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Chapter 12 - Motivation

  • Motivation- a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior
  • Instinct- complex behavior that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned
  • Drive-Reduction Theory- the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state (a drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need
  • Homeostasis- 1. tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state 2. regulation of any aspect of body chemistry around a particular level
  • Incentives- a positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behavior.
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
  • Self-actualization needs - Need to live up one’s fullest and unique potential
  • Esteem needs - Need for self-esteem, achievement, competence, and independence; need for recognition and respect from others
  • Belongingness and love needs - Need to love and be loved, to belong and be accepted; need to avoid loneliness and alienation
  • Safety needs - Need to feel that the world is organized and predictable; need to feel safe, secure, and stable
  • Physiological needs - Need to satisfy hunger and thirst.
  • begins with physiological needs that must be satisfied
  • the higher-level safety needs become active
  • then psychological needs become active


  • Stomach contractions accompany our feelings of hunger
  • Glucose the form of sugar that circulates in the blood
  • provides the major source of energy for body tissues
  • when its level is low, we feel hunger
  • Set Point
  • the point at which an individual’s “weight thermostat” is supposedly set
  • when the body falls below this weight, an increase in hunger and a lowered metabolic rate may act to restore the lost weight.
  • Metabolic Rate- body’s base rate of energy expenditure
  • The  hypothalamus  controls eating and other body maintenance functions

Eating Disorders

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • When a normal-weight person diets and becomes significantly underweight, yet, still feeling fat, continues to starve
  • Usually and adolescent female
  • When a person weighs less than 85% of their normal body weight
  • 95% of sufferers are female
  • most are between the ages of 18-30
  • 30% of persons diagnosed with anorexia nervosa die
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Disorder characterized by private “binge-purge” episodes of overeating, usually of high caloric foods, followed by vomiting or laxative use

Sexual Motivation

  • Sex is a physiologically based motive, like hunger, but it is more affected by learning and values
  • Sexual Response Cycle
  • The four stages of sexual responding described by Masters and Johnson
  1. Excitement
  2. Plateau
  3. Orgasm
  4. Resolution
  • Refractory Period- resting period after orgasm, during which a man cannot achieve another orgasm
  • Estrogen- a sex hormone, secreted in greater amounts by females than by males
  • Forces Affecting Sexual Motivation:
  • Imaginative stimuli
  • External stimuli
  • Physiological readiness
  • Sexual Disorders- problems that consistently impair sexual arousal or functioning
  • In Men
  1. Premature ejaculation- ejaculation before they or their partners wish
  2. Impotence- inability to have or maintain erection
  • In Women
  1. Orgasmic disorder-  infrequent or absent orgasms
  2. Sexual Orientation- an enduring sexual attraction toward members of wither one’s own gender (homosexual orientation) or the other gender (heterosexual orientation)


  • Achievement Motivation- a desire for significant accomplishment
  • For mastery of things, people, or ideas
  • For attaining a high standard
  • McClelland and Atkinson believed fantasies would reflect achievement concerns
  • Intrinsic Motivation- desire to perform a behavior for its own sake or to be effective
  • Extrinsic Motivation-  desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment
  • Rewards Affect Motivation
  1. Controlling reward: Mom: “I’ll give you $5.00 for every A.” - 
  2. Extrinsic Motivation: Child: “As long as she pays, I’ll study.”
  3. Informative reward: Mom: “Your grades were great! Let’s celebrate by going out for dinner.” 
  4. Intrinsic Motivation: Child: “I love doing well.”
  • Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology- sub-field of psychology that studies and advises on workplace behavior
  • I/O Psychologists-  help organizations select and train employees, boost morale and productivity, and design products and assess responses to them
  • Task Leadership- goal-oriented leadership that sets standards, organizes work, and focuses attention on goals
  • Social Leadership-  group-oriented leadership that builds teamwork, mediates conflict, and offers support
  • Theory X
  • Assumes that workers are basically lazy, error-prone, and extrinsically motivated by money
  • Should be directed from above
  • Theory Y
  • Assumes that, given challenge and freedom, workers are motivated to achieve self-esteem and to demonstrate their competence and creativity

Critical Thinking ] Neuroscience ] Developing Child ] Adolescence ] Sensation ] Perseption ] Consciousness ] Learning ] Memory ] Thinking ] Inteligence ] [ Motivation ] Emotion ] Personality ] Psych Disorders ] Therapy ] Stress ] Social Psych ] Statistics ] Critical Thinking ]


Myers, David G., Psychology Fifth Edition. Worth Publishers, Inc. New York, NY ©1998


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