Motivation explains why people behave as they do. Some scientists viewmotivation as the factor that determines behaviour, as expressed in the phraseAll behaviour is motivated.
(World Book, 1986, p. 721). Other scientists focus ontwo certain aspects of motivated behaviour, excitement or exhilaration ofbehaviour, that is motivation arouses an organism and causes it to act, and thedirection of behaviour, which is lead by habits, skills, abilities andstructural features. (World Book, 1986). This essay aims to describe the fourtheories of motivation, Instinct theory, Sociobiology, Drive-Reduction theoryand Incentive theory. I will be relating each theory to George’s behaviour andwhether they do or do not apply to George’s behaviour.Order now
Instinct is behaviourthat is inherited rather than learned. Instinct is an inborn tendency/biologicalforce that dominates behaviour. (Weiten, 1995). William McDougall (1908) viewedinstincts as unlearned, universal in expression and universal in a species.
(Weiten,1995). John Bowlby (1969) views instinct with regards to baby’s attachment totheir parents or caregivers, as in-built. His reason for this development isthat babies stay close to their parents because they are provided withprotection. Human instincts are more flexible and more open to learningexperiences than those of other species. Just like the imprinting of baby geese,so too do human babies attach to his/her parents after many hours ofinteraction.
Wortman, C. , Loftus, E. and Weaver, C. (1999). An example ofinstinctual behaviour is that all ants build anthills in the same way, even whenthey are not raised together, then the anthill building behaviour is instinctualand not a learned response.
(Weiten, 1995). Sex in humans is also instinctual. Weare not born with the desire to engage in sexual activities but as we reachpuberty, there is a need for sexual stimulation. Even though we might not knowwhat to do, it is instinctual. But, instincts only describe behaviour, they donot explain why a person engages in behaviour.
Therefore with regards to thecase study, George’s behaviour, (running the marathon), is not instinctual. Noteveryone is born to run a marathon, it is a learned response. (Weiten, 1995). Sociobiology is the study of the biological basis for the social behaviour ofhumans and other animals. (Worldbook, 1986). Sociobiologists try to ascertainthe function of various types of behaviour in the life of an animal.
Sociobiology is based on the theory that the central process of life is thestruggle of genes to reproduce themselves. Theorists believe that naturalpreference favours behaviour that maximises reproductive attainment -transmitting genes to the next generation. According to this theory, an organisminherits inclinations to develop certain types of behaviour, and these behaviourpatterns increase an organism’s chances of transferring its genes to the nextgeneration. It is believed that an organism can transmit its genes on, not onlyby reproducing but also by helping related organisms survive andreproduce.
(Weiten, 1995). An example of this would be a bee stinging an intruderbee, in order to protect the life and genes of the queen bee (an organismsacrificing their life, for others, therefore passing on its genes). A human’swill, for sacrificing their life for a relative or someone they know, is muchstronger than that of sacrificing their life for someone they do not know. Alady will not usually sacrifice her life by running across the road to save achild, (that she does not know), in traffic, whereas if it were her own child,she would sacrifice her life in order to save her child’s life and to carry onthe genes. (Weiten, 1995). There are ongoing debates about sociobiology and itsrelevance to human motivation.
Some theorists believe that sociobiologistsoverestimate the influence of biology and underestimate the influence ofculture. (Deverell, A. , 1999). In the African culture, African men considerAfrican women with large buttocks appealing, but may be viewed as unattractivein other cultures.
Wortman, C. , Loftus, E. and Weaver, C. (1999). George isexhibiting perseverance in the face of everything bad.
George’s perseverance isa trait that is beneficial to his survival. George did not run to protect hisgenes, it was his own motivation that made him run the marathon. Most peoplewould not persevere as George did. Drive Theory: Clark Hull (1884-1952) definesa drive as an observation that organism’s seek to maintain homeostasis, a stateof physiological equilibrium/stability. (Hull in Weiten, 1995, p.
378). A driveassists an organism in alleviating inner tension. For example drinking toalleviate thirst. Drive theory explains why people eat, sleep, seek pleasure,avoid pain and engage in sex.
Wortman, C. , Loftus, E. and Weaver, C. (1999).
According to Hullian theorists, there is a distinction between Primary andSecondary drives. Primary drives are the most basic, inborn needs in ourpsychological systems and secondary drives, also known as learned motives, arelearned through association with the reduction of primary drives. Wortman, C. ,Loftus, E. and Weaver, C.
(1999). It is understood that most drive theories areunlearned, biological drives, which progressively develop a bigger set ofappropriate drives through learning. Wortman, C. , Loftus, E.
and Weaver, C. (1999). The sleep motive is an example of drive theory. If a person goeswithout sleep, for quite a while, they begin to experience some discomfort,tiredness, which is an internal tension and a drive motivates you to obtainsleep. Sleeping reduces the drive and restores physiological balance.
(Weiten,1995). But drive theories can not explain all facets of human motivation. InGeorge’s case, drive theory cannot explain George’s behaviour, as homeostasis isnot maintained. George went beyond the point of pain, he endured extreme pain,which is George’s personal motivation. George’s running the marathon has nothingto do with stability/equilibrium.
(Weiten, 1995). Incentive Theory is strivingtowards attaining external goals. Incentive theorists believe that the source ofmotivation is external, in the environment, Incentives pull you to act, whereasdrives push you to act. Incentive theory is not related to the principle ofhomeostasis, it emphasises environmental factors. (Weiten, 1995).
Not everyonecan always achieve his or her desired goals. Expectancy-value models explain one’smotivation to persevere in two ways, the merit of the incentive, if it appealsto you, and the probability of one’s chances attaining the incentive. Gamblingat a casino is an example of incentive. Your motivation to gamble will depend onthe amount of money you could win and on your chances of winning. To draw peopleto gamble, large amounts of money are offered as the prize, making the incentivevalue high. (Weiten, 1995).
Incentives can be both positive and negative. Apositive incentive is a pupil knowing that they will receive a reward if theyobtain a good result for an exam and a negative incentive is a pupil knowingthat if they fail the exam, they will be deprived of something they value. (Weiten,1995). In relation to George, incentive theory is very suitable to his behaviour. George’s behaviour is highly individualistic. Very few people would subjectthemselves to what George did.
George persevered, ran the marathon, and achievedhis goal. George’s incentive was an external psychological motivation. (Weiten,1995). Through the different theories of motivation we can see that motivatorscan be internal and external.
We have seen that instinct; sociobiology and drivetheories do not explain George’s behaviour. Incentive theory explains George’sbehaviour best. Some psychologists believe that happenings, that we no longerremember, can still affect our lives and can influence behaviour motives.