April 28, 2013
Motivation is the force behind behavior. Different things can be factors for motivation. Instincts make us eat when we are hungry, sleep when we are tired, and drink when we are thirsty. The body’s basic needs are taken care of by the natural instinct to fulfill those needs. I think it could be argued that the basic needs are also motivated by drive, or lack of, to satisfy those same natural behaviors. You know you will be hungry by a certain point so you may snack in order to reduce the drive to overeat later, or to satisfy the need before instinct takes over.
There are some who seek out stimulation and excitement, thrill seekers, who are motivated by the adrenaline rush they receive. Their motivation is aroused by the anticipation of something that might be considered dangerous by others. Skydiving, bungee jumping, zip lining are all examples of things that would motivate a thrill seeker.
Motivation can also be brought on by setting goals for ourselves. Cognitive motivation is the explanation for wanting to lose twenty pounds in time for bikini season. At the same time, being able to fit into the bikini is the incentive motivation to lose the weight. For children, you might use incentive motivation so that they complete homework, by telling them they will receive a snack afterward. Eventually, the child will know that they will always receive a snack and it becomes a goal to finish the homework. Incentive and cognitive motivation are a yin and yang of sorts; they co-exist with each other to push us to complete tasks.
Our motivations are usually accompanied by our emotions, both positive and negative. Positive emotions such as love and joy are felt when we meet and exceed our goals and expectations or because someone has helped to keep their motivation to complete the goals. Fear, anger, and sadness are negative emotions that accompany not satisfying a need...