At first glance, motivation might just seem like a thing that lifts us when we feel down or gives us the rush of adrenaline to do something. It’s the very force that keeps us going every day and it’s the force that drives our actions. Let’s discuss the psychology of human motivation.
The Driving Force
In order to stay alive, we need to act according to the situations. Our sensory system collects information about things around us and the environment we’re living in. That information can be a variety of things such as the visuals we see through our eyes, sounds we hear through our ears, the different smells we feel through the nose, and the textures of different things we feel by touching them.
Apart from these, there are some other senses as well that work as a motivator behind our actions and drive our decisions. Like how we can feel the emotions of other people and animals, our own body puts us through different things like hunger, happiness, joy, anger, etc. and our own past experience also works as a reason behind our actions.
Then this collected sensory data gets into our brain and it pushes us to do certain things in certain situations. For example, when our body runs out of energy, we start to feel hungry. When we see a life-threatening situation, we fight against it. When we see a beautiful-looking thing, we feel the drive to go after it and make it ours.
But sometimes, this cycle of information and actions is much more deeper and complicated than that. For example, some religious or political causes can push a person to ignore their body’s needs and they stay hungry for days, or when you’re in danger, you forget about your hunger then.
Different Levels Of Human Actions
There are 6 levels of human actions which have different motivational factors behind them. In evolutionary psychology, this is known as the hierarchy of needs.
At the bottom of this chart lies the very basic physiological needs of life like food, water, air, etc. The next level belongs to our needs for safety. Then comes the social needs like love and making a family etc. Then come things like esteem and respect and finally when all those needs have been met then, we start to move towards the path of self-actualization and after that comes self-transcendence.
However, this hierarchy isn’t always as straight and simple as it seems. The importance of the higher-level needs may differ depending on our culture, finances, and personality.
The psychology of human motivation depends on the need of the situation. There are some things that are common for everyone, while other things depend on how we experienced things in our own life. All these factors play their roles behind us making different decisions in different situations in our life.