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PSYC FPX 3770 Assessment 3 Motivation and Performance in Personal and Professional Life


Capella University

PSYC FPX 3770 Psychology of Human Motivation and Performance

Prof. Name


Becoming a Research Assistant: Exploring Career Goals and Motivation

During my pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a newfound aspiration emerged: to become a research assistant. As I progressed through my coursework, my fascination with research in various assessments grew more intense. This interest peaked as I neared the completion of my program. With only a few courses left, I embarked on investigating the role of a research assistant, focusing on the type of research facility I envisioned working for, such as a university’s research department, a research center, or a private research organization. Additionally, I aimed to understand the primary job functions of a research assistant, including the specific tasks involved, such as utilizing various computer programs.

A significant challenge I encountered in pursuing this goal was gaining a deeper understanding of data analytics, particularly Big Data Analytics. This field encompasses new algorithms, methodologies, and systems crucial for large-scale research endeavors. Big Data Analytics revolutionizes daily life by integrating and analyzing heterogeneous and diverse data to inform decision-making processes. Its applications span various domains, including health and well-being, policy-making, and innovative educational models like MOOCs and Student-Teacher Modeling (Yang, Cao, & Shao, 2021).

Motivation in Pursuit of Becoming a Research Assistant

Psychologists delineate two primary types of human motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is driven by external rewards such as money, success, or recognition, while intrinsic motivation stems from internal satisfaction, curiosity, or enjoyment of the task at hand (Lopez-Garrido, 2021). My motivation to pursue a career as a research assistant is influenced by both extrinsic and intrinsic factors.

Extrinsically, this career path offers higher financial rewards and opportunities for recognition. Conversely, intrinsically, it aligns with my passion for research and curiosity about various phenomena. Moreover, achieving this goal would serve as a positive example for my adult children, motivating them to pursue their academic and professional aspirations.

Personality Traits and Motivation

Research suggests that personality traits play a significant role in one’s performance and motivation. For instance, individuals high in extraversion tend to excel in oral communications, while conscientiousness and agreeableness are conducive to effective teamwork (Kelsen & Liang, 2018). Considering my Big Five Personality Traits assessment, which indicates high scores in openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness, alongside a moderate score in neuroticism, I believe these traits equip me to thrive as a research assistant. My openness to new ideas, agreeableness in collaboration, conscientiousness in task completion, and extraversion in interpersonal interactions contribute to my intrinsic motivation to pursue this career path.

Self-Determination Theory and Intrinsic Motivation

The self-determination theory posits that individuals become self-determined when their needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy are fulfilled. Intrinsic motivation, integral to this theory, emphasizes the importance of feeling in control of one’s behaviors and goals, mastering tasks, and experiencing a sense of belonging (Lopez-Garrido, 2021). Aligning with this theory, my intrinsic motivation towards becoming a research assistant stems from fulfilling these psychological needs, thereby sustaining my pursuit despite challenges.

PSYC FPX 3770 Assessment 3 Motivation and Performance in Personal and Professional Life


Understanding the interplay between personality traits, motivation, and psychological theories informs my pursuit of becoming a research assistant. By leveraging intrinsic motivation, aligning with the self-determination theory, and capitalizing on my personality strengths, I am poised to navigate challenges and contribute effectively to research endeavors.


Kelsen, B. A., & Liang, H. (2018). Role of the Big Five Personality Traits and Motivation in Predicting Performance in Collaborated Presentations. Journal of Personality Assessment

Lopez-Garrido, G. (2021). Self-Determination Theory and Motivation. Simply Psychology

PSYC FPX 3770 Assessment 3 Motivation and Performance in Personal and Professional Life

Yang, Q., Cao, J., & Shao, Q. (2021). Proposal for the Theme on Big Data Analytics. University Grants Committee

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