Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Janis E. Jacobs, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
“Introduction” to Developmental Perspectives on Motivation: Volume 40 of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, ed. Richard Dienstbier and Janis E. Jacobs. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1993.
Copyright © 1993 University of Nebraska Press. Used by permission.


This volume marks the 40th anniversary of the Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, and with it a renewed commitment to the Symposium's original focus on motivation. Although we may reemphasize the topic, it is clear that motivation, as an area of study, has changed dramatically over the past 40 years. Although motivation has remained an important theme, it has had to share the stage with other important topics as the field of psychology has expanded. In addition, the concept of motivation has been applied to many diverse areas, has been defined and measured in a variety of ways, and has been used as both description and explanation for a number of social, cognitive, and emotional outcomes. In short, the study of motivation has become more complex and diverse, so that, while reemphasizing it means that all volumes will have motivation as the underlying theme, it also means the inclusion of a richer, more varied array of topics than was possible 40 years ago.