MOTIVATION: WHY DO WEDOWHAT WE DO?Dr. Magda FahmyProfessor of Psychiatry
ObjectivesAfter completing this chapter, you will be able to1. define the concept of motivation;2. list and describe the principal biologicaldrives;3. specify the characteristics of the generaldrives;4. identify some of the principal acquiredmotives;5. explain the nature of unconscious motives;6. define the concept of self-actualization;
1. The concept of motivation A motive is a state of physiological orpsychological arousal that is assumed to play acausal role in behavior. Physiological arousal refers to such states ashunger and thirst. Psychological arousal refers to motives such asthe need for achievement. The two factors, physiological and psychological,of course interact. For example, a biological drivesuch as sex tends to interact with a psychologicalmotive such as the need to be loved.
The concept of motivation A motive is an intervening variable. Anintervening variable is a variable used toexplain behavior. It is reside within the organism and “intervene”between stimulus and response. An intervening variable can’t be seen orotherwise directly observed. It is inferred fromstudying behavior.
If we see someone buying a sandwich in asnack bar, we may infer that the individual ishungry. However, he or she may in fact bebuying the sandwich for a friend.
2. Biological Drives: The Needfor Food and Water Biological drives are inborn drives, andtheir principal feature is that they impel us toattend to our tissue needs, to maintainourselves as organisms. The basic theme with biological drives issurvival. We would die fairly quickly if we didnot follow the dictates of our biological driveson a fairly regular basis. The following are frequently specified:hunger, thirst, sleep, temperature, oxygenhunger, pain, and sex.
2. Biological Drives Most of the drives direct us toward a stimulus.We seek food if we are hungry. We seek water if we are thirsty. Pain is unlike the other drives in this particularregard. Pain directs us away from a stimulus. Itmotivates us to escape from the source of thepain.
2. Biological Drives Sex also has a unique status among thebiological drives. The general theme of thebiological drives, as already noted, is survival. Usually we think of this as the survival of theindividual. However, in the case of sex,survival is generalized beyond the individual.The long-run purpose of sex is to assure thesurvival of the species.
2. Biological Drives:Homeostasis An important physiological process associatedwith the biological drives is homeostasis. Homeostasis is a physiological processcharacterized by a tendency for biologicaldrives to maintain themselves at optimallevels of arousal. The term homeostasis was introduced in the1920s by the physiologist Walter B. Cannon,and it can be roughly translated as “anunchanging sameness.”
2. Biological Drives:Homeostasis The hunger drive provides an example of howhomeostasis works. If your blood sugar is low,you will feel hungry. You will be motivated toseek food and eat. if you happen to overeat, your blood sugar willrapidly rise to an overly high level. Underthese circumstances, your pancreas willsecrete extra insulin, returning your bloodsugar from its overly high level to a lower one.The body’s goal is to maintain blood sugar atan optimal level.
2. Biological Drives:Homeostasis Hormones, secretions of the endocrine glands,also play a role in mediating the activity of thebiological drives. The hormone melatonin isinvolved in the regulation of sleep. Biological drives operate on the principleof homeostasis.
Biological drives play a significant role in thelearning process. Drive reduction theory states that when anaction reduces the tension associated witha biological drive in a state of arousal, thenthat action is reinforced. It is reinforcing for a hungry rat in an operantconditioning apparatus to obtain food bypressing a lever.
3. General Drives: Looking forNew Experiences General drives:1. like biological drives, are inborn.2. Unlike biological drives, they do not operateon the principle of homeostasis. Three general drives of particular interestare:1. The curiosity drive2. The activity drive3. Affectional drive.
Three general drives:1. The curiosity drive The curiosity drive urges us to seek novelstimulation, to look for new experiences. The drive is active in infants. Present an infant with a familiar rattle, he mayshow a little interest, and then put the rattle aside. Present the infant with a second, unfamiliar rattle.Interest will be renewed. The renewed interest isexplained by the curiosity drive. The different coloror the different shape of the novel rattle elicitsattention. The curiosity drive is activated by change ofstimulation.
