The problem of motivation and motives of behavior and activity is one of the core problems in psychology. Lomov B.F., notes that in the psychological research of activity, the issues of motivation and goal-setting play a leading role. «The difficulty here lies in the fact,» he writes, «that the systemic nature of the mental is most clearly manifested in motives and goals; they act as integral forms of mental reflection. Where do the motives and goals of individual activity come from and how do they arise? What are they? The development of these questions is of great importance not only for the development of the theory of psychology, but also for the solution of many practical problems.
It is not surprising that a large number of monographs as domestic ones are devoted to motivation and motives (V.G. Aseev, V.K. Vilyunas, V.I. Kovalev, A.N. Leontiev, M.Sh. Magomed-Eminov, V.S. Merlin, P. V. Simonov, D. N. Uznadze, A. A. Faizullaev, P. M. Yakobson), and foreign authors (J. Atkinson, D. Hall, K. Madsen, A. Maslow, X. Heckhausen and etc.).
Reading can occupy much time in a person's leisure and self-development, as well as in his educational and professional activities. In his twenty-three-year-old Leo Tolstoy, who had not become a writer by that time, reasoned why some people write and others read. This question interests psychologists, writers and librarians even now. This question is not idle, not a manifestation of curiosity; it is essential for understanding the spiritual life, spiritual needs and interests of a person, satisfied with the help of reading. After all, reading is often carried out out of a person’s desire to find a like-minded person in the writer or the correspondence of the experiences of the hero of the book to his mood. Therefore, reading is not only the acquisition of new information, but also the psychoregulation of one's state.
The approach to reading from a psychological standpoint led to the emergence of bibliopsychology, in which a significant place is given to the study of reading activity and its first phase, the motivational-inciting one. This raises the question of reader motivation. Below is information related to this issue, taken by us from the monograph by K. I. Vorobyeva.
Belyaeva defines the motive of reading activity as the reader's internal motivations, which act in the form of a probabilistic representation of certain qualities of a book that meet his needs. Therefore, in her opinion, in order to understand the motives for reading a certain person, it is necessary to find out what kind of needs he experiences and what qualities he is looking for in a book, that is, you need to know his «system of expectations», his target setting. Zhabitskaya draws attention to the importance of the attitude at all stages of reading activity (motivational-motivating, actually reading and perception, effective-evaluative), arguing that the attitude affects the choice of a work, reading methods, the selectivity of perception, the nature of emotional reactions and ratings. The optimal setting, the author believes, exists when the reader not only expects and desires empathy, aesthetic pleasure, but is not afraid of mental stress, realizes the need for it to understand the text. Based on the provisions of general psychology, the above authors believe that reading motives manifest themselves not only in the motivational-motivating phase of reading activity, but also in the perception, understanding and evaluation of the text.
As Vorobyova notes, the study of the motives of reading activity is hampered by the lack of adequate methods for their identification, the lack of development of general theoretical ideas about reader motives in general. Therefore, she rightly concludes, empirical research is actually characterized by the study of individual motive-forming elements of reading activity.
Singling out conscious and unconscious reading motives, researchers identify factors that contribute to their formation: the need for information related to educational and professional activities, the need for self-education, self-knowledge, self-education; the influence of inter-reader communication, reader fashion, the media, the socio-cultural environment (the reader lives in a city or village), etc.
In Western psychological literature, the issue of two types of motivation and their distinctive features is widely discussed: extrinsic (due to external conditions and circumstances) and intrinsic (internal, associated with personal dispositions: needs, attitudes, interests, drives, desires), in which actions and deeds are committed "of the good will" of the subject (a review of the works devoted to this discussion can be found in the book of X. Heckhausen). In the 1950s, in our country, too, a heated discussion broke out among psychologists about whether needs (as an internal factor) were the only source of motivation. G. A. Fortunatov, A. V. Petrovsky and D. A. Kiknadze answered this question positively. Psychologists who studied the problem of will opposed this point of view. V. I. Selivanov, along with others, believed that not all motives are due to needs, that the impact of the outside world generates many motives that are not related to cash needs. He defended the point of view that various influences emanating from other people and objects of the environment cause human responses in addition to his needs or even contrary to them. This corresponds to ideas about the social conditioning of human behavior, about the leading role of volitional regulation, about the conditioning of human behavior by a sense of duty, understanding of necessity or expediency, etc.
This discussion has largely proved fruitless. Living in a society, a person cannot but depend in his decisions and actions on the influence of the environment. This dependence can be of several types. Referential dependence is revealed when a person, without hesitation, uncritically borrows attitudes, norms of behavior, a way of life, hoping through this to become like «real people», to be assigned to a certain circle, a certain reference group for him. This is where the imitation mechanism comes into play.
Raising social status (at least in their own eyes) is an important motive for the behavior of many people. Not surprisingly, many advertising methods are based on the fact that the advertised product is declared a favorite consumer item of people with high social status. Wanting to join this category of people, the consumer will try to acquire external signs of high status — a car of a certain brand, a suit, a ticket to a fashionable resort, etc.
Information addiction occurs when a person, striving for some goal, does not have the necessary information. He is forced to uncritically use information received from a person whom he considers more informed. Power dependence is the dependence of an individual on a person endowed with special powers or with high authority. Thus, motivation can be under strong pressure from outside and take on an externally organized character.
