We know nothing about motivation. All we can do is write books about it.
I really like Fogg’s Behavior Model. It looks at behavior as the function of motivation, ability and prompts (triggers). And, yeah, that is very useful if you want to influence people’s behavior, esp. via apps.
Especially considering that many students in media and computer science seem (impression, not empirical data) to go for motivation, instead of making a behavior as easy as possible.
Motivation is nice, but it fluctuates. Fogg uses IIRC the term wave. And you know what I am talking about. Just think back at the New Year’s resolutions (high motivation, heck, it’s a NEW YEAR that should be DIFFERENT) and what remained of it a few months later when that motivation did … well, become to difficult to sustain. Because you needed more ability than you had at that moment. And it just … fizzled out.
And that’s why you should go for ability, not motivation. Make behaviors as easy to do as possible. Remove barriers. Go for easy wins … and surpass them once you are doing the behavior.
In the end, it will lead to a more likely behavior change than to address a person’s motivation.