Upon completion of this course you will have insight into the fundamental processes and mechanisms that are responsible for the origin, maintenance and alteration of motivation. You will also have insight into how and when motivation does or does not lead to better performance.
You will be able to:
- Present an overview of the main theories and research discoveries related to motivational processes and the relationship between motivation and human performance
- Critically analyse this knowledge, integrate it and use it to describe and explain motivational processes and human performance related to them in a scientific manner
- Transfer this knowledge to practical applications such as guiding and coaching people with motivation questions; improving the performance of people in teaching, work or sport situations; improving people’s self-regulation; and making effective use of rewards
- Systematically analyse a motivational question of your choice in a Personal Project, using neurobiological, individual and/or social-cultural theoretical perspectives (a combination of at least two), and providing a theoretically supported solution/ recommendation/intervention
- Present a well-structured and convincing recommendation/intervention for your case.
What drives someone to do, or not to do something? What are the motives for our actions? And what role does our will play in this? Are we the plaything of our brain, desires, emotions and hormones, or do we have influence on our actions? And if so, how does this work?
How can it be that the self-image we hold motivates us to address certain matters with steely discipline while ignoring others? And how is our motivation influenced by others, by rewards, and sometimes merely by our previous successes? These fundamental questions are the starting point of the Motivation and Performance course.
Various perspectives on these questions will be addressed, so that you learn that there is no one clear answer to such questions. The goal is to learn how to reason using various theoretical contexts, and to recognise the advantages and disadvantages of these different contexts.
Many areas of application will be covered, which will give you insight into how psychological knowledge can be used to motivate people in work, sport and learning situations. The subjects of performance and reward will therefore be dealt with both theoretically and practically.
The role of various social situations will also be discussed. They can lead to reduced effort or even better performance. What is the role of these processes in practical situations such as work or assistance situations, sport, study or upbringing? To what extent can you rely on the self-regulatory powers in human motivation (self-determination), and in what situations must you fall back on external determination such as leadership, regulations, deadlines, rewards, or even coercion and punishment? What effect does this have on human motivation and performance?
Besides the lectures, we will work with a “Personal Project” (PP): all students will formulate a motivational question in the first week which they hope to answer during the course. During the tutorial sessions, you will work on your PP alongside your fellow students in groups of five and learn from each other’s questions. You will integrate your new knowledge into an individual journal on your PP that you will upload weekly to Blackboard. By the end of the course you will independently have developed an answer to your PP question.
The course is subdivided into the following sub-themes:
- Motivation: from brain to behaviour
- Rewards, desires and goals
- Causes of good and bad performance
- The self and self-regulation
- The psychology of money
- The role of the coach
- Motivation and social behaviour.