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What kinds of long - term cognition/motivation tracking tools are there?

What kinds of long - term cognition/motivation tracking tools are there?



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I'm aware that there are dozens of personal "activity trackers"/ pedometers like fitbit that are aimed for mass consumer and can log activity over extended periods of time. Are there equivalent devices or programs that automatically keep track of the users cognitive performance or motivation over extended periods of time?


Making a plan and setting goals

  • Weekly Exercise and Physical Activity Plan (PDF, 345K)
    Use this form to make your own exercise and physical activity plan — one you think you really can manage. Update your plan as you progress. Try to include all 4 types of exercise — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.
  • Goal-Setting Worksheet (PDF, 691K)
    Use this form to write down your goals. Try putting them where you can see them, and renew them regularly. Include both short-term goals and long-term goals for yourself. Describe how you will reward yourself for achieving each goal.

The Two Main Types of Motivation

Different types of motivation generally fall into two main categories.

1. Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is a type of motivation in which an individual is motivated by internal desires and is satisfied when internally rewarded.

For example, let&rsquos say an individual named Bob has set himself a goal to begin losing weight and becoming healthier. Let&rsquos also imagine that Bob&rsquos reason to pursue this path of fitness and wellness is to improve his health overall and feel better about his appearance.

Since Bob&rsquos desire to change comes from within, his motivation is intrinsic. Learn more about intrinsic motivation in this Fast-Track Class &ndash Activate Your Motivation. It&rsquos a free session that will guide you to find your inner motivation and make it sustainable. Join the free class now!

2. Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is a type of motivation in which an individual is motivated by external desires or extrinsic rewards.

Rather than being motivated by the need to look better and feel healthier, let&rsquos say that Bob was feeling pressure from his wife to slim down and improve his physique, both external factors.

Since this pressure comes from an outside source, this is an example of extrinsic motivation.


Theories of Motivation

At a simple level, it seems obvious that people do things, such as go to work, in order to get stuff they want and to avoid stuff they don't want.

Why exactly they want what they do and don't want what they don't is still something a mystery. It's a black box and it hasn't been fully penetrated.

Overall, the basic perspective on motivation looks something like this:

In other words, you have certain needs or wants (these terms will be used interchangeably), and this causes you to do certain things (behavior), which satisfy those needs (satisfaction), and this can then change which needs/wants are primary (either intensifying certain ones, or allowing you to move on to other ones).

A variation on this model, particularly appropriate from an experimenter's or manager's point of view, would be to add a box labeled "reward" between "behavior" and "satisfaction". So that subjects (or employees), who have certain needs do certain things (behavior), which then get them rewards set up by the experimenter or manager (such as raises or bonuses), which satisfy the needs, and so on.

Classifying Needs

People seem to have different wants. This is fortunate, because in markets this creates the very desirable situation where, because you value stuff that I have but you don't, and I value stuff that you have that I don't, we can trade in such a way that we are both happier as a result.

But it also means we need to try to get a handle on the whole variety of needs and who has them in order to begin to understand how to design organizations that maximize productivity.

Part of what a theory of motivation tries to do is explain and predict who has which wants. This turns out to be exceedingly difficult.

Many theories posit a hierarchy of needs, in which the needs at the bottom are the most urgent and need to be satisfied before attention can be paid to the others.

Maslow

Maslow's hierarchy of need categories is the most famous example:

self-actualization
esteem
belongingness
safety
physiological

Specific examples of these types are given below, in both the work and home context. (Some of the instances, like "education" are actually satisfiers of the need.)

Need Home Job
self-actualization education, religion, hobbies, personal growth training, advancement, growth, creativity
esteem approval of family, friends, community recognition, high status, responsibilities
belongingness family, friends, clubs teams, depts, coworkers, clients, supervisors, subordinates
safety freedom from war, poison, violence work safety, job security, health insurance
physiological food water sex Heat, air, base salary

According to Maslow, lower needs take priority. They must be fulfilled before the others are activated. There is some basic common sense here -- it's pointless to worry about whether a given color looks good on you when you are dying of starvation, or being threatened with your life. There are some basic things that take precedence over all else.

Or at least logically should, if people were rational. But is that a safe assumption? According to the theory, if you are hungry and have inadequate shelter, you won't go to church. Can't do the higher things until you have the lower things. But the poor tend to be more religious than the rich. Both within a given culture, and across nations. So the theory makes the wrong prediction here.

Or take education: how often do you hear "I can't go to class today, I haven't had sex in three days!"? Do all physiological needs including sex have to be satisfied before "higher" needs? (Besides, wouldn't the authors of the Kama Sutra argue that sex was a kind of self-expression more like art than a physiological need? that would put it in the self-actualization box). Again, the theory doesn't seem to predict correctly.

Cultural critique: Does Maslow's classification really reflect the order in which needs are satisfied, or is it more about classifying needs from a kind of "tastefulness" perspective, with lofty goals like personal growth and creativity at the top, and "base" instincts like sex and hunger at the bottom? And is self-actualization actually a fundamental need? Or just something that can be done if you have the leisure time?

Alderfer's ERG theory

Alderfer classifies needs into three categories, also ordered hierarchically:

  • growth needs (development of competence and realization of potential)
  • relatedness needs (satisfactory relations with others)
  • existence needs (physical well-being)

This is very similar to Maslow -- can be seen as just collapsing into three tiers. But maybe a bit more rational. For example, in Alderfer's model, sex does not need to be in the bottom category as it is in Maslow's model, since it is not crucial to (the individual's) existence. (Remember, this about individual motivation, not species' survival.) So by moving sex, this theory does not predict that people have to have sex before they can think about going to school, like Maslow's theory does.

Alderfer believed that as you start satisfying higher needs, they become more intense (e.g., the power you get the more you want power), like an addiction.

Do any of these theories have anything useful to say for managing businesses? Well, if true, they suggest that

  • Not everyone is motivated by the same things. It depends where you are in the hierarchy (think of it as a kind of personal development scale)
  • The needs hierarchy probably mirrors the organizational hierarchy to a certain extent: top managers are more likely to motivated by self-actualization/growth needs than existence needs. (but try telling Bill Clinton that top executives are not motivated by sex and cheeseburgers. )

Acquired Needs Theory (mcclellan)

Some needs are acquired as a result of life experiences

  • need for achievement, accomplish something difficult. as kids encouraged to do things for themselves.
  • need for affiliation, form close personal relationships. as kids rewarded for making friends.
  • need for power, control others. as kids, able to get what they want through controlling others.

