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The concept of Motivation Theories has been established for hundreds of years. Early theorists who contributed to this area of study mainly focused on the biological derivatives of humans, and sought to assess solely how these factors had an inherent effect on motivation. However, it was not until the 1940’s in which a true study of behavioral perceptions and characteristics served to negate elements of these theoretical premises in the world of social science. Foundational theories have helped to create a base level of knowledge in behavioral studies for theorists and practitioners over multi-disciplinary fields. Their importance is inherent based on the reasoning that foundational motivation theories uncover the “how” and “why” of intrinsic behavior-helping theorists understand the way humans respond to situations.
Johnson, Joy; Irizarry, Marthaly; Nguyen, Nhu; and Maloney, Peter, "Part 1: Foundational Theories of Human Motivation" (2018). Motivation 101: A Guide for Public Servants. 1.