Psychological theory

Motivation is the cause of organism behaviour, or the reason that an organism carries out some activity. In a human being motivation involves both conscious and unconscious drives. Psychological theory must account for a primary level of motivation to satisfy basic needs, such as those for a food, oxygen, water, and for a “secondary”level of motivation to fulfill social needs such as companionship and achievement. The primary needs must be satisfied before an organism can attend to secondary drives. Psychologist Abraham Maslow devised a six-level hierarchy of motives that, according to his theory, determine human behaviour.

Maslow rank human needs as follow: physiological, security and safety, love and feeling of belonging, competence, prestige and esteem, self-fullillment, and curiosity and the need to understand. Attribution theory describes the role of motivation in a person’s successor failure in school situations. Success on a test, for instant, could be attributed to luck or hard work, the theory predicts the behavior of students depending on their responses. According to behavioral studies one effective way to maintain a learner’s motivation is to deliver strong and immediate reinforces for correct response.

Psychologists believe an intermediate level of motivation is best for many learning tasks. If a person level of motivation is too low he or she may give up quickly, where as a very high level of motivation may cause such stress and distraction that the learner cannot focus on the task. Sigmund Freud was one of the first to recognize the importance of subconscious motivation. He believed that people are not always aware of everything they want; hence, much of their behavior is affected by subconscious needs.

In fact, Freud’s research convinced him that an analogy could be drawn between the motivation of most people and the structure of an iceberg. In Freud’s view a significant segment of human motivation appears below the surface of the conscious mind. Therefore one usually is aware of only a small potion of one’s motivation. Some individuals may make no effort to gain self-insight, but even with professional help example psychotherapy understanding one-self may be a difficult process, yielding varying degree of success. The motivation of people depends on the strength of their motives.

Motives are sometimes defined as needs, wants, drives, or inpluses within the indiuidual. Motives are directed towards goals. According to Saul W Gellerman, a strong subconscious orientation towards security is often developed early in childhood. Gellerman discussed several ways in which it can be implanted. A common way is through identification with security-minded parents who are willing to accept whatever fate comes along. This mindset often develops in depressed economic areas where the prospect for improvement are poor.

The world seems uncertain and uncontrollable to people raised in a security-minded home. As a result, such people may not feel they are competent enough to be able to influence their environment. Subconscious security motives may also develop in children through interaction with overprotective parents. Such parents are constantly trying to shield their children from heartache, disappointment, or failure. The supportive attitude of these parents in many instances permits their children to have their own way. Conflict is avoided at all cost.

As a result, these children are given a distorted picture of reality and gain little insight into what they can expect of other people and what others will expect of them. In some cases, they become unrealistic in their optimism about life; that is they have a false sense of security. Even in the face of disaster, when they should feel threatened, they seem to believe that all is well until it is too late. When such people leave home after high school to seek their way into the world, they quickly wake up to reality.

Often they find themselves unequipped to handle the hardship of life because they have not been permitted the opportunity to develop the capacity to handle frustration, tension, and anxiety. He believes that if young people learn how to recover from seeming disaster at an early stage in life they will be better equipped to handle worse problems as they get older. In working towards a better understanding of our need to belong; Stanley Schachter of the University of Minnesota made a significant contribution.

His efforts were directed, in particular, toward studying the desire to socialize as an end in itself, that is, when people interact simply because they enjoy it. In some of these situations, no apparent reward such as money or protection was gained from this affiliation. Schachter found that it is not always simply good fellowship that motivates affiliation. In many instances, people seek affiliation because they desire to have their beliefs confirmed. People who have similar beliefs tend to seek each other out, especially if a strongly held belief has been shattered.

He found that when people are excited, confused, or unhappy, they do not seek out just anyone, they tend to want to be with others “in the same boat”. According to him misery does not love just any company, it loves other miserable company. Esteem is a motive that is made up of two other motives they are prestige and power. In the prestige motive people are concern with keeping up with the Joneses. Prestiage is something intangible bestowed upon an individual by society. In fact, at birth children inherit the status of their parents.

In some cases, this is enough to carry them through life on “a Prestiage-covered wave”. People seek prestige throughout their lives in various ways. Many tend to seek only the material symbols of status, while others strive for personal achievement or self-actualization, which might command prestige in itself. Regardless of the way it is expressed, there seems to be a widespread need for people to have their importance clarified and, in fact, set at a level that each feels is deserved.

People normally want to have a high evaluation of themselves that is firmly based in reality as manifested by the recognition and respect accorded them by others. Power is the resources that enable a person to induce compliance from others or to influence them. It is a person’s influence potential. There tend to be two kinds of power, position and personal. Individuals who are able to induce compliance from others because of their position in an organization have position power; individuals who derive their influence from their personality and behavior have personal power.

One of the most important theories, it emerged in the early 1960s, by Abraham Maslow, a psychology professor at Brandeis University in New York. Maslow’s (1943) Theory of Hierarchy of Needs examines human motivation in terms of levels of met …

Theory: – A set of ideas formulated to explain something (Oxford Dictionary 1995:333). That is the dictionary definition of the word “Theory”. Therefore, in layman’s terms a psychological theory can be interpreted as a way of collating and examining differing …

Arousal is the psychological readiness to perform a task. Galligan et al. (2002) defined arousal ‘Arousal is the level of psychological readiness’. Our body’s arousal levels have vast consequences on our ability to perform certain things. Arousal affects; performance, attitude …

Many theories exist on the development of personality. To some theorists, personality is built on purely biological factors. Other theorists consider personality to be a construct built entirely on environmental factors. Still other theorists believe that while personality development is …

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