Types of Motivation | Psychology

 

psychoTypes of Motivation | Psychology

Primary (physiological) motives:

Motivation is not solely a cognitive process. Physiological arousal can provide the energy that fuels social motives as well as biological ones. Biological motives are largely rooted in the physiological state of the body. These motives are not learned and regarded as inborn. It is primary because their fulfillment is indispensable and of primary importance. Without them individual cannot survive. These primary motives include thirst, hunger, sex, temperature regulation, sleep, elimination, need for oxygen, pain avoidance, maternal needs, and so on. These needs have physiological basis as explained two of the physiological needs below:

1)Hunger

Hunger is the drive that arises from the need for food, which in turn develops from food deprivation. Questions like what are the body mechanisms that regulate the hunger drive and what psychological processes are at work during are being attempted to answer by both physiological and psychologists.

The act of chewing and swallowing provide some sensations of satiety (state of being satisfied). Hunger was previously assumed due to stomach contraction. Walter Cannon in 1934 concentrated on linking hunger to the “pangs” produced by an empty stomach. According to him, person does not realize he or she is hungry until such distant signals of pain or discomfort are apparent. Empty stomach leads to stomach contractions called hunger pangs. The pang was considered a signal of hunger. But later experiments with the animals whose stomachs have been removed were found regulating food intake to maintain a normal weight level.

The detail investigations and experiment made by other psychologists in later period confirmed that there is a close relation between blood chemistry and hunger. The reduction of the sugar in the blood starts hunger sensations, while its excess reduces it. Later experiments confirmed that several biochemical conditions regulate this drive (Morgan, 1965). The function of the liver is being considered important in this respect. Research suggests that receptors in the liver are important in regulating hunger (Friedman and Stricker, 1976). These receptors were found sensitive to the blood sugar level. In a state of food deprivation, blood sugar level becomes low and these receptors send rapid messages to the brain. The involvement of the brain has been indicated by experimental removal of the ‘satiety cells’ in the hypothalamus. When this portion of the brain is absent, the animals ate to the point where they become three times their normal size. After removal of other areas of the hypothalamus, the animal stopped eating before its normal need have been satisfied.

Though many areas of the body work to regulate the hunger drive this is only a part of the story. Hunger drive is more complex in human beings. Psychological factor is considered important along with physiological factors. Food taking behaviour is influenced by taste, colour, eating habits, and so on. Individual learns to respond in a particular way to these external stimuli. As a result, people eat even if they are not hungry. Incentive, thus, is important in understanding behaviour that is influenced by hunger motivation. Like Pavlov’s dog, people learn to salivate in anticipation of food cues. Sight, sound, aroma of the food can stimulate eating behaviour. Food taking behavior is shaped and reshaped by socio-cultural environment.

2) Thirst

Like hunger thirst is also a periodic drive. But it is usually felt faster than hunger. The strength of thirst is also greater than hunger drive. The necessity of thirst for survival is greater than food. Common experiences and observations show that people can live for many days without taking any food, but not without taking water. This is because thirst is closely related to survival of body cells.

People experience thirst as dryness in the mouth and throat. This is due to the diminution of water in the salivary glands, which is the result of a reduction of water in the blood. This is called dehydration of the body tissue and it results in thirst drive. Experiments have shown that receptors of the kidney and hypothalamus play more central roles in regulating the thirst drive.

When the body is depleted of fluids the flow of blood through the kidneys drops off. In response to this decreased flow of blood, the kidneys secrete the hormone called angiotensin. Angiotensin, in turn, signals the hypothalamus of fluid depletion.

Experiment results have found that hypothalamus is also responsible for thirst drive. The saturated cells and salty pretzels osmoreceptors in the hypothalamus can also detect fluid depletion from changes that occur within the brain. The brain, like the rest of the body, becomes fluid-depleted. Fluid depletion causes the osmoreceptor cells to shrivel, which in and of itself may trigger thirst.

