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Intensity and Motivation

Intensity and Motivation

The fourth factor in motivation is intensity, or how much one is motivated. The relevance of intensity relates to the difficulty of the change that is required. Difficulty, however, is hard to define or predict. It is often related to how much a person’s identity is entwined with the behaviour or way of being. For example, people who perceive themselves as “smokers” are likely to find it harder to change, and therefore need a higher intensity of motivation to quit than those who perceive themselves as “people who smoke”. Similarly, take two women who want to lose weight. One tells you that she has always been fat, and the other tells you that she has always been slim, until the last year when she starting eating business lunches. Who will probably need a greater intensity of motivation? Yes, probably the one whose identity (being fat) needs to change along with behaviours.

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