Common and distinctive approaches to motivation in different disciplines

T. Strombach, S. Strang*, S. Q. Park, P. Kenning

*Corresponding author for this work
2 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last couple of decades, a body of theories has emerged that explains when and why people are motivated to act. Multiple disciplines have investigated the origins and consequences of motivated behavior, and have done so largely in parallel. Only recently have different disciplines, like psychology and economics, begun to consolidate their knowledge, attempting to integrate findings. The following chapter presents and discusses the most prominent approaches to motivation in the disciplines of biology, psychology, and economics. Particularly, we describe the specific role of incentives, both monetary and alternative, in various motivational theories. Though monetary incentives are pivotal in traditional economic theory, biological and psychological theories ascribe less significance to monetary incentives and suggest alternative drivers for motivation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProgress in Brain Research
Pages (from-to)3-23
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2016

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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