It is found that receptors in the mouth and throat do play some role in thirst. When a thirsty person begins drinking, the receptors monitor the amount of fluid taken. At some point these receptors signal the hypothalamus to stop taking water. Drinking, like eating, has complex origin. It can be motivated by a combination of internal and external cues. 

3)Sex Motive

Sex motive, although not so essential for an individual’s survival like food and water, constitutes a highly powerful psycho-physical motive. Its satisfaction results in immense happiness and well being to an individual and as a medium of survival to the species. Where the root of the sex motive is purely biological and innate in the non-human animals, it is not so simple to point out the roots in humans whose sex drive is governed by both the physiological and psychological factors. Therefore, the human sex motive is termed as a complex blend of innate as well as acquired tendencies.

In most animals, sex hormones are undeniably essential in stimulating the sex drive. These hormones, the testosterone in the males and estrogens in the females, are secreted by   their testes and the ovaries. The experiments   connected with the removal of the testes and ovaries in the case of male and female animals or birds or injection of the doses of the male or female sex hormones have clearly demonstrated the extent to which secretion to sex hormones actually determines sexual behavior among different species.

This dependency on hormones is seen far less as we move up the phylogentic scale from lower animals and birds to monkeys and chimpanzies. Finally, in sexually experienced adult humans, we see still more freedom from hormonal controls. Castrated males and ovariectomized females sometimes experience little or no decline in sex drive or satisfaction. Females may also remain sexually active after the natural decline in ovarian function that occurs with age (in the form of menopause)

In addition to the dependency on hormones, females of most species, excluding humans are sexually receptive only at certain times when they are on heat or, in more technical language, during the estrus cycle. During this period, the female ovaries secrete a greater quantity of estrogen into her blood stream and she becomes receptive to the advances of the males. This period coincides with the occurrence of ovulation in the females and consequently may results in pregnancy.

In human beings, although the pregnancy is possible only in the estrus periods, the sex drive is not dependent upon the occurrence of an estrus cycle. In general, human females and males can be sexually motivated at any time quite independent of the period of fertility and hormones production. Much of their motivation in the form of sexual arousal and behavior is rooted in earlier experiences and social learning and controlled by lesions in the hypothalamus, the sub-cortical structure in the brain.

On account of the involvement of the cortical areas of the brain, the sources for the instigation of sex drive and sexual arousal vary very much in human beings. Sometimes it is the emotional feelings of the sex partner and at other times it may be a visual, auditory, a tactile sensation, a picture or a fantasy. In practice, the sex game is more psychological than biological or organic. For example, a smell of one’s favorite perfume or even a little moonlight works wonders in stimulating sex drive in humans. The other variables related with one’s socio-cultural environment, sexual experience and learning also play a leading role in guiding and deciding the mode and nature of sex drive and behavior in human beings independent of their fertility period and secretion of hormones.

4)Sleep and Rest

Sleep like food and water is a basic necessity of life. Need for sleep arises particularly when the individual is tired. Sleep acts as a type of rest by providing the cell bodies to recover the energy used in activity. Hence sleep is essential for health.

Research indicates that when people stay awake for long periods of time, perceptual disorientations occur, including depression, extreme elation, and anxiety. Military personnel, after 45, 65, and 95 sleepless hours, showed severe perceptual and emotional disturbances, as well as disrupted intellectual functioning (Morris & Singer, 1961). When talkathon contestants went 88 consecutive hours without sleep, they gradually become intensely concerned about their own mental health (Cappon & Banks, 1960). Whether such symptoms arise from deprivation of sleep, deprivation of dreams or both is not fully clear.

Physiology of sleep certain brain mechanisms are actively involved in producing sleep. Excitation of the thalamus, a switchboard mechanism below the cerebrum, seems to induce quiescence. In contrast, the reticular formation, an important sub-cortical arousal mechanism, influences sleep by ceasing the transmission of impulses to many cortical synapses. In other words, sleep is a consequence of excitation in certain brain regions, quiescence in others and even the brain stem and cortex seem to be part of our sleep inducing system (Murray, 1965).

