Char of Life-Long learners LO5587

Scott R. Cypher (
Tue, 13 Feb 1996 19:41:29 -0400

Replying to LO5543 --

>There seems to be some resistance to the notion that we can learn
>motivation from others, perhaps even a hierarchic superior.
>We learn most everything else from other people.

I will learn ABOUT external motivation from others. (maybe I'm dealing
with just semantics) but I won't learn motivation.

-When I'm young, I'll learn primarily through observation of others.
-I'll see behaviors and ask myself what caused those behaviors.
-Most of the time it will be external motivation (reward oriented) and;
-I will accrete these experiences into a mental model that defines
motivation for me.
-Intrinsic motivated behaviors I observe won't fit into my mental model.
-I'll need to interact with those people to understand intrinsic motivation

So now I've created a model that defines motivation based on my
experiences. I'll accrete to that model more as I read about other's
definition of motivation and continue to add based on new experiences of

But how I use that mental model is a different question. By experiences
of others have given me the opportunity to see how they are motived, but
there is no law that says I have to be motived by the same things. I
ultimately choose what motivates me and what doesn't. I agree, parent's
are a primary source of our values, ethics, and morals (which is strongly
related to motivation), and I will choose a number of those to motivate
me. But I can also choose to stop being motivated in those ways, based on
my ability to assess the effectiveness (how well something motivates me)
of those incentives. Parents give the intial basis, and for many, the
primary foundation, but it will only be that way if I choose it to be so.

So in the example of the heirarchic superior, I will allow myself to be
motivated in the same ways as he does if I want to achieve the same things
he does. But why would I want to do that? I want to achieve what I want,
not somebody else's wants. In order to achieve what I want, I will choose
my motivators.

What I hear you saying is that my environment assigned me these
motivators, and if they are "bad", then, well, you're stuck with them, you
have no choice, sorry. Are you saying something different?

-- (Scott R. Cypher)

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