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The Importance of the Locus of Control Part 2

The Importance of the Locus of Control Part 2

So 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 hypnotists 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 Motivational Hypnotist, 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 hypnotist and client together, and maximised.

Extrinsic motivation is that which is external to the process and is most 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”


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