Difference Between Motivation and Emotion

Motivation and emotion are two concepts that have been deeply studied over the years in psychology. Resulting in the verification that there is a close relationship between them.

Therefore, the importance of emotion and motivation in human beings is well known. These are impulses that guide and guide the attitudes of people to carry out certain activities, as well as for the achievement and realization of goals and objectives set.

In this article we will point out the differences between motivation and emotion based on their brief definitions.


Motivation can be defined as a psychological component that guides, guides and determines the behavior of a person. The word motivation comes from the Latin words –motivus- which indicates movement and the suffix –ción  which indicates action or effect.

Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. It is intrinsic when the person performs an activity due to internal and own incentives, that is, for the pleasure of doing it. In contrast, it is extrinsic when the stimulus or incentive that moves a person to perform an activity comes from outside, it is an external incentive and does not come from the task itself.

Motivation can directly affect a person’s personal, work, social, or professional success, whether it comes from within, such as a personal desire to pursue a college degree, or from external factors, such as perform a sport to obtain some award or recognition.

That is why, motivation influences the actions and emotions of the person. Likewise, when the person is motivated, he gives all of himself to carry out the activity or task, even looking for ways to improve his actions, but if the person is not motivated, it will be very difficult to carry out an activity or task, equally, of finishing it will not represent greater pleasure for the individual.


An emotion can be defined as a positive or negative feeling that is produced by an event, situation, idea or memory. All people feel different emotions that come from stimuli caused by real or imaginary situations, past or present and even future. When the person imagines the possible results of a project that is beginning or the realization of a goal, he can feel different emotions.

There are different types of emotions, the general classification indicates that there are primary or basic emotions that are experienced as a reaction to a stimulus such as joy, sadness, fear, among others. On the other hand, secondary emotions are those that precede the primary ones, that is, they originate from them, such as the anger that can be felt after fear.

Likewise, we find different emotions such as positive emotions, which are those that positively affect the well-being of the individual who feels them such as joy, satisfaction and gratitude. Also, there are the negative emotions that negatively affect the mood of the person such as fear, anger, anger, rage, among others. Next, we find neutral emotions that do not affect mood in a negative or positive way, such as surprise, among others.

In view of what was stated above in the definitions, it can be said that the differences between motivation and emotion can be summarized as:

  • Motivation is a stimulus while emotion is a feeling.
  • Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic, that is, it can be internal or external, while emotion is always internal and expressed outwardly.
  • Motivation can be conditioned by previously felt emotions, which drives the person to act.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Back to top button