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Beyond Pleasure and Pain – How Motivation Works - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Beyond Pleasure and Pain: How Motivation Works

E. Tory Higgins


How does motivation work? The classic answer is that people are motivated to approach pleasure and avoid pain, that they are motivated by “carrots and sticks.” But to understand human motivation, it is necessary to go beyond pleasure and pain. What people want is to be effective in their life pursuits, and there are three distinct ways that people want to be effective. They want to be effective in having desired results (value), which includes having pleasure but is not limited to pleasure. They want to be effective in managing what happens (control) and in establishing what's real (truth), ev ... More

Keywords: motivation, pleasure, pain, life pursuits, truth, work together, value, personality, culture

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199765829
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199765829.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

E. Tory Higgins, author
Columbia University

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