ISSUES IN COGNITIVE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGYArie \N. Kruglanski
The problem of motivating persons to their tasks has been of perennial impor tance in human affairs. Pervasively, individuals have vested interests in the activities of others. Parents and educators are concerned about the appropriate channeling of children’s behaviors. Employers have a stake in keeping the em ployees at their jobs. Lovers desire to attract to themselves their partners’ atten tion, etc. Not surprisingly, the problem of task motivation has received attention from diverse psychological perspectives, e.g., in the domains of industrial psy chology (cf. Herzberg, 1966; Vroom, 1969), developmental psychology (Hunt, 1965), social psychology (cf. Deci, 1975; Kruglanski, Riter, Amitai, Margolin, Shabtai, & Zaksh, 1975; Lepper, Greene, & Nisbett, 1973), personality theory (Allport, 1961), learning theory (Spence, 1970), and motivation theory (cf. Day, Berlyne, & Hunt, 1971). Within social psychology, a recent upsurge of interest in task motivation dates to the late 1960s (e.g., de Charms, 1968) and the early 1970s (e.g., Deci, 1971; Kruglanski, Friedman, & Zeevi, 1971). My purpose in this chapter is to outline the conceptual background of this trend.