Journal of Motivation, Emotion, and Personality

Reversal Theory Studies

Manipulating Motivational States: A Review

Author: Mitzi L. Desselles  and Michael J. Apter
Organization:  Louisiana Tech University and Apter Research LLC
Citation: Desselles, M.L., Apter, M.J. 2013. Manipulating Motivational States: A Review. Journal of Motivation, Emotion, and Personality. Vol. 1 (2013), pp. 44-49. DOI: 10.12689/jmep.2013.106.

Abstract:  Reversal theory is distinguished from other theories of motivation and personality, especially trait theories, by its emphasis on the dynamic reversal process. If the dynamic aspect of the theory is to be given its full prominence, techniques need to be further developed to reliably and conveniently induce reversals. The present paper reviews the techniques that have been used in empirical and applied settings to manipulate motivational state. These include situation change, special display, re-framing, simulation, self-conditioning, and imaging. Methodological and other issues arising from the use of each technique are discussed. Bringing motivational states under the control of the experimenter, the consultant, and the individual will advance reversal theory from post-hoc description to prediction of future behavior and may well serve as the foundation of future research and practice.

Keywords: motivational states, metamotivation, imaging, reversal, reversal theory

DOI: 10.12689/jmep.2013.106.

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