Motivational theories refer to theories that discuss forces initiating and sustaining certain behaviors in individuals (Beck, 28). Motivational theories identify the reasons behind certain individuals exuding certain behaviors, while seeking to understand what motivates them to act in that manner. There are various motivational theories that are relevant to our generation. These theories explain why people take certain actions, whether good or bad.
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One of the theories applicable to the current generation is incentive theory of motivation. This theory is applicable, since the current generation appreciates recognition and reward for their efforts. According to this theory, individuals are motivated to do certain things, expecting to receive rewards (30). Therefore, most people in our generation go to work every day due to the fact that they will receive a pay at the end of the month.
Thus, although an individual could feel bored and unwilling to go to work, they are motivated by the monetary reward they will receive at the end of the month (53). Additionally, by giving people some salary increase, a company can motivate them to work harder and become more productive. In a case where such rewards are removed, it is possible that none of the employees will go to work. Thus, the behavior of going to work is brought about by the incentive of monetary reward. When the incentive is removed, the behavior ceases to exist (45).
Drive theory is the next theory that explains factors that stimulate certain actions in people. The desire by certain people to achieve certain goals, which they have set for their lives, promotes them to convey certain behaviors. For example, if a person feels obligate to own a car, he/she will work hard to achieve that desire. This means that an individual can work during weekends and holidays to attain that goal (Beck, 69). However, when such desires are met, that person can stop displaying the same behaviors. Considering that the current generation is in continuous pursuit of leisure and comfort, people will work towards attaining these by owning their cars, building their homes and running their businesses.
The current generation has a great attachment to fun and excitement. Therefore, the Arousal theory of motivation is applicable to this generation. According to this theory, people are attracted to do certain things to increase or decrease their levels of stimulation (55). For example, the current generation likes stimulating themselves through taking alcohol. This is an action meant to make them feel excited and fight off boredom. On the other hand, when people are over stimulated, they look for ways to relax, such as watching some movies to calm their mind (58).
Finally, the current generation has more personal needs than the previous generations. The more life advances, the more needs increase. Therefore, people are motivated to indulge in certain actions to satisfy their needs (41).
These needs occur in stages, where people must first meet their basic needs. After having these, they proceed to looking for ways to satisfy needs for self actualization and later recognition. A person looking for basic need, will display different actions compared to the one looking for self actualization and recognition (42). Therefore, different levels of needs determine the actions that an individual displays. Thus, according to motivational theories, people take certain actions due to having certain forces that drive them.
Beck, Robert. Motivation: Theories and Principles. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Education, 2004. 26-70. Print.