Motivation and emotion/Lectures/Interventions and review

Lecture 12: Interventions and review
This is the twelfth and final lecture for the motivation and emotion unit of study.

Figure 1. Interventions to change motivation and emotion are commonly used in educational settings.



This lecture concludes and reviews the motivation and emotion unit. It discusses:

  • interventions which use motivation and emotion principles
  • key points and take-away messages

Take-home messages:

  • Motivation guides engagement in behaviours that optimise well-being
  • Emotions provide feedback about progress towards goals
  • There is nothing so practical as a good theory


  • Interventions
    • Interventions
    • Applying motivation and emotion principles
    • Practical problems
    • Example interventions
  • Review
    • Unit aims
    • Nuggets of truth / Wisdom gained
    • Review of key content



The ultimate test of a science is whether its principles can be applied to change desired outcomes.

Motivation and emotion are understood as malleable and can be changed and strengthened.

Interventions can develop motivational and emotional resources which promote life outcomes that people care about (e.g., engagement, learning, performance, well-being) (see Figure 1).

Three intervention steps:

  1. Explain: Diagnose – why is this happening? What is motivating this person? (All behaviour is motivated.)
  2. Predict: What will happen if nothing is done? What could happen if X changed? What about Y? What about Z?
  3. Intervene: What principles or strategies could be applied? How could outcomes be measured?

Nuggets of truth


Let's go hunting for your pearls or wisdom or nuggets of truth about the psychology motivation and emotion:

  • What are the greatest insights, significant learnings, or best ideas you've acquired through this unit?
  • What was the take-home message(s) from the chapter and presentation you worked on?

Contribute your insights to:

Example book chapter take-home messages:

Wisdom gained


Wisdom gained from a scientific study of motivation and emotion:

  1. Motivation = behavioural energy, direction, and persistence
  2. What we don't know about motivation and emotion exceeds what we do know
  3. The brain is as much about motivation and emotion as it is about cognition and thinking
  4. We underestimate how powerful a motivational force biological urges can be when not experiencing them
  5. Quality of motivation (intrinsic vs. extrinsic) is important
  6. To flourish, motivation needs supportive conditions, especially supportive relationships
  7. Implicit (unconscious) motives predict behaviour better than explicit (conscious) motives
  8. We do our best when we have a specific plan of action to pursue a difficult, specific, and self-congruent goal
  9. People with different mindsets pursue goals in different ways
  10. The core self-efficacy beliefs of "I can do it" and "it will work" underlie competent functioning
  11. Exert self-control over short-term urges to effectively pursue long-term goals
  12. All emotions are good because they serve a functional purpose
  13. Other people are the source of most of our emotions
  14. The more sophisticated our emotional repertoire, the more likely we are to have the right emotions in every situation
  15. Encouraging growth is more productive than trying to cure weakness
  16. Motivation often arises from outside of conscious awareness
  17. There is nothing so practical as a good theory


  1. Chapter 17: Interventions (Reeve, 2018)



See also





Cheon, S. H., Reeve, J., & Moon, I. S. (2012). Experimentally based, longitudinally designed, teacher-focused intervention to help physical education teachers be more autonomy supportive toward their students. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 34(3), 365–396.

Izard, C. E., King, K. A., Trentacosta, C. J., Morgan, J. K., Laurenceau, J.-P., Krauthamer-Ewing, S. E., & Finlon, K. J. (2008). Accelerating the development of emotion competence in Head Start children: Effects on adaptive and maladaptive behavior. Development and Psychopathology, 20, 369–397.[1]

Yeager, D. S., Trzesniewski, K. H., & Dweck, C. S. (2013). An implicit theory of personality intervention reduces adolescent aggression in response to victimization and exclusion. Child Development, 84, 970–988.