Knowles' theory can be stated with six assumptions related to motivation of adult learning:
1. Self-concept: As people mature, they move being a dependent personality toward being more self-directed
2. Experience: As people mature, they amass a growing set of experiences that provide a fertile resource for learning
3. Readiness to learn: As people mature, they are more interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their jobs or personal lives
4. Orientation to learning: As people mature, their time perspective changes from gathering knowledge for future use to immediate application of knowledge. As such, adult learners become more problem-centered rather than subject-centered (Knowles, 1980)
5. Motivation to learn: As people mature, they become more motivated by various internal incentives, such as need for self-esteem, curiosity, desire to achieve, and satisfaction of accomplishment
6. Relevance: As people mature, they need to know why they need to learn something (Knowles, 1984).