What is cognitive motivation? (With pictures) (2023)


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Daniel Liden

Daniel Liden Last Modified Date: February 11, 2023

Motivation can be defined as a state or process in the mind that stimulates, promotes and controls action towards a goal.Knowledgeit is the means by which the mind obtains knowledge and is related to the processes of thought and perception. Inpsychology,cognitive motivationit is atheorywhich seeks to explain human behavior in terms of examining and considering incoming information, as opposed to a built-in set of instructions that govern responses to different situations. It refers to the nature of the logic behind a motivation that leads to action. for example innew studentsSome will use learning as motivation for their first day at work, while others will seek to form new social groups. In other words, a human action results from a thought process, rather than an automatic response based on pre-programmed rules. This means that for most voluntary actions, a person's thought process will always take precedence. For example,secondary studentsThey are capable of making value judgments despite their young age.

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

Cognitive motivation requires thinking.

Psychologists and behavioral scientists generally recognize two forms of motivation, although this is not universally accepted.intrinsic motivationrefers to tasks that are rewarding in themselves, such as the pleasure of solving a puzzle, learning, or playing a game.secondary studentsDon't see lessons as necessarily rewarding, so it's up to the teacher to create an environment in which children are intrinsically motivated to attend and participate. In these cases, the motivating factor is internal.extrinsic motivationit involves engaging in a task because of external factors, such as working for money and food, or taking steps to avoid harm. InSecondary school,extrinsic motivationit could be graduation or being able to find a good school or finding a summer job to buy a new car. As long as the motivation and goals are good, it's always helpful to offer support whenever possible. Motivation theories attempt to explain how behavior driven by these factors occurs.

(Video) Cognitive Theory of Motivation Explained In 60 Seconds

Cognitive motivation can help prevent someone from overeating.

Need-based theories of motivation state that a person chooses the job that best meets his or her needs, which usually involves earning money for food and shelter and to support children. Cognitive motivation theories explain why people sometimes choose jobs they like best even though they pay less and provide less. The same goes for people who don't need it.prestigious scholarshipsfrom a financial standpoint, but you'll still take them for display purposes on your credentials. There is aintrinsic motivationfactor that leads people to do things just for the pleasure it gives them, even if it means sacrificing their needs to some extent.

Motivation theories can be used to help someone recover from alcohol abuse.

Cognitive motivation is based on two main things: available information and past experience. A person will think about a situation based on available sensory information and will also refer back to their past and try to relate previous experiences to the current situation. Motivation theories are used in education, sports, the workplace, and to help people overcome health problems such as poor diet, overeating, and alcohol or drug abuse. Under the broad heading of cognitive motivation, behavioral scientists have developed a number of theories about why people perform the actions they do that are not mutually exclusive.

social cognitive theory

Drive reduction theories are based on the idea that humans have powerful sex drives.

According to this theory, behavior is strongly influenced by observation of others. People learn by considering other people's actions and whether those actions resulted in success or failure, reward or punishment, etc. It is not always necessary to interact with others to be influenced by them; Experiments have shown that television, video, and other media can have a large effect on behavior and motivation. It's more than just copying someone else's behavior: the observer thinks about what he sees and draws conclusions from it. This type of learning is generally faster and can be safer than a trial-and-error approach.

(Video) Extrinsic vs Intrinsic Motivation


This approach is based on intrinsic motivation and states that people are motivated by intrinsic psychological needs, of which three have been identified.Competenceit is the need to achieve a successful outcome of a task through one's own efforts;autonomyit is the need to control, or at least significantly influence, the events of one's life; It isrelationshipIt is the desire to be connected with others through social interaction. Studies have found that introducing extrinsic factors, such as financial rewards, tends to undermine intrinsic motivation. People engaged in a task that satisfies the need for autonomy, for example, may tend to focus more on the reward and find the task itself less rewarding.


Attribution theory deals with people's perceptions of the reasons for their successes and failures. There are three main elements, based on whether individuals attribute successes and failures to internal or external factors, stable or unstable factors, or controllable or uncontrollable factors. People in general tend to see their successes due to internal factors such as talent and hard work, and their failures due to external factors such as bad luck or other people's actions. Some gender differences are also evident: men tend to consider skill as the main factor for success and laziness as the reason for failure; women tend to attribute success to hard work and failure to inability. Studies have shown that people are less likely to change their behavior when they believe the failure is due to factors that are stable and beyond their control.