Three general drives:The curiosity drive The need for stimulation is a profound one. Sensory deprivation research brings this pointinto bold relief. Sensory deprivation exists when vision,hearing, and the other senses are forced tooperate with little or no information arising fromthe external world.
Three general drives:The curiosity drive Volunteer subjects deprived of light, sound,and other information to the senses oftenreport sensory hallucinations. Some see flyingfireballs. Others hear strange music. Somehave out-of-body experiences. It is necessary to have a flow of stimulation inorder to maintain perceptual stability. The curiosity drive is activated by changeof stimulation.
Three general drives:The curiosity drive The curiosity drive may also play a role in risk-taking behavior, in which individualsunnecessarily place themselves in physicaldanger.1. Risk-taking behavior : is to hypothesize thatsome individuals have self-destructivetendencies.2. Risk-taking behavior: is to hypothesize thatsome individuals are somewhat bored withtheir day-to-day lives, lives that do not includeenough change of stimulation.
Three general drives:The curiosity drive Risk-taking behavior is one way ofincreasing the level of stimulation, increasingcentral nervous system arousal, andexperiencing excitement.
Three general drives:2. The activity drive The activity drive that urges us to makemotor movements even when our biologicaldrives are satisfied. Infants display a certain amount of restlessmotion. If an adult is forced to sit and wait for a longtime in a physician’s office, it is likely that theindividual will cross and uncross his or herlegs, get up and walk around, step outside fora few minutes, and so forth. The movement isan end in itself.
Three general drives:3. The affectional drive the need for the kind of emotional nurturancethat helps to sustain a sense of well-being andan optimistic attitude toward life. Harry Harlow, a former president of the AmericanPsychological Association, deprived a group of rhesusmonkeys of their biological mothers. He raised themonkeys in social isolation. He discovered that,deprived of mother love, many of the monkeys displayedbehavior somewhat similar to infantile autism, apathological condition characterized by a lack of interestin others, self-destructiveness, and a preoccupation withrigid, self-oriented behavior.
Three general drives:The affectional drive Erik Erikson (psychoanalyst), an importantpersonality theorist, theorized that the first stageof psychosocial development is trust versusmistrust If an infant develops a sense of trust during thefirst two years of life, this positive foundation willhave a beneficial impact on future personalitydevelopment. If an infant develops a sense of mistrust duringthe first two years of life, this negative foundationwill have an adverse impact on future personalitydevelopment. A major factor in the development of a sense of
4. Acquired Motives:Exploring the Need to Achieve In acquired motives learning plays a largerole. Acquired motives may have some biologicaland general drives. Acquired motives are modified by experience,and express themselves in ways that areunique to the individual. Acquired motives is somewhat stable,persistent behavioral tendencies.
Acquired Motives: socialmotives Because they impact on the way in which werelate to other people, acquired motives aresometimes called social motives: need for1. Achievement2. Autonomy3. Order4. Affiliation5. Dominance6. Exhibition7. Aggression
the need for achievement First, the need for achievement is a motive toreach one’s goals. All social motives can be thought of as rangingfrom high to low. A person with a high need for achievement islikely to be ambitious, strive to make a successof a business, or earn academic recognition. A person with a low need for achievement maylack ambition, be unconcerned about financialreward, and have very few dreams oraspirations.
the need for autonomy Second, the need for autonomy is a motive todo what one wants to do without too muchregard for what others expect. The need isreflected in phrases such as “do your ownthing” or “I’m doing it my way.” A person with a high need for autonomy islikely to pursue a pathway in life that is self-defined. A person with a low need for autonomy oftenfeels that he or she is the victim of thedemands of others.
the need for order Third, the need for order is a motive thaturges the individual to impose organization onthe immediate environment. A person with a high need for order is likely tokeep good records, have important papersneatly filed, dislike clutter in the home, and soforth. A person with a low need for order doesn’tseem to mind a certain amount ofdisorganization in the immediate environment.Neatness does not have a high priority.
