A seminal work in the field of motivation by the leading author on the topic, this classic has been fully revised and updated to include and distill the most current research from top international scholars. Drawing upon his experiences as a staff psychologist and consultant, Gary P. Latham writes in a mentor voice that is highly personal and rich in examples, providing a unique behavioral science framework for motivating employees in organizational settings. The book offers a chronological review of the field, and a taxonomy for the study and practice of motivation, complete with anecdotes about the major thought leaders in the field of motivation and behind-the-scenes research accounts. Highlights of this updated edition include new findings in goal-setting research, including insight into the dark side of goal-setting; more on the self in motivation, including self-regulated learning, self-evaluation methods, and the significance of self-efficacy as a predictor of performance and satisfaction; and more trending in the area of positive psychology and prosocial behavior in organizations.

Cognition: Goals, Feedback, and Self-Regulation

Cognition: Goals, feedback, and self-regulation


As noted earlier, behaviorism was the dominant paradigm in psychology for the first 60 years of the 20th century. In the 1970s, there was a cognitive revolution that has prevailed to the present day.1

Motivation arguably has developmental primacy over cognition in that needs are present at birth. Needs are even present before one's first perceptual experience. Needs confront us with the requirement of taking action to ensure our survival. But when it comes to choice of action beyond a reflexive response, cognition usually has primacy over motivation. A need cannot be met without the knowledge required to understand what can be done to satisfy it.

Pritchard and his colleagues (2002) defined motivation as a cognitive resource allocation ...

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