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Instincts, Arousal, Needs, Drives: Drive-Reduction and Cognitive Theories

There are five main theories of motivation. The evolutionary approach looks at the role of instincts, while the drive reduction theory considers how our needs and drives interact. The optimum arousal theory posits that we seek excitement and full alertness. The cognitive approach focuses on rational decision-making, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs claims that we tend to satisfy needs in a certain order. Created by Shreena Desai.

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  • male robot donald style avatar for user blessingjoseph210
    I am a bit confused about the drive reduction theory. She says that drive reduces needs but in the analogy given she says the need is the water and the drive is the thirst. It seems to me that the water (need) is actually reducing the thirst (drive). I do not understand how the thirst reduces water. I am very confused. Thanks for the help.
    (11 votes)
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  • leafers ultimate style avatar for user Jordan Hall
    Could someone explain operant conditioning to me? It was mentioned in one of the questions in this section but I don't remember learning about it and can't find where it is talked about.
    (0 votes)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user kdang818
      There are 2 common BEHAVIOURAL THEORIES:

      (1) CLASSICAL CONDITIONING - - Pavlo's dog - - Pairing (i) Stimulus - bell ringing with (ii) Food - - Triggers salivation - - An automatic response (Unconditioned response). Over time even without (ii), only (i) will triggered a response - - Conditioned Response (automatic).

      (2) OPERANT CONDITIONING - - Skinner's Box + Pigeon pecking on the word "peck" to get food (reward) - - behaviour is associated with its consequences (voluntary choice that lessens the negative outcomes (cons) and increase the positive outcomes (pros). Conditioning can be broken down to 2 categories: REINFORCEMENT (strengthens behaviour) or PUNISHMENT(weakens behaviour) - - each category can be broken down to (+) or (–).
      (i) Positive REINFORCEMENT
      (ii) Negative REINFORCEMENT
      (iii) Positive PUNISHMENT
      (iv) Negative PUNISHMENT
      (7 votes)
  • aqualine seed style avatar for user gargparnika18
    Please Explain Arousal theory of motivation.
    (1 vote)
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    • male robot hal style avatar for user Eston C Clare
      Our motivation changes from day to day, and at times, even from hour to hour, depending on the things that are happening around us. Motivation is believed to be at its highest and most effective when we experience the optimal level of arousal with which we’re comfortable and happy.
      The theory states that the physical environment can affect arousal levels by stimulating brain-based mechanisms. Stress and arousal are created when psychological or physical needs are not met. For example: Arousal, and therefore stress, increases when personal space is diminished (see crowding) or when people are subjected to noise or traffic congestion.
      (1 vote)
  • blobby green style avatar for user Umer Rasheed
    what is maslows motive
    (0 votes)
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Video transcript

Voiceover: So, complex human experiences involve motivation. Motivation asks the question why. Why do we do the things we do? Why do we think and feel the way we do? So, you've probably heard of motivation in a different context. But today I'm going to show you how motivation is thought of as by different psychologists and other scientists. So, motivation is broken down into five schools of thought or five approaches. So, the first of these approaches is the evolutionary approach. This focuses on the role instincts play in motivation. So, what do humans do to survive? What is not learned and what's just an instinct? Think about a baby. When a baby is born, it doesn't know what else to do other than to cry, to sleep and to eat. These are all basic instincts that all humans know. Moving on, the second theory is the drive reduction theory. And that focuses on two main points, drives and needs. So, a need is a lack or deprivation that is going to energize a drive or an aroused state. That drive is what is going to reduce a need, and that's how we maintain homeostasis or balance. Think about this scenario. You've been at the gym for two hours and you're really exhausted and thirsty, but your trainer says to you that you still have to do 50 more lunges. You're on one side of the gym and a refreshing cold water bottle is sitting on the other end of the floor. And all you want is that water, because you're so thirsty. But what's standing in between you and this water bottle? 50 lunges. Does not sound like fun. In this case, your need is water, and you're driven by thirst. Doing the 50 lunges is a means to fulfill that drive of thirst. So, drives are typically basic, essential, and physiological. The third theory is the optimum arousal theory. People are motivated to reach full alertness or full arousal. So why do people pay that ridiculous $70 at amusement parks just to go on a 30 second ride that's really high and scary? I'm sure most of us have all done that, I know, I love roller coasters. Well, the main point here is that the reason we do this is to fulfill our desire to reach full alertness or optimum arousal. We get this natural high by doing things that can give us that full arousal and full alertness, and we like that state. The fourth approach is the cognitive approach. And this one's pretty straightforward. It focuses on our rationale and decision making ability. Just like a light bulb going off in our head. And the last approach is Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It says that we are motivated to satisfy certain needs in a particular order. These needs must be fulfilled from the most basic needs at the bottom all the way to the top. So, that's why we can use a pyramid to illustrate this hierarchy. So, knowing all of these approaches is a little daunting, but just understand that in reality, all of these factors are interrelated. They are not mutually exclusive. They are just five schools of thought that are going to help us understand motivation a little better.