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Motivation. „Why do people choose particular goals?“ „What specific motives drives behavior?“ „What individual differences in motivation account for the variability of people behavior?“ „How we can motivate people to behave in certain ways – eating certain foods, shopping?“ . Definition.

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„Why do people choose particular goals?“

„What specific motives drives behavior?“

„What individual differences in motivation account for the variability of people behavior?“

„How we can motivate people to behave in certain ways – eating certain foods, shopping?“



Motivation refers to the causes of behavior – to external and internal forces, that move person to behave in particular way at particular time.

Motivation refers to the factors that direct and energize behavior. These factors underlie behavior and are called motives.

Explaining motivation

Explaining motivation

  • Instinct approaches: Innate motivation

  • Drive reduction approaches: Homeostasis

  • Incentive approaches: Motivation´s pull

  • Arousal approaches: Excitement seeking

  • Cognitive approaches: Thoughts behind

  • Humanistic approach: Self-actualisation

Instinct approaches innate motivation

Instinct approaches: Innate motivation

Motivation is the result of instincts - inborn patterns of behavior that are biologically determined, not learned.

Instincts are preprogrammed sets of behavior essential to our survival.

Cons: Human behavior is very complex and instinctual theories cannot explain this complexity.

2 drive reduction approaches homeostasis

2. Drive-reduction approaches: Homeostasis

  • Drive is inner motivational tension, that energises behavior in order to fulfill the need.

  • Drives push us to obtain our basic biological requirements.

  • We distinguish primary and secondary drives (achievement need).

  • Homeostasis is the maintenance of optimal level of internal biological balance.

3 incentive approaches motivation s pull

3. Incentive approaches: Motivation´s pull

  • The theory explaining motivation in term of external stimuli.

  • Incentive is the external stimulus that acts as an anticipated reward (we are drawn to food).

  • Internal motives (drives) work in „tandem“ with external motives (incentives).

4 arousal approaches excitement seeking

4. Arousal approaches: Excitement seeking

  • One explanation of motivation – we behave in certain way to maintain a certain preffered level of arrousal.

  • Every person has individual level of stimulation and activity which is optimal for him.

  • Some people actively seek for challenging and dangerous situations.

5 cognitive approaches thoughts behind

5. Cognitive approaches: Thoughts behind

  • Cognitiveapproachesfocuses on the role ofourthoughts, expectations and understandingoftheworld.

    • Intrinsicmotivation – weperformcertainactivityforourownenjoyment.

    • Extrinsicmotivation – weparticipate in activityfor a reward (money, socialagreement).

6 humanistic approach self actualisation

6. Humanistic approach: Self-actualisation

  • Our needs are hierarchically ordered from most fundamental biological needs to higher-order ones.

  • In Maslow theory the highest needs are self-actualisation and transcendence.

  • Without having lower needs fulfilled, we cannot think of self-actualisation.

Maslow s hierarchy

Maslow´s Hierarchy

  • 1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc.;

  • 2) Safety/security: out of danger;

  • 3) Belonginess and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted;

  • 4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition.

  • 5) Cognitive: to know, to understand, and explore;

  • 6) Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty;

  • 7) Self-actualization: to find self-fulfillment and realize one's potential; and

  • 8) Self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential.



Self actualized people

Self-actualized people

  • being problem-focused

  • incorporating an ongoing freshness of appreciation of life

  • a concern about personal growth

  • the ability to have peak experiences


  • The first four layers of the pyramid are what Maslow called "deficiency needs" or "D-needs": the individual does not feel anything if they are met, but feels anxious if they are not met. The deficiency needs are:

    Physiological needs

  • The physiological needs of the organism (those enabling homeostasis) take first precedence. These consist mainly of:

    • Excretion, Eating, Drinking, Sleeping, Sex, Shelter, Warmth

      • If some needs are not fulfilled, a human's physiological needs take the highest priority. Physiological needs can control thoughts and behaviors, and can cause people to feel sickness, pain, and discomfort.