Again similar to maslow and alderfer.

These needs can be measured using the TAT (thematic apperception test), which is a projection-style test based on interpreting stories that people tell about a set of pictures.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory

This theory suggests that there are actually two motivation systems: intrinsic and extrinsic that correspond to two kinds of motivators:

  • intrinsic motivators: Achievement, responsibility and competence. motivators that come from the actual performance of the task or job -- the intrinsic interest of the work.
  • extrinsic: pay, promotion, feedback, working conditions -- things that come from a person's environment, controlled by others.

One or the other of these may be a more powerful motivator for a given individual.

Intrinsically motivated individuals perform for their own achievement and satisfaction. If they come to believe that they are doing some job because of the pay or the working conditions or some other extrinsic reason, they begin to lose motivation.

The belief is that the presence of powerful extrinsic motivators can actually reduce a person's intrinsic motivation, particularly if the extrinsic motivators are perceived by the person to be controlled by people. In other words, a boss who is always dangling this reward or that stick will turn off the intrinsically motivated people.

Note that the intrinsic motivators tend to be higher on the Maslow hierarchy.

Two Factor theory (Herzberg)

According to Herzberg, two kinds of factors affect motivation, and they do it in different ways:

  • hygiene factors. These are factors whose absence motivates, but whose presence has no perceived effect. They are things that when you take them away, people become dissatisfied and act to get them back. A very good example is heroin to a heroin addict. Long term addicts do not shoot up to get high they shoot up to stop being sick -- to get normal. Other examples include decent working conditions, security, pay, benefits (like health insurance), company policies, interpersonal relationships. In general, these are extrinsic items low in the Maslow/Alderfer hierarchy.
  • motivators. These are factors whose presence motivates. Their absence does not cause any particular dissatisfaction, it just fails to motivate. Examples are all the things at the top of the Maslow hierarchy, and the intrinsic motivators.

So hygiene factors determine dissatisfaction, and motivators determine satisfaction. The two scales are independent, and you can be high on both.

If you think back to the class discussion on power, we talked about a baseline point on the well-being scale. Power involved a threat to reduce your well-being, causing dissatisfaction. Hence, power basically works by threatening to withhold hygiene factors. Influence was said to fundamentally be about promising improvements in well-being -- when you are influenced to do something, it is because you want to, not because you were threatened. Influence basically works by offering to provide motivators (in Herzberg's terms).

Equity Theory

Suppose employee A gets a 20% raise and employee B gets a 10% raise. Will both be motivated as a result? Will A be twice as motivated? Will be B be negatively motivated?

Equity theory says that it is not the actual reward that motivates, but the perception, and the perception is based not on the reward in isolation, but in comparison with the efforts that went into getting it, and the rewards and efforts of others. If everyone got a 5% raise, B is likely to feel quite pleased with her raise, even if she worked harder than everyone else. But if A got an even higher raise, B perceives that she worked just as hard as A, she will be unhappy.

In other words, people's motivation results from a ratio of ratios: a person compares the ratio of reward to effort with the comparable ratio of reward to effort that they think others are getting.

Of course, in terms of actually predicting how a person will react to a given motivator, this will get pretty complicated:

  1. People do not have complete information about how others are rewarded. So they are going on perceptions, rumors, inferences.
  2. Some people are more sensitive to equity issues than others
  3. Some people are willing to ignore short-term inequities as long as they expect things to work out in the long-term.

Operant Conditioning is the term used by B.F. Skinner to describe the effects of the consequences of a particular behavior on the future occurrence of that behavior. There are four types of Operant Conditioning: Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, and Extinction. Both Positive and Negative Reinforcement strengthen behavior while both Punishment and Extinction weaken behavior.

  • Positive reinforcement. Strengthening a behavior. This is the process of getting goodies as a consequence of a behavior. You make a sale, you get a commission. You do a good job, you get a bonus & a promotion.
  • Negative reinforcement. Strengthening a behavior. This is the process of having a stressor taken away as a consequence of a behavior. Long-term sanctions are removed from countries when their human rights records improve. (you see how successful that is!). Low status as geek at Salomon Brothers is removed when you make first big sale.
  • Extinction. Weakening a behavior. This is the process of getting no goodies when do a behavior. So if person does extra effort, but gets no thanks for it, they stop doing it.
  • Punishment. Weakening a behavior. This is the process of getting a punishment as a consequence of a behavior. Example: having your pay docked for lateness.
Apply Withhold
Reward positive reinforcement (raise above baseline) negative reinforcement (raise up to baseline)
Stressor punishment (bring down below baseline) extinction (stay at baseline)

The traditional reinforcement schedule is called a continuous reinforcement schedule. Each time the correct behavior is performed it gets reinforced.

Then there is what we call an intermittent reinforcement schedule. There are fixed and variable categories.

The Fixed Interval Schedule is where reinforcement is only given after a certain amount of time has elapsed. So, if you decided on a 5 second interval then each reinforcement would occur at the fixed time of every 5 seconds.

The Fixed Ratio Scheduleis where the reinforcement is given only after a predetermined number of responses. This is often seen in behavior chains where a number of behaviors have to occur for reinforcement to occur.

The Variable Interval Schedule is where the reinforcement is given after varying amounts of time between each reinforcement.

The Variable Ratio Schedule is where the reinforcement is given after a varying number of correct responses.

Fluctuating combinations of primary and secondary reinforcers fall under other terms in the variable ratio schedule For example, Reinforcers delivered Intermittently in a Randomized Order (RIR) or Variable Ratio with Reinforcement Variety (VRRV).

(unexpected bonus based on merit)

(commissions or piecework pay)

Expectancy Theory (Vroom)

This theory is meant to bring together many of the elements of previous theories. It combines the perceptual aspects of equity theory with the behavioral aspects of the other theories. Basically, it comes down to this "equation":

motivation = expectancy * instrumentality * valence

M (motivation) is the amount a person will be motivated by the situation they find themselves in. It is a function of the following.

