The relationship between multidimensional motivation and endocrine-related responses: a systematic review

Steel, R.P. ORCID: 0000-0001-5633-3259, Bishop, N.C. and Taylor, I.M., 2021. The relationship between multidimensional motivation and endocrine-related responses: a systematic review. Perspectives on Psychological Science. ISSN 1745-6916

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Multidimensional motivational theories postulate that the type of motivation is as important as the quantity of motivation, with implications for human functioning and well-being. An extensive amount of research has explored how constructs contained within these theories relate to the activation of the endocrine system. However, research is fragmented across several theories, and determining the current state of the science is complicated. In line with contemporary trends for theoretical integration, this systematic review aims to evaluate the association between multidimensional motivational constructs and endocrine-related responses to determine which theories are commonly used and what inferences can be made. Forty-one studies were identified incorporating five distinct motivation theories and multiple endocrine-related responses. There was evidence across several theories that high-quality motivation attenuated the cortisol response in evaluative environments. There was also evidence that motivational needs for power and affiliation were associated with lower and higher levels of salivary immunoglobulin A, respectively. The need for power may play a role in increasing testosterone when winning a contest; however, this evidence was not conclusive. Overall, this review can shape the future integration of motivational theories by characterizing the nature of physiological responses to motivational processes and examining the implications for well-being.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Perspectives on Psychological Science
Creators: Steel, R.P., Bishop, N.C. and Taylor, I.M.
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Date: 29 January 2021
ISSN: 1745-6916
Rights: © the author(s) 2021. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 02 Feb 2021 09:34
Last Modified: 31 May 2021 15:07

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