motivation theories


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  • There have been many theories that have been established concerning human motivation and in this presentation we will take a look at two such theories, allowing you, the audience to make decisions concerning which you feel is a more acceptable choice. We begin with “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs” in which Maslow created a pyramid, using each level to rate the level of importance concerning human motivation, then we will look at James/ Lange and their “Theory of emotions.” We will analyze the major themes of each theory, identify the individuals associated with each and lastly evaluate the effectiveness of each theory in various behaviors.
  • Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who first introduced his Hierarchy of Needs pyramid in a book published in 1943 entitled ‘The Theory Of Human Motivation.’ Maslow describes what he believed to be the needs experienced by all humans that are the determiners of motivation in order for those needs to be fulfilled. Maslow implies that most of the needs listed are universal, but that the different behaviors humans exhibit in order to accomplish these needs vary based on culture, experience, emotions, etc. His theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, all of which focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. The structure of The Hierarchy of Needs is shaped in the form of a pyramid where Maslow has ranked the different types of needs we experience and their importance; starting at the bottom of the pyramid and working upward. Maslow's theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher level needs.
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramids starts from the bottom with the most basic needs and works upwards. An individual must completely fulfill the foundational needs in order to even become motivated or begin to move up the pyramid. Biological and Psychological needs are listed first and are the most obvious needs vital for survival: water, air, food and sleep. The need for safety and security is almost as equally important as psychological needs, but includes those needs for employment, housing, etc. Once those most fundamental needs are met, the next motivator would be belongingness and love. These are the need for social relationships with family, friends and companionship. Esteem is next on the pyramid and includes self motivation. Confidence, self-worth and self-image all fall under this category. Once all of the needs listed previously on the pyramid are being met, the next and final level on the original Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid is self-actualization. This level can be achieved only after an individual has mastered positive self image and moves on to self accomplishments; acknowledging what they are capable of and reaching for it. The motivation to acknowledge one’s strengths and word towards exceeding personal goals. **It can be noted that later on, more levels were added by different psychologists including cognitive, aesthetic, and transcendence.
  • Individuals that have needs listed on the Hierarchy of Needs are individuals are lacking in one or more of the needs listed on Maslow’s pyramid. Someone that has a desire for sustenance is missing some sort of food or fluid. They could also be lacking in proper nutrition all together and their physiological self is communicating to the psychological self that it needs food and or water which are both basic needs. Most people have a need for security of some sorts. Not everyone has a good home to live in with a family to take care of them, at least one who truly cares about that person so they will search to fulfill what they do not have. In that same humans in general need love. Either love from friends who have the same beliefs, or a lover who can give them emotional fulfillment and affection. There are some cases where the individual who has the lover whom provides adequate fondness cannot give them enough affection because they need it so intensely. The necessity to be regarded highly is where the person wants others to like and respect them. This could be due to a lack of positive feedback throughout life from family, friends, and peers. Typically as we mature we see ourselves more clearly and come to the realization that we are not on this Earth for very long and see that life will end eventually and its dawns on us to star appreciating the simpler things in life. Along with that self identity comes into play the concept of what we are capable of is more clear.
  • All these behaviors are considered to be effective due to the fact that we need all these things in order to be happy, financially stable, and healthy. The basis of Maslow's theory of motivation is that we are motivated by our unsatisfied needs, and that some lower needs mustbe fulfilled before greaterneeds can be addressed. Abraham Maslow teachings reflect that there are general needs which are physiological, safety, love, and esteem – these needs must be fulfilled before a person is able to act unselfishly. These needs in particular were named the "deficiency needs." When a person is motivated to fulfill his or her basic desires, they continue to progress toward growth, theneventually self-actualization. The satisfaction of these needs is very healthy, and preventing their gratification can make us ill or act evilly ("Maslow‘s Hierarchy Of Needs", 2005-2011).
  • James Lange’s theory of emotion suggests that our emotions happen as a result of physiological reactions towards events. From the perspective of this theory, you can see an external stimulus that leads to a physiological reaction (Cherry, 2011). A person’s emotional reaction depends on how he or she interprets their physical reactions. Example: A person is taking their morning jog and comes across a dog that appears to be vicious. You become frightened, your heart starts racing, and you begin to tremble… Lange’s theory indicates that – that person will interpret their physical reactions and come to the notion that they are afraid (Cherry, 2011).
  • The James-Lange theory of emotion was stated to be the perceptions of certain body changes. What they were saying were your emotions runs off of your feeling that are caused by physiological changes induced by the autonomic nervous system. In other words not just your facial expression may change but your body will change as well, also state that we feel emotions because we sense the change in our body. They way that they explained it was that just like I stated earlier your responses from different situation are interpreted by our bodies and then our minds, and based upon those response we construe the emotion that we should be feeling. Example would be if you are walking to your car and you feel someone is behind you, you automatically think that someone is going to attach you so you turn around or get real nervous that’s the feeling that James-Lange was talking about. Although James- Lange theory are based of contemporary research into the root cause of emotions, we should not base too much of our emphasis on their theory, because they did lack the ability to prove it.
