Determination is a positive emotional feeling that involves persevering towards a difficult goal in spite of obstacles.
It occurs prior to goal attainment & serves to motivate behaviour that would help achieve one’s goal. In other words, it is not just a cognitive state but an affective state. It is the desire to get the job done & includes characteristics such as initiative, persistence, dominance and drive.
According to positive psychology, “determination is a positive emotion that pushes individuals toward action and results in important outcomes such as perseverance and the development of coping mechanisms”. Researchers have postulated many models & theories based on determination.
Assuming that determination is influenced by the emotion of challenge & the expectations placed on an individual by their social context, determination is fostered in educational, occupational & familial environments that encourage men and women. If an individual is provided resources & surrounded by people who believe they are capable of goal achievement, said individual is more likely to experience increases in determination & subsequent improvement in performance and well-being.
For instance, research has shown that students enrolled in positive learning environments where teachers incorporate strategies meant to meet students motivational needs (i.e. encouragement aimed at intrinsic rewards, using student – directed forms of discipline) are more likely to become responsible learners who display a determination to succeed always. It also improves the physical and mental health by increasing survival rate and decreases depression.
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