Speech on the Important Theories of Motivation

January 15, 2019 0 Comment

Theories of motivation provide us with general sets of principles that guide us or increase our understanding of the ways in which we approach our goals. They answer why certain needs or desires arise in us and how do we satisfy them.

There are many theories of motivation. Some of which are as follows:

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(1) Drive theories

(2) Incentive theories

(3) Opponent Process theories

(4) Optimal Level theories

We would discuss them in brief.

1. Drive Theories:

They are also called as “push theories of motivation”. According to this theory, our behaviour is pushed towards goals by driving states.

When an “internal driving state” is aroused, the individual is pushed to engage in behaviour which will lead to a goal that reduces the intensity of the driving state. In human beings, at least, reaching the appropriate goal which reduces the driving state is pleasurable and satisfying.

Drive theory believes in the concept of moti­vation cycle. According to this theory, most of our motives have a cyclical nature, which consists of the following four stages:

(i) The driving state.

(ii) The goal directed behaviour initiated by the driving state.

(iii) The attainment of an appropriate goal.

(iv) The reduction of the driving state and subjective satisfaction and relief when the goal is reached.

After a time, the driving state builds up again to push the behaviour towards the appropriate goal. The drive theory is represented in the concept of motivation cycle as shown below:

According to drive theories, a drive state may be due to two reasons:

(i) According to Freud and other theorists drive state result due to inborn biological intincts.

(ii) According to some learning theorists, learning plays an important role in the causation of drive state.

2. Incentive Theories:

Are also called as pull theories. According to these theories goal objects have certain characteristics which pull behaviour towards them. According to incentive theories, incentive can be receiving a reward or achieving pleasure. Incentive can also be avoidance of pain.

In our everyday life we are motivated by many incentives. Some of these are increase in salary, receiving bonus, a praise from well-known per­son, etc.

Most of the learning theories belong to this cat­egory.

3. Opponent Process Theory:

The opponent process theories is a hedonistic theory, as such it say we are motivated to seek goals which give us emotional feelings and avoid goals resulting in displeasure. Furthermore, this theory says that many emotional motivating states are followed by opposing, or opposite states.

One of the well-known opponent process theories of emotion was presented by Soloman and Corbit in 1974.

4. Optimal-level Theories:

Optimal level theories are also called as “Just-Right” theories. According to these theories there is an optimal level of arousal that motivates an individual. If arousal is too low a person will seek situation or stimuli to increase arousal, if arousal is too high a person will be motivated to reduce it.

We can explain Optimal-level theory with the help of an example. There is an intimate relationship between stress and performance. As the stress increases performance also increases, but only to an optimal level. Beyond this optimal level any further increase would led to decline in performance.


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