This theory states that a person is motivated to pursue a goal by a combination of his expectation of success and his estimate of its value. Value is determined in terms of the cost of pursuing the goal and the possible reward for achieving it. When both expectation and value are considered high, the person will be highly motivated and demonstrate effort and determination. When both are low, motivation is low and the person will not pursue the goal, or will half do it.

Competing theories

Cognitive motivation is just one of several explanations for why people and animals do what they do. Most theorists who do not support this idea believe that motivation is need-based or reduced motivation. Need-based motivation assumes that people's actions are based on their needs, such as food, water, or reproduction. Drive-reduction theories are based on the idea that animals, including humans, have powerful drives for food, sex, and other goals, and that we are motivated to act only to reduce these drives. This is the same logic that is used when using food motivation intrain service animals. Cognition may have a place in these theories, but it is not seen as the basis of motivation and behavior.

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(Video) Cognitive Motivation

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Great article and great website, I've been doing research on the subject and this has been helpful, thanks for the review. --Eric

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Cafe41- Social motivation can also influence a child to follow a certain line of work if most of the family's friends work in that area.

For example, a child who is exposed to multiple doctors through friends or family may be more attracted to this profession because it is viewed so favorably by the family and is so prevalent in the child's experiences.

Sometimes the cognitive factors that can attract a child to your profession can be the noble nature of saving someone's life or the extrinsic value of getting rich.

The cognitive factors for attraction to this profession will be based on what the focus of the profession is.

If the majority of the group is focused on their earnings, then the motivation may be limited only to earning potential, which may or may not influence the child to follow this career choice. If the motivation expressed by the group is deeper, such as the ability to truly help others, than the process of motivation, theories suggest that this is a noble profession worth pursuing.


Sunny27-I think human behavior regarding motivation can be explained with the level of drive that includes social motivation.

A professor at the Yale School of Management developed a theory he called "expectancy theory."

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He adds that this theory determines when a person will exercise self-control to pursue a goal.

For example, if a person is hungry, he will work harder to eat.

Some people may consider a social cognitive approach to motivation and personality.

In this case, the person may be driven to manage to live in the most exclusive neighborhood and adjust their circle of friends.

Here the motivation is money and the social status associated with that money.


The motivation of human behavior is really what drives a person to such an action. Many psychologists feel that a person who engages in a certain activity does so because there is some kind of reward.

This is an especially interesting aspect of cognitive factors when the subject engages in what is considered negative behavior, such as overeating, overspending, and drinking.

Here, social motivation could encourage the subject to seek a more adequate method to medicate himself with these vices.

(Video) Cognitive explanation in motivation (basic level)

People with addictive personalities need cognitive reinforcement to see the error in their ways. They continue with the destructive behavior because it soothes them and they find pleasure in the activity, but that activity also creates an endless cycle of despair because it creates bigger problems and highlights that the original problem has not been resolved.

This maladaptive behavior can lead to a major crisis in the person's life.

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    Why is cognitive motivation important? ›

    In sum, it is clear that motivation can guide cognition. These motivational factors–including, but not limited to, emotion and reward processes—modulate behavior across a variety of cognitive domains, often resulting in the prioritized processing of some stimuli.

    What are some examples of cognitive learning? ›

    Examples of cognitive learning strategies include:

    Encouraging discussions about what is being taught. Helping students explore and understand how ideas are connected. Asking students to justify and explain their thinking. Using visualizations to improve students' understanding and recall.

    What is an example of cognitive motivation? ›

    One example of a cognitive process influenced by motivation is memory. People tend to remember successes more than failures, and when led to believe that a given attribute is desirable, they are more likely to remember past events where they displayed this attribute than those in which they did not.

    What is cognitive motivation? ›

    In motivation: Cognitive motivation. Cognitive theories of motivation assume that behaviour is directed as a result of the active processing and interpretation of information.

