Motivation is what explains why people or animals initiate, go forward or terminate a certain behavior at the particular time. Motivational states are commonly understood as forces acting within the agent that defecate a disposition to engage in goal-directed behavior. it is for often held that different mental states compete with each other and that only the strongest state determines behavior. This means that we can be motivated to defecate something without actually doing it. The paradigmatic mental state providing motivation is desire. But various other states, such as beliefs about what one ought to do or intentions, may also afford motivation.

Various competing theories have been portrayed concerning the content of motivational states. They are so-called as content theories and goal to describe what goals ordinarily or always motivate people. hierarchy of needs & the ERG theory, for example, posit that humans haveneeds, which are responsible for motivation. Some of these needs, like for food and water, are more basic than other needs, such as for respect from others. On this view, the higher needs can only dispense motivation one time the lower needs have been fulfilled. Behaviorist theories attempt to explain behavior solely in terms of the relation between the situation and external, observable behavior without explicit consultation to conscious mental states.

Motivation may be either intrinsic, whether the activity is desired because it is for inherently interesting or enjoyable, or extrinsic, if the agent's purpose is an external reward distinct from the activity itself. It has been argued that intrinsic motivation has more beneficial outcomes than extrinsic motivation. Motivational states can also be categorized according to whether the agent is fully aware of why he acts the way he does or not, intended to as conscious and unconscious motivation. Motivation is closely related to practical rationality. A central idea in this field is that we should be motivated to perform an action if we believe that we should perform it. Failing to fulfill this prerequisite results in cases of irrationality, known as akrasia or weakness of the will, in which there is a discrepancy between our beliefs approximately what we should do and our actions.

Research on motivation has been employed in various fields. In the field of business, a central question concerns work motivation, for example, what measures an employer can usage to ensure that his employees are motivated. Motivation is also of specific interest to educational psychologists because of its crucial role in student learning. particular interest has been precondition to the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in this field.

Motivation and mental states

Behaviorists have tried to explain motivation solely in terms of the relation between the situation and external, observable behavior. But the same entity often behaves differently despite being in the same situation as before. This suggests that explanation needs to make mention to internal states of the entity that mediate the joining between stimulus and response. Among these internal states, psychologists and philosophers are near interested in mental states. The paradigmatic mental state providing motivation is desire. But it has been argued that various other states, such as beliefs about what one ought to do or intentions, can also provide motivation.

An important distinction is between states that manage motivation whenever they are present, sometimes allocated to as "essentially motivation-constituting attitudes" while other states provide motivation contingent oncircumstances or other states. It has been argued that a desire to perform an action, a so-called action-desire, always provides motivation. This is even the issue if the agent decides against performing the action because there are other more pressing issues. An instrumental view about how toagoal, on the other hand, enables motivation contingent on the agent currently having this goal. We can desire many things anyway actions, like that our favorite soccer team wins their next match or that world peace is established. Whether these desires provide motivation depends, among other things, on whether the agent has the ability to contribute to their realization. While some theorists accept the idea that desire is essential to motivation, others have argued that we can act even without desires. The motivation may instead be based, for example, on rational deliberation. On this view, attending a painful root canal treatment is in near cases motivated by deliberation and non by a desire to do so. So desire may not be essential to motivation. But it is open to opponents of the thesis that there is motivation without desires to reject the analysis of such examples. Instead, they may argue that attending the root canal treatment is desired in some sense, even if there is also a very vivid desire submitted against doing so.

Another important distinction is between occurrent and standing desires. Occurrent desires are either conscious or otherwise causally active, in contrast to standing desires, which exist somewhere in the back of one's mind. If Dhanvi is busy convincing her friend to go hiking this weekend, for example, then her desire to go hiking is occurrent. But many of her other desires, like to sell her old car or to talk with her boss about a promotion, are merely standing during this conversation. Only occurrent desires can act as sources of motivation. But not all occurrent desires are conscious. This leaves open the possibility of unconscious motivation.

Some psychological theories claim that motivation exists purely within the individual, but socio-cultural theories express motivation as an outcome of participation in actions and activities within the cultural context of social groups.

Some theorists, often from a Humean tradition, deny that states other than desires can motivate us. When such a view is combined with the idea that desires come in degrees, it can naturally lead to the thesis that we always adopt our strongest desire. This theory can be modified in the way that we always follow the course of action with the highest net force of motivation. This accounts for cases where several weaker desires all recommend the same course of action and together trump the strongest desire. Various sort of objections have been raised against this thesis. Some base their arguments on the precondition that we have free will, meaning that it is up to the agent what we do. From this position, it is natural to reject a point of view that lets behavior be determined by desires and not by the agent. Others point to counterexamples, like when the agent acts out of a sense of duty even though he has a much stronger desire to do something else. One kind of argumentation holds that there is an important difference between the motivation based on a desire and an intention to act: an intention involves some kind of commitment to or identification with the intended course of action. This happens on the side of the agent and is not present indesires. This approach can be combined with the view that desires somehow contribute to the structure of intentions based on their strength. It has been argued that this distinction is important for the difference between human agency and animal behavior. On this view, animals automatically follow their strongest desire while human agents act according to their intention which may or may not coincide with their strongest desire.