Motivation Psychology

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1. To understand the historical background of the concept/study of motivation;

2. To acquire knowledge about different theoretical perspectives of motivation;

3. To identify and question the strenghts and limitations of different models/theories of motivation;

4. To understand the concept of motivation;

5. To distinguish different motivational concepts and their respective association with theoretical approaches;

6. To understand what is intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and its implications in the study of motivation;

7. To explain the role of different concepts in motivation;

8. To understand the motivational cycle;

9. To study some motivation assessment tools;

10. To identify applications of motivation in daily life;

11. To increase the technical vocabulary in this area of ​​psychology.


1. Nature of Motivation.

2. Definitions.

3. Theoretical evolution of the construct.

4. Motivation as internal stimuli.

5. Motivation as an activating force for guiding the individual into action.

6. Gratification as a mechanism for reducing tension.

7. The motivational cycle.

8. Organized and purposeful behaviour.

9. Frustration and conflict.

10. Perspectives on human cognitive motivation: theoretical and practical implications.

11. Educational applications of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Teaching Methodologies

Problem-solving and Project-based work complemented by expository instruction. The application of theoretical issues to specific tasks of a more practical nature is also ensured. The latter activities are conducted in small groups, and involve working on specific topics and issues. Their objective is to help students consolidate theoretical based knowledge and acquisitions and develop analytical skills and guided discussions about these issues. Written work is also assessed, as well as in-class presentations of pre-assigned topics.


Abreu, M. V. (1986). Para uma nova teoria dos interesses. Biblos, 62, 217-229

Maslow, A. (1970). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper & Row

Pajares, F. & Urdan, T. (2002). Academic motivation of adolescents. New Haven: Information Age Pub.

Petri, H. & Govern, J. (2004). Motivation: Theory, research and applications (5ª Ed.)

Belmont, CA.: Wadsworth Publishing Co.

Rosário, P. (2005). Motivação e aprendizagem: Uma rota de leitura. In M.C. Taveira

(Coord.), Temas de psicologia escolar: Contributos de um projecto cientificopedagógico (pp.23-60). Coimbra: Quarteto Ed.

Rosário, P. (2004). Estudar o estudar: As desventuras do Testas. Porto: Porto Editora.

Schunk, D. (2008). Learning theories: An educational perspective (Cap. 11, pp.452-511). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Weiner, B. (1991). Human motivation: Metaphors, theories and research. Newbury Park: Sage Publishing.

Weiner, B. (1974). Cognitive views of human motivation. New York: Academic Press.



ECTS Credits



  • Teóricas - 30 hours
  • Teórico-Práticas - 30 hours

Evaluation Methodology

  • 1st Frequency: 35%
  • 2nd Frequency: 35%
  • Critical recension: 30%