Who doesn’t like rewards? I know I do!

(Describe the circumstances behind learning situations wherein you were (a) highly motivated to pursue your goal and (b) strongly unmotivated to achieve at all. Use motivation theories to help you understand or explain why your motivations differ in each of the circumstances.)

Like Skinner’s behavioral theory that provides an explanation on extrinsic reinforcers (rewards,expectations and punishments) as factors that affect human behavior, my inspiration or motivation to do well in my studies back in college was influenced by that same thought.

I’ve always set my mind on making it to the dean’s list every semester. The reason being is that I get back fifty or a hundred percent of the tuition fee that my parents’ had already paid for. That to me, was my reward for doing good in school and I always felt that it was well- deserved. At the same time, it allowed me to continue to push myself even harder academically semester after semester. It was like telling myself that I did it once and for sure, I can do it again (Self-efficacy theory). The monetary reward was one thing, but more importantly, I felt a sense of pride in myself because of what I had achieved and my confidence was boosted because of the recognition that I got ( John Keller’s ARCS Model of Motivational Design).

On the other hand, an incident in college also made me feel strongly unmotivated. It was the last semester of my fourth year when I learned that my grade was a few points short for me to be a cum laude. I felt really bad at first that I didn’t want to excel in any of my remaining classes as I didn’t see any point in doing so. And, I thought that an average performance will get me through graduation anyway. But then after a few days, I thought to myself that I should focus on the long term effects of my actions. Just like what the Goal Orientation theory teaches, I continued to perform well academically because my thought then was that I still can turn things around and reap the benefits of my hard work in the end. True enough, I did. Since I got good grades overall, it helped me land a job each and every time I needed one. And now that I am no longer a part of the working class, I make sure that I pass on the same lessons I got from my experiences to my daughter with the hope that she will get through the same challenges with the same or even better mindset (about setting goals) than I had.

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