Posts filed under: Motivation Theories

Dopamine, Games, and Motivation

Summary: Dopamine plays a role in motivation, and this role is important to understand in the context of game design. Understanding how dopamine motivates can help game designers produce games that are interesting, effective, and ethical. Originators and Key Contributors:...
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Game Reward Systems

Summary: The phrase game reward systems describes the structure of rewards and incentives in a game that inspire intrinsic motivation in the player while also offering extrinsic rewards. Game reward systems can be modeled in non-game environments, including personal and...
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Positive Psychology / PERMA Theory (Seligman)

Summary: Positive psychology is the study of happiness, flourishing, and what makes life worth living.  Seligman points to five factors as leading to well-being  — positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, and accomplishment. Originators and key contributors: Martin Seligman...
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Mindset Theory – Fixed vs. Growth Mindset (Dweck)

Mindset Theory Your intelligence and other characteristics – where do they come from?  Can they change? People vary in the degree to which they attribute the causes of intelligence and other traits.  Are they innate and fixed factors (“fixed” mindset) or...
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Intrinsically motivating instruction (Malone)

Summary: Intrinsically motivating instruction takes place in computer gaming software when it provides players with choice around three key categories: challenge, curiosity, and fantasy. Originators and Key Contributors: Thomas W. Malone Keywords: challenge, choice, computer games, curiosity, fantasy, intrinsic motivation Intrinsically Motivating Instruction In...
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Grit (Duckworth, Matthews, Kelly, Peterson)

Summary: Grit is a quality that learners have that enables them to persevere while facing struggles and obstacles. This can help the learners attain success because they don’t give up until they reach their goals. Originators & proponents: Angela Duckworth...
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Flow (Csíkszentmihályi)

Summary: Flow is an optimal psychological state that people experience when engaged in an activity that is both appropriately challenging to one’s skill level, often resulting in immersion and concentrated focus on a task. This can result in deep learning...
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ARCS Model of Motivational Design Theories (Keller)

Summary: According to John Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design Theories, there are four steps for promoting and sustaining motivation in the learning process: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction (ARCS). Originator: John Keller Key terms: Attention, Relevance, Confidence, Satisfaction (ARCS)...
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Emotional Intelligence (Goleman)

Summary: Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is defined as the ability to identify, assess, and control one's own emotions, the emotions of others, and that of groups. Originators: Many, including Howard Gardner (1983) and Daniel Goleman (1995), in a popular 1995 book entitled...
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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Summary: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (often represented as a pyramid with five levels of needs) is a motivational theory in psychology that argues that while people aim to meet basic needs, they seek to meet successively higher needs in the...
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