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Motivation Theories in the TV Comedy Series “Sex and the Sally” Essay

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Motivation is an essential part of human life. All people act in accordance with some specific theories of motivation without being aware of the fact that all their actions may be explained by the theories. All people need motivation for their actions. After an action is completed it is possible to get to now the reasons why this or that action has been done.

Dwelling upon the theories of motivation, it should be stated that most people are guided by these theories of motivation without thinking about them. Watching TV comedy series 3rd Rock from the Sun, the 7th episode from the 5th season “Sex and the Sally”, there is a scene where the alien High Commander has a dinner in a restaurant with his girlfriend Mary Albright.

The situation when Mary gives tips to the waiter frustrates the alien as he cannot understand why people give money for nothing. The next time when he comes to the restaurant he invents his own way of tipping. This is a good example of the motivational theories and it is possible to describe several of them.

Expectancy theory and equity theory are two theories which perfectly explain Dick Solomon’s attempts to motivate the waitress. The main argument in favor of the expectancy theory in this situation is that this theory is characterized by the awareness of those who are going to perform the task about the outcome in case the task is completed in a quality way and about the outcome when the task is completed in a poor way.

The waiter was offered a sum of money as tips, however, these tips could either increase or decreased depending on the way the waitress served a man. Therefore, a waitress was motivated by the expected positive outcome in case of her good serving. Waiting for extrinsic outcome, a waitress tried to perform her task as better as she could as the outcome (the sum of tips) depended directly on her performance (Dick’s satisfaction).

Dick used equity theory to increase the success in motivating the waiter. Applying to this specific theory, Dick motivated the waitress by means of the following, the better service (outcome) he had from the meal at that restaurant, the higher tips the waitress got. Dick offered his money and the waitress offered her experience and service.

Therefore, having put equal efforts (input) the participants of the activity expected to get the same outputs, money for a waitress and pleasure from service to Dick. Dick did all possible to make these outcomes equal. Therefore, referring to this theory, Dick increased the motivation of the waiter making her income (tips) depend on the satisfaction she could offer to the man. Equity theory is based on the equal spending of two sides and equal results.

Taking money as Dick’s expense on the services, it is obvious that waiter’s services are going to be paid in accordance with the professionalism and the ability of a waitress to satisfy the needs of a client. Therefore, Dick create the situation according to the equity theory model, such as one’s outcomes (Dick’s) equal other’s outcomes (waitress’s) and one’s inputs (Dick’s) equal other’s inputs (waitress’s).

Therefore, the motivation should be based on the following, how much one of them gives so much he/she is offered as the outcome. Paying attention to the arguments mentioned above, it is possible to say that expectancy theory and equity theory are the theories which fit the situation best of all.

Dick could refer to goal setting theory in order to increase waitress’s motivation. Goal setting theory can also characterize this situation as this theory presupposes higher performance, greater effort, feedback, directed actions, and out of box thinking. Reconsidering the situation in the TV series episode, it is possible to see that the waiter tried to improve her performance, she put more effort on this activity. Her thinking abilities were innovative and varied from simple performance. The waitress was directed by Dick.

Considering another situation from the same episode, Tommy and Harry’s actions should be characterized. Their behavior changed in front of the fast food restaurant when they saw that their actions encouraged people to give them money. Applying equity theory and reinforcement theory to this situation, the following data may be considered.

Tommy and Harry stayed in front of the restaurant and when one of them was given money for nothing, another of man acted the same way to get the same financial income. The equity theory in this case worked in a different way from the situation with Dick and waitress. Saying that they got money for nothing, Tommy and Harry forgot about their social status.

Asking money in the street has lowered them in the eyes of people and referred those to the lower layer of population. The reinforcement theory in this case affected Tommy and Harry in the following way. Performing one specific type of the behavior (mendicancy), Tommy and Harry saw that no punishment occurred and they continued acting this way getting reward.

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IvyPanda. (2019, August 20). Motivation Theories in the TV Comedy Series “Sex and the Sally”. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/motivation-7/

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"Motivation Theories in the TV Comedy Series “Sex and the Sally”." IvyPanda, 20 Aug. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/motivation-7/.

1. IvyPanda. "Motivation Theories in the TV Comedy Series “Sex and the Sally”." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/motivation-7/.


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IvyPanda. "Motivation Theories in the TV Comedy Series “Sex and the Sally”." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/motivation-7/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Motivation Theories in the TV Comedy Series “Sex and the Sally”." August 20, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/motivation-7/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Motivation Theories in the TV Comedy Series “Sex and the Sally”'. 20 August.

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