Motivation and language

Ema Ushioda
Table of contents

The field of motivation encompasses many different sub-disciplines in the psychology of human behaviour – such as health psychology, criminal psychology, child psychology, sports psychology, management psychology, social psychology, educational psychology, to name but a few. As Pintrich & Schunk (2002: 5) point out in their comprehensive overview of motivation in education, the word motivation derives from the Latin verb movere meaning ‘to move’. What moves a person to make certain choices, to engage in action, to persist in action – such questions lie at the heart of motivation theory and research. Yet while these questions may seem deceptively simple, their exploration continues to generate an astonishing wealth of research and debate that attest to the complexity of motivation in explaining human behaviour.

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