Skip to content

6 Key Factors of Motivation

  • Blog


Was there a time where you would wonder why your colleague didn’t listen to your advice? Why your subordinate seems so distant at work?

We have to admit that there are instances when we would like to understand a person’s personality, behavior, and reaction. What will motivate them? What will empower them? What will make them vulnerable?

Dr. Eduard Spranger, a German idealist, philosopher, psychologist, and educator, published a book titled, Lebensformen in 1914. The book was later translated into English titled Types of Men: the Psychology and Ethics of Personality in 1928. His research and observations lead him to the development of 6 attitudes, values or motivators. He believed that a person is defined by what he or she finds valuable, important, good or desirous.

Click here to watch the video: 6 key factors of motivation:

Here is a short summary for you.



Interest: Discovery of Truth
General Attitude: To understand, to discover
Goal: Finding the truth, reaching systematic knowledge
Passion: Solving problems and mysteries
Characteristics: Rationality, Intellectual abilities
Excess: Neglects personal issues
Stress Factors: Subjective & irrational things
Strengths: Focuses on facts, seeks solutions
Career: Researcher, Scientist, Professor, Engineer



Interest: Form and Harmony
General Attitude: To experience inner & outer beauty
Goal: To be fulfilled by beauty
Passion: Beauty, harmony, understanding, feelings and impressions
Characteristics: Notices unique traits, strives creative expression, practices subjectivity
Excess: Clash with objectivity and reality
Stress Factors: Lack of harmony, objective truth
Strengths: Focuses on his/her experience or on other people’s experiences
Career: Psychologist, Artists, Designer, Environment



Interest: Usefulness
General Attitude: To always expect a return on investment
Goal: To find usefulness in everything
Passion: Getting results, using resources, acquiring material goods
Characteristics: Practical sense, resourcefulness
Excess: Views everything in terms of economic gains
Stress Factors: Waste, no return on investment
Strengths: Business mindedness
Career: Salesperson, Entrepreneur



Interest: Love of People
General Attitude: To use their energy to help others
Goal: To rid the world of hatred and conflicts
Passion: Noble causes, growing other people’s potential
Characteristics: Unselfishness, generosity, sense of social justice
Excess: Self-destructive behavior
Stress Factors: Overemphasis on money, indifference to people
Strengths: Makes the most of people’s potential, exhibits a strong drive to help others grow professionally
Career: Volunteer, Social Worker, Missionary



Interest: Power
General Attitude: To have power over oneself and others
Goal: To seek power and the control of his/her life
Passion: High status, winning strategy, ruling the others
Characteristics: Uses power to serve personal goals
Excess: Values personal gains above all, a person ruled by power
Stress Factors: Loss of power, status and opportunity to progress
Strengths: Ability to improve himself
Career: Managers, Politicians, Athlete



Interest: Unity and Order
General Attitude: To seek a higher meaning
Goal: To do what is right in accordance with the code of conduct
Passion: Seeking the divine, converting others, understanding life in a holistic way
Characteristics: Lives by his/her own values, committed until his/her death, hostile to change
Excess: Informal approach to rules and regulations, self-sacrificing, fundamentalists
Stress Factors: Opposition to their cause or beliefs
Strengths: Sense of meaning and purpose are important to them
Career: Religious leader, police officer, philosopher

Taking motivational assessments help raise self-awareness to improve interpersonal/intrapersonal communication, set achievable goals and choose the ideal job based on your values/motivators.

We have to remember that people can’t be boxed in one category. Studies show that a person has 2-3 motivators. It means that it is possible for a person to strongly uphold to his/her beliefs (traditional) and show compassion towards other people (altruistic). Some motivators can obscure others. There are many factors that could affect our motivators such as interactions with family, friends, teachers, religious issues, geographic location, the media, leaders, and so on.

Which of the 6 factors motivates you the most and why? We would like to hear your thoughts. Please type in your answer in the comments below.

Back To Top