Monthly Article Archives: April 2010

The Complexities of Motivation: The Uncertainty of Predicting Behaviors – Part IIIRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

In my past two articles I have addressed the theme of motivation, drawing from Daniel Pink’s thought-provoking new book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Based on the large number of responses I have received to these articles it is obvious that this theme is of significant interest to parents and professionals alike.  Prior to sharing some new thoughts, a quick review of several key points from the previous articles is warranted. Pink highlights the work of a number of researchers, including psychologists Edward Deci and Richard Ryan at the University of Rochester in New York.  Deci and Ryan have contributed significantly to our understanding of the differences between extrinsic motivation (i.e., motivation based on external rewards and punishments that may lead to a feeling of being controlled) and intrinsic motivation (i.e., motivation based on what Deci terms “authenticity and responsibility” and a feeling of having choice). Pink introduces the label “The Motivation 2.0 Operating System,” a system that is predicated on the belief that the ways in which we encourage people to do what we want is to reward them for the behavior we seek and punish them for behavior we do not want to appear. In

Article Archive