Psychology theories of motivation

Bandura’s theory of self efficiency is based upon an individuals self belief that they are able to complete something in a certain situation. Gill gives a good definition of self efficiency when she says “Self efficiency is a situation specific form of confidence” (Gill, 1986, p.155). Bandura’s theory believes that self efficiency is created, used and modified through four types of information. These are, Personal Accomplishment, Vigorous Experiences, Verbal Persuasion, and Emotional Arousal. All four of these types of informational play a different role in increasing a participants self efficiency and in turn their motivation.

* Personal Accomplishment “Provides the most dependable information and has the most powerful effects on self efficiency” (Gill, 1986, p.155). This means that a participant practising a task correctly rather than an instructor telling them they can do it, has greater results.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

* Vigorous experiences is about observing another person complete a skill to reduce worry and increase self efficiency and confidence before trying to master the skill. Gill explains this when she says “Sometimes watching another student do a task reduces worry and enhances confidence”. (Gill, 1986, p.156).

* Verbal persuasion is known to be a less powerful technique used to enhance self efficiency. It is used by coaches and trainers by telling a participant that they can achieve something using verbal communication. Examples such as ‘I believe that you can do it’ and ‘I think you have the ability to do this’ are used to encourage, motivate participates to complete a task.

* Emotional Arousal is based upon confidence and relaxation levels when attempting a task. If an individual is nervous and not relaxed then their self efficiency levels would be low which could effect their motivation and performance. Gill explains this when she says “Relaxation training and other reduction techniques should increase self efficiency” (Gill, 1986, p.157).

Deci’s theory of cognitive evaluation theory is based upon the link between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic reward, Gill highlights this link “The relationship between extrinsic rewards and intrinsic motivation”. (Gill, 1986, p.150). Deci’s theory is that the extrinsic rewards such as trophies and money can effect and lower an individual’s intrinsic motivation e.g. wanting to complete a task for the fun of it. He describes extrinsic rewards as a “controlling aspect” (Gill, 1986, p.151), and that if this controlling reward is high it “undermines the intrinsic motivation” (Gill, 1986, p.151). Deci’s theory also states that rewards can have a negative and positive effect; this means that gaining a reward can increase an individual’s competence; however, on the other hand individuals who strive but do not succeed in gaining such rewards can have lower feelings on their competence. Gill supports this “Those who strive for but do not receive rewards may receive negative information that decreases their feelings of competence” (Gill, 1986, p.151).

Goal setting theory is a technique which uses rewards and incentives in sport to increase levels of performance. Gill describes it as “Goal setting is one technique that may help ensure adequate incentives to enhance performance in sport settings” (Gill, 1986, p.157). The theory is that the incentives should be designed to give an individual something to aim for, but it is important that these types of incentives are effective and specific. “Goals appear to be most effective when they are specific, immediate and challenging. General goals such as “try harder” have little motivational value.” (Gill, 1986, p.157). This suggests that it is pointless making wide and unspecific goals because individuals will not react and gain motivation. Goals should be set to the participants needs and be something which is achievable or measured.

Key Principles Application Sport/activity practitioner

The following key principles can be applied to sport coaching

Key Principles

Application to Coaching

Vigorous Experience

When introducing a new skill ask a participant to perform a demonstration. This could be done by observing which participant is competent at the skill or sport. Then asking them to show the other participants how to complete the task.

Cognitive Theory (Intrinsic Motivation)

When coaching a participating set goals such as ‘I would like you to score this many goals this season’ rather than ‘I would like you to win the Golden Boot Award’. Ensure that encouragement, praise and feedback are given. An example could be relevant to a football season with a team.

Goal setting

During sessions with participants ensure that goals are set out. These goals should be specific to them, challenging and immediate. An example is telling a football defender ‘In the last game you made 8 successful tackles, in this game I want you to make 10 successful tackles’. This target is specific because defending is key to a defender, it is challenging because it is more than their previous game, and it is immediate because it is the next game.

Personal Reflection

I have been a sports coach for 3 years and during this time I believe I have successfully motivated many participants. This in-depth look at different types and key components of motivation has given me an insight into how I have in the past used some of these theories in my coaching, how use this knowledge to further motivate participates in the future and the reasoning behind motivational skills work.

I believe that in the past I have used basic types of these motivational theories but I have not recognised myself using them. An example of this is that I have used vigorous experience. As I often use participants to give a demonstration to others but have never known it can help with confidence. I believe I can now use this knowledge of this type of motivation to greater effect.

This look at motivational theories has given me a lot to consider in terms of the different types of motivations and how they can be applied. I believe that in the future I must think about how these theories can be applied in a coaching environment to increase my participations motivation.

I think my main consideration and improvement in future coaching should be in connection with ‘Personal Accomplishment’. I feel that I must allow opportunities for participants to practise more rather than me telling them they can complete something. I can achieve this by giving more time and more space to participants to develop their skills during a session.

