The Theories Of Motivation Psychology Essay

Motivation can be defined as giving a ground, inducement, enthusiasm or involvement that causes a individual to follow a specific action or behaviour. A simple illustration could be that our act of feeding is motivated by hungriness.

We can sort motive into two chief types:

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Intrinsic motive: when people do something for pleasance, importance or desire ( internal )

Extrinsic motive: when external factors motivate a individual to follow a certain act or behaviour ( external )

( Lionel, 1994 )

Theories of motive:

Incentive theory:

A touchable or an intangible wages is given after the happening of an action/behavior with the purpose of doing the behavior/action to happen once more. Some surveies show that if the wages is given rapidly, the consequence is greater than if the inducement is given after increased transition of clip. This insistent action-reward combination makes the specific behaviour a wont. ( Robert, 1995 )

This theory is promoted by many celebrated behavioural psychologists such as B.F.Skinner and emphasizes that if actions are positively received, people are more likely to transport them on once more and once more while if they are negatively received, people avoid transporting out those acts/behaviors once more.

Incentive theory differentiates itself from other theories such as thrust theory in footings of behaviourism in such a manner that it involves positive support i.e the act is reinforced to do the individual happy and promote him to transport it on once more for illustration a individual knows that eating nutrient or imbibing H2O will do him satisfied and happy, while in the thrust theory, usage of negative support is made i.e the stimulation has been associated with the remotion of the penalty for illustration a individual knows that when he will devour nutrient if he is hungry, it will extinguish the negative feeling of hungriness. ( Wilson,1992 )

In simpler words, incentive theory suggests that people are motivated to make things because of external wagess. Behavioral constructs such as association and support play an of import function in this theory of motive. ( Wilson, 1992 )

Drive decrease theory:

This theory emphasizes that people have certain biological demands or thrusts ( illustration hungriness, slumber and sex ) and as the clip passes, the strength of the desire increases if it is non fulfilled or satisfied. Upon fulfilling the thrust, the strength is reduced and the being returns to a province of homeostasis.

In simpler words, people are motivated to transport out some actions in order to cut down the internal tenseness caused by unmet demands. An illustration of application of this theory is that when you drink a glass of H2O to cut down the internal province of thirst. Another illustration is if we were hot, we would seek for a shadiness, this seeking for shadiness and imbibing glass of H2O is an illustration of thrust cut downing behaviour.

The job nevertheless, faced with this theory is that the thrusts are non ever, strictly motivated by physiological demands. For illustration, a individual may smell newly baked staff of life and want to eat it although he has already done his breakfast small clip ago. In this instance the thrust ‘hunger ‘ is non actuating him to make this action but he is merely eating the staff of life because he is attracted to the odor and he knows that a newly baked bread gustatory sensations really good. ( Lepper, 1995 )

Maslow ‘s theory of hierarchy of motivations:

Maslow emphasized that one time our basic demands, which guarantee our endurance are met, our attending is diverted to our relationship with others, self esteem and carry throughing personal potency. ( Maslow, 1970 )

Physiological demands are the first demands ( hungriness, sex etc ) that need to be satisfied. Safety demands are listed as 2nd demands and these chiefly mean the feelings of security that the universe is a safe placefor an single to populate.

Belongingness and love demands are listed as 3rd most of import demand which refer to being loved by others and accepted so that the person can besides give love to others.

Esteem demand is the 4th most of import demand. This means that a individual has feelings of his ego regard which can be achieved through having regard from other people and acknowledgment.

Self realization refers to making one ‘s ain alone potency.

The concluding demand is to happen a significance in the universe beyond 1s self or self transcendency. ( Whyte, 1980 )

This hierarchy of demands is drawn in a form of pyramid with the most of import need get downing from the underside:

Arousal theory of motive:

This theory suggests that people carry out some specific actions in order to increase or diminish their degrees of rousing. More clearly we can state, that this theory motivates us in order to keep our arousal degree at an optimal point, non below it, non higher.

A clear illustration of application of this theory could be when the rousing degrees gets below the optimal point, the individual may travel to watch a film or travel for a jog. This is likely to hike up his arousal degree. Similarly, if the rousing degree gets high, the individual is likely to seek ways in which he can convey it down, i.e ways that make him loosen up such as meditating or reading a monkeys, wonder motivates them how to open a latch door or a window. ( pantryman, 1954 ) .

This theory is really popular both in the field of psychological science or physiology. It was originated by Lindsley. Harmonizing to him, excessively small stimulation can do a individual to acquire bored while excessively high degree of stimulation can do anxiousness, which consequences in esthesis seeking. Such esthesis searchers are more unprompted and likely to take part in hazardous behaviour. Impulsivity refers to inability of a individual to judge the effects of a hazardous action he is traveling to execute. Such unprompted people might non be able to correctly process cognitive information. ( lynam and Miller, 2004 )

Instinct theory of motive:

In conformity with this theory, people behave in specific manner because they are evolutionarily programmed to. Peoples do non really larn to act like that, it is an congenital behaviour. A clear illustration of such a behaviour is the migrations that occur in animate beings universe. ( forbes,2011 )

William Jamess created a list of inherent aptitudes which included:








However, the chief jobs faced by this theory were that it did non explicate behaviour, but merely described. It described the consequence of genetic sciences and heresity on human behaviour. Most of our behaviours are non unconditioned and therefore, these inherent aptitudes are non likely to actuate us.

