Motivation and emotion/Tutorials/Growth psychology/Case study scenarios

Motivation intervention case studies

  1. Divide class into small groups and provide each group with a motivation intervention case study scenario. Each group should discuss and identify:
    1. Causes? Diagnose why the person is experiencing motivational problems (Explaining)
    2. Sources? Identify the key sources of the person’s motivation (Predicting)
    3. Strategies? Apply knowledge about motivation to solve the problem (Applying)
  2. Each group should then present the scenario and their analysis of causes, sources, and strategies.

Motivational intervention objectives


For each scenario, the objective is to answer these questions:

  1. Why is the person experiencing the problem?
  2. What are the possible/likely sources of the person's motivation?
  3. How could knowledge about motivation be applied to help?

Case study scenario 1: Teenager struggling at school


Mikaela, your neighbour drops by looking like she is at the end of her tether :(. Her teenage daughter is doing poorly in school and is considering dropping out. Your neighbour's face turns serious as she seeks your advice, “What can I do? How can I motivate my daughter?”. It has come down to this – a knock on the door and the distressed face of a concerned parent. What can you recommend? (Based on Reeve, 2009, p. 447)

Case study scenario 2: Child doesn't want to brush teeth


A child resists brushing her teeth at night before going to bed. She hates doing it – and avoids doing it. When she does brush her teeth, it is done poorly, half-heartedly and with constant distraction. But her parents see high value in her brushing and they encourage her to do so, though they dread having to deal with their daughter's resistance night after night. What can the parents do? How can they motivate their daughter? (Based on Reeve, 2009, p. 457)

Case study scenario 3: Sales rep's confidence in face of rejection


Sarah is a sales rep who receives a monthly sales quota. She is told that her job is secure as long as she meets or exceed her quota. She feels that she has the skills, but 90% of calls fail to produce a sell. Her day-to-day experience is one of rejection and frustration. Thus, there is a high job turn-over. Sarah is thinking about quitting. What can she do? How can she be more resilient and motivated? (Based on Reeve, 2009, p. 457)

Case study scenario 4: Improving athletic performance


Jeff, a talented amateur athlete is performing well. He loves to train and compete, but would like to develop his talent further in order to try to become a professional. For some reason, though, his performance has not improved much lately and he may even be performing worse. Jeff wants to become an elite sportsman, but it does not seem to be happening. What is happening? How can he improve his performance? (Based on Reeve, 2009, p. 457)

Case study scenario 5: Health and weight loss


A doctor tells a patient, John, that he needs to lose 15kg or risk a heart attack. John understands the need to make a lifestyle change, however he is pessimistic that he will ever take his doctor's advice and make the change. Exercise and a healthy diet are just not his thing. John doubts that the lifestyle change is really worth the fuss. What can the doctor do? How can help motivate his patient? (Based on Reeve, 2009, p. 457)