understood as the adaptive process that activates a person and directs their behavior towards a goal or objective, and for this they are instigated to maintain the necessary actions to achieve what they want. has previously proposed.

Starting from this idea, in the following lines we will talk about a fundamental phenomenon with which motivation is closely related: the motivational process

What is the motivational process?

We could define the motivational process as a succession of dynamic processes that mobilize people towards an objective, goal or overcoming some adversity whose main function is to increase the chances that they will be able to adapt to the environment and, therefore, survive and also to have a better quality of life.

This process is also related to the personal growth and potential of all human beings, including in the social sphere. For all these reasons, the motivational process is, above all, an adaptive process.

Below we will see the essential stages or phases of the motivational process that occur in a sequential and orderly manner.

Phases of the motivational process

The motivational process, being a dynamic process, is made up of three sequential phases or stages, which we will see below.

1. The anticipation and direction stage

This first phase, that of anticipation and direction, is the one in which The person has a series of expectations regarding an emergency and/or the satisfaction of some reason

2. The stage of active behavior and feedback

In this second phase, on active behavior and feedback on one’s own performance, it is the one in which The person is responsible for carrying out a series of actions that are directed towards an objective that has been previously set so that they allow that person to approach or distance themselves based on the information they have obtained from the results of their own actions.

3. The result stage

This last phase, that of the final result, is the one in which the person experiences the consequences of achieving the objective that he had chosen to achieve in previous stages and towards which he had directed his behavior.

Since there are various theories about the motivational process, we are going to explain them in the following sections, in order to see that, although they have a somewhat different vision, they have all been widely validated within the field of psychology.

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Once we have seen the three proposals about the motivational process, we will be able to have a fairly approximate vision of this process.

Stages of the motivational process

Deckers motivational process theory

One of the most important theories that address this topic is the sequence on the motivational process proposed by Lambert Deckers. This researcher divided this process into 3 phases.

1. Choice of motif

In this first phase The subject chooses the objective or goal that needs to be achieved in order to achieve full satisfaction The objective you choose to achieve will depend on various factors: the attractiveness of the incentives, the intensity of the motive, the estimated effort necessary to achieve it and the possibilities of achieving it that you have.

2. Execution of instrumental behaviors

Once the objective has been chosen, to proceed with this second step of this motivational process, the subject must be sufficiently motivated. Once he has enough motivation will proceed with the performance of instrumental behaviors that will allow the subject to achieve the objective that he had previously chosen

Instrumental behaviors to achieve a chosen objective are fundamental since it is thanks to the act of carrying them out that the subject achieves what he has proposed. Likewise, it is common that there are different instrumental behaviors that will allow the same objective to be achieved, even if it is through a different path and, in these cases, it will be the subject who must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each of the possible paths to choose the one that best suits them. you are interested in following, depending on the frequency, duration and intensity of each one.

These advantages and disadvantages of each type of instrumental behavior must be evaluated by the subject based on three fundamental factors which are described below.

3. Satisfaction of the chosen reason

The final phase of the motivational process consists of the completion of achieving the objective that the subject had chosen in the first phase, that is, the sequence of behaviors carried out by the subject during the motivational process concludes when the intended objective has been achieved

If the objective is achieved, the subject will decide on future occasions whether to follow the same steps again to achieve the same objective or another that is similar; while if you cannot achieve it, on future occasions in which you want to try again you will have to weigh whether to try again following the same path through the execution of similar behaviors or, on the contrary, if you change the objective for another that is more affordable

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Fernández-Abascal’s theory of the motivational process

Enrique García Fernández-Abascal, with the help of his team of researchers, developed an alternative theory on the motivational process, presenting itself in a more schematic and clear way.

According to this author, the motivational process begins with one or more of the motivational determinants that influence the subject so that the required conditions are found so that they can have the intention to begin to execute a certain behavior.

The second phase of this process begins with the activation of a series of behaviors with a certain intensity, while the “intention” must indicate the direction that the subject must follow and towards which said behaviors will be directed. Throughout the motivational process, systematic feedback is produced, so that the behavior acts on the environment, in turn, it objects to information about the progress that is achieved through the execution of said behavior.

The term “intention” in this theory about the motivational process refers to an element that serves to the subject receives feedback about his actions, so that you can self-regulate your behavior based on whether you need more or less intensity in your actions or whether or not you are following the correct direction to achieve your initial goals. Therefore, intention is the most influential motivational factor on the subject’s behavior.

On the other hand, it should be noted that the intention is dependent on two essential factors:

  • Attitude towards the behavior: evaluation of whether the behavior is favorable or detrimental to achieving the objective.
  • Subjective norm: subject’s perception of whether others consider that behavior acceptable or not.

At the same time, There are a series of internal and external determinants that influence people’s behavior such as those listed below.

  • Internal: homeostasis, heredity, cognitive processes and the potential growth of each one.
  • External: hedonism, learning, and social interrelationships, which drive behavior.

All the factors mentioned above influence the choice of a series of behaviors or others to achieve a goal through action through the activation phase

The third and final phase of this model of the motivational process is that of motivational direction, which refers to the subject’s tendency to approach or, on the contrary, avoid a specific objective This is important because activation without a direction towards which to go cannot trigger motivated behavior, and direction may be a crucial variable for a series of motivated behaviors to be carried out.

Palmero’s motivational process theory

The theory about the motivational process proposed by Francesc Palmero seeks to provide a deeper and, at the same time, broader vision of what happens throughout the motivational process. A summarized view of this proposal is explained as follows, with the motivational process being divided, according to Palmero, between the phases listed below.

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The first phase refers to choosing an objective or goal to achieve and making decisions, this phase being covered by a process that begins with the appearance of the stimulus until the motivated behavior is achieved, and it is essential because without the appearance of a stimulus that triggers it, the motivational process would not be possible. . If said stimulus is external, it is called ‘desire’; while if it is internal, it would be called ‘need’.

The second phase is where the center of the result is found or, on the other hand, the control of those behaviors that have been carried out in order to achieve the motivated behavior. This second step, aimed at the perception of the stimulus necessary for the beginning of the motivational process, is also essential since without this perception said process would not begin. For this to occur, appropriate receptors must act in the subject so that he can perceive the stimulus.

The third phase is developed by the evaluation and assessment process of the objectives or goals so that they enable the subject to choose which stimulus will be able to trigger the motivated behavior.

The fourth phase consists of the decision processes and choice of the objective to follow To choose the most appropriate objective to follow, you must assess the desire or need to achieve it, as well as the value that said objective has for the subject and the expectations they have of being able to achieve it.

The fifth and final phase runs through the action of the behavior once it has been motivated To get here, the subject has already had to choose his objective and has chosen what behaviors he must carry out to achieve this among those available to him, depending on his abilities and personal situation. of the. This motivated behavior is what is made up of all the acts carried out throughout the entire motivational process and will be aimed at achieving a specific goal.

In all these steps it is important to point out the concept of “activation” that is activated from the moment the subject detects a need that triggers the subject to propose the goal of covering said need through the actions described in the different phases of the process. motivational. In this process, there has been an activation of the subject’s homeostasis, because his own body always tries to achieve balance by covering some deficiency or balancing its own resources.