Motivation and Emotion

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shutterstock_141144724You signed up for a fitness class at the gym so you could lose five pounds, took it diligently and dropped the weight.

Your sister signed up for the same fitness class, took it sparingly, and then dropped the class without losing any weight.

What motivated you to go to the class each time, participate in the class, follow through with your fitness plan and lose the weight?

And why wasn’t your sister motivated to do the same?

(If you find YOU can’t get motivated, learn how in our Motivation Booster class, which teaches students techniques for getting – and staying – motivated!)

What Are Theories of Motivation?

Theories of motivation try to explain why people do the things they do. What makes one
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Theories of Motivation

Theories of Motivation got their start around the 1930s and have changed from the idea that people are not aware of choices they are making to the idea that we are actually aware and are able to make decisions. In this article we will take a look at several theories of motivation, although there are others we won’t touch on here.

The theories of motivation we’ll look at include:

Drive theory
Arousal Theory
Incentive Theory
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Drive Theory

The drive theory looks at motivation through the eyes of our biological needs. These biological needs, such as hunger, drive us to do something to satiate those needs, such as eat. So we are motivated to do things by these biological needs because we need to alleviate the feelings that these needs give us at certain times.

The drive theory is based on the idea that we want to feel balanced. When the body makes us feel uncomfortable or out of balance, we are motivated to do something to bring back that feeling of comfort and balance. So our stomach grumbles because we are hungry, and then what do we do? We eat. We may be driven by primary needs that are biological in nature or we may be driven by learned needs.

Clark Hull, who developed this theory, created this equation:

Behavior = Drive X Habit

Of course, not everything that we are motivated to do is based on making us feel balanced. Sometimes we eat when we aren’t hungry. We
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