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?
THEORIES: DIVIDED INTO 3 MAJOR CATAGORIES
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
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.