Why we do -And why we don't!

Deirdre Scully and Ruth Lowry on ‘participation motivation’ in sport and exercise.
The reasons we are motivated to take part in sport and exercise, and the rewards we derive from our experience of physical activities, have long interested sport and exercise psychologists. In some respects the history of this particular research field mirrors occupational psychology’s concern with work motivation (e.g. Steers & Porter, 1991). In both fields early interest tended to focus on content (i.e. listing or classifying motivators), while more recent attention has shifted to understanding the process of motivation as a whole (i.e. how personal and environmental factors play their part in determining the relationship between effort, performance, rewards and satisfaction, and thus future motivation). In this article our aim is to reflect on the traditional concerns of participation motivation research, and to conclude with a consideration of some of the more recent integrative models, which attempt to represent participation motivation as a dynamic cognitive-behavioural process.

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