As Heckhausen notes, the description of behavior according to the principle of opposition as motivated either «from within» (intrinsically) or «from outside» (extrinsically) has the same experience as the experimental psychology of motivation itself. Accordingly, the criticism of such a rigid opposition has a long tradition, dating back to Woodworth. Criticism received its maximum expression in the 50s, when researchers began to attribute various internal drives (manipulative, exploratory and visual examinations) to various highly developed animals (from rats to monkeys), in contrast to D. Hall and B. Skinner, who explained the behavior solely by external reinforcements. Hekhauzen notes that in fact, actions and the intentions underlying them are always conditioned only internally. From our point of view, motivation and motives are always internally conditioned, but they can also depend on external factors, be motivated by external incentives. And that is why Western psychologists have not been able to isolate extrinsic and intriguing motivations in their pure form. In fact, the authors are talking about external and internal incentives that encourage the deployment of the motivational process. When they talk about external motives and motivation, they mean either circumstances (actual conditions that affect the effectiveness of activities, actions), or some external factors that affect decision making and the strength of the motive (remuneration, etc.); including the attribution by the person himself to these factors of a decisive role in making a decision and achieving a result, as is the case with field-dependent people and with an external locus of control. In these cases, it is more logical to talk about externally stimulated, or externally organized, motivation, while understanding that circumstances, conditions, situations become important for motivation only when they become significant for a person, to satisfy needs, desires. Therefore, external factors must be transformed into internal ones in the process of motivation.
Vaisman observed the dynamics of change from the 1st to the 4th year of the motives for creative achievement, "formal academic" achievement and "need for achievement" among students of the Faculty of Psychology. Under the motive of creative achievement, the author understands the desire to solve any scientific or technical problem and to succeed in scientific activity. The motive of "formal-academic" achievement is understood by him as a motivation for a mark, good academic performance; "the need for achievement" means a vivid expression of both motives. R. S. Vaysman revealed that the motive for creative achievement and the need for achievement increase from the 3rd to the 4th years, while the motive of «formal academic» achievement decreases from the 2nd to the 3rd-4th years. At the same time, the motive of creative achievement in all courses significantly prevailed over the motive of "formal academic" achievement.
In recent years, the understanding by psychologists and educators of the role of positive motivation for learning in ensuring the successful acquisition of knowledge and skills has increased. At the same time, it was revealed that high positive motivation can play the role of a compensating factor in case of insufficiently high abilities; however, this factor does not work in the opposite direction — no high level of abilities can compensate for the absence of a learning motive or its low severity, and cannot lead to significant academic success.
Gebos identified factors (conditions) that contribute to the formation of a positive motive for learning among students:
- awareness of the immediate and final goals of training;
- awareness of the theoretical and practical significance of acquired knowledge;
- emotional form of presentation of educational material;
- showing "promising lines" in the development of scientific concepts;
- professional orientation of educational activity;
- selection of tasks that create problem situations in the structure of educational activities;
- the presence of curiosity and "cognitive psychological climate" in the study group.
Yakobson proposed his own classification for the motives of educational activity (although he preferred to talk about motivation, but motivation and motive are the same for him). The first kind of motives he called "negative". Under these motives, he understood the student's motives caused by the awareness of certain inconveniences and troubles that may arise if he does not study: reprimands, threats from parents, etc. In essence, with such a motive, this is learning without any desire, without interest in both getting an education and attending an educational institution. Here, motivation is carried out on the principle of "choosing the lesser of two evils." The motive for attending an educational institution is not related to the need to acquire knowledge or to increase personal prestige. This motive of necessity, inherent in some students, cannot lead to success in learning, and its implementation requires violence against oneself, which, with a weak development of the volitional sphere, leads to the departure of these students from the educational institution. The second variety of motives for learning activity, according to P. M. Yakobson, is also associated with an extracurricular situation, which, however, has a positive effect on learning. Influences from society form a student's sense of duty, which obliges him to get an education, including a professional one, and become a full-fledged citizen, useful for the country, for his family. Such an attitude towards learning, if it is stable and occupies a significant place in the orientation of the student's personality, makes learning not only necessary, but also attractive, gives strength to overcome difficulties, to show patience, perseverance, perseverance. In the same group of motives, P. M. Yakobson also includes those that are associated with narrow personal interests. At the same time, the learning process is perceived as a path to personal well-being, as a means of moving up the life ladder. For example, a student has no interest in learning as such, but there is an understanding that without knowledge it will not be possible to «advance» in the future, and therefore efforts are made to master them. Such a motive is often found among part-time students who are forced to receive a higher, for example, pedagogical, education at the insistence of the administration, in order to increase the tariff category, etc. Studying at a university is for many of them a formal act for obtaining a diploma of higher education, and not for improve their teaching skills. The third type of motivation, according to P. M. Yakobson, is associated with the very process of learning activity. The need for knowledge, curiosity, the desire to learn new things encourage learning. The student receives satisfaction from the growth of his knowledge when mastering new material; the motivation of learning reflects stable cognitive interests. The specificity of the motivation of educational activity depends, as P. M. Yakobson notes, on the personal characteristics of students: on the need to achieve success or, conversely, on laziness, passivity, unwillingness to make efforts on oneself, resistance to failure (frustration), etc.
The abundance of literature on the problem of motivation and motives is accompanied by a variety of points of view on their nature, which forces some psychologists to fall into excessive pessimism and talk about the practical insolubility of the problem. A common drawback of existing points of view and theories is the lack of a systematic approach to the consideration of the process of motivation, as a result of which any factor influencing the emergence of motivation and decision-making is declared a motive. Very little attention (especially in Russian literature) is given to the analysis of the reasons for such a significant discrepancy between the authors in understanding the essence of motivation and motives; as a rule, there is either a simple presentation of the views of other authors on the problem, or a rather superficial criticism of all points of view that differ from one's own, without searching for and developing the rational that is available in the approaches of predecessors. Meanwhile, an unbiased analysis allows us to see a lot of valuable information in various hypotheses and formulations that can be used to build a holistic and consistent concept of motivation and motive.