Internal and External Motivation and Human Behavior

Externally Motivated: How and What 

How People
Mindset/Expression: Correlates with lower levels of intelligence, awareness, knowledge/experience, creativity, maturity, self-confidence and/or personal responsibility.


“How do I do it?” Infers that a surrogate will think for the individual

Reliance upon others to direct the individual: they require rules and external constructs to function normally. 

Codependent Posture: cannot fully function on ones own.

The individual requires a very high need for certainty from outside of themselves.

Motivated by Pain vs. Pleasure Principle. 

Action is invested to gain what is considered good and to avoid what is considered bad from the individuals perspective.

Childlike posture: children are instructed when they are young not to touch a hot stove, but eventually they can come to learn on their own, however these people defer to external authorities, rules and guidelines to their own choices, as they do not possess enough internal motivation to trust themselves to make wise decisions,

This posture possesses the lowest level of internal certainty and must therefore procure from outside of themselves. 

What People
Mindset/Expression: Correlates with average (the norm) levels of intelligence, awareness, knowledge/experience, creativity, maturity, self-confidence and personal responsibilty. These folks can function to the level of what is considered socially acceptable for their environment, era and culture.


“What do I do?”  Infers that the individual will be guided via the constructs and beliefs that others provide them. Infers some ability to think for themselves and make choices within the framework of the system in which one operates.

Codependent posture: can only operate within the construct provided for them.

The Individual requires a high need for certainty from their constructs to operate within their given environment.

Motivated by guilt, the parameters that define their given environment, Shoulda, woulda, coulda, etc.

Action is invested in playing ones role as well as possible, relative to ones perceived peers.

Adolescent posture: teens are instructed “what” they need to do to be happy, acceptable and successful. Beyond the external, ones internal realms are provided for them in the form of values and virtues that they attempt to emulate, without the emotional experiences to fuel right action. Guilt for not being virtuous fuels most individual actions, need of external conditions and people fuels much social action.

This posture possesses normal but low levels of internal certainty. When things externally are perceived to be within the confines of acceptability, they function well. When events are experienced outside of what the individual considers to be acceptable, they lose their sense of confidence, security and safety within their environment.

Internally Motivated: Why

Why People

Mindset/Expression: Correlates with higher levels of intelligence, awareness, creativity, maturity, self-confidence and/or personal responsibility.


“Why do I do what I do?” Infers that the individual feels confident in making their own decisions and choices in their lives.

Independent Posture: they can conceive of and integrate their internal beliefs and thus create their own constructs, beliefs, worldview and choose without consensus.

The individual requires relatively little certainty from outside of themselves. (Within the context of relationships all people tend to be more externalized as a necessary precondition of placing a need on the other).

Motivated intrinsically by ones internal sense of morality, and dependent upon ones level psychic integration and ones self-developed critical thinking skills.

Action is invested into clarifying ones beliefs and their personal expression.

Adult posture: these individuals can give and recieve, are fully self-responsible and do not depend on others for what are their own adult responsibilities.

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