Principles

“A relatively permanent change in behaviour that occurs as a result of practise” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p.703)

1) Classical Conditioning

2) Instrumental Conditioning

3) Habituation

“Classical conditioning is a learning process in which previously neutral stimulus becomes associated with another stimulus through repeated pairing with that stimulus” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p.239). This theory of classical conditioning is based upon an experiment carried out by the scientist Ivan Pavlov. This form of learning is when a neutral stimulus becomes a conditional stimulus causing a certain conditional response after being repetitively presented with an unconditional stimulus. The experiment involved a dog being fed with food (Unconditional Response) whenever a light was turned on (Conditional Stimulus). After the link between the light being turned on and it being fed was made, the dog would start to salivate (Unconditional Response). Nolen-Hoeksema states this when she notes “Before conditioning, the unconditional stimulus causes the unconditioned response. During conditioning, the unconditioned stimulus and the conditioned stimulus are paired, and their association is learned. After conditioning, the conditioned stimulus causes a conditioned response” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p.240)

“Instrumental conditioning involves learning the relationship between responses and their outcomes” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p. 246). This theory of instrumental learning is based upon the idea that learnt behaviour is due to a certain change in an environment. An example of this is was an experiment carried out by Skinner. A rat was put inside of a box with a lever, when the rat pressed the lever, food was dispensed. This is known as the baseline level. Once the baseline level was achieved every time the lever was pressed by the rat, food was dispensed. The experiment showed that “the food reinforces bar pressing and the rate of pressing increases dramatically” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p.247). But when the food was taken away, the rat realised only after pressing the lever a few times that no food was being dispensed and “the rate of bar pressing diminishes” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p.247). This experiment shows that the environmental event which follows behaviour produces either an increase or decrease in the probability of that behaviour. This increase and decrease in behaviour is known as reinforcement. Nolen-Hoeksema describes it as negative and positive reinforcement and states “Reinforcement can be done by giving an appetitive stimulus (positive reinforcement) or by the removal of an aversive (negative reinforcement)” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p.247). Positive reinforcement will encourage behaviour and negative reinforcement should decrease the behaviour.

Habituation can be defined as “The reduction in the strength of a response to a repeated stimulus” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p.701). Habituation is based upon the theory that behavioural responses decrease to a stimulus over a certain period or time and amount of repetition. This decrease in behavioural response is due to lack of reinforcement throughout the continuous contact to the stimulus. The theory supports that after extended exposure to a stimulus the sensory system may stop sending signals to the brain about the repetitive stimulus. Cohen recognises this when he states “Sensory systems may stop, after a while, sending signals to the brain in response to a continuously present or often-repeated stimulus” (Cohen, et al, 1997. p.2886). An experiment to support the argument of habituation was carried out by Eric Kandle on fishes. It was designed to measure the “gill withdrawal effect, which can be elicited by gentle mechanical stimulation of the gill or surrounding tissue” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p.259). During the experiment the gill was lightly stimulated with a water jet, at first when this was done the gill withdrew. However by the end results found that “repeated stimulation of the gill produces weaker and weaker withdrawal responses” (Nolen-Hoeksema, et al, 2009, p.259). This supported the theory that continuous stimulus decrease behavioural responses.

Key Principles Application Sport/activity practitioner

The following key principles can be applied to sport coaching

Key Principles

Application to Coaching

Classical Conditioning

When instructing participants during boxing training ensure that participants learn that the ringing bell signals the end of the round and for them to stop, turn and return to their corner. This could be achieved through practising the bell ringing during every training session and every round. Focus their attention that the bell is there to signal the end of the round and it is against the laws of the game to continue participating until the bell signals again.

Instrumental Conditioning

When performers are practising skills, techniques or tasks and they are done correctly. Encourage the participant and let them know you are happy that they have completed the task or skill set.

Habituation

Before introducing participants to a game situation, try and ensure they gain their first experiences as a spectator and watching the game not participating. This will help them experience the environment and learn to decrease behavioural responses to things like spectators or other stimuli.

Personal Reflection

I have been a sports coach for three years and during this time I believe I have used some of these learning theories and have tried to construct my sessions using different learning methods to ensure my participants discover new skills, techniques and rules. I would normally do this through more basic types of learning and by gaining feedback from participants to see if I have been effective. Now with this in-depth knowledge and understanding on how these theories work and how to successfully use them in sport coaching I will in future be able ensure my participants learn quicker, in depth and more effectively. I believe in the future, I should consider using instrumental conditioning and my understanding of the link between positive reinforcement and behaviour to help my participants learn successfully and achieve a positive outcome. I will also need to focus on negative reinforcement and use this understanding to teach participants that negative behaviour is not accepted and this can again be achieved though instrumental conditioning.