Motivation and the Brain

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Psychology Pages: 5 (1637 words) Published: June 3, 2013
Guadalupe M. Ignacio

Motivation and the Brain

To Quit Drinking Alcohol or Using other Drugs
May 31, 2013

Bindhu Davis, PhD.

Course Instructor

University of Phoenix, San Diego
Thursdays @ 6-10 pm

Motivation and the Brain

“Intrinsic motivation comes from the feeling itself that is caused by doing something.” (Decker’s, 2010, pp. 254-259).This motivation is not affected by any external rewards but more likely comes from the inside of every individual. While people drink alcohol or get addicted to other kinds of substances for a reward, others do it simply because they have these inborn receptors in their brain that is just waiting in there to clamp into the addicting substance in a “ball and socket” fashion that the person has no control of.” (Inaba & Cohen, 2004).

So much had been said about Motivation; that it is something that directs, energizes, and sustain behaviors as there were two underlying factors derived from it, namely, intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic is characterized by internal desires to perform a particular task, as in performing an activity because it gives you pleasure (DeVietti & Kirkpatrick, 1977). When you try to develop a new skill to give you more pride on yourself and increase your self-esteem, or somehow, just believing that it is just the right thing to do gives you that motivation to do it - that is considered an intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation on the other hand justifies its title, it comes from external factors to the individual that were not even related to the task that he or she is to perform or achieve (Deckers, 2010). Good examples of these external factors are rewards, money, and good grades for a student Students who were intrinsically motivated tend to do better in their classroom activities because they are willing and eager to learn new lessons. To them, this learning experience is more meaningful so they will try as hard as they could to get into a more in - depth understanding of the subject matter. On the other hand, extrinsically motivated students may have to be bribed to perform the same tasks (DeVietti & Kirkpatrick, 1977). Another example of an extrinsic motivation is a child who really hates Statistics homework but is encouraged to do so by payment of a quarter of a dollar for every correct answer he gets is externally motivated to do so because of that reward. For this reason, he tries to do the his homework for the external payment rather than for his intrinsic desire to learn that subject (DeVietti & Kirkpatrick, 1977). At the mention of the word motivation, we cannot help but remember the famous Maslow hierarchy of needs, as developed by the famous theorist Abraham Maslow. He concluded that before we can be intrinsically motivated we must first satisfy some more basic human needs. Perhaps it would be redundant at this point if I am going to mention the five basic human needs again, but I believe it is fair enough to say that in everything in life we need to build a base or a post for a building in order for it to stand up; the same thing is related to the these human needs that I am about to clarify, redundant as it may be. Although Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory is a common knowledge to almost everyone in the field of psychology, this one was from compilation of Deckers (2010). First, he emphasized the Physiological Need, where we are motivated to satisfy the needs that ensure our physical survival. These include food, water, air, shelter, clothing and sex. Some people can easily satisfy their physiological needs and can easily shift to concentrate on higher level needs, and some consider that their physiological needs are more important than any other needs in their lives. As the hierarchy of these needs continue and are satisfied according to our individual priority and preferences, so...

References: Adcock, R. A., Thangavel, A., Whitfield-Gabrieli, S., Knutson, B., & Gabrieli, J. D. (2006).
Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation: Biological, Psychological, and Environmental (3rd ed.). Boston:
Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
DeVietti, T. L., & Kirkpatrick, B. R. (1977). Stimulation of specific regions of brain in rats
modifies retention for newly acquired and old habits
Wickens, A.P. (2005). Foundations of Biopsychology (2nd Ed.). New York:Parson/Prentice Hall
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