Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Personal Motivational Traits

Two concepts from behavioral genetics, gene-environment interaction and gene-environment correlation (Loehlin, 1992;Plomin, 2001), helps us to understand the influence of traits on motivation. These concepts are related to trait-environment interaction, which are reactions to the environment depends on the amount of a particular trait possessed, and trait-environment, where traits and environments are associated in their effects on behavior, because personality traits determine the situations a person chooses. In 1983, Snyder suggested that people "may choose to enter and spend time in situations that facilitate behavior expressions of their characteristic dispositions and allow for the satisfaction of motives that are characteristic of those personality traits" (p. 502). In addition, people manipulate the situations in which they find themselves (Buss, 1987, 1992; Buss al., 1987). People develop unique predispositions to set goals and to persist at tasks related to those goals because of their personal learning and reinforcing histories.
Some people are more likely to focus on effective intrinsic reinforcers and to make internal and controllable attributions for their successes and failures than persons with lower achievement-orientations. These predispositions, like other features of personality, are learned. Classroom activity for example, can have an impact on motivation as a personality characteristic. A large number of personality characteristics are related to motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985). For example, in 1964, Atkinson classified people as motivated either by seeking success or failure. Research has shown that for success seekers, motivation increases by failure, but failure decrease their efforts after failing at a task.

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