Development of Motivation

  • Jutta HeckhausenEmail author
  • Heinz Heckhausen


From its earliest development on human behavior is characterized by a striving for control. As humans develop, this striving becomes more concrete, goal-oriented, and reflective. Children’s daily interaction partners play a crucial role in the development of fundamental motivational preferences and behavioral regulation. The behavioral emotions of pride and shame indicate self-evaluation and thus become positive or negative incentives for future behavior. Children’s gradual cognitive development allows them to gain a more elaborate understanding of task difficulty, abilities, effort, and their complex interactions for the prediction and explanation of behavioral outcomes. In addition to general developmental trends, people develop individual differences in their implicit motives, specific incentives and expectancies, generalized performance goal orientations, as well as strengths and weaknesses in behavioral regulation. These individual differences become increasingly pronounced at crucial developmental transitions.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Social BehaviorUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Psychological ResearchMunichGermany

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