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Human Motivation

Every human experience involves a causative factor that produces a kind of response. In explaining the behavior of people, we start our description with reference to some kind of active driving force: the individual seeks, the individual wants, the individual fears. Various psychologists describe motivation, in other words, as the driving force behind our behavior (Atkinson, et al. 1983). Smith, et al. labels their discussion on motivation as the “Why” of behavior (1982). Why does the tardy student in mathematics spend the rest of the period outside instead of inside the mathematics classroom?

Emotions or strong feelings usually accompany motivated behavior. Often, emotions direct behavior toward goals (Atkinson, et al. 1983). This paper briefly describes and explains the origin/causes, and distinction of motivation and different scenarios linking motivation and other concepts. Discussion A. Motivation and needs ~Origin or Causes of Motives Motives, according to Marx, originate either from a biological or a physiological source, or from an environmental influence.

A motive may arise from a biological need for food or water which will drive an individual to seek food when hungry or drink when thirsty. The tissues of the human body need these to function continuously. It will cease to live without sufficient nourishment. The hormonal substances in the blood which activate certain parts of the nervous system are other biological sources, for instance, the sex drive which is due to the presence of hormones secreted by the reproductive glands, the ovaries (in the female), and the testes present in the male (1976).

Moreover, motives may also be caused by environmental influence. We react strongly to social acceptance so we want to acquire an appliance or any other thing that we see in others especially if we can afford them. Companies offering high salaries attract employees from other firms that give low wages (Atkinson, et al. 1983). A predominant view is that human motivation comes from either a small number of basic urges or even one basic urge and that all aspire for family prestige, social status, and security (Morris and Maisto, 1999, p. 315). ~Internal and External Classification of Motivation

Psychology recognizes different perspectives of motivation. One of these viewpoints pertains to the idea of “motivational inducements,” otherwise known as incentives. Incentives are referenced from either the vantage point of internal, or that of external motivation. An inducement coming from within the individual is called intrinsic or internal motivation. It is, according to Morris and Maisto, about the “. . . desire to perform a behavior that originates within the individual. ” An inducement coming from outside the individual is called external or extrinsic motivation.

It is the aspiration to do or achieve a goal in order to acquire a type of incentives or escape or steer clear of punishment (Morris and Maisto, 1999, p. 316). Children are often induced by the presence of external incentives to perform expected tasks or avoid incurring punishment. For motivation experts, however, a person developing the internal type of motivation will reap more lasting and beneficial effects compared with external motivation (1999). To induce a child to do what the parents ask for by way of rewards or threats are at times less constructive or even detrimental to the overall performance of the person or child.

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