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Locus of Control Part 2

Locus of Control Part 2

Following on from yesterday’s blog, how does feeling in control fit the process of motivation? It is clear from everyday life that most of us, most of the time are more motivated by situations which involve choice, control and self-determination. Conversely most of us, most of the time, prefer not to be controlled or pressured too much. These ideas bring us to the concept of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation is being motivated by the process itself, usually for fun, enjoyment, challenge etc. Intrinsic motivation is often considered to be key in persistence and continuing motivation.
However there are few situations that hypno-psychotherapists will face where the motivation is truly intrinsic (smokers do not quit because they enjoy the process of becoming a non-smoker, and a phobic client will not be motivated to resolve their issue by the thought of the fun of systematic desensitisation!). However, where possible these elements can be built on. Also, as you extend your
practice as a Hypno-Psychotherapist, you can attract clients for issues where this is more of a factor, such as in performance and personal development areas. Deci and Ryan (1985) suggest that there are four approaches to intrinsic motivation: free choice, interest, challenge and ‘needs’. These needs include ‘relatedness’, ‘competence’ and ‘self-determination’. This suggests that if a change or behaviour is of the person’s choice, is interesting, is a challenge, and meets one or more of these needs, the person is more likely to be motivated than not. All of these are areas that can be examined by the hypno-psychotherapist and client together, and maximised.

Extrinsic motivation is that which is external to the process and ismost typically seen as rewards. Deci and Ryan interestingly suggest that increasing extrinsic motivation is not necessarily a good
thing as it can lead to a decrease in intrinsic motivation. This fact was backed up by research conducted with school children. The children were divided into three groups to play with brightly
coloured pens; one group were told they would be rewarded (and were), the second group were told nothing, but were also rewarded, and the third did not receive an award. The experiment showed that the children who had been told they would be rewarded for playing with, subsequently played with them significantly less than the other children. This shows that it is the expectation of reward that can be an issue.

Reward is not the only form of extrinsic motivation however. It may also include approval and pressure for example. Deci and Ryan’s ‘self-determination theory’ (drawn from the needs stated
above), divides this into four aspects or ‘reasons’ for our behaviour: External regulation: eg coercion from other people: “I must” Introjected regulation: eg avoidance of negative feelings for not
doing the behaviour/change: “I should” Identified regulation: eg acting based on perceived benefits: “I want to” Integrated regulation: eg doing it because the outcome is important to the self: “It is important to me” Most clients that hypno-psychotherapists will see will be coming from one of these standpoints rather than intrinsic. In fact, identified and integrated are likely to be the most beneficial starting points.

Canadian psychologist Robert J. Vallerand (1997) organises the constructs of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation into a hierarchical model. Essentially he proposes that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (and amotivation), feature at global, contextual and situational levels. At each level there are antecedents (such as either global, contextual or situational factors and needs for autonomy,
competence and relatedness) as well as affective, cognitive and behavioural consequences. The global level refers to a general motivational orientation to which people typically subscribe. The contextual level of the model refers to domains of life, such as work, leisure, family. Finally, the situational level is concerned with situation-specific motivation.

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