Reemerging Perspective for the Psychology of Motivation
Psychology of motivation is a very special field of psychological inquiry – highly, and even intimately important for everyone and still very fragmented and obscure, despite its centennial history. It was not always made a separate field during this history. A period of
much theoretical interest in motivation directly connected with the fascination of the riddle of human nature through the first half of the 20th century was followed after the Second World War by decades of disappointment in general theory, narrow specialization of research and straightforward methodological rigorism. The field of motivation was occupied by cognitive revolutionaries, split into pieces and largely dissolved in other problems, such as learning, personnel management, psychotherapy, etc. In the last couple of decades this field seems to “reemerge” (Ryan, 2007). Among the factors of this reemergence R. Ryan mentioned a renewed interest to human nature, the rapid growth of cross-cultural psychology, new positive emphasis in research agenda, attention to
profound existential issues, the discovery of sophisticated brain mechanisms of higher regulations, etc. Due to all these developments the psychology of motivation is now less than totally bound with old Manichean dichotomies like cognition vs. affect, conscious vs. unconscious, internal vs. external, etc. that now seem strongly delimiting if not misleading. It is less concerned with distinguishing easily measurable stable (that is, static) dispositional variables and attempts to get a better idea of the involved processes, relationships and complex systems.