    How can I improve my cognitive motivation? ›

    Here are 11 things you can do right now to take that jump and in the process of increasing brain power, memory and motivation.
    1. Simplify Your Life. ...
    2. Focus on How Far You've Come. ...
    3. Set Measurable Goals. ...
    4. Shift Your Motivation from Getting to Giving. ...
    5. Create and Repeat a New Habit. ...
    6. Direct Your Subconscious Mind Before Sleep.
    Jul 21, 2021

    What's the meaning of cognitive? ›

    cognitive. adjective. cog·​ni·​tive ˈkäg-nət-iv. : of, relating to, or being conscious mental activities (as thinking, reasoning, remembering, imagining, learning words, and using language)

    What are 4 examples of cognitive processes? ›

    Examples of cognitive processes

    You look for the items you need, make selections among different brands, read the signs in the aisles, work your way over to the cashier and exchange money. All of these operations are examples of cognitive processing.

    What are types of cognitive activities? ›

    They include attention, memory, logic, reasoning, and visual and auditory processing. They help you process the world around you.

    Which is a good example of the cognitive stage? ›

    Examples include: Talking with your baby and naming commonly used objects. Letting your baby explore toys and move about. Singing and reading to your baby.

    What are the 4 cognitive strategies? ›

    See an explanation of the term 'Cognitive strategies'. Cognitive strategies are one type of learning strategy that learners use in order to learn more successfully. These include repetition, organising new language, summarising meaning, guessing meaning from context, using imagery for memorisation.

    What are the three types of cognitive learning? ›

    His theory identified three stages of cognitive representation which are enactive, iconic, and symbolic.

    What are the 5 cognitive skills? ›

    Cognitive skills are often divided into five categories.
    Each of these cognitive skills reflects a different method that your brain uses to effectively interpret and use information.
    • Attention. ...
    • Long-term and short-term memory. ...
    • Logic and reasoning. ...
    • Auditory and visual processing.
    Feb 21, 2023

    What causes cognitive decline? ›

    While age is the primary risk factor for cognitive impairment, other risk factors include family history, education level, brain injury, exposure to pesticides or toxins, physical inactivity, and chronic conditions such as Parkinson's disease, heart disease and stroke, and diabetes.

    What are the 9 cognitive skills? ›

    Cognitive Skills
    • Sustained Attention. Allows a child to stay focused on a single task for long periods of time.
    • Selective Attention. ...
    • Divided Attention. ...
    • Long-Term Memory. ...
    • Working Memory. ...
    • Logic and Reasoning. ...
    • Auditory Processing. ...
    • Visual Processing.

    What is cognitive learning in simple words? ›

    Definition. Cognitive learning is a change in knowledge attributable to experience (Mayer 2011). This definition has three components: (1) learning involves a change, (2) the change is in the learner's knowledge, and (3) the cause of the change is the learner's experience.

    What are cognitive behaviors? ›

    What is cognitive behaviour therapy? Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is an effective treatment approach for a range of mental and emotional health issues, including anxiety and depression. CBT aims to help you identify and challenge unhelpful thoughts and to learn practical self-help strategies.

    What is an example of cognitive in a sentence? ›

    We are not alone in having some of the cognitive skills required for intelligent thought. Social background is still the most powerful predictor of cognitive skills. He places particular emphasis on giving pupils a sense of continuity between their growing cognitive skills and their own environment.

    What are the 7 cognitive functions? ›

    Cognitive functioning refers to multiple mental abilities, including learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem solving, decision making, and attention.

    What are the 7 cognitive processes? ›

    Cognitive processes may include attention, perception, reasoning, emoting, learning, synthesizing, rearrangement and manipulation of stored information, memory storage, retrieval, and metacognition.

    What are the 3 things that influences cognition? ›

    In addition to the biology of the brain itself, there are at least three other key factors that influence our cognitive health.
    • Our body. The brain and our cognitive skills are intricately linked to physiologic and metabolic factors in our body. ...
    • Our thoughts and emotions. ...
    • Our environment.
    Feb 23, 2022

    What are the 6 cognitive skills? ›

    Bloom's taxonomy describes six cognitive categories: Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.

    What is the meaning of cognitive thinking? ›

    What is cognitive thinking? Cognitive thinking is the mental process that humans use to think, read, learn, remember, reason, pay attention, and, ultimately, comprehend information and turn it into knowledge. Human beings can then turn this knowledge into decisions and actions.

    Where is cognitive learning used? ›

    Cognitive learning theory, which focuses on the internal processes surrounding information and memory, is one of the most adaptable of the five major learning theories. Cognitive learning has applications for teaching students as young as infants, all the way up to adult learners picking up new skills on the job.

