Successful with over 24,000 students in two earlier motivation books, Weiner's text - newly available in paperback - depicts motivation as an unfolding story with plot and characters. He offers insights into the history and study of motivation and captures the excitement of the field as it evolves.
Theories are explored in the context of the dominant metaphor, or paradigm, of various eras. First to be discussed is the machine metaphor, which took a mechanistic view of human motivation and gave rise to Freudian, Hullian and Gestalt theories. Then Weiner discusses why this paradigm was abandoned in favour of another, which led to Expectancy-Value and Attribution theories. The rise of a further paradigm, which sees humans as evaluating judges, is then examined. The author concludes with a comparison of the theories reviewed.