Psychologists’ view on origin of motivation
The complexity of motivation due to unpredictability and fluctuation from one individual to another and at different times has led to various theories being postulated to explain its causes. However, these psychologists agree that in way or another motivation is influenced by both biological and external factors.
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Theories on motivation
Postulates that some individuals are driven to success by the goals they set. The success is measured by reaching the desired definite end. Such people set specific goals which are moderate in nature.
The goals have close proximity and limited security of success. Moderate goals limit the chances of quitting or becoming complacence which are characteristics of tough or easily-achieved goals. Thus, such goals generate optimal drive to success.
Setting of goals is only possible because human beings have self determination to succeed. This is what is postulated by the self-determination theory which explains what drives human beings to achieve. This theory opines that humans are inherently driven to grow and develop and hence our source of motivation inborn. However, these inherent motivators are activated by external factors.
This primary innate needs include; the need to control the events of our lives in order to feel connected to others and be competent in our skills. Thus, since we are able to control these primary inherent needs by controlling our thoughts and conscious, we can channel them towards striving for excellence. We are able to control our desires for success, and feelings of pleasure and acceptance.
The Need Hierarchy theory
This theory states that human beings are only driven to success by those needs which they have not satisfied. Have complex needs, we satisfy our needs from bottom up with those on the higher levels satisfied first. As one moves up the hierarchy of needs, the drive to achieve increases.
Thus, the drive that an individual has for quenching his thirst or filling an empty stomach is lower compared to that of achieving his full potential or self actualization which is the highest level of need.
The Incentive theory
This theory incorporates various aspects of the other theories and proposes that human beings are driven by incentives. These incentives can both be intrinsic or extrinsic and bring satisfaction in the form of physical rewards, pleasure and acceptance. Even though the rewards of pleasure and acceptance are intrinsic, their achievement is usually activated by external stimuli.
However, it has to be noted that external and internal stimuli sometimes work antagonistically. Continued usage of external stimuli as a source of motivation may eventually replace the innate drive to succeed. Such external stimuli become part us and may even turn into ‘innate’ stimuli. Since our autonomy is very important, usage of external stimuli should limited less they replace our intrinsic stimuli.
Self-efficacy and self-esteem as motivators
Self evaluation of capabilities and comparing it with the task at hand is a source of intrinsic stimuli which can drive us to success despite the challenges. High levels of self-efficacy will lead to high levels of motivation and vice versa. This is because it only by believing in ourselves that we can take on challenges.
The motivation resulting from self-esteem or feeling good about one’s self is not strong enough to enable us complete a goal despite the challenges. Ego and goal-orientation are also internal stimuli which can provide incentives which can motivate us.
Motivation plays a critical role in our daily lives including planning our goals in life. Hence, more evidence based research should be done on it. The research studies should include such areas as religion. Moreover, the motivation factors and psychology of athletes who use high performance drugs should also be studied.