Theories Of Motivation, From The Basics To Guru: #1 Easy Explained

Theories Of Motivation. Before starting to consider theories, we define the meaning of the word motivation.

Motivation Definition: Motivation is one of the processes of psychology that pushes a person to commit actions. Motivation is the main factor in creating behavior and is aimed at satisfying one’s own needs. Simply put, motivation is the engine for action.

Theories of motivation began to be studied since ancient times.

To date, there are several dozen.

There are different types of motivations:

  • external;
  • internal;
  • positive and negative;
  •  as well as stable and unstable.

External motivation is determined by external factors. For example, acquaintances went abroad, and a person begins to save money for a trip.

Intrinsic motivation arises independently of external factors. For example, a person has long wanted to go abroad, based on his personal considerations.

Positive is based on positive incentives. For example, “I will get a good mark at school, parents will give a bicycle.”

Negative, on the contrary, is based on negative incentives. For example, “if I study poorly, parents will not give anything.”

Sustainable motivation is determined by human needs. For example, quench your thirst and hunger.

Unstable needs constant support from the outside.

Motivational frameworks are often used in organizations to encourage staff to work.

So, consider the most popular.

Theories of motivation.

One of the first was the theory of an automaton and the theory of decision making.

Automata theory explains animal behavior, and decision theory explains human behavior. A more detailed study of these theories, psychologists came to the conclusion that animals and people are quite similar in emotional terms, forms of behavior, instincts and needs.

The success is Maslow’s theory of motivation.

Based on the fact that all people need certain things, a psychologist from America Abraham Maslow identified six levels of human needs. Moreover, each level that follows below the previous generates motivation at a higher level. Consider them starting with the lowest.

  • The first level is Physiological. These are primary human needs, such as food, income, comfort;
  • The second level is the security level. The need to protect themselves from ill-wishers, harm and other deprivations;
  • The third level is Love and a sense of belonging. Expressed in a desire to be someone needed: create a family, make friends, work colleagues;
  • The fourth level is wealth, honor. We attribute here the recognition of society, status, praise;
  • Fifth level – Level of knowledge. Curiosity and interest in the new are shown;
  • Sixth level – Self-realization. This is the need to unleash one’s creativity.

Maslow’s hierarchy of levels shows that until a person reaches a sense of satisfaction with the first levels, there will be no motivation to move on to the next. Moreover, in the physiological and safety levels, we need more than others, since the process of vital activity directly depends on them.

The theory of C. Alderfer is similar to the theory of A. Maslow. Alderfer also breaks down needs into groups, arranging them in a hierarchical order, but divides them into only three levels: existence, communication, and growth.

The level of existence implies the need for survival, the level of connection – in isolation, and growth – in readiness for learning and learning new things. Recall how Maslow, in his theory, envisioned a movement in the hierarchy of needs from the bottom up; here the movement can move in both directions: if the need of the lower level is not satisfied, then up, and if the need of the higher level is not satisfied, then down. Nevertheless, Alderfer’s theory also includes movement in both directions, which gives chances to reveal new possibilities of motivation in human behavior.

However, in 1959, the entry of his research, Frederick Herzberg denied the fact that the satisfaction of needs strengthens the motivation for action. He argued the opposite – depending on a person’s motivation, his mood and emotional state fluctuates in the direction of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with his actions. Herzberg’s theory distinguishes two groups that affect a person’s satisfaction with their work – hygiene and motivating factors.

Hygienic (they are called “health” factors in another way) include safety, status, rules, team attitude, working hours, working hours, etc. Such conditions can reduce the feeling of dissatisfaction with work.

Motivating or satisfying factors. They can be responsibility, achievement, recognition, career growth. After all, it is precisely these reasons that encourage workers to give all their best.

But many scientists did not support the above theory, finding it insufficiently substantiated. Herzberg’s theory did not take into account a number of points that may vary depending on a particular situation.

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Taking into account all aspects, procedural theories of motivation were created, where, in addition to needs, it is taken into account: what efforts a person makes to achieve a goal, perception of the situation and the actions taken.

In modern management, the four most popular theories of motivation are the most popular: the theory of expectation, the theory of equality and justice, the theory of goal setting, the theory of incentive
theory of expectation  (K. Levin, E. Lawler. V. Vruma and others)

It includes a number of expected circumstances: the expectation that the final result is worth the effort, the expectation of a reward for the achieved goal, as well as the expectation of the exact amount of reward that a person was counting on from the very beginning, i.e. which would be as expected.

Theory of Equality and Justice by  Stacey Adams.

It says that in the working process a person compares his work and the payment received for it with the same factors of other workers. Having carried out a comparative characteristic, a person forms the level of his further self-giving. In the case of remuneration that does not meet expectations, he will invest less effort in the workflow; if the reward is decent, then the work is justified, and the likelihood that he is ready to work with a vengeance increases.

Goal-setting theory.

Human behavior directly depends on the goals to which he aspires. Note that the quality of work also depends on the level of complexity, specificity and acceptability.

Theory of moral and material motivation.

Moral is addressed by the public. For example, having received a letter for a good job, a person with a vengeance will begin to work, hoping to get the status of the best employee. This will be a moral incentive.

Material, perhaps the most important part in motivation, which is aimed at material encouragement of the employee.

So, the most dominant of the theories were presented above, but we will briefly review three more figures who play an important role in this area.

A.N. Leontyev identified two main values ​​for motivation –  motivation and sense formation.

Mr. Murray decided that at the root of everything lies two concepts – the need on the part of the individual and the pressure of the external.

D. McClelland put three groups of needs at the heart of his theory:

in power, in success and involvement. Comparing the components of the need for respect and self-expression, the psychologist introduced a new derivative – the need for power.

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Based on the foregoing, we conclude that human motivation is a rather complex system, at the source of which there are both psychophysiological and acutely social elements. All this should be taken into account when analyzing an individual.