    What is the most common type of motivation? ›

    The 10 Most Common Sources of Motivations
    • Hitting “rock bottom.” The concept of “hitting bottom” suggests that people must “hit rock bottom” before they may change. ...
    • Intrinsic motivation. ...
    • Maintaining a positive self-image. ...
    • Self-validation. ...
    • Curiosity. ...
    • Autonomy. ...
    • Current mood. ...
    • Other people.
    Apr 24, 2019

    What are the two most important types of motivation? ›

    2 types of motivation explained
    • Intrinsic motivation: This is when motivation comes from "internal" factors to meet personal needs. We do things we do because we enjoy them, not because we have to. ...
    • ​Extrinsic motivation: This is when motivation comes from "external" factors that are given or controlled by others.
    Apr 23, 2014

    What are the 7 most important types of motivation? ›

    Best types of motivation for different activities
    • Reward-based motivation.
    • Attitude motivation.
    • Fear-based motivation.
    • Creative motivation.
    • Achievement motivation.
    • Competence motivation.
    • Power motivation.
    Dec 28, 2022

    What part of the brain is responsible for cognition? ›

    The cortex contains the physical structures responsible for most of what we call ''brainwork": cognition, mental imagery, the highly sophisticated processing of visual information, and the ability to produce and understand language.

    What is the most basic cognitive process? ›

    Abstract. Cognition includes basic mental processes such as sensation, attention, and perception. Cognition also includes complex mental operations such as memory, learning, language use, problem solving, decision making, reasoning, and intelligence.

    How many types of cognitive skills are there? ›

    4 Types of cognitive abilities.

    What is another name for cognitive learning? ›

    Cognitive learning involves learning a relationship between two stimuli and thus is also called S‐S learning.

    How does cognitive learning work? ›

    Cognitive understanding is an interesting learning theory that focuses on thought. Cognition encourages students to “think about their thinking” as a means to help them unlock a concept or subject they struggle with.

    What are the 2 types of cognitive learning? ›

    Academics sometimes divide Cognitive Learning Theory into two sub-theories: Social Cognitive Theory and Cognitive Behavioral Theory. Social Cognitive Theory explores how social interaction affects learning cognition.

    How is cognitive learning important? ›

    Cognitive learning theory can improve learners' comprehension when attempting new subjects or tasks. With cognitive learning, students learn by doing. This hands-on approach allows learners to gain a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of new materials.

    Why is cognitive important in psychology? ›

    Cognitive psychologists, sometimes called brain scientists, study how the human brain works — how we think, remember and learn. They apply psychological science to understand how we perceive events and make decisions.

    Which is the most important factor in the cognitive theory of motivation? ›

    Cognitive motivation is based on two primary things: information available and past experience. A person will think about a situation based on what sensory input is available, and he will also refer to his past and try to relate previous experiences to the situation at hand.

    What is cognitive and example? ›

    Cognition includes all conscious and unconscious processes by which knowledge is accumulated, such as perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, and reasoning.

    How is cognitive psychology used in everyday life? ›

    It touches on many aspects of daily life. There are numerous practical applications for this research, such as providing help coping with memory disorders, making better decisions, recovering from brain injury, treating learning disorders, and structuring educational curricula to enhance learning.

    How does cognitive psychology affect human behavior? ›

    Cognitive Psychology is the science of how we think. It's concerned with our inner mental processes such as attention, perception, memory, action planning, and language. Each of these components are pivotal in forming who we are and how we behave.

    What are the 4 types of motivation? ›

    These forms of motivation are just as important as intrinsic ones if you can leverage them.
    • Incentive motivation. Incentive motivation is all about external rewards. ...
    • Fear motivation. Here you're motivated by the fear of an undesirable outcome. ...
    • Power motivation. ...
    • Social motivation.
    May 17, 2022

    What is the most important cognitive process? ›

    Forming, storing and recalling memories allow humans to display much of their intelligence and are critical components of cognition.

    What factors influence cognitive? ›

    In addition to the biology of the brain itself, there are at least three other key factors that influence our cognitive health.
    • Our body. The brain and our cognitive skills are intricately linked to physiologic and metabolic factors in our body. ...
    • Our thoughts and emotions. ...
    • Our environment.
    Feb 23, 2022


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