E (expectancy) = The person's perception that effort will result in performance. In other words, the person's assessment of the degree to which effort actually correlates with performance.

I (instrumentality) = The person's perception that performance will be rewarded/punished. I.e., the person's assessment of how well the amount of reward correlates with the quality of performance. (Note here that the model is phrased in terms of extrinsic motivation, in that it asks 'what are the chances I'm going to get rewarded if I do good job?'. But for intrinsic situations, we can think of this as asking 'how good will I feel if I can pull this off?').

V(valence) = The perceived strength of the reward or punishment that will result from the performance. If the reward is small, the motivation will be small, even if expectancy and instrumentality are both perfect (high).


Short-term memory is that brief period of time where you can recall information you were just exposed to. Short-term often encompasses anywhere from 30 seconds to a few days, depending on who is using the term.

Some researchers use the term working memory and distinguish it from short-term memory, though the two overlap.   Working memory can be defined as the ability of our brains to keep a limited amount of information available long enough to use it. Working memory helps process thoughts and plans, as well as carries out ideas.

You can think of working memory as your short-term memory combining strategies and knowledge from your long-term memory bank to assist in making a decision or calculation.

Working memory has been connected to executive functioning, which is often affected in the earlier stages of Alzheimer's disease.  


Types of Motivation

There are two types of motivation, Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation. It's important to understand that we are not all the same thus effectively motivating your employees requires that you gain an understanding of the different types of motivation. Such an understanding will enable you to better categorize your team members and apply the appropriate type of motivation. You will find each member different and each member's motivational needs will be varied as well. Some people respond best to intrinsic which means "from within" and will meet any obligation of an area of their passion. Quite the reverse, others will respond better to extrinsic motivation which, in their world, provides that difficult tasks can be dealt with provided there is a reward upon completion of that task. Become an expert in determining which type will work best with which team members.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation means that the individual's motivational stimuli are coming from within. The individual has the desire to perform a specific task, because its results are in accordance with his belief system or fulfills a desire and therefore importance is attached to it.

Our deep-rooted desires have the highest motivational power. Below are some examples:

  • Acceptance: We all need to feel that we, as well as our decisions, are accepted by our co-workers.
  • Curiosity: We all have the desire to be in the know.
  • Honor: We all need to respect the rules and to be ethical.
  • Independence: We all need to feel we are unique.
  • Order: We all need to be organized.
  • Power: We all have the desire to be able to have influence.
  • Social contact: We all need to have some social interactions.
  • Social Status: We all have the desire to feel important.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation means that the individual's motivational stimuli are coming from outside. In other words, our desires to perform a task are controlled by an outside source. Note that even though the stimuli are coming from outside, the result of performing the task will still be rewarding for the individual performing the task.

Extrinsic motivation is external in nature. The most well-known and the most debated motivation is money. Below are some other examples:

  • Employee of the month award
  • Benefit package
  • Bonuses
  • Organized activities

Skeptics and proponents of the wearables market alike recognize the significant technological innovations taking place and the opportunities for profits. Successful ventures in this space will enable new revenue streams through services and/or hardware or increase bottom line revenues by improving healthcare outcomes and reducing costs. For companies across the value chain, the stakes are high.

Endeavour Partners recently conducted an Internet-based survey of thousands of Americans and concluded that as of September 2013, one in ten U.S. consumers over the age of 18 now owns a modern activity tracker from the likes of Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike, Misfit Wearables, and others.

Furthermore, there is a bimodal distribution among users by age. There is a younger cohort of adopters, most of whom fall into the 25–34 age range. These users are primarily focused on fitness optimization. There is an older cohort of adopters between age 55–64, who are focused on improving overall health and extending their lives. There is a broad opportunity to launch wearable products and services targeting different cohorts, and specific personas within those cohorts.

These consumers have adopted — with greater and lesser degrees of success — a variety of wearable products and related wellness services designed to help them live healthier lives by altering their habits.

While some companies have introduced wearable hardware and services, others have built service offerings that leverage the multitude of devices in the market. Each of these has a different value proposition or feature mix that claims to offer a unique method for harnessing the power of the mobile Internet to meet consumer needs and preferences.

For example, mobile network operators such as AT&T, healthcare providers and insurers such as Humana Inc., and data aggregators such as TicTrak and Foxing have each introduced services that integrate with consumers’ wearable devices. AT&T’s mHealth Platform is an open developer ecosystem that gives consumers the ability to aggregate health data from applications and devices. Humana offers an activity tracker rewards program and an app that integrates fitness and eating behaviors. TicTrak and Foxing collect and aggregate data from different activity trackers and body measuring devices.


Cognitive strategies are useful tools in assisting students with learning problems. The term "cognitive strategies" in its simplest form is the use of the mind (cognition) to solve a problem or complete a task. Cognitive strategies may also be referred to as procedural facilitators (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1987), procedural prompts (Rosenshine, 1997) orscaffolds (Palincsar & Brown, 1984). A related term is metacognition, the self-reflection or "thinking about thinking" necessary for students to learn effectively (Baker, Gersten, & Scanlon, 2002).

Cognitive strategies provide a structure for learning when a task cannot be completed through a series of steps. For example, algorithms in mathematics provide a series of steps to solve a problem. Attention to the steps results in successful completion of the problem. In contrast, reading comprehension, a complex task, is a good example of a task that does not follow a series of steps. Further explanation is provided below.

A cognitive strategy serves to support the learner as he or she develops internal procedures that enable him/her to perform tasks that are complex (Rosenshine, 1997). Reading comprehension is an area where cognitive strategies are important. A self-questioning strategy can help students understand what they read. Rosenshine states that the act of creating questions does not lead directly to comprehension. Instead, students search the text and combine information as they generate questions then they comprehend what they have read.

The use of cognitive strategies can increase the efficiency with which the learner approaches a learning task. These academic tasks can include, but are not limited to, remembering and applying information from course content, constructing sentences and paragraphs, editing written work, paraphrasing, and classifying information to be learned.

In a classroom where cognitive strategies are used, the teacher fulfills a pivotal role, bridging the gap between student and content/skill to be learned. This role requires an understanding of the task to be completed, as well as knowledge of an approach (or approaches) to the task that he/she can communicate to the learner.

