Behavior vs. Motive

Behavior vs. Motive

Dr. Mary explains the difference between behavior and motivation.

Did you know? Behavior is WHAT YOU DO while Motive is WHY YOU DO IT.  

Motivation is what we use to explain behavior. When we ask, “why do people do what they do?” we are really asking, “what motivates them?” Motivation is made of many dimensions including our attitudes, personal beliefs, intentions and efforts. Our thoughts influence behaviors (what we think impacts what we do), and our behaviors drive our performance (like our jobs, projects and ambitions) and our  performance impacts our thoughts and the cycle of what motivates us, begins again.

Intrinsic Motivation – Motivation Without Reward

Intrinsic motivation is what makes us human. It’s our self-desire to seek out new things and experience new challenges. We are motivated to push ourselves to the limit in order to analyze our own capacity and to observe and gain knowledge.

This type of motivation is driven by an interest and enjoyment in the task itself. It lives within the individual rather than for a desire for reward. Sometimes we just love reading, playing music or learning something simply because we want to, that’s intrinsic motivation and we do it without any expectation of pay or direct reward.

Advantages of intrinsic motivation can be long-lasting and self-sustaining, we do it because we want to!

Extrinsic Motivation – Motivation For Reward

Extrinsic motivation refers to performance in order to get a desired outcome or reward. Examples of this type of motivation include: going to work when you are scheduled so that you will get paid and not fired, the desire to win a trophy or award for the cheering crowds and and studying hard in school to get a good test grade. We do it because there is a reward we want and/or punishment we wish to avoid.

Behavior Is What We Do

Behavior can be external, conscious or subconscious, overt or covert, and voluntary or involuntary.

One personality testing tool Dr. Mary employs to help individuals and teams is the Color Code personality test. The testing tool uses a series of simple questions to assess the different ways you acted when you were a child. The test is based on motive and believes that what motivates you determines your behavior and actions. Contact Dr. Mary Welsh to learn more about behavioral and personality assessments.

Personality can be determined through a variety of tests, such as the Color Code Personality Test offered by Dr. Mary for individuals, executive teams and employees.


About Dr. Mary, SPHR