Motivation Theories

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Human behavior Pages: 1 (316 words) Published: March 8, 2013
Differentiate between the 4 major theories on motivation: instincts/evolutionary, drive-reduction, hierarchy of needs, and arousal theory. Discuss their origins, and explain why they cannot fully account for human behavior.

The instinct/evolutionary theory on motivation states that motivation is the result of biological, genetic programming. Thus, all beings within a species are programmed for the same motivations. At the heart of this perspective, is the motivation to survive - we are biologically programmed to survive. And, all of our behaviors and motivations stem from biological encoding. So, are actions are instincts. Theorists have never been able to see eye to eye on a list of instincts; many instincts are NOT widespread and seem to be more reliant on individual differences (for example, jealousy. Not all humans exhibit the same jealously behaviors, etc.).

The drive-reduction theory on motivation proposes that biological needs create internal states of tension or arousal - called drives - which organisms are motivated to reduce. But homeostasis seems irrelevant to some human motives - "thirst for knowledge". Motivation may exist without a drive arousal. For example, humans do not eat only when they are hungry.

The hierarchy of needs theory states that a systematic arrangement of needs according to priority, which assumes that basic needs must be met before less basic needs are aroused. Thus, like stage theories, we must meet one need before we move on to the next. Physiological, safety and security, belongingness and love, esteem, and self-actualization are the stages.

Lastly, the arousal theory is based on the ideas that different individuals perform better at different levels of arousal and that every individual seeks to find its optimum level. Another part of the arousal theory is the Yerkes-Dodson law. This states that simple tasks require a high level of arousal to get the motivation to do them, while difficult tasks require low arousal to...
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