The Cognitive Approach to Motivation in Retarded Individuals

Shulamith Kreitler, Hans Kreitler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This chapter describes a conceptual framework for bridging the gap between motivation and cognition that may contribute to research on the role of motivational factors in the functioning of mentally retarded individuals. The chapter demonstrates that there are sizable individual differences in mentally retarded persons about behaviors often considered as main characteristics differentiating between mentally retarded and nonretarded groups. Though mental retardation may affect motivation, it does not eliminate motivation and does not even limit it. The cognitive motivation in retarded persons suggests that it is the cognitive processing of inputs that determines the impact that any external and internal force or condition will have on behavior. Cognitive orientation measures may be expected to help identify those individuals who, for motivational reasons, may benefit most or least from the available programs, services, or training. Further research is required to clarify techniques, processes, and outcomes of new approaches to changing behavior in retarded persons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-123
Number of pages43
JournalInternational Review of Research in Mental Retardation
Issue numberC
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1988


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