So last time we talked about how people learn things (and a little bit about why people learn things, but that’s irrelevant). Today is all about what motivates people.
Why do people want to learn things? What makes them feel successful?
There are three basic types of motivated learners: ego-oriented, work-avoidance-oriented, and task-oriented.
Ego-oriented learners are, somewhat obviously, motivated by their own egos. They learn to show others how smart they are. These types of people are usually strategic learners. They produce extremely good grades and test scores for the purpose of making sure everyone knows they are really really smart. Ego-oriented learners say they feel proud when their achievements are recognized by others.
The next type is the work-avoidance learner. They tend to be surface learners. The basic motivation for these people is doing the least amount of work possible, hence the moniker “work-avoidance-oriented”. They feel satisfaction when the work is easy or they find a way around it. They basically do everything they can to be lazy, which is a smidgen ironic.
The last kind is, of course, the overachieving kind — the task-oriented learner. They do work because they like to do work. They love to learn for the sake of learning. They are happy to work hard to get what they want and they don’t care if people know about it. These people just really like knowing things. Naturally, they are deep learners.
Of course, pretty much nobody is only one type of learner. People tend to have different styles of learning and motivation in different subject areas depending on their own personalities and interests.
But imagine if you could be a task-oriented deep learner all the time. You would get so much stuff done. You could take over the planet or something. I would totally take over the planet.
On that note, I think I may be ego-oriented.