Safety needs

Safety needs

  • When physiological needs are met, the need for safety will emerge. When one stage is fulfilled, a person naturally moves to the next. These include:

  • Personal security from crime.

  • Security as against company lay-offs

  • Health and well-being

  • Safety net against accidents/illness and the adverse impacts

Love belonging social needs

Love/Belonging/Social needs

  • After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs is social. This psychological aspect of Maslow's hierarchy involves emotionally-based relationships in general, such as:

    • friendship

    • sexual intimacy

    • having a supportive and communicative family

      • Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group (such as clubs, office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs) or small social connections (family members, intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues, confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these elements, many people become susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety, and depression. This need for belonging can often overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure. e.g. an anorexic ignores the need to eat and the security of health for a feeling of belonging.

Esteem needs

Esteem needs

  • All humans have a need to be respected, to have self-esteem, self-respect, and to respect others.

  • People need to engage themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution, to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem, inferiority complexes.

  • People with low self-esteem need respect from others. They may seek fame or glory, which again depends on others.

  • It may be noted, however, that many people with low self-esteem will not be able to improve their view of themselves simply by receiving fame, respect, and glory externally, but must first accept themselves internally. Psychological imbalances such as depression can also prevent one from obtaining self-esteem on both levels.

Growth needs

Growth needs

  • Though the deficiency needs may be seen as "basic", and can be met and neutralized (i.e. they stop being motivators in one's life), self-actualization and transcendence are "being" or "growth needs" (also termed "B-needs"), i.e. they are enduring motivations or drivers of behavior.

Cognitive needs

Cognitive needs

  • Maslow believed that humans have the need to increase their intelligence and thereby chase knowledge. Cognitive needs is the expression of the natural human need to learn, explore, discover and create to get a better understanding of the world around them.

Aesthetic needs

Aesthetic needs

Based on Maslow's beliefs, it is stated in the hierarchy that humans need beautiful imagery or something new and aesthetically pleasing to continue up towards Self-Actualization.

Humans need to refresh themselves in the presence and beauty of nature while carefully absorbing and observing their surroundings to extract the beauty that the world has to offer.


  • Self-actualization

  • Self-actualization--a concept Maslow attributed to Kurt Goldstein, a mentor to Maslow--is the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their abilities and to strive to be the best they can.

Maslow writes the following of self actualizing people

Maslow writes the following of self-actualizing people:

  • They embrace the facts and realities of the world (including themselves) rather than denying or avoiding them.

  • They are spontaneous in their ideas and actions.

  • They are creative.

  • They are interested in solving problems; this often includes the problems of others. Solving these problems is often a key focus in their lives.

  • They feel a closeness to other people, and generally appreciate life.

  • They have a system of morality that is fully internalized and independent of external authority.

  • They have discernment and are able to view all things in an objective manner.

  • In short, self-actualization is reaching one's fullest potential.

Self transcendence


  • Maslow later divided the top of the triangle to add self-transcendence which is also sometimes referred to as spiritual needs. Spiritual Needs are a little different from other needs, accessible from many levels.

  • Maslow believes that we should study and cultivate peak experiences as a way of providing a route to achieve personal growth, integration, and fulfillment. Individuals most likely to have peak experiences are self-actualizing, mature, healthy, and self-fulfilled. All individuals are capable of peak experiences. Those who do not have them somehow suppress or deny them.

Need for achievement

Need for achievement

  • A stable, learnedcharacteristic in whichsatisfactioncomesfromstrivingfor and achieving a levelof excellence eitherindividually or in cooperation.

    • Peoplehigh in achievementmotivationchoosetasksthat are ofintermediatedifficulty.

    • Peoplelow in achievementmotivationchoosetasksthat are eithertooeasy or toodifficult.

Need for affiliation

Need for affiliation

  • A need to establish and maintainrelationshipwithotherpeople. To be in meaningfullrelationship, felltrustwothy and can trust, feelresponsible and canberesponsible. Itenhancepersonalstrenght


  • A tendency to wanttomakeanimpression or haveanimpact on others in order to beseenas a powerfullindividual. To berespected and worthofinterest- authority.

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