Motivation and the Organization of Human Behavior: Three Reasons for the Reemergence of a Field

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21 Scopus citations


The fact that behavior is typically active, organized, and goal oriented represents one of the wonders of animate nature. Nonetheless, the organization and integrity of behavior can be disrupted by social contexts, implicit primes and motives, or by biological factors. There has been a strong resurgence in empirical research on these topics, as well as recognition of the potency of psychological factors. Three reasons for this resurgence of interest in the psychology of human motivation are reviewed in detail: (1) the theoretical depth and interdisciplinary nature of the field; (2) methodological innovations that have opened up new avenues of inquiry, and (3) the practical importance of motivation research as a translational science and for improving individual and community wellness through empirically supported interventions. Contributions within this volume are illustrative of all these factors, manifesting interdisciplinary depth, sophisticated methods, and practical applicability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940936
ISBN (Print)9780195399820
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Goals
  • Implicit motives
  • Motivation
  • Organization
  • Regnant causes


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