the need for affiliation Fourth, the need for affiliation is a motive toassociate with others. A person with a high need for affiliation is likelyto have a lot of friends, socialize frequently,and dislike being alone. A person with a low need for affiliation willhave a few carefully selected friends, not beattracted to parties, and seek time alone.
the need for dominance Fifth, the need for dominance is a motive tocontrol the behavior of others. A person with a high need for dominance willseek positions of authority in the workplace orto be the principal decision maker in amarriage. A person with a low need for dominance willtend to be somewhat submissive and oftenoverly agreeable.
the need for exhibition Sixth, the need for exhibition is a motive tobe noticed by others. A person with a high need for exhibition islikely to talk loudly, dress in novel ways, orotherwise call attention to himself or herself. A person with a low need for exhibition is likelyto be somewhat retiring and conforming whenrelating to others.
the need for aggression Seventh, the need for aggression is a motiveto engage in conflict or to hurt others. A person with a high need for aggression mayinflict physical harm on others by hitting,cutting, or shooting. It can also be expressed inpsychological terms (insulting and to makedemeaning remarks). A person with a low need for aggression is likelyto avoid conflict whenever possible and to avoidhurting the feelings of others.
(a) The need for -----------------is a motive tocontrol the behavior of others. (b) The need for------------------ is a motive to benoticed by others. (c) The need for------------------- is a motive toengage in conflict or to hurt others. Answers: (a) dominance; (b) exhibition; (c)aggression.
5. Unconscious Motives: HiddenReasons for Our Behavior Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis,believed that motives can be unconscious.Unconscious motives may operate outsideof the control of the ego, the “I” of thepersonality. Freud asserted that there is a force in the mindcalled repression. Repression is an egodefense mechanism characterized by aninvoluntary tendency to push mentalinformation that threatens the integrity andstability of the ego down to an unconsciouspsychological domain.
Unconscious Motives If Freud is correct, the reasons for humanbehavior are often obscure to the individual. The two kinds of motives that tend to berepressed are forbidden sexual desires andforbidden aggressive urges.
Unconscious Motives The explanation for the animosity ( ) lies inan ego defense mechanism called reactionformation . A reaction formation reinforcesthe repression. By acting hostile toward a woman he isattracted to, to protects himself against hisrepressed sexual desire.(Reaction formation is characterized by converting arepressed wish into its psychological opposite at theconscious level)
Unconscious Motives One of the problems with unconscious motivesis that they may lead to acting out, behavior inwhich the unconscious motives gain temporarycontrol over the defense mechanism ofrepression. For example, Conrad has had one drink too many . He finds himselfkissing or touching his wife’s sister in an inappropriate way. She isfurious, tells Conrad’s wife, and Conrad’s marriage is threatened.The next day, sober, he says he can’t understand “what tookpossession of me.”
Unconscious Motives Actions that seem paradoxical andsuperficially unexplainable can be understoodby examining the way in which repressedmotives express themselves in disguisedways.
(a) What term describes behavior in which theunconscious motives gain temporaryascendancy over the defense mechanism ofrepression?----------- (b) Linette burns her husband’s food “byaccident.” This may be an example of-------------- . Answers: (a) Acting out; (b) repressed hostility.
Self-Actualization: Becoming thePerson You Were Meant to Be Abraham Maslow, author of Toward aPsychology of Being and a principaladvocate of the humanistic viewpoint inpsychology. This description is known asMaslow’s hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, human needs can beranked in terms of “lower needs” and “higherneeds.”
Maslows hierarchy of needs Maslows hierarchy of needs is a theory inpsychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943paper A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow studied what he called exemplary peoplesuch as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, EleanorRoosevelt, and Frederick Douglass rather thanmentally ill or neurotic people, writing that "the studyof crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthyspecimens can yield only a cripple psychology and acripple philosophy." Maslow studied the healthiest 1% of the collegestudent population. Maslows theory was fully expressed in his 1954 bookMotivation and Personality.
Imagine a pyramid in six layers. The needsascend from the lower needs at the base ofthe pyramid to the higher needs at the apex. The first layer of the pyramid representsphysiological needs. These are the need forfood, water, and so forth. These areassociated with the biological drives.
