Motivation and work
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MOTIVATION AND WORK. MOTIVATION. A need or desire that energizes behavior and directs it toward a goal. Nature (the physiological) Nurture (the cognitive and cultural) Example of Aron Ralston’s motivation to live. Hiking accident in 2003. FOUR PERSPECTIVES.

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  • A need or desire that energizes behavior and directs it toward a goal.

  • Nature (the physiological)

  • Nurture (the cognitive and cultural)

  • Example of Aron Ralston’s motivation

    to live. Hiking accident in 2003

Four perspectives

  • Instinct theory (replaced by evolutionary perspective)

  • Drive-reduction theory-interaction between inner pushes and external pulls. Drives usually distinguished from motives. Drive-strong biological

    component-hunger, thirst in contrast

    to motives that are urges which are

    mainly learned.

Motivation and work

  • Physiological aim of drive-reduction is homeostasis.

  • Arousal theory-urge for optimum level of stimulation. Both high and low levels of arousal tend to lower

    performance. Moderate arousal usually results in best performance.

    Inverted U function.

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs- ranking of needs- if lower need is unsatisfied,

    there is motivation to first satisfy that

    need first before seeking to satisfy other needs.

Physiology of hunger
Physiology of Hunger

Lateral hypothalmus

hunger triggering hormone orexin

Ventromedial hypo-

thalamus depresses


When blood glucose

levels drop-hunger


GHRELIN –hormone

arousing hunger

secreted by empty


Leptin –hunger

suppressing protein

secreted by fat cells


hormone all suppresses


Insulin secreted

by pancreas


blood glucose

Psychology of hunger
Psychology of Hunger

  • Taste preferences-

Motivation and work

  • Hot cultures like hot spices

    India –averages 10 spices/meal

    Finland-2 spices/meal

    Food aversions during pregnancy

    peak about 10 week when embryo

    most vulnerable to toxins.

Social influences on motivation
Social influences on motivation


    Boosted ancestors’ survival rate.

    Influences our thoughts and emotions.

    “What makes your life meaningful?”

    May conform to avoid rejection

    May remain in abusive relationship

    Motivated to avoid ostracism

Motivation at work
Motivation at Work

  • Industrial/organization (I/O) psychology

    Human factors (engineering) psychology

    Personnel psychology

    Organizational psychology

Personnel psychology
Personnel psychology

  • Interview illusion

  • Structured interviews

  • Unstructured interviews

  • Performance appraisal vulnerable to bias:

    Halo errors

    Leniency and severity errors

    Recency errors

Organizational psychology
Organizational psychology

  • How to maximize achievement


    Self-discipline appears to be a more accurate predictor of school performance, attendance, and graduation honors than intelligence.

    Example: B.F. Skinner

Motivation and work

  • Satisfaction and engagement

    Positive moods contribute to creativity, persistence, and helpfulness.

  • Engaged employees(working with passion and feeling a connection to company) result in less turnover, higher productivity, greater profits.

  • Larry Brown (Detroit Pistons) 4-5 positive comments to every 1 negative comment


  • Task leadership-setting standards,

  • organizing work

  • Social leadership-mediating conflicts and building high achieving teams

  • Harley-Davidson CEO changed leadership from command and control to joint-vision process