Importance of Motivation

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychology Pages: 7 (2479 words) Published: January 11, 2008
Importance of motivation
Most motivation theorists assume that motivation is involved in the performance of all learned responses; that is, a learned behavior will not occur unless it is energized. The major question among psychologists, in general, is whether motivation is a primary or secondary influence on behavior. That is, are changes in behavior better explained by principles of environmental/ecological influences, perception, memory, cognitive development, emotion, explanatory style, or personality or are concepts unique to motivation more pertinent. For example, we know that people respond to increasingly complex or novel events (or stimuli) in the environment up to a point and then responses decrease. This inverted-U-shaped curve of behavior is well-known and widely acknowledged (e.g., Yerkes & Dodson, 1908). However, the major issue is one of explaining this phenomenon. Is this a conditioning (is the individual behaving because of past classical or operant conditioning), a motivational process (from an internal state of arousal), or is there some better explanation? The relationship of motivation and emotion :

Emotion (an indefinite subjective sensation experienced as a state of arousal) is different from motivation in that there is not necessarily a goal orientation affiliated with it. Emotions occur as a result of an interaction between perception of environmental stimuli, neural/hormonal responses to these perceptions (often labeled feelings), and subjective cognitive labeling of these feelings (Kleinginna and Kleinginna, 1981b). Evidence suggests there is a small core of core emotions (perhaps 6 or 8) that are uniquely associated with a specific facial expression (Izard, 1990). This implies that there are a small number of unique biological responses that are genetically hard-wired to specific facial expressions. A further implication is that the process works in reverse: if you want to change your feelings (i.e., your physiological functioning), you can do so by changing your facial expression. That is, if you are motivated to change how you feel and your feeling is associated with a specific facial expression, you can change that feeling by purposively changing your facial expression. Since most of us would rather feel happy than otherwise, the most appropriate facial expression would be a smile. Sources Of Motivational needs:

Theories of motivation :
Many of the theories of motivation address issues introduced previously in these materials. The following provides a brief overview to any terms or concepts that have not been previously discussed. 1-Behavioral :

Each of the major theoretical approaches in behavioral learning theory posits a primary factor in motivation. Classical conditioning states that biological responses to associated stimuli energize and direct behavior. Operant learning states the primary factor is consequences: the application of reinforcers provides incentives to increase behavior; the application of punishers provides disincentives that result in a decrease in behavior. 2-Cognitive :

There are several motivational theories that trace their roots to the information processing approach to learning. These approaches focus on the categories and labels people use help to identify thoughts, emotions, dispositions, and behaviors. The first is cognitive dissonance theory which is in some respects similar to disequilibrium in Piaget's theory of cognitive development. This theory was developed by Leon Festinger (1957) and states that when there is a discrepancy between two beliefs, two actions, or between a belief and an action, we will act to resolve conflict and discrepancies. The implication is that if we can create the appropriate amount of disequilibrium, this will in turn lead to the individual changing his or her behavior which in turn will lead to a change in thought patterns which in turn leads to more change in behavior. A second cognitive approach is attribution theory...

References: • Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Evanston, IL: Row, Peterson.
• Frankl, V
• Jung, C. (1953). Modern man in search of a soul. New York: Harcourt Brace.
• Maslow, A
• Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality. New York: Harper.
• Maslow, A
• Maslow, A., & Lowery, R. (Ed.). (1998). Toward a psychology of being (3rd ed.). New York: Wiley & Sons.
• Mathes, E
• Franken, R. (1994). Human motivation. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
• Franken, R
• Freud, S. (1990). Beyond the pleasure principle. New York: W. W.
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