PSYC 102
April 15, 2008
1. Motivation: Set of factors that activate, direct, and maintain behavior, usually toward some goal.
a. What is getting the organism to behave in a certain way? Ex. Why do organisms not remain at rest?
1. Biological Theories: All primarily look at the biological make-up of the organism to answer the motivation question.
a. INSTINCT THEORY: Inborn, unlearned behaviors universal to species explain motivation. Argument of biological continuity. Question why humans are so radically different from other species. There must be instinctual features that are inborn in humans as well. Conditions in the environment or internally that trigger a set of behaviors. If the conditions are met, the behaviors take place. Criticisms are that in humans, two humans can be subjected to the same thing and yet behave differently. The very ability of humans are not as predictable as other species. If there are certain instincts, they must be simplistic. Ex. Pupils dilating in dark places.
b. DRIVE-REDUCTION: Internal tensions “push” toward satisfying basic needs. A certain amount of discomfort pushes us to certain behaviors. Ex. Hunger pushes you to food seeking behaviors. These are internal desires to satisfy a need. This theory predicts that organisms are constantly in cycles of homeostasis. This reduces the need to engage in these behaviors. Eventually, you get out of homeostasis and the need builds until it is satisfied. You then go back into homeostasis. Constant cycle. (Different cycles for different needs). Repeated over and over all day long. Criticism is that there are some behaviors that never reach this homeostasis state. For example, the rich have all their basic needs satisfied, yet always get up in the morning. What drives them? Some people engage in risky behavior. Risk seeking behavior.
c. AROUSAL THEORY: Trying to reach a certain level of tension that is actually satisfying or comforting to you. Ex. The rich continuing to work…he is not happy unless he is working. Not working at this level is discomforting for him.
2. Psychological Theories: Basic criticism of the Biological theories is that they are incomplete because they are ignoring social environment and mental processes of an individual. Psychological want to examine external stimuli and internal and how they affect the individual.
a. Incentive: Motivation results from the “pull” of external environmental stimuli. Rewards are given to pull you toward a certain goal. For example, advertisements often promise things to entice you or give an incentive for buying their product. May offer money, fame, beauty etc.
b. Cognitive: Stress the internal mental processes. Individual has the ability to evaluate and place value on things. Maybe  offering money as an incentive is not a value that is wanted by a certain individual.
*Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
1. Proposed a pyramid of needs that must be satisfied in a particular order.
What he argued is that individuals start at the bottom of the pyramid and work their way up, one step at a time. Higher needs could not be met until the lower ones were. You cannot jump from one to another.