Motivation: Definition and explanation | The Oxford Review

Motivation: Definition and explanation


What is motivation?

Motivation is defined as the “psychological forces that determine the direction of a person’s level of effort and a person’s level of persistence in the face of obstacles”

Motivation is in essence what is considered to be what drive behaviour, action and importantly persistence.

See also:

Extrinsic Motivation, and

Intrinsic Motivation


Back to The Oxford Review Encyclopaedia of Terms


Kanfer, R. (1990). Motivational theory and industrial psychology. In M. D. Dunnette & L. M. Hough (2nd ed.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 75-170). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.


Disclaimer: This is a research review, expert interpretation and briefing. As such it contains other studies, expert comment and practitioner advice. It is not a copy of the original study – which is referenced. The original study should be consulted and referenced in all cases. This research briefing is for informational and educational purposes only. We do not accept any liability for the use to which this review and briefing is put or for it or the research accuracy, reliability or validity. This briefing as an original work in its own right and is copyright © Oxford Review Enterprises Ltd 2016-2019. Any use made of this briefing is entirely at your own risk.

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