The lack of motivation begins early in elementary school when kids are NOT SUCCESSFUL in mastering the basic operations of arithmetic and are NOT fluent readers. Instead of focusing on developing fluency in both numbers and reading these kids are passed on to the next grade with the hope that they'll catch on. Well, they get older and are embarrassed that their peers CAN DO but the can NOT so they start acting out to cover their shortcomings. Their attendance drops stunting their academic growth further. Also, due to their increasing misbehavior results in repeated suspensions. This adds to putting them further behind their peers. Nevertheless the adminocrats keep on socially promoting them to the next grade. These kids arrive in high school fully aware that they know next to nothing. They know that no matter what they do adminocrats will bend over backwards to get them whatever is needed so that they do not drop out and thus adversely impact the graduation rate. It is therefore not surprising that these kids are not motivated to achieve academically since they never experienced the SATISFACTION of SUCCESS in learning early!!!
Incentive theory in psychology treats motivation and behavior of the individual as they are influenced by beliefs, such as engaging in activities that are expected to be profitable. Incentive theory is promoted by behavioral psychologists, such as . Skinner. Incentive theory is especially supported by Skinner in his philosophy of Radical behaviorism, meaning that a person's actions always have social ramifications: and if actions are positively received people are more likely to act in this manner, or if negatively received people are less likely to act in this manner.
The granddaddy of motivation theory, Frederick Herzberg, called traditional motivation strategies 'KITA' (something similar to Kick In The Pants). He used the analogy of a dog. When the master wants his dog to move he either gives it a nudge from behind, in which case the dog moves because it doesn't have much choice, or he offers it a treat as an inducement, in which case it is not so much motivated by wanting to move as by wanting choc drops! KITA does the job (though arguably not sustainably) but it's hard work. It means every time you want the dog to move you have to kick it (metaphorically).