Harmonizing to Sigmund Freud, human behaviour is driven by two biological inherent aptitudes: Eros and thenatos, the life inherent aptitude and the decease inherent aptitude severally. The life replete includes sexual motive, the decease inherent aptitude includes aggression motive. He suggested that people should manage these aggressive inherent aptitudes carefully and non-violently by prosecuting in competitory activities. ( steven,2002 )

William mcdougal besides pioneered an replete theory, in his theory, inherent aptitudes compose of three parts ; perceptual experience, behaviour and emotion. Worlds have perceptual sensitivity to concentrate on stimulations that are of import to his ends. Worlds have the thrust and energy called the ’emotional nucleus ‘ between perceptual experience of the end and the motion towards it. Mcdougal listed 17 inherent aptitudes including:


Rejection of peculiar substances




Sexual activity

Maternal/paternal inherent aptitude











( steven,2002 )

Cognitive rating theory:

This theory suggests that there are really two types of motive ; intrinsic and extrinsic which correspond to two types of incentives:

Intrinsic incentives ; that come from existent public presentation of the undertaking e.g accomplishment, duty and competency

Extrinsic incentives ; that come from a individual ‘s environment or controlled by others e.g wage, publicity, feedback and working conditions.

Any of these could be a more power incentive for an person. ( Lepper,1995 )

Intrinsically motivated people perform chiefly for their ain satisfaction and achievement.if they start to believe that they are working for wage or work conditions or for any other extrinsic ground, they begin to lose motive.

It emphasizes that powerful extrinsic incentives can diminish a individual ‘s intrinsic motive, particularly if the extrinsic incentives are believed to be controlled by others by the person. ( Lepper, 1995 )

Hezberg ‘s two factor theory:

Harmonizing to hezberg, two sorts of factors are likely to impact motive, and they do it in different ways:

Hygiene factors: if these are absent, an person is motivated. However, their presence has no sensed consequence. These are the things that when u take away from a individual, he gets disgruntled and tries to take them back. Examples include nice on the job conditions, wage, security, company policies and interpersonal relationships.

Incentives: these are factors whose presence motivates. Their absence does non do dissatisfaction but merely fails to actuate people.

We can state that hygiene factors cause dissatisfaction while incentives cause satisfaction. The two graduated tables are independent and one can be high on either or both. ( Piers, 2007 )


Measurement of motive can be classified into two types:

Measurement of societal thrusts

Measurement of biological thrusts ( Chavajay, 2002 )

Measurement of societal thrusts can be done through the undermentioned ways:

Personality questionnaire

Projective techniques

Situational trials



1-personaity questionnaire: in these questionnares, topics are asked as to how will they react to certain state of affairss or conditions. Assorted trials are used in these questionnares such as involvement stock list, Minnesota multiphase personality stock list and California psychological stock list. ( Chavajay,2002 )

2-projective techniques: these present simple and equivocal stimulations that allow the topic to react with projection of both sexes in their personality. These trials are conducted by demoing abstract images, composing narratives to topics and include other trials like Rorschach inkblot trial and Thematic Apperception Test. Psychologists have experienced that these trials can supply valuable penetration into one ‘s personality. However, it is easy to misinterpret the responses and an inexperient examiner can misapply the information that is collected. Projective trials are besides known as nonsubjective trials.

3-situational trials: societal thrust or association can be measured by giving a individual pick between waiting in a demand to accomplish or the demand to consort with others such as thrusts for plants, conformity thrusts, societal blessing thrusts, self actualization thrusts.

4-observation: observation can be defined as watching an person ‘s behaviour over a period of clip. It can be done in natural environment or in clinical scenes. Through observation, psychologists besides try to cognize about behavioural jobs.

5-interviews: it ‘s a manner to garner information face to face from the individual who is being evaluated. A consecutive interview is that in which the interviewee is made to speak openly about his feelings, thrusts and experiences. ( Chavajay,2002 )

Measurement of biological thrusts can be done through following ways:

Speed of acquisition of single

Preferences shown by an person when given picks between more than one end

Rate of response of an person

Sum of obstructor required to forestall the animate being from making a end

Action of nervous system

Amplitude of a response

Gross motor activity of an person

The stimulations presented can be varied and can be internal or external. ( Chavajay, 2002 )


Primary motivations are besides known as biological moitves have a definite physiological footing and are biologically of import for an person ‘s endurance. These arouse the behaviour of an being in waies that lead to a alteration in the internal environment. Beginnings of biological motivational demands include increase/decrease simulation, activate senses, lessening hungriness, thirst, uncomfortableness and keeping homeostasis, balance. ( Harter, 2011 )

The primary motivations consist of:




Sexual thrust

Air or necessitate for respiration



Maternal thrust

Secondary motivations are individualistic in nature as they are related to self regard, self exhibition, self security, ego freedom and self averment. These are besides known as psychological motivations and are really of import in the development of an person ‘s behaviour and personality. ( Harter, 2011 )

The secondary motivations include:

Need for association

Need for blessing

Need for accomplishment

Need for security

Curiosity motivation

Competence motivation

Power motivation

Aggression motivation

Self realization ( Harter, 2011 )

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