Impacting both the task and the learner using cognitive strategies is referred to as Content Enhancement. Bulgren, Deshler, and Schumaker (1997) highlight three important teacher activities in their model of content enhancement:

  1. Teachers evaluate the content they cover.
  2. Teachers determine the necessary approaches to learning for student success
  3. Teachers teach with routines and instructional supports that assist students as they apply appropriate techniques and strategies.

In this way, the teacher emphasizes what the students should learn, or the "product" of learning. In addition, the teacher models the how or "process" of learning.

When a teacher is comfortable with the content he/she is teaching, he/she knows which parts are the most important, the most interesting and the easiest (or hardest) to learn. The teacher evaluates the content with various questions in mind:

  • How important is this information to my students?
  • Is any of this information irrelevant to the point I can minimize or exclude it?
  • How will my students use this information beyond my classroom (in general education classrooms, college and/or career settings, etc.)
  • What parts of this information do I think my students will grasp quickly?
  • What parts of this information do I think my students will need "extras" (more time, more examples, peer help, more explanation, applications, etc.)
  • How should I pace the presentation?
  • Which evaluations are going to help me know that my students understand this information?

The more experienced the teacher is with content, the better he/she will be able to plan students' cognitive journey through the information or skills that will be unfamiliar to them.

Determination of necessary approaches

Now the teacher's attention turns to his/her knowledge of the students. Student characteristics such as intellectual ability, interest in the subject, and general motivation to learn are considered. The teacher selects learning approaches that complement the learner characteristics while ensuring success with the content. A teacher who teaches cognitive strategies well will connect learner and task. A strategy will be chosen because it is the best strategy for BOTH the learner's characteristics and the task and/or content that needs to be mastered.

Routines and instructional supports

Once the best strategy or strategies have been selected, the teacher begins the work of teaching the strategy to the student(s). Explicit instruction is used to impart the components or steps of the strategy. Often the strategy will include actions or routines that are repeated each time the strategy is implemented. Additional instructional supports such as guided practice, independent practice, verbal practice, and written or oral tests may also be used.

You can compare the teaching of cognitive strategies to teaching a friend to drive in your hometown. Because you are in your hometown, you know the area, or content, very well. In addition, the person you are teaching to drive is your friend, so you also know the learner well. This knowledge can make your teaching more efficient, because you have two areas of expertise (the content and the learner) at your disposal. You will use a combination of explicit instructions (turn left on Church Street) and supports (maps, the rule that "all avenues run North-South") to teach your friend how to navigate around town. You may also use verbal directions as opposed to maps, depending on your friend's preferred mode of information.

Just as important, you can avoid situations that could become barriers to learning (and your friendship). For example, if your friend tends to be anxious, you will NOT begin your instruction during rush hour!

Selected Cognitive Strategies

Because they are diverse and highly relevant to tasks, the use of cognitive strategies by teachers and students can significantly impact important learning outcomes for students. This website provides examples of cognitive strategies, with descriptions and examples. The following table presents the strategies that will be discussed. In addition, case studies will be presented to show cognitive strategies in action.

Cognitive Strategies for Special Connections

Student's attention is drawn to a task through teacher input, highlighted material, and/or student self-regulation.

Teacher cue to "listen carefully"Boldface type

Specific Aids for Attention

Student's attention is maintained by connecting a concrete object or other cue to the task.

A special pencil cues the student to pay special attention to punctuation when he is writing sentences.

Specific Aids for Problem-Solving or Memorization

Student's problem-solving is enhanced by connecting a concrete object or other cue to the task.

Concrete objects are used in solving math problems.

Student practices (rehearses) target information through verbalization, visual study, or other means.

Students practice vocabulary and definitions through games where they must orally repeat target information.

Student expands target information by relating other information to it (ex. creating a phrase, making an analogy).

Students relate the life of an ant colony to their community.

Student simplifies target information by converting difficult or unfamiliar information into more manageable information.

Procedures for protecting oneself from being burned are learned as "Stop, Drop, and Roll".

Student transforms target information by creating meaningful visual, auditory, or kinesthetic images of the information.

Visualization of a scene described in a passage

Student transforms target information by relating a cue word, phrase, or sentence to the target information.

My Dear Aunt Sally for the order of mathematical operations (multiply, divide, add, subtract)

Student categorizes, sequences or otherwise organizes information for more efficient recall and use.

Words in lists are placed in categories.

*Imagery and Mnemonics can be considered special types of transformational strategies.

The use of cognitive strategies can increase the efficiency and confidence with which the learner approaches a learning task, as well as his/her ability to develop a product, retain essential information, or perform a skill. While teaching cognitive strategies requires a high degree of commitment from both the teacher and learner, the results are well worth the effort.


Patient Experiences of Web-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Heart Failure and Depression: Qualitative Study

Background: Web-based cognitive behavioral therapy (wCBT) has been proposed as a possible treatment for patients with heart failure and depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms are common in patients with heart failure and such symptoms are known to significantly worsen their health. Although there are promising results on the effect of wCBT, there is a knowledge gap regarding how persons with chronic heart failure and depressive symptoms experience wCBT.

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of participating and receiving health care through a wCBT intervention among persons with heart failure and depressive symptoms.

Methods: In this qualitative, inductive, exploratory, and descriptive study, participants with experiences of a wCBT program were interviewed. The participants were included through purposeful sampling among participants previously included in a quantitative study on wCBT. Overall, 13 participants consented to take part in this study and were interviewed via telephone using an interview guide. Verbatim transcripts from the interviews were qualitatively analyzed following the recommendations discussed by Patton in Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods: Integrating Theory and Practice. After coding each interview, codes were formed into categories.

Results: Overall, six categories were identified during the analysis process. They were as follows: "Something other than usual health care," "Relevance and recognition," "Flexible, understandable, and safe," "Technical problems," "Improvements by real-time contact," and "Managing my life better." One central and common pattern in the findings was that participants experienced the wCBT program as something they did themselves and many participants described the program as a form of self-care.

Conclusions: Persons with heart failure and depressive symptoms described wCBT as challenging. This was due to participants balancing the urge for real-time contact with perceived anonymity and not postponing the work with the program. wCBT appears to be a valuable tool for managing depressive symptoms.

Keywords: cognitive therapy content analysis depression heart failure internet patient experience telehealth.


