Engagement, motivation, and persistence are usually associated with positive outcomes. However, too much of it can overtax our psychophysiological system and put it at risk. On the basis of a neuro-dynamic personality and self-regulation model, we explain the neurobehavioral mechanisms presumably underlying engagement and how engagement, when overtaxing the individual, becomes automatically inhibited for reasons of protection. We explain how different intensities and patterns of engagement may relate to personality traits such as Self-directedness, Conscientiousness, Drive for Reward, and Absorption, which we conceive of as functions or strategies of adaptive neurobehavioral systems. We describe how protective inhibitions and personality traits contribute to phenomena such as disengagement and increased effort-sense in chronic fatigue conditions, which often affect professions involving high socio-emotional interactions. By doing so we adduce evidence on hemispheric asymmetry of motivation, neuromodulation by dopamine, self-determination, task engagement, and physiological disengagement. Not least, we discuss educational implications of our model.
Tops, M., Montero-Marín, J. and Quirin, M. (2016), "Too Much of a Good Thing: A Neuro-Dynamic Personality Model Explaining Engagement and Its Protective Inhibition", Recent Developments in Neuroscience Research on Human Motivation (Advances in Motivation and Achievement, Vol. 19), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 283-319. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0749-742320160000019012Download as .RIS
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