A Look at the Motivation Theory in Psychology

motivation theory psychology

Motivation theory is a complex but well-researched subject that examines the reasons people choose what they do and why certain behaviors tend to be rewarded while others are not. The theory has been around for over 50 years and continues to be a source of controversy and confusion. In fact, many people argue that this area of study is hopelessly broken and will never be fully understood. Is this area of study really that deep?

The theory can be divided into several different areas. First, it addresses the underlying causes of behavior and motivation. This includes both conscious and unconscious factors. The factors that are studied include motivation from the workplace, family, peers, religion, and other social factors.

Motivation Theory in Psychology

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Some other theories are more concerned with specific behaviors. These are usually called self-control theories. These include such concepts as self-discipline, the power of motivation, and the need for skill development.

These theories can also be grouped according to the types of behaviors that are examined. Grouping can sometimes make things more clearly understand. There are four main categories; positive theories, negative ones, personal protective theories, and motivation enhancement theories. These are discussed below. All you have to do is read on and decide for yourself which theory fits your personality better.

Positive Motivation Theory

A flock of seagulls flying in the sky

The positive motivation theory is based on the idea that people are motivated by rewards in some way. Everyone likes to receive a reward for doing a job well or for acting in a way that is desirable. Most often, this involves monetary compensation. However, when this theory is applied to behavior, it suggests that people are naturally motivated to perform their duties in a way that benefits them. For instance, if an employee does an excellent job keeping the office clean, the boss may offer a bonus or award him with extra work or even a promotion.

The negative motivation theory suggests that people do not like to be scolded, fired, or disciplined because these events have negative consequences on their behavior. It is also believed that people have certain inhibitions and psychological defenses that prevent them from performing poorly in certain jobs. When these barriers are removed, people will naturally try to improve on their performance so as to avoid being negatively rated. In most cases, employers will resort to punishment to get their employees back. This theory has been used in the workplace for many years, but some psychologists are now beginning to apply it to the family home environment as well.

Things To Know

The motivation enhancement theory deals with how the motivation level of people rises when they are given additional challenges or opportunities. When an individual feels motivated to do well in a situation, he performs even better than he otherwise would have done. This theory has been proven quite useful in the workplace and is used as a method to motivate young children in schools. Children that are motivated by a reward system will often do their best as children do. Their behavior reflects upon how they are being treated, which is what the theory of motivation uses as well.

Bottom Line

The motivation theory is very important and valuable to the person who has to deal with the many forms of motivation. The best way to learn about this theory is to read up on several books on the subject and understand the various methods that have been used to measure motivation. Different people react differently to incentives, rewards, and threats. When you apply a consistent motivation system to your life, you will see positive results on a variety of behavioral attributes, including job performance, personal relationships, and money. If you have trouble managing all of these areas of your life, it may be time to consider using this powerful psychological tool. You may just find yourself becoming a much better person in the process.

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