Theories Of Motivation Psychology In The Workplace

theories of motivation psychology

Motivational psychology theories can be classified into three main categories; cognitive theories, behavioral theories, and emotional theories. In cognitive theory, we find that people are motivated by conditions or ideas. Behaviorist theories posit that situational and exogenous factors drive people. Emotional theories, on the other hand, deal with psychological processes such as self-esteem and motivation.

Categories Of Motivation Theories


The motivation theories can be categorized into four main areas; organizational, cognitive, personal, and contextual factors. Within these theories, we find that some theories have more predictive value than others. This is so especially with theories of motivation, which often receive less testing than others. Motivation theory thus has great importance in the workplace.

A motivational study is basically about behavior. The theory is about how humans behave in certain circumstances that involve money, power, status, and relationships. It involves research on various psychological topics like; Why people get involved in extracurricular activities; What causes people to become successful in their chosen careers; What are the characteristics of success; What makes a person successful; What are the motivational processes that lead people to become successful; What are the risks involved in becoming a leader; and how leaders affect their followers. These are just some of the many questions that may be answered in a motivational study. There may be many more.

Research On The Theories

A man sitting on a bed

These theories have been researched over many decades. However, the current era of modern technology has added a new dimension to the study of motivation. Modern technology and its applications can help psychologists gain valuable insights into human behavior. By applying this knowledge, they can further develop their theories.

Motivational theories of psychology can help create an environment that will be conducive to the learning and growth of the individuals in the workforce. This is a must in any organization because a motivated group is a highly productive group. The study of human behavior also includes the study of the workplace environment. This is because the workplace is where people interact with each other and with their employers.

Interpretations Of Behavior

Different theories of motivation offer different interpretations of behavior. These theories also offer different interpretations of workplace environments. Several theories deal with the learning and motivation of employees. These theories include theories of motivation such as; all else ceases, the power of positive thinking, self-esteem, and the work environment’s power.

Environment Determining His Behaviour

A recent theory says that a person’s attitude towards other people and the environment determine his behavior. Thus if a person does not like the environment, he cannot perform to the best of his ability. This means that the theories of motivation state that the individual needs to like his environment and people before learning and enjoying success. Another important theory of motivation states that people who enjoy their tasks perform better. A person who is content with his task is more likely to be successful in it.

However, some motivation theories state that the theories of motivation are not entirely true because human beings are not blank characters. We can change according to circumstances and our experiences. Thus, it would be wrong to assume that human beings are homogeneous and that we have the same psychological structure and make the same choices and commit the same mistakes.

People Have Different Preferences

Therefore, the theories of motivation may state that people have different preferences, attitudes, and behaviors. Different people have different levels of motivation. For instance, some people have more persistence, and others have more motivation towards self-development, and so on. Based on these assumptions, theories of motivation attempt to explain different kinds of behavior.

The theories of motivation state that people choose certain behaviors based on various factors such as the amount of gain or loss they can get from the behavior and the reaction they can get from the response. They further assume that an individual gets what he wants when he exerts his effort or succeeded. It is said that an individual will not be motivated by his desire for his welfare but for society’s welfare or the group that he belongs to. It is also said that the way an individual behaves affects how he receives satisfaction from his life. Thus, a person who behaves resolutely will get what he wants and become determined to do everything to gain these goals.

Contingency Theory

One of the most common theories of motivation is called the contingency theory. According to this theory, motivation is influenced by situational cues. When an individual faces a situation in which he is required to perform a particular task, he feels the need to do so. However, this urge to do the task maybe because of the direct benefit he will derive, or it may be because of the fear of failure that he feels. The theory of contingency suggests that motivation is also influenced by an individual’s attitude and behavior towards his environment and his relation to others.

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