More recently, it has been discovered that certain respiratory patterns are associated with the brain waves of the hypnagogic state, which is the interval of drowsiness between waking and sleeping. Like Rapid Eye movements (REMs) and study of dreaming, this finding may be especially useful in future investigations of hypnagogiy. This condition is of growing interest to researchers because of the vivid imagery that occurs just before falling asleep and just before awakening (Schacter, 1976).

Need for sleep is very important for our physiological and psychological health because it reduces the effect of fatigue by providing rest to the cell bodies.

Secondary(Psychosocial)motives:

Social motives are acquired, social, learned or complex motives. Like physiological drives, social motives prompt goal-directed behaviour. These motives are not related to survival but satisfy us in a number of ways. People sing, play musical instruments, compose music, paint, write. Such urge to create, achieve, and understand the world is somehow related to social survival. These motives result mainly from man’s interaction with his social environment. Some of the social motives include need for praise, recognition and status, achievement, mastery motive, aggressiveness, power, self-submission, gregariousness, imitation, sympathy, life goal, level of aspiration and need for achievement, interest and so on. Psychologist Henry Murray (1938) constructed a list of 20 human motives that consist largely of social motives.

These motives are not innate so people can survive physically without them but it will almost impossible to live socially. Since life is more and more depending upon social survival in most of the countries these social motives have important implication in the life of the people. Some of the secondary motives are like power, prestige, need for approval, curiosity need, aggressive, pugnacity, hoarding, affiliation need, need for achievement, recognition and status etc. As the need themselves indicate they are important aspects to provide some insight of the people and community. These motives are persisting characteristics of a person because they are learned. The strength of these motives differs individual to individual and culture to culture. Below is the description of two social motives.

1)Achievement motivation:

Some people are always continuously driven by goal in their life. They always want to achievement some goal in their life. This is called achievement motivation. People with achievement motivation always want to accomplishment something in their life and advance up the ladder of success. For this kind of people accomplishment is much important than rewards.

In the organizational settings achievement-oriented employees always works harder when they think that they will receive personal credit for their efforts, when the risk of failure is only moderate, and when they receive specific feedback about their past performance. These people take responsibility of their actions, take pride in the positive result, have control over their destiny, seek regular feedback, and they enjoy being part of a winning achievement. Such activity can be both individual and group effort.

2)Affiliation motivation:

Affiliation motivation is a social need. Human beings are social by nature and they always want company, share their basic emotions and help each other. Such needs are vital for group survival. However, in some people affiliation need is more stronger than other social needs i.e., achievement need. In the organizational settings, people with affiliation needs tend to be friendly, helpful, closer and more concerned about other people. People with higher achievement need, however, tend to work hard, impress their managers, respect technically capable people and less concerned with personal feelings. However, the employee with affiliation need are more happy with like-minded people, feel rewarded being with friends and need more time for building personal relationship with others. They derive satisfaction from the company of close people.

Affiliation is important need for most of the people and in organizational setting such need may lead to positive social relationship, cooperation in work, develop friendly environment and may enable to achieve organizational goal. However, overemphasis on affiliation need may interfare in some organizational settings. Affiliation-oriented managers may have difficulty assigning challenging task, directing work activities, and monitoring work effectiveness.

3)Aggression Motivation:

Aggression motive is related to those behaviors that are intended to inflict physical or psychological harm on others. Various views have been propounded about the origin and working of this motive. Those believing in instinctive theory like Freud, Lorenz and Ardrey held that an aggressive motive is linked with an innate independent instinctual tendency in human beings which expresses itself in destructive and violent activities. However, this innate drive concept now stands rejected due to lack of substantial research.

From another viewpoint, aggression is caused as a result of frustration. However, later researches have proved that it is not essential that reaction to frustration always leads to aggression. Bandura (1973) suggests that frustration generates aggression only in those people who have previously developed aggressive attitudes and action as a means of coping with their environment. It leads us to a more accepted conclusion that aggression motive and aggressive behavior is the product of earlier experiences and social learning. One may be aggressive because one has been brought up in the environment where he frequently observes his parents, elders, teachers and peers showing aggression towards him or others. 

Copyright:Shishir Subba

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