Frontiers in Psychology

The editor and reviewers' affiliations are the latest provided on their Loop research profiles and may not reflect their situation at the time of review.



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Making a plan and setting goals

  • Weekly Exercise and Physical Activity Plan (PDF, 345K)
    Use this form to make your own exercise and physical activity plan — one you think you really can manage. Update your plan as you progress. Try to include all 4 types of exercise — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility.
  • Goal-Setting Worksheet (PDF, 691K)
    Use this form to write down your goals. Try putting them where you can see them, and renew them regularly. Include both short-term goals and long-term goals for yourself. Describe how you will reward yourself for achieving each goal.

Theories of Motivation

At a simple level, it seems obvious that people do things, such as go to work, in order to get stuff they want and to avoid stuff they don't want.

Why exactly they want what they do and don't want what they don't is still something a mystery. It's a black box and it hasn't been fully penetrated.

Overall, the basic perspective on motivation looks something like this:

In other words, you have certain needs or wants (these terms will be used interchangeably), and this causes you to do certain things (behavior), which satisfy those needs (satisfaction), and this can then change which needs/wants are primary (either intensifying certain ones, or allowing you to move on to other ones).

A variation on this model, particularly appropriate from an experimenter's or manager's point of view, would be to add a box labeled "reward" between "behavior" and "satisfaction". So that subjects (or employees), who have certain needs do certain things (behavior), which then get them rewards set up by the experimenter or manager (such as raises or bonuses), which satisfy the needs, and so on.

Classifying Needs

People seem to have different wants. This is fortunate, because in markets this creates the very desirable situation where, because you value stuff that I have but you don't, and I value stuff that you have that I don't, we can trade in such a way that we are both happier as a result.

But it also means we need to try to get a handle on the whole variety of needs and who has them in order to begin to understand how to design organizations that maximize productivity.

Part of what a theory of motivation tries to do is explain and predict who has which wants. This turns out to be exceedingly difficult.

Many theories posit a hierarchy of needs, in which the needs at the bottom are the most urgent and need to be satisfied before attention can be paid to the others.

Maslow

Maslow's hierarchy of need categories is the most famous example:

self-actualization
esteem
belongingness
safety
physiological

Specific examples of these types are given below, in both the work and home context. (Some of the instances, like "education" are actually satisfiers of the need.)

Need Home Job
self-actualization education, religion, hobbies, personal growth training, advancement, growth, creativity
esteem approval of family, friends, community recognition, high status, responsibilities
belongingness family, friends, clubs teams, depts, coworkers, clients, supervisors, subordinates
safety freedom from war, poison, violence work safety, job security, health insurance
physiological food water sex Heat, air, base salary

According to Maslow, lower needs take priority. They must be fulfilled before the others are activated. There is some basic common sense here -- it's pointless to worry about whether a given color looks good on you when you are dying of starvation, or being threatened with your life. There are some basic things that take precedence over all else.

Or at least logically should, if people were rational. But is that a safe assumption? According to the theory, if you are hungry and have inadequate shelter, you won't go to church. Can't do the higher things until you have the lower things. But the poor tend to be more religious than the rich. Both within a given culture, and across nations. So the theory makes the wrong prediction here.

Or take education: how often do you hear "I can't go to class today, I haven't had sex in three days!"? Do all physiological needs including sex have to be satisfied before "higher" needs? (Besides, wouldn't the authors of the Kama Sutra argue that sex was a kind of self-expression more like art than a physiological need? that would put it in the self-actualization box). Again, the theory doesn't seem to predict correctly.

Cultural critique: Does Maslow's classification really reflect the order in which needs are satisfied, or is it more about classifying needs from a kind of "tastefulness" perspective, with lofty goals like personal growth and creativity at the top, and "base" instincts like sex and hunger at the bottom? And is self-actualization actually a fundamental need? Or just something that can be done if you have the leisure time?

Alderfer's ERG theory

Alderfer classifies needs into three categories, also ordered hierarchically:

  • growth needs (development of competence and realization of potential)
  • relatedness needs (satisfactory relations with others)
  • existence needs (physical well-being)

This is very similar to Maslow -- can be seen as just collapsing into three tiers. But maybe a bit more rational. For example, in Alderfer's model, sex does not need to be in the bottom category as it is in Maslow's model, since it is not crucial to (the individual's) existence. (Remember, this about individual motivation, not species' survival.) So by moving sex, this theory does not predict that people have to have sex before they can think about going to school, like Maslow's theory does.

Alderfer believed that as you start satisfying higher needs, they become more intense (e.g., the power you get the more you want power), like an addiction.

Do any of these theories have anything useful to say for managing businesses? Well, if true, they suggest that

  • Not everyone is motivated by the same things. It depends where you are in the hierarchy (think of it as a kind of personal development scale)
  • The needs hierarchy probably mirrors the organizational hierarchy to a certain extent: top managers are more likely to motivated by self-actualization/growth needs than existence needs. (but try telling Bill Clinton that top executives are not motivated by sex and cheeseburgers. )

Acquired Needs Theory (mcclellan)

Some needs are acquired as a result of life experiences

  • need for achievement, accomplish something difficult. as kids encouraged to do things for themselves.
  • need for affiliation, form close personal relationships. as kids rewarded for making friends.
  • need for power, control others. as kids, able to get what they want through controlling others.

Again similar to maslow and alderfer.

These needs can be measured using the TAT (thematic apperception test), which is a projection-style test based on interpreting stories that people tell about a set of pictures.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory

This theory suggests that there are actually two motivation systems: intrinsic and extrinsic that correspond to two kinds of motivators:

  • intrinsic motivators: Achievement, responsibility and competence. motivators that come from the actual performance of the task or job -- the intrinsic interest of the work.
  • extrinsic: pay, promotion, feedback, working conditions -- things that come from a person's environment, controlled by others.

One or the other of these may be a more powerful motivator for a given individual.

Intrinsically motivated individuals perform for their own achievement and satisfaction. If they come to believe that they are doing some job because of the pay or the working conditions or some other extrinsic reason, they begin to lose motivation.

The belief is that the presence of powerful extrinsic motivators can actually reduce a person's intrinsic motivation, particularly if the extrinsic motivators are perceived by the person to be controlled by people. In other words, a boss who is always dangling this reward or that stick will turn off the intrinsically motivated people.

