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MOTIVATION THEORIES

various Theories of Motivation

Following theories of motivation explain motivation with all its distinct varieties. We may find that these theories supplement one another and point towards the same truth.

  • Pawn Theory
  • Energy Theory
  • Instinct Theory
  • Need Theory.
  • Stimulation Theory
  • Behaviour or Learning Theory
  • Social Theory
  • Depth Theory
  • Physiological Theory.

1. Pawn Theory:

This is based on the transcendental approach to the problems of life. According to this theory, we are a ‘pawn’, a puppet, an instrument in the hands of God. Both classical and Freudian psychologists and behavioristic theories of learning derive their strength from this. The pawn theory passes on the responsibility to some “mysterious power” which is something intangible.

2. Energy Theory:

“No energy no motivation.” According to Freud the source of physical energy is Eros and according to Jung (1937). it is Libido. As a matter of fact this theory offers no explanation.

3. Instinct Theory:

William James (1990) is said to be the orginator of this theory. According to him. “The human mind has certain innate or inherited tendencies which are the essential springs or motive powers of all thought and action, whether individual collective and are the bases from which the character and will of individuals and of nations are gradually developed under the guidance of the intellectual faculties. “McDougall put forward a list of 41 instincts and attached 14 emotions with them. This theory was very popular in Britain with Nunn, Burt and Ross. However, the American psychologists do not find any weight in this theory.

4. Need Theory:

There are two sets of needs: (i) primary or biological, and (ii) secondary or psychological. The more intense the need, the more the motivation.

5. Stimulation Theory:

All inner and outer stimuli that bear upon a person at one time constitute his psychological field and determine his behaviour jointly through interaction.

6. Behaviour or Learning Theory:

This is more elaborate than the need theory. Hull (1975) and his associates are the supporters of this theory. The theory has three main tenets:

  • All motivated behaviour is based on needs and desires;
  • All learning involves reward in the sense that only those responses that reduce need or drive are stamped in; and
  • Needs may be biological or psychological, primary or secondary.

Maslow (1973,), Tolman (1981,), Hebb (1966,) do not share this view. They argue that all learning is not like that. Learning can be ‘cognitive type’ also. It is only the ‘need reduction’ but also ‘avoidance of pain’ that goods one to learn.

7. Social Theory:

According to this theory, causes of social behaviour are to be found in the social environment. There are two streams of this theory,

  • Cultural Pattern. According to this view, an individual is cast in the mould of the culture to which he belongs. Different cultures would, therefore, produce different types of personalities.
  • The Field Theory. According to this theory, behaviour is caused by the interaction between a person and his environment.

8. Depth Theory:

Freud is the main protagonist of this theory. The spring of action is unconscious which is dark, ruthless, very powerful and illogical. Special exploratory techniques are needed to dig out the unconscious. Unconscious motives influence our conscious thought and conduct.

9. Physiological Theory:

This theory holds that the secrets of the mind are locked within the cells of the nervous system.

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