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Book Chapter

Trait theories of motivation


Heckhausen,  Heinz
MPI for Psychological Research (Munich, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Scheffer, D., & Heckhausen, H. (2018). Trait theories of motivation. In Motivation and Action (3rd ed., pp. 67-112). Springer International Publishing.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-AD68-5
Motivation is the result of an interaction between situational incentives and individual dispositions. Dispositional influences can explain why some people act in a motivated way across different situations while others do not. In part, motivation is, thus, not only attributed to the causal impact of situational incentives but also to stable traits which are part of an individual’s personality. These traits differ from other people across situations and are relatively stable over time. This chapter will begin with a basic explanation and gradually introduce more complex perspectives on the role of dispositional factors in motivation. Both nomothetic and idiographic perspectives will be introduced.