The second layer of the pyramid safetyneeds. These include the need for shelter,protection from injury, and so forth. Safety needs are reflected in such individualbehaviors as wearing a seat belt and suchsocial behaviors as organizing a police force.
Safety and Security needs include: Personal security Financial security Health and well-being Safety net against accidents/illness and theiradverse impacts
The third layer of the pyramid represents loveand belongingness needs. These include the need for affection, the need tolove, and the need to be loved. Love and belongingness needs are reflected insuch behaviors as joining a club, formingfriendships, getting married, and having children. Maslows hierarchy involves emotionally based relationships in general,such as: Friendship Intimacy Family
The fourth layer of the pyramid esteemneeds. These include the need to beesteemed by others and self-esteem. Theneed to be esteemed by others is reflected inbehaviors such as seeking a higher rank withinan organization or working for a prestigiousaward or degree.
Self-esteem is the sense of value that onefeels about oneself. It is a kind of innerpsychological ranking. Low self-esteem is associated with depressionand a pessimistic outlook on life. High self-esteem is associated with a positivemood and an optimistic outlook on life.
Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, alower one and a higher one. The lower one is the need for the respect ofothers, the need for status, recognition, fame,prestige, and attention. The higher one is the need for self-respect, theneed for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence and freedom. Thelatter one ranks higher because it rests more oninner competence won through experience.Deprivation of these needs can lead to aninferiority complex, weakness and helplessness.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
The fifth layer of the pyramid cognitiveneeds. Cognitive needs include the need formental stimulation, the need to use one’sintelligence, and the need to exercise creativeabilities. Cognitive needs are reflected in suchbehaviors as reading a book, writing a story,working a crossword puzzle, taking a class,solving a problem, and so forth.
The sixth and top layer of the pyramidrepresents the need for selfactualization. Maslow hypothesized that this need is inborn.Also, it is emergent, meaning that it onlybecomes a pressing need when the otherlower needs are relatively satisfied. The need for self-actualization is the need tomaximize one’s talents and potentialities. It issometimes informally phrased as “the need tobecome the person you were meant to be.”
Maslow’s hierarchy of needsself-actualizationCognitiveneedsEsteem needsLove and belongingnessneedsSafety needsPhysiological needs
The need for self-actualization is reflected insuch behaviors as working toward success ina vocational field or seeking way of life thatrepresents one’s own idea of personalfulfillment. There is no field of work or style of life thatcan be specified, because the individual’schoice and perception are of particularimportance. according to Maslow, is that the individualdiscovers what is right for himself or herself.
Maslow’s research suggested that many,perhaps most, people are not selfactualizing. The failure to be self-actualizing cause a sense ofdisappointment in life and in oneself. If one is self-actualizing, there are importantpsychological rewards associated with theprocess.1- First, one will tend to experience both a general sense ofpsychological health and a pleasant day-to-day emotionaltone.2- Second, the individual will from time to time have peakexperiences.These are moments or joy or ecstasy when a task iscompleted, or a goal is reached.
Maslow makes a distinction between deficiencymotivation and being motivation. Deficiency motivation refers to those needslowest on the hierarchy. We need to overcome deficiency states such ashunger, thirst, and danger in order to moveupward toward the higher levels. Being motivation tends to be associated with thehigher levels, particularly with the need for self-actualization. The theme of being motivation isgrowth.
(a) Peak experiences are moments of----------or-------------- . (b) What kind of motivation refers to needslowest on Maslow’s hierarchy?------------------ (c) What kind of motivation refers to needshighest on Maslow’s hierarchy?------------------- Answers: (a) joy; ecstasy; (b) Deficiencymotivation; (c) Being motivation.
The Search for Meaning:Looking for the Why of Life it can be argued that there is one motivationallevel extending above self-actualization. Theexistential psychiatrist Viktor Frankl(physician and a psychiatrist), author ofMan’s Search for Meaning, argues that thehighest level for human beings is the will tomeaning, the need for life to make sense andto have a purpose in the larger scheme ofthings.
