What is Motivation?
- Motivation refers to a need or desire that energizes a direct behavior.
- Motivated behaviors are caused by a combination of nature and nurture.
- There are four perspectives to explain motivated behavior
- Instinct theory
- Drive-reduction theory
- Arousal theory
- Hierarchy of needs
“Growth needs do not stem from a lack of something, but rather from a desire to grow as a person. Once these growth needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization” (McLeod, 2020)
What is evolutionary psychology?
- Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory popularized the use of “instinct” to name behaviors, rather than explain them.
- “According to evolutionary psychology, individuals are motivated to engage in behaviors that maximize their genetic fitness” (Lumen, 2021).
- An instinct is a complex behavior that is unlearned and rigidly patterned throughout a species.
- Although instinct theory failed to explain human behavior it opened the door for understanding a species behavior with genetic predispositions for motivation.
- Now the theory is replaced by the evolutionary perspective.
- Recognizing how our instinct affects motivation is crucial to understanding why we intrinsically perform certain behaviors, such as how babies are born knowing how to root/suck to obtain food.
What are drives and incentives?
- The original instinct theory was replaced by the drive-reduction theory: the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state that motivates an organism to satisfy the need.
- Goal of drive reduction: homeostasis
- A balanced or constant internal state due to regulation of any aspect of body chemistry
- We can also be pulled by incentives: a positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behavior.
- Impacted by our learning
- Physiological need + external incentive = strong drive
What is optimum arousal?
- Some motivated behaviors increase arousal
- Ex: In absence of need based drive, curiosity drives baby to explore environment
- Human motivation seeks to find optimal arousal level once biological needs are met
- Temperament affect motivation
- Bored→ increase stimulation/arousal
- Stressed→ decrease arousal
- Temperament affect motivation
What is the hierarchy of motives?
- Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with physiological needs that must first be satisfied before higher-level safety needs, and then psychological needs become active.
- Self-transcendence needs
- Self-actualization needs
- Esteem needs
- Belongingness and love needs
- Safety needs
- Physiological needs
- Once people realize their own potential, they can look for meaning and purpose that is transpersonal.
- Now, the model includes cognitive, aesthetic, and transcendence needs (McLeod, 2020).
- The order of such needs is not universal.
- Ex: self esteem matters more in individualist nations
- Overall, the hierarchy provides a foundation of understanding that some motives are more important for others.
Why is motivation important?
- Motivation is necessary in all areas of life.
- Study and get good grades in school
- Working a job to get a promotion
- Practice sports for recruitment
- To set and accomplish greater goals, we require motivation to persevere through challenges.
- Ex: Diet, exercise, and finance goals
Psychology Textbook, 10th Edition, David G. Myers