Book Definition: An internal mechanism that selects and directs behavior. The term motive is often used in the narrower sense of motivational process that is learned, rather than biologically based (as are drives).

In Your Own Words


  • Urges that are learned, rather than natural or innate.
  • Instigated by nurture, not nature.
  • Internal mechanism that selects and directs behavior
  • Something that internally motivates someone to accomplish something specific.

Examples/Functions


  • A motive for practicing music even harder is scholarship money.
  • A motive for getting good grades is my parents rewarding me with money.
  • A motive for taking AP psychology is to get college credit beforehand.
  • A motive for getting a job is knowing you will get paid.
  • A motive for going to college is getting your dream job.
  • A motive for completing your AP Psychology edits would be to get a good grade.
  • A motive for practicing writing essays in AP Lang would be to construct better essay responses in the future.
  • A motive for coming to [[#|school]] everyday even when you're sick is to get perfect attendance.
  • A motive for going to football workouts to get stronger for the upcoming football season
  • A motive for playing basketball to receive female attention
  • A motive for going to cheerleading practice is to go to school
  • A motive for practicing driving to pass license test..
  • A motive for studying your notes to do well on a test.
  • A motive for getting your license so you won't have to ask for rides any more
  • A motive for practicing soccer to make the varsity team.
  • A motive for running Cross Country is being fit and you get to brag about how many miles you ran in one day to all your friends.

Additional Resources