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Motivation

The English word motivation has its etymological roots in the Latin word movere, which means “to move.” Although no consensual definition of motivation exists in scientific psychology, the definitions provided by most theorists rest firmly on the notion of movement. The definition offered herein is no exception: Motivation is defined as the energization and direction of behavior. Motivation is important in educational psychology because it explains and predicts the behavior of students, teachers, and administrators in school settings. In this entry, the concept of motivation in general is overviewed, followed by an overview of motivation within the field of educational psychology and a final section on integrative models of motivation within educational psychology.

Motivation Conceptualized

Motivation is a hypothetical construct, meaning that it is an abstraction, ...

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