  • The two people that came up with Theory of Emotion are William James and Carl Lange; they were two psychologists that believed that our emotions occur as a result of physiological reactions to events. William James had several theories such as pragmatism, which was the truth of an idea can never, be proven. Functionalism, he believed that we should focus on the wholeness of an event and taking into the impact of the environment on behavior. Carl Lange did believe that you should place more emphasis on the role of the cerebrovascular system in the genesis of emotion. After reading and researching the two of them I found out there Lange was more of a follower of James.
  • Ever do a little dance uncontrollably after finding out something great just went your way like a favorite baseball team winning a game? What about when there is a scary movie on the television and a gory scene is about to take place? Our emotions have a diverse effects on our minds and our bodies. There is an apparent connection between emotions and motivation. Many of the theories of emotion explain this very same idea with different sequences and variations. One theory was conceived by two specialist at the same time but in different places unbeknownst to each. The James-Lange Theory of emotion is a prominent concept in the realm of psychology that interoperates emotion as a response derived from a physical reaction to a situation or circumstance (, 2011). An example of this would be a mother seeing her child for the first time after a long period away. Her blood pressure will rise, her eyes will well up with tears and she will probably cry. These bodily functions will, in turn, cause the woman to feel elation and overwhelming happiness. Other theories bring up the concept in reverse where a person feels the emotions that cause the body to react physiologically.
  • In conclusion, we have taken a small look at Abraham Maslow and his “Hierarchy of Needs” theory and also at William James and Carl Lange “Theory of Emotions”, in looking at both theories, we analyzed the major themes of each theory and evaluated the effectiveness of each theory in various behaviors.We also looked at individuals associated with each theory.With Abraham Maslow and his “Hierarchy of Needs”, we have looked at how we each are motivated by needs and how needs motivate each of us. With William James and Carl Lange “Theory of Emotions” we took a look at how “event, arousal, and then interpretation ==> (creating) an emotion “also works in each of our lives. These two theories are just two among many other theories and from this presentation, we hope to have given each of you a better look at each theory presented.
  • motivation theories

    1. 1. Motivation Theories • Learning Team B • 9/03/2011 • • Sandra Cruz • Ebony Henson • James Clements • Jocelyn Copko • Nina Gay
    2. 2. Introduction• Abraham Maslow – ”Hierarchy of Needs”• James-Lange – ”Theory of Emotion”• Identify the individuals associated with each theory.• Analyze the major themes of each theory.• Evaluate the effectiveness of each theory in various behaviors.
    3. 3. Abraham Maslow -Hierarchy of Needs• Maslow was the first to organize what he believed to be universal human motivators based on needs• Once a level in the pyramid is successfully fulfilled an individual proceeds up to the next level of needs.
    4. 4. Analyze the major themes of Hierarchy of Needs Biological and Psychological Safety Belongingness and Love Esteem Self-Actualization
    5. 5. Identify the individuals associated with Hierarchy of Needs
    6. 6. Evaluate the effectiveness of Hierarchy of Needs in various behaviors.• Eating, drinking, breathing, sleeping• Finding employment, healthcare insurance, housing• Family, romantic relationships, acceptance• Developing self-esteem, personal worth, social recognition.• Developing self-esteem, personal worth, social recognition
    7. 7. James-Lange -Theory of Emotion• Physiological reaction to events• External stimulus leading to reaction• Result of biochemical & environmental influences• Affective
    8. 8. Analyze the major themes of Theory of Emotion• physiological changes induced by the autonomic nervous system• Not just your facial expression may change
    9. 9. Identify the individuals associated with Theory of Emotion• our emotions occur as a result of physiological reactions to events• William James• Carl Lange
    10. 10. Evaluate the effectiveness of Theory of Emotion in various behaviors.
    11. 11. Conclusion• Abraham Maslow and his “hierarchy of Needs”• William James and Carl LaNge “theory of emotioNs”
    12. 12. Reference• Abraham Maslow Father of Modern Management. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.abraham-• Carroll, H. (2011). Motivation(art). Retrieved from• (2011). James-Lange Theory of Emotion. Retrieved from• Cherry, K. (2011). The Five Levels of Maslows Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from• Cherry, K. (2011). What Is James-Lange Theory of Emotion?. Retrieved from• Cherry, K. (n.d). William James. Retrieved from• Emotion/jameslange. (n.d.). Retrieved from• Hierarchy of Needs. (2011). Retrieved from• human-emotions-image. (n.d.). Retrieved from• Lang, P. J. (1994). The varieties of emotional experience: A meditation on James-Lange theory. Psychological Review, 101(2), 211-221. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.101.2.211