Note that the intrinsic motivators tend to be higher on the Maslow hierarchy.

Two Factor theory (Herzberg)

According to Herzberg, two kinds of factors affect motivation, and they do it in different ways:

  • hygiene factors. These are factors whose absence motivates, but whose presence has no perceived effect. They are things that when you take them away, people become dissatisfied and act to get them back. A very good example is heroin to a heroin addict. Long term addicts do not shoot up to get high they shoot up to stop being sick -- to get normal. Other examples include decent working conditions, security, pay, benefits (like health insurance), company policies, interpersonal relationships. In general, these are extrinsic items low in the Maslow/Alderfer hierarchy.
  • motivators. These are factors whose presence motivates. Their absence does not cause any particular dissatisfaction, it just fails to motivate. Examples are all the things at the top of the Maslow hierarchy, and the intrinsic motivators.

So hygiene factors determine dissatisfaction, and motivators determine satisfaction. The two scales are independent, and you can be high on both.

If you think back to the class discussion on power, we talked about a baseline point on the well-being scale. Power involved a threat to reduce your well-being, causing dissatisfaction. Hence, power basically works by threatening to withhold hygiene factors. Influence was said to fundamentally be about promising improvements in well-being -- when you are influenced to do something, it is because you want to, not because you were threatened. Influence basically works by offering to provide motivators (in Herzberg's terms).

Equity Theory

Suppose employee A gets a 20% raise and employee B gets a 10% raise. Will both be motivated as a result? Will A be twice as motivated? Will be B be negatively motivated?

Equity theory says that it is not the actual reward that motivates, but the perception, and the perception is based not on the reward in isolation, but in comparison with the efforts that went into getting it, and the rewards and efforts of others. If everyone got a 5% raise, B is likely to feel quite pleased with her raise, even if she worked harder than everyone else. But if A got an even higher raise, B perceives that she worked just as hard as A, she will be unhappy.

In other words, people's motivation results from a ratio of ratios: a person compares the ratio of reward to effort with the comparable ratio of reward to effort that they think others are getting.

Of course, in terms of actually predicting how a person will react to a given motivator, this will get pretty complicated:

  1. People do not have complete information about how others are rewarded. So they are going on perceptions, rumors, inferences.
  2. Some people are more sensitive to equity issues than others
  3. Some people are willing to ignore short-term inequities as long as they expect things to work out in the long-term.

Operant Conditioning is the term used by B.F. Skinner to describe the effects of the consequences of a particular behavior on the future occurrence of that behavior. There are four types of Operant Conditioning: Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, Punishment, and Extinction. Both Positive and Negative Reinforcement strengthen behavior while both Punishment and Extinction weaken behavior.

  • Positive reinforcement. Strengthening a behavior. This is the process of getting goodies as a consequence of a behavior. You make a sale, you get a commission. You do a good job, you get a bonus & a promotion.
  • Negative reinforcement. Strengthening a behavior. This is the process of having a stressor taken away as a consequence of a behavior. Long-term sanctions are removed from countries when their human rights records improve. (you see how successful that is!). Low status as geek at Salomon Brothers is removed when you make first big sale.
  • Extinction. Weakening a behavior. This is the process of getting no goodies when do a behavior. So if person does extra effort, but gets no thanks for it, they stop doing it.
  • Punishment. Weakening a behavior. This is the process of getting a punishment as a consequence of a behavior. Example: having your pay docked for lateness.
Apply Withhold
Reward positive reinforcement (raise above baseline) negative reinforcement (raise up to baseline)
Stressor punishment (bring down below baseline) extinction (stay at baseline)

The traditional reinforcement schedule is called a continuous reinforcement schedule. Each time the correct behavior is performed it gets reinforced.

Then there is what we call an intermittent reinforcement schedule. There are fixed and variable categories.

The Fixed Interval Schedule is where reinforcement is only given after a certain amount of time has elapsed. So, if you decided on a 5 second interval then each reinforcement would occur at the fixed time of every 5 seconds.

The Fixed Ratio Scheduleis where the reinforcement is given only after a predetermined number of responses. This is often seen in behavior chains where a number of behaviors have to occur for reinforcement to occur.

The Variable Interval Schedule is where the reinforcement is given after varying amounts of time between each reinforcement.

The Variable Ratio Schedule is where the reinforcement is given after a varying number of correct responses.

Fluctuating combinations of primary and secondary reinforcers fall under other terms in the variable ratio schedule For example, Reinforcers delivered Intermittently in a Randomized Order (RIR) or Variable Ratio with Reinforcement Variety (VRRV).

(unexpected bonus based on merit)

(commissions or piecework pay)

Expectancy Theory (Vroom)

This theory is meant to bring together many of the elements of previous theories. It combines the perceptual aspects of equity theory with the behavioral aspects of the other theories. Basically, it comes down to this "equation":

motivation = expectancy * instrumentality * valence

M (motivation) is the amount a person will be motivated by the situation they find themselves in. It is a function of the following.

E (expectancy) = The person's perception that effort will result in performance. In other words, the person's assessment of the degree to which effort actually correlates with performance.

I (instrumentality) = The person's perception that performance will be rewarded/punished. I.e., the person's assessment of how well the amount of reward correlates with the quality of performance. (Note here that the model is phrased in terms of extrinsic motivation, in that it asks 'what are the chances I'm going to get rewarded if I do good job?'. But for intrinsic situations, we can think of this as asking 'how good will I feel if I can pull this off?').

V(valence) = The perceived strength of the reward or punishment that will result from the performance. If the reward is small, the motivation will be small, even if expectancy and instrumentality are both perfect (high).


Cognitive strategies are useful tools in assisting students with learning problems. The term "cognitive strategies" in its simplest form is the use of the mind (cognition) to solve a problem or complete a task. Cognitive strategies may also be referred to as procedural facilitators (Bereiter & Scardamalia, 1987), procedural prompts (Rosenshine, 1997) orscaffolds (Palincsar & Brown, 1984). A related term is metacognition, the self-reflection or "thinking about thinking" necessary for students to learn effectively (Baker, Gersten, & Scanlon, 2002).

