Model of Human Occupation (MOHO): Definition & Elements

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  • 0:04 Model of Human Occupation
  • 0:47 Volition
  • 1:31 Habituation
  • 2:15 Performance Clarity
  • 3:02 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Daniel Murdock

Daniel has taught Public Health at the graduate level and has a Ph.D. in Behavioral Sciences & Health Education.

The Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) is a client-centered conceptual model used in occupational therapy. This lesson defines the principles of MOHO and explores the three elements of humans that explain occupational behavior in the model.

Model of Human Occupation

The Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) is a conceptual framework that addresses how and why we engage in meaningful daily activities, which are called occupations. MOHO is a client-centered model that is grounded in occupational therapy practice.

The model views human beings as dynamic systems that interact with their environment. Human behavior is a result of interactions between inherent human elements and environmental influences. MOHO explains the underlying motivations, patterns, and contexts of our occupational behavior. In this lesson, we'll discuss the three inherent elements of human nature that explain occupational behavior in the model of human occupation.


Edgar enjoys reading the newspaper every morning. His wife, Elaine, considers it a waste of time. Why do we have these individual differences when it comes to what we want and choose to do?

Volition refers to how people are motivated and make choices regarding daily activities. Volition involves values, interests, and personal causation. We are more likely to engage in occupations that we value as important and occupations that we find satisfying and enjoyable. We are also more likely to engage in occupations that align with our perceived capabilities. Volition explains the motivations behind Edgar's decision to read the paper every day. He decides to engage in this activity because he finds it satisfying and enjoyable.


Reading the newspaper is a part of Edgar's morning routine. He reads the paper after brushing his teeth and making the bed. Much of our behavior is guided by routines like these.

Habituation refers to how our daily activities are organized into patterns and routines. We repeatedly behave in similar ways, we follow schedules, and we perform behaviors the same way over and over again. Our routines and patterns of behavior are often associated with our social roles, like being a parent, an employee, or a friend. Our roles give us a sense of who we are. This can make our habits and roles very resistant to change. Habituation explains how Edgar's morning reading fits within a larger pattern of behavior.

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