Psychology of cognitive and learning activity
Motivation for Learning
The problem of motivation in psychology
The term motive comes from the French - motif - motive. In modern psychology, the motive is called the psychic phenomenon, which becomes the motivation for activity. Motivation is understood as a set of factors that energize and guide thinking and behavior. The problem of motivation, therefore, boils down to the creation of some theory that allows us to determine the initial causes, as well as groups of variables (both external and internal) that determine this or that direction, this or that trajectory of the individual's behavior.
If thinking in learning activity is a mechanism, then motivation is a motor. Motivational processes, along with emotional ones, belong to the category of regulatory components of mental functioning, they are regarded as initiating a behavioral act and giving it an internal, subjective color. The mechanisms of the functioning of motivation in different psychological theories are described in different ways.
Behaviorism. From the point of view of behaviorists, the initial cause of any action of a person or animal is a physiological need. If all physiological needs were satisfied, complete idleness would ensue. And supporters of this approach note that some needs are automatically met (a speck of dust in the eye, a hand touching the hot one, etc.), others cause more complex behavior. Animals usually perform a lot of activities just to eat. Similarly, behaviourists and more complex forms of human behavior explain. A person helps other people, because he counts on their help in the future. Of course, modern behaviorism is less categorical in assessments, but in general the approach is preserved. The process of learning, or developing a specific behavior, is possible if there are two basic conditions: the availability of the need and the fact that this need can satisfy - reinforcements.
Gestalt psychology. Representatives of Gestalt psychology and, first of all, K. Levin, engaged in non-cognitive processes as the majority of gestaltists, but regulative (motivation, goal setting, behavior control), created their own theory of motivation. According to K. Levine, the main mechanism of motivation is not the removal of local tension caused by the emergent need (as behaviorists and supporters of psychoanalysis), and balancing with respect to the overall system. Characterizing this general system, K. Levin introduces the concept of "field" as a metaphor. The need for K. Levin is the stress in a certain region of this field. All needs he divides into two large groups: true, or basic, needs and quasi-needs (intentions and goals).
According to K. Levine, human behavior is a function of two variables: personality and environment. The presence of these two variables does not mean that in all cases, both these factors exert an equal effect on behavior. In some cases, a person's actions are determined primarily by a situation, or by a field, and he called this behavior "outfield". In others, on the contrary, a person acts under the influence of his own needs, often overcoming the opposition of the field. This behavior, K. Levin called the strong-willed.
Psychoanalysis. Supporters of psychoanalytic theory (Z. Freud, etc.) saw the basis of motivation in the desire of man to satisfy innate instincts - the body's physical needs. Unmet needs cause tension, from which a person seeks to get rid of. According to Z. Freud, there are two basic instincts: the instinct of life, which induces self-preservation and the reproduction of oneself, and the instinct of death-the will to destruction and annihilation. The influence of these powerful principles by man himself is not realized. And because society allows people, unhindered to follow these instincts, to satisfy their basic needs, then thoughts about forbidden desires are cast into the depths of the subconscious.
Humanistic psychology. Humanistic psychology positioned itself as an antipode of the psychoanalytic approach. According to K. Rogers, the main motivating force of human behavior is the individual's realization of his abilities and potencies. The main thing in a person is a predetermined, initially determined desire for self-realization and self-realization. People are initially focused on getting closer to the "I-ideal" to I-real.
The most popular in the psychological literature was the concept of A. Maslow, who proposed to distinguish five main groups of motives. There is no need to dwell on it in detail, since it is widely known. A. Maslow believed that all these motives are instinct-like and have an innate character. The actualization of motives depends on whether the needs of a lower level are met. Their satisfaction, but the opinion of the author, is a necessary condition for the transition to the next level. Another representative of humanistic psychology G. Allport proposed a more radical approach. He believed that a normal adult is functionally autonomous, and therefore his thinking and behavior depend little on the needs of the body. Man, according to G. Alport, is conscious, highly individual and not in the power of instincts of the unconscious, as proponents of psychoanalysis believed.
Cognitive psychology. Several theories of motivation have been formed in the bowels of cognitive psychology. Common to them is the idea that the thinking and behavior of a person is primarily influenced by his knowledge and understanding of the world. Cognitivists believe that initiates and directs the behavior of the individual cognitive representation of the real situation, an understanding of its causes and consequences.
One of the most polar theories of motivation born in the bowels of cognitive psychology is the theory of "cognitive dissonance" Leon Festinger. In our minds, L. Festinger asserted, a lot of knowledge, opinions, convictions are constantly crowded. Often they contradict each other. This discrepancy, or cognitive dissonance, is experienced by the person as a state of discomfort. A person tries to get rid of him, to restore internal consent, which forces him to act. Thus, cognitive dissonance according to L. Festinger is a contradiction between two or more cognitions. As a result, the discomfort experienced by the person causes the desire to restore inner harmony. The concept of cognition is treated by the author very widely and is understood as any knowledge, opinion or belief concerning the environment, oneself and one's own actions.
Other supporters of cognitive psychology, as well as L. Festinger, are inclined to assert that man's striving for stability, stability, consistency of the world, offered a slightly different approach to explaining the motivation of human behavior. For example, F. Heideger - "balance theory", in which he viewed the social situation as a collection of elements and connections between them. Some combinations of these elements and connections are stable and balanced, others, on the contrary - are disharmonious and not balanced. People are striving for consistent, balanced, harmonious situations, and unbalanced situations cause a feeling of discomfort. The desire to restore balance, the need to harmonize the environment initiates behavior.
In explaining the processes of motivating behavior in cognitive psychology, the theory of "scenarios and counterfeits" is also applied. The authors of her R. Schenck and R. Abelson use the concept of "script" to denote organized units of stereotyped information. It is about information that reflects the usual, familiar picture and sequence of events. It is assumed that a person not only memorizes possible scenarios of events, but also creates them himself, predicting a possible course of events. These scenarios, in turn, begin to play a regulative, guiding role in relation to behavior. People create original cognitive schemes of the past and the future. And these script scenarios affect what might happen.
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