Motivation and Emotion

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Motivation is what moves a person to do things. There are five approaches to motivation and they are drive-reduction, arousal, incentive, self-determination, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

When there is a need and a drive (primary and secondary), this is referred to as the drive-reduction approach. This approach is when someone pursues the satisfaction of our wants and needs. Most people are motivated by three types of needs, the need for achievement, the need for affiliation, and the need for power. The need for achievement is linked to success in school and career, the need for affiliation is linked to the approval of others, and the need for power is linked to control, value in status and prestige.

When motivation is driven by stimulus and arousal, this is the arousal approach. Everyone has a level of tension that is needed to increase or decrease tension. Each person has a favorite level of tension that is preferred to operate. Students use this approach most frequently and the goal is to find the perfect level of alertness in which the student is able to pay attention and absorb the content.

The incentives approach is in relation to rewards, monetary prizes or gifts and is used to get someone to do something. An example would be practicing hard, performing a great routine in front of the judges, and winning a medal for coming in first place at a gymnastics meet. Incentives, such as candy, are used when potty training kids and treats when training puppies. Incentives attract and lure people into action.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a pyramid, created by Abraham Maslow, which proposes that there are several needs a person must meet before reaching the highest level of personal gratification, which is self-actualization. The needs represented in the pyramid, from top to bottom, are self-actualization, esteem, belongingness and love, safety, and physiological. In order to reach the top of the pyramid, all the other needs below must be met and...
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