Recommended readers

motivation readers

The following is a broad selection of readers for anyone interested in dipping their toe into the science of motivation (which, for me, is a composite field which draws on multiple disciplines, eg evolutionary psychology, behavioural economics and decision neuroscience). If you’re new to this, I’d suggest starting with the readers highlighted by an *.

Barron & Hulleman (2014) Expectancy-value-cost model of motivation

Berridge (2017) Evolving concepts of emotion and motivation

*Boekaerts (2010) The crucial role of motivation and emotion in classroom learning

Cialdini & Goldstein (2004) Social influence: compliance & conformity

*Cook & Artino (2016) Motivation to learn: an overview of contemporary theoriesĀ 

*Damgaard & Nielsen (2018) Nudging in Education: a discussion paper

Domenico & Ryan (2017) The emerging neuroscience of intrinsic motivation

Feldon et al (2019) Cognitive load as motivational cost

*Heath & Heath (2010) Switch: how to change things when change is hard

Katz & Assor (2006) When choice motivates and when it does not

Kenrick et al (2009) Deep rationality: the evolutionary economics of decision making

Lavecchia et al (2014) Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities

*Mccrea (2020) Motivated Teaching: leveraging the science of learning to boost attention and effort in the classroom

Murayama (2018) The science of motivation

O’Reilly et al (2017) Behavioural insights for education

Samson (nd) An introduction to behavioural economics

Service et al (2014) EAST: Four simple ways to apply behavioural insights

Yeager et al (2013) Addressing achievement gaps with psychological interventions


The following are some diagrams of the ‘four lenses and fives levers’ framework from Motivated Teaching.

Four lenses and five levers Four lenses and five levers (black & white) Five levers Five levers (black & white)