Have you ever wondered why you do what you do? What gets you up and moving? What are your motives? Motivation explains behavior and the reasons for the behavior. What makes one person a bully and another person a friend? The answer might have to do with motivation. Here are six theories of motivation. Which one suits your life style or need?
Drive is a theory related to self-preservation, reproduction or aggression. This style is directed towards a specific end. It was introduced in 1975 by Dr. Robert C. Bolles. He is known for his work on fear and avoidance and the importance of goal attainment. He recognized that motivation and learning are related and the perception of stimuli draws the connected response.
Goal setting is a theory that explains that specific goals increase performance and difficult goals when accepted result in higher performance than easier goals. This theory was introduced in the 1990’s by Dr. Edwin Locke and Dr. Gary Latham. They espoused Five Goal Setting Principles needed to be present: Clarity, Challenge, Commitment, Feedback and Task complexity.
Achievement motivation is a theory by David McClelland and John Atkinson in 1953. They found that actions are driven by the motivation to meet or exceed a standard of excellence perceived by the individual or by society.
Positive affect is a theory that emphasizes a measured moving forward in a direction of increase or progress. Dr. Alice M. Isen’s theory became well-known in 1987. Positive affect influences performance on cognitive tasks through the increase of brain dopamine levels. It affects olfaction, the consolidation of long term memories, working memory and creative problem solving. Dr. Isen recently passed away on February 29, 2012 in Philadelphia, PA.
Opponent process is a theory expanded on by Richard Solomon in 1980. He proposed that every process that has a pleasant or unpleasant affective valence is followed by an opponent process. The primary process becomes weaker with repeated exposure. This is often used with addiction.
Self-actualization is a theory proposed by Carl Rogers in 1959. He found that human beings are free, creative and inherently good and who strive to become all they can be and fully functioning. To reach self-actualization the individual must experience the following: open to experience, existential living, trust feelings, creativity and a fulfilled life.
What was the motivation for16-year-old Alex Hribal’s stabbing of at least 25 people in Murrysville High School in Pennsylvania, on April 9, 2014?