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Cognitive Motivation
From Curiosity to Identity, Purpose and Meaning

$131.00 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107177666
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$ 131.00 (C)
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  • Motivation and cognition were treated as separate concepts throughout most of twentieth-century psychology. However, in recent years researchers have begun viewing the two as inextricably intertwined: not only does what we want affect how we think, but how we think affects what we want. In this innovative study, Beswick presents a new general theory of cognitive motivation, synthesizing decades of existing research in social, cognitive and personality psychology. New basic concepts are applied to a wide range of purposive behaviour. Part I of the volume reviews different forms of cognitive motivation, such as curiosity, cognitive dissonance, achievement motivation, and the search for purpose and meaning, while Part II examines the basic processes that underlie it, such as working memory, attention and emotion. The central concept is the incomplete gestalt, in which motivation is generated by a universal striving to integrate information and make sense at all levels of cognitive organization.

    • Presents a new general theory of cognitive motivation, combining cognitive and affective processes
    • Challenges the work of several major theorists and offers an original alternative in each case
    • Provides a broad perspective which covers central themes of cognitive neuroscience, personality and social psychology, philosophy and literature
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘This is the definitive book on the history of scientific research on curiosity. Dr Beswick offers a gift to readers, synthesizing research across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to offer new insights on human motivation.' Todd B. Kashdan, George Mason University, Virginia and author of The Upside of your Dark Side and Curious?

    ‘Human beings not only think but want to think, and in particular ways. Beswick's book on cognitive motivation breaks new ground in exploring the fascinating interplay between psychology's two most fundamental concepts, namely cognition and motivation. This is an impressive, thoughtful, erudite treatment of the topic, including dazzling integration of what psychology's best thinkers have had to say about it.' Roy F. Baumeister, author of The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life

    'David Beswick shows how the concept of an incomplete gestalt is relevant to different forms of cognitive motivation and how it relates to basic processes of memory, consciousness and emotion, as well as to goals, identity, meaning and purpose. This is a major work, scholarly and well-argued, providing a background to the many fascinating ideas that are presented. Highly recommended.' Norman Feather, Flinders University, Adelaide

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    Customer reviews

    30th Dec 2018 by DrLindsayCarey

    This well researched and beautifully presented text book written by Prof. David Beswick is a treasure chest of numerous indepth theoretical fundamentals compactly summarised and structurally well presented for anyone interested in motivation, curiosity, cognitive dissonance, identity, purpose, meaning and/or belief systems. The text is laced with insightful psychological ‘Beswickian’ insights: ‘…cognitive dissonance theory is deficient … It is one thing to be driven out of a condition of discomfort it is another to know where to go. The way cognitive elements come together must not only relieve discomfort but make sense in a whole figure, or have meaning, or move towards a meaningful pattern, in order to both energize and direct purposive behaviour’ (p. 88). I highly recommend this text as essential reading for professionals such as academics and clinicians, particularly psychologists, rehabilitation counsellors, health care chaplains and others interested in the theoretical and applicable processes to assist their clients with cognitive organization and cognitive motivation. Dr. Lindsay Carey, MAppSc, PhD. (School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University)

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107177666
    • length: 396 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.67kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the incomplete gestalt
    Part I. Forms of Cognitive Motivation:
    1. Towards a general theory of cognitive motivation
    2. Curiosity
    3. Intrinsic motivation
    4. Cognitive dissonance
    5. Achievement motivation
    6. Agency, efficacy and attribution
    Part II. Basic Processes and Applications:
    7. Working memory, consciousness, and attention
    8. The function of emotion in cognitive motivation
    9. Goals
    10. Intentions
    11. Identity
    12. Purpose and meaning.

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    Cognitive Motivation

    David Beswick

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  • Author

    David Beswick, University of Melbourne
    David Beswick is Professor Emeritus and Principal Fellow at the Centre for Positive Psychology, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. He is a Life Member of the Australian Psychological Society, a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and a minister in the Uniting Church in Australia. He was formerly director of the Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, before which he researched and taught in psychology and educational research at the Australian National University. He held visiting appointments at Berkeley, London and Uppsala University, Sweden, and has published more than one hundred articles and monographs.

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