Motivational Theory. As learners, where and how do we get the drive to move forwards? At this moment, one week into my Master’s residency, I feel highly motivated. I want to be here, I’m enjoying being here, and I want to be successful, for a number of reasons. Of course, over time, this feeling may change, as it does for all of us.
I have been thinking about motivation and comparing it to theories we discussed in class. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs makes a lot of sense, as do a number of other theories that Lisa presented. (By the way, who did Maslow have to pay to get so popular? Maslow this, Maslow that… enough already!) Out of all of them, I am particularly interested in MacClelland’s 3 need theory. The concept of putting needs across a spectrum and having the ‘middle’ of the chart represent the ideal is appealing to me—and seems to align to my own philosophical beliefs.
The other thought that comes to mind in studying motivation, is the idea of people being ‘motivated’ to participate in research, and by this I mean at the subject level. As we have been discussing using both surveys and interviews towards answering research questions, I am struck that we need study participants to be motivated to give their opinion. How is that possible when everyone already claims to be busy or overloaded, and nobody wants to get involved? When telephone pollsters call me, my standard line is, “I’m sorry, I don’t do surveys.” (This works, by the way, and I prefer it to just ‘hanging up’, which to me, always feels rude.)
But now, I am placed in the position of planning to do research to finish my degree. How am I going to motivate people to participate? And even more importantly, what methods of motivation won’t inadvertently skew the results?