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 ...view middle of the document...
2 is cute and we want to hang it in our office to show off to all of our friends.
Theories of motivation attempt to explain why we make the decisions we make to do the things we do. Before we talk about these theories of motivation, though, we have to first understand the meaning of motivation.
What Exactly IS Motivation?
We use the term motivation or motivate often, as in “I was so motivated today I got a lot done!” But what does that term actually mean?
According to Mirriam-Webster.com, motivation is the ‘act or process of giving someone a reason’ to do something, or it is the condition of being eager to do some type of work.
So when we talk about theories of motivation, we are talking about the theories behind what it is that drives us to do the things we do.
Intrinsic and External Motivation
Motivation may come from the outside, or externally, or it may come from the inside, or internally/intrinsically.
External motivations might include an award at work for completing a particular project or a new purse because you saved enough money after paying the bills.
Intrinsic, or internal, motivation might include reading a novel because you enjoy the feeling you get when you have a great book in your hands and not because you have to memorize the text written between the pages for your English 101 course so you can ace the test. If you work with children and are interested in learning more about nurturing intrinsic motivation, sign up for Beyond Compliance.
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:
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
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 aren’t eating to create balance;...