Motivating Humans: Goals, Emotions, and Personal Agency Beliefs

“Motivating Humans represents an excellent integration of different motivational constructs…. The main purpose of Ford's book and his theory, motivational systems theory (MST), is to provide an integrative and coherent model of motivation that synthesizes the various constructs from the different theories into one comprehensive framework…. It represents an important addition to the knowledge base on motivation and will be generative of much future research. Moreover, the book presents the framework in a scholarly, yet readable, fashion that makes the book accessible to professional psychologists as well as graduate and undergraduate students.” --Paul R. Pintrich in Contemporary Psychology Why do people do the things they do? In Motivating Humans, Ford answers this age-old question and offers the reader a precise and comprehensive description of the basic substance of human motivation--what it is, how it works, and how it impacts what people do and how well they do it. He also shows how classic and contemporary motivation theory in education, management, and psychology can be integrated into a coherent and unified framework called Motivational Systems Theory, from which he derives 17 principles for motivating humans. Different from any other motivation book, Motivating Humans presents numerous unique features: a variety of concrete examples to bridge the gap between abstract theory and the world of practical human affairs; an applications chapter that explores such issues as ways to promote social responsibility in youth, ways to increase work productivity and job satisfaction, and ways to increase learning and school achievement; the most up-to-date coverage of recent studies in motivation; and, pedagogical devices, including summary tables to help the reader digest and remember key information. Unique, comprehensive, and accessibly written, Motivating Humans will inspire a wide readership, including professors and students in psychology, management, education, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology. Class-Tested: What the Students Say … “The chart on the history of motivational theory organized broadly by MST concepts was extremely helpful in providing the reader with a look at the field in a glance.” “First and foremost, the fact that this is a legitimate psychological theory and I can understand it, having had very little other exposure to psychology, is a very strong aspect of the book. Is refers to and explains a variety of psychological theories and principles without losing me. Also, any theory that seems to unify a large volume of disparate work is always attractive to mr, especially if it does a good enough job surveying its predecessors as I think the book does. Finally, I think that the summary of the LSF in chapter two was integral to the ‘largeness’ or wide-view of the book. It helped to tie in and explain the ‘whole-person’ approach to motivational theory.” I really liked how MST emphasized the role of emotions in motivation and human action where other theories had rationalized them. Emotions are very powerful and, I believe, virtually impossible to explain away--something that I think psychology does too readily.” “Motivational Systems Theory is the most comprehensive and compelling theory of human motivation which I have seen to date. Martin Ford has taken an impoverished and muddled field of psychological inquiry and transformed it into a coherent and useful tool for explaining human behavior. Chapter 6 is especially brilliant. It gives an overview of all the major (and most of the not-so-major) theories and capitalizes on their similarities rather than their differences.” “Most practitioners in schools and business recognize the value of motivating people and do so operating from their gut; it is good to know that there is a workable and logical theory to put behind the practice and help refine it. Chapter 7 is particularly helpful; one could read this chapter and none others and still benefit.” “Finally, a book which will help educators turn their students on to learning. It should be required reading for all classroom teachers.” Praise for this volume … “Motivating Humans, by Martin Ford, presents one of the most complete and comprehensive theories of human motivation yet to be proposed. This is a significant work that is essential reading for all interested both in understanding motivation and in applying motivational principles in the workplace.” --Robert J. Sternberg, Yale University “Motivating Humans is a well thought-out and well-organized book that focuses on issues of motivation. Educators, in particular, will be interested in this volume. It utilizes a combination of logic and existing literature to build its case…. Martin Ford's work is creative, yet analytic. Motivating Humans will certainly stimulate some serious class discussion.” --Gerald R. Adams, College of Family and Consumer Studies University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada “Using a broad, systems perspective, Ford has skillfully organized a wide and all-too-often confusing array of advances in motivation theory and research. Students, researchers, and practitioners in education and psychology should find this book most helpful in providing a clear and thought-provoking introduction to the field.” --Ruth Kanfer, Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota “Motivating Humans contains a wealth of information--from theory to application--to help educators increase school learning and achievement. Twenty-five pages of bibliography alone make this book attest to its thoroughness. A chapter of theories of motivation can only be regarded as definitive--some 31 theories of motivation are described and arranged in a table format…. Ford regards facilitation, not control, as the guiding idea for motivating people; an idea that fits nicely with the growing role of teacher as facilitator. Wisely, he offers no ready formula for facilitating motivation, for ‘there are no magic motivational buttons that can be pushed to make people want to learn, work hard, and act in a responsible manner.’ But Ford does offer a comprehensive glimpse into the mechanism of motivation for those who are trying to find their own paths toward inspiring it…. It deserves the highest praise and the widest reading for its treatment of such a complex subject in such an accessible and thorough manner. Motivating Humans should serve long as the standard source and reference on motivation.” --Educational Leadership

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