Frankl asserts that the will to meaning isinborn, that it is a real psychological andemotional need. If a person lives a meaningful life, then that lifewill be full and rewarding. If a person lives a meaningless life, then thatlife will be empty and pointless. Frankl callsthis adverse mental and emotional state theexistential vacuum. One of its principal characteristics isdemoralization, the conviction that nothing hasany value and that nothing is worth doing.
Frankl’s assertions about the importance for meaningarise from his own experiences in a Nazi concentrationcamp. He was a prisoner himself. He felt it was hisresponsibility to give comfort and aid to his fellowprisoners whenever possible. This became his reasonfor living, and he credits it with his ability to surviveunder extremely harsh conditions. He argues that whena human being has a reason for existence, he orshe can often tolerate a high level of pain andfrustration.
How is meaning fulfilled? Frankl argues thatthe will to meaning orients itself towardvalues, perceived aspects of the world thatseem to have worth or importance to otherindividuals or to humanity in general. Being fair and decent in one’s dealings withfriends and relatives is an example of a value.Raising one’s children in a loving way isanother example.
For most people, meaning can readily befound in living traditional social roles—beingan effective teacher, parent, nurse, automechanic, loving partner, and so forth. Note that in all of these social roles there issome service or contribution to others. The will to meaning reaches beyond the self.
For some people, humanity in general isserved by the will to meaning. When we think of great authors, scientists, orleaders, we see that their contributions to lifeextend beyond an immediate family to thelarger human family. But the basic theme is thesame— a concern with the welfare ofothers.
Frankl argues that values do not have to beinvented. They need to be discovered. He says that a person suffering from an existentialvacuum is like a person in a room with the lightsout. The individual thinks that there is no furniturein the room because he or she can’t see it. Thenthe lights are turned on and the furniture becomesvisible. Values, like the pieces of furniture in theroom, are real and present. But they have to bediscovered by the light of human consciousness inorder for the individual to have a meaningful life.
(a) Values are perceived aspects of the worldthat seem to have----------------- or----------------to other individuals or to humanity in general. (b) Frankl argues that values do not have to beinvented. Instead, they need to be-------------- Answers: (a) worth; importance; (b)discovered.
1. From the point of view of psychology as ascience a motive isa. a dependent variableb. an independent variablec. a radical variabled. an intervening variable
2. A physiological process characterized by atendency for biological drives to maintainthemselves at optimal levels of arousal iscalleda. homeostasisb. metamotivationc. hyperstatic integrationd. heterostasis
3. Which of the following is clearly associatedwith the curiosity drive?a. The need to escape from painb. The need for affiliationc. The search for meaning in lifed. The tendency to seek novel stimulation
4. Which of the following is a motive to associatewith others?a. The need for dominanceb. The need for exhibitionc. The need for aggressiond. The need for affiliation
5. According to Freud, what force in the mind isresponsible for the creation of unconsciousmotives?a. Repressionb. Ego inhibitionc. Superego excitationd. Homeostasis
6. Which one of the following is associated withcognitive needs?a. Seeking a higher rank within an organizationb. Working a crossword puzzlec. Looking for loved. Searching for shelter
7. Self-actualization is most closely linked towhich of the following?a. Feeling hungryb. Maximizing potentialitiesc. Seeking novel stimulationd. Wanting affection
8. What does Maslow call moments of joy orecstasy experienced when a hurdle isovercome, a task is completed, or a goal isreached?a. Hedonic experiencesb. Transcendental experiencesc. Peak experiencesd. Summit experiences
9. Frankl argues that the highest level ofmotivation for human beings is thea. will to meaningb. need for transcendental experiencec. wish to become one with the Alld. desire to exercise the will to power
10. If a person lives a meaningless life, then thatlife will be empty and pointless. Frankl callsthis mental and emotional statea. major depressive episodeb. bipolar disorderc. the existential vacuumd. biochemical depression
ANSWERS TO THE SELF-TEST 1-d 2-a 3-d 4-d 5-a 6-b 7-b 8-c 9-a 10-c