Cognitive strategies provide a structure for learning when a task cannot be completed through a series of steps. For example, algorithms in mathematics provide a series of steps to solve a problem. Attention to the steps results in successful completion of the problem. In contrast, reading comprehension, a complex task, is a good example of a task that does not follow a series of steps. Further explanation is provided below.

A cognitive strategy serves to support the learner as he or she develops internal procedures that enable him/her to perform tasks that are complex (Rosenshine, 1997). Reading comprehension is an area where cognitive strategies are important. A self-questioning strategy can help students understand what they read. Rosenshine states that the act of creating questions does not lead directly to comprehension. Instead, students search the text and combine information as they generate questions then they comprehend what they have read.

The use of cognitive strategies can increase the efficiency with which the learner approaches a learning task. These academic tasks can include, but are not limited to, remembering and applying information from course content, constructing sentences and paragraphs, editing written work, paraphrasing, and classifying information to be learned.

In a classroom where cognitive strategies are used, the teacher fulfills a pivotal role, bridging the gap between student and content/skill to be learned. This role requires an understanding of the task to be completed, as well as knowledge of an approach (or approaches) to the task that he/she can communicate to the learner.

Impacting both the task and the learner using cognitive strategies is referred to as Content Enhancement. Bulgren, Deshler, and Schumaker (1997) highlight three important teacher activities in their model of content enhancement:

  1. Teachers evaluate the content they cover.
  2. Teachers determine the necessary approaches to learning for student success
  3. Teachers teach with routines and instructional supports that assist students as they apply appropriate techniques and strategies.

In this way, the teacher emphasizes what the students should learn, or the "product" of learning. In addition, the teacher models the how or "process" of learning.

When a teacher is comfortable with the content he/she is teaching, he/she knows which parts are the most important, the most interesting and the easiest (or hardest) to learn. The teacher evaluates the content with various questions in mind:

  • How important is this information to my students?
  • Is any of this information irrelevant to the point I can minimize or exclude it?
  • How will my students use this information beyond my classroom (in general education classrooms, college and/or career settings, etc.)
  • What parts of this information do I think my students will grasp quickly?
  • What parts of this information do I think my students will need "extras" (more time, more examples, peer help, more explanation, applications, etc.)
  • How should I pace the presentation?
  • Which evaluations are going to help me know that my students understand this information?

The more experienced the teacher is with content, the better he/she will be able to plan students' cognitive journey through the information or skills that will be unfamiliar to them.

Determination of necessary approaches

Now the teacher's attention turns to his/her knowledge of the students. Student characteristics such as intellectual ability, interest in the subject, and general motivation to learn are considered. The teacher selects learning approaches that complement the learner characteristics while ensuring success with the content. A teacher who teaches cognitive strategies well will connect learner and task. A strategy will be chosen because it is the best strategy for BOTH the learner's characteristics and the task and/or content that needs to be mastered.

Routines and instructional supports

Once the best strategy or strategies have been selected, the teacher begins the work of teaching the strategy to the student(s). Explicit instruction is used to impart the components or steps of the strategy. Often the strategy will include actions or routines that are repeated each time the strategy is implemented. Additional instructional supports such as guided practice, independent practice, verbal practice, and written or oral tests may also be used.

You can compare the teaching of cognitive strategies to teaching a friend to drive in your hometown. Because you are in your hometown, you know the area, or content, very well. In addition, the person you are teaching to drive is your friend, so you also know the learner well. This knowledge can make your teaching more efficient, because you have two areas of expertise (the content and the learner) at your disposal. You will use a combination of explicit instructions (turn left on Church Street) and supports (maps, the rule that "all avenues run North-South") to teach your friend how to navigate around town. You may also use verbal directions as opposed to maps, depending on your friend's preferred mode of information.

Just as important, you can avoid situations that could become barriers to learning (and your friendship). For example, if your friend tends to be anxious, you will NOT begin your instruction during rush hour!

Selected Cognitive Strategies

Because they are diverse and highly relevant to tasks, the use of cognitive strategies by teachers and students can significantly impact important learning outcomes for students. This website provides examples of cognitive strategies, with descriptions and examples. The following table presents the strategies that will be discussed. In addition, case studies will be presented to show cognitive strategies in action.

Cognitive Strategies for Special Connections

Student's attention is drawn to a task through teacher input, highlighted material, and/or student self-regulation.

Teacher cue to "listen carefully"Boldface type

Specific Aids for Attention

Student's attention is maintained by connecting a concrete object or other cue to the task.

A special pencil cues the student to pay special attention to punctuation when he is writing sentences.

Specific Aids for Problem-Solving or Memorization

Student's problem-solving is enhanced by connecting a concrete object or other cue to the task.

Concrete objects are used in solving math problems.

Student practices (rehearses) target information through verbalization, visual study, or other means.

Students practice vocabulary and definitions through games where they must orally repeat target information.

Student expands target information by relating other information to it (ex. creating a phrase, making an analogy).

Students relate the life of an ant colony to their community.

Student simplifies target information by converting difficult or unfamiliar information into more manageable information.

Procedures for protecting oneself from being burned are learned as "Stop, Drop, and Roll".

Student transforms target information by creating meaningful visual, auditory, or kinesthetic images of the information.

Visualization of a scene described in a passage

Student transforms target information by relating a cue word, phrase, or sentence to the target information.

My Dear Aunt Sally for the order of mathematical operations (multiply, divide, add, subtract)

Student categorizes, sequences or otherwise organizes information for more efficient recall and use.

Words in lists are placed in categories.

*Imagery and Mnemonics can be considered special types of transformational strategies.

The use of cognitive strategies can increase the efficiency and confidence with which the learner approaches a learning task, as well as his/her ability to develop a product, retain essential information, or perform a skill. While teaching cognitive strategies requires a high degree of commitment from both the teacher and learner, the results are well worth the effort.


Types of Motivation

There are two types of motivation, Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation. It's important to understand that we are not all the same thus effectively motivating your employees requires that you gain an understanding of the different types of motivation. Such an understanding will enable you to better categorize your team members and apply the appropriate type of motivation. You will find each member different and each member's motivational needs will be varied as well. Some people respond best to intrinsic which means "from within" and will meet any obligation of an area of their passion. Quite the reverse, others will respond better to extrinsic motivation which, in their world, provides that difficult tasks can be dealt with provided there is a reward upon completion of that task. Become an expert in determining which type will work best with which team members.

Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation means that the individual's motivational stimuli are coming from within. The individual has the desire to perform a specific task, because its results are in accordance with his belief system or fulfills a desire and therefore importance is attached to it.

Our deep-rooted desires have the highest motivational power. Below are some examples:

  • Acceptance: We all need to feel that we, as well as our decisions, are accepted by our co-workers.
  • Curiosity: We all have the desire to be in the know.
  • Honor: We all need to respect the rules and to be ethical.
  • Independence: We all need to feel we are unique.
  • Order: We all need to be organized.
  • Power: We all have the desire to be able to have influence.
  • Social contact: We all need to have some social interactions.
  • Social Status: We all have the desire to feel important.

Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation means that the individual's motivational stimuli are coming from outside. In other words, our desires to perform a task are controlled by an outside source. Note that even though the stimuli are coming from outside, the result of performing the task will still be rewarding for the individual performing the task.

Extrinsic motivation is external in nature. The most well-known and the most debated motivation is money. Below are some other examples:

  • Employee of the month award
  • Benefit package
  • Bonuses
  • Organized activities

Short-term memory is that brief period of time where you can recall information you were just exposed to. Short-term often encompasses anywhere from 30 seconds to a few days, depending on who is using the term.

Some researchers use the term working memory and distinguish it from short-term memory, though the two overlap.   Working memory can be defined as the ability of our brains to keep a limited amount of information available long enough to use it. Working memory helps process thoughts and plans, as well as carries out ideas.

You can think of working memory as your short-term memory combining strategies and knowledge from your long-term memory bank to assist in making a decision or calculation.

Working memory has been connected to executive functioning, which is often affected in the earlier stages of Alzheimer's disease.  


Frontiers in Psychology

The editor and reviewers' affiliations are the latest provided on their Loop research profiles and may not reflect their situation at the time of review.



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Skeptics and proponents of the wearables market alike recognize the significant technological innovations taking place and the opportunities for profits. Successful ventures in this space will enable new revenue streams through services and/or hardware or increase bottom line revenues by improving healthcare outcomes and reducing costs. For companies across the value chain, the stakes are high.

Endeavour Partners recently conducted an Internet-based survey of thousands of Americans and concluded that as of September 2013, one in ten U.S. consumers over the age of 18 now owns a modern activity tracker from the likes of Jawbone, Fitbit, Nike, Misfit Wearables, and others.

Furthermore, there is a bimodal distribution among users by age. There is a younger cohort of adopters, most of whom fall into the 25–34 age range. These users are primarily focused on fitness optimization. There is an older cohort of adopters between age 55–64, who are focused on improving overall health and extending their lives. There is a broad opportunity to launch wearable products and services targeting different cohorts, and specific personas within those cohorts.

These consumers have adopted — with greater and lesser degrees of success — a variety of wearable products and related wellness services designed to help them live healthier lives by altering their habits.

While some companies have introduced wearable hardware and services, others have built service offerings that leverage the multitude of devices in the market. Each of these has a different value proposition or feature mix that claims to offer a unique method for harnessing the power of the mobile Internet to meet consumer needs and preferences.

For example, mobile network operators such as AT&T, healthcare providers and insurers such as Humana Inc., and data aggregators such as TicTrak and Foxing have each introduced services that integrate with consumers’ wearable devices. AT&T’s mHealth Platform is an open developer ecosystem that gives consumers the ability to aggregate health data from applications and devices. Humana offers an activity tracker rewards program and an app that integrates fitness and eating behaviors. TicTrak and Foxing collect and aggregate data from different activity trackers and body measuring devices.


Patient Experiences of Web-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Heart Failure and Depression: Qualitative Study

Background: Web-based cognitive behavioral therapy (wCBT) has been proposed as a possible treatment for patients with heart failure and depressive symptoms. Depressive symptoms are common in patients with heart failure and such symptoms are known to significantly worsen their health. Although there are promising results on the effect of wCBT, there is a knowledge gap regarding how persons with chronic heart failure and depressive symptoms experience wCBT.

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of participating and receiving health care through a wCBT intervention among persons with heart failure and depressive symptoms.

Methods: In this qualitative, inductive, exploratory, and descriptive study, participants with experiences of a wCBT program were interviewed. The participants were included through purposeful sampling among participants previously included in a quantitative study on wCBT. Overall, 13 participants consented to take part in this study and were interviewed via telephone using an interview guide. Verbatim transcripts from the interviews were qualitatively analyzed following the recommendations discussed by Patton in Qualitative Research & Evaluation Methods: Integrating Theory and Practice. After coding each interview, codes were formed into categories.

Results: Overall, six categories were identified during the analysis process. They were as follows: "Something other than usual health care," "Relevance and recognition," "Flexible, understandable, and safe," "Technical problems," "Improvements by real-time contact," and "Managing my life better." One central and common pattern in the findings was that participants experienced the wCBT program as something they did themselves and many participants described the program as a form of self-care.

Conclusions: Persons with heart failure and depressive symptoms described wCBT as challenging. This was due to participants balancing the urge for real-time contact with perceived anonymity and not postponing the work with the program. wCBT appears to be a valuable tool for managing depressive symptoms.

Keywords: cognitive therapy content analysis depression heart failure internet patient experience telehealth.


The Two Main Types of Motivation

Different types of motivation generally fall into two main categories.

1. Intrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation is a type of motivation in which an individual is motivated by internal desires and is satisfied when internally rewarded.

For example, let&rsquos say an individual named Bob has set himself a goal to begin losing weight and becoming healthier. Let&rsquos also imagine that Bob&rsquos reason to pursue this path of fitness and wellness is to improve his health overall and feel better about his appearance.

Since Bob&rsquos desire to change comes from within, his motivation is intrinsic. Learn more about intrinsic motivation in this Fast-Track Class &ndash Activate Your Motivation. It&rsquos a free session that will guide you to find your inner motivation and make it sustainable. Join the free class now!

2. Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, is a type of motivation in which an individual is motivated by external desires or extrinsic rewards.

Rather than being motivated by the need to look better and feel healthier, let&rsquos say that Bob was feeling pressure from his wife to slim down and improve his physique, both external factors.

Since this pressure comes from an outside source, this is an example of extrinsic motivation.