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The Motive Perspective Notes

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University of Pittsburgh
PSY 0160

9/17 The Motive Perspective Basic Elements • Needs: representation of an unsatisfactory state of being • Motives: cognitive and emotional experience; triggered by needs and external events • Goals: end state that one desires **Often used interchangeably in the study of personality Needs/Goals • Biological and psychological o Distinction:  Bio: safety, food, water  Psych: affiliation, success, emotional intimacy • Directive in nature; cause us to behave in certain ways • Can either be explicit (aware) or implicit (indirectly aware) • Approach vs. avoidance o Ex. want to get and A or want to avoid getting an F • Nomothetic Goals o Motivations that everyone pursues o McClelland: achievement, affiliation, power o Emmon: enjoyment, self-esteem, self-assertion, interpersonal success, avoidance of negative affect o Domains: work and social interaction • Ideographic Goals o Unique to the individuals that pursue them  Current concerns: an ongoing motivation that persists in the mind until the goal is either attained or abandoned 9/17 o Goals are independent and may oppose each other Murray’s System • 27 universal needs o Mostly psychological needs o Many are latent needs o Recognizes individual differences o Points out:  Single behaviors satisfy multiple needs  Needs facilitate one another  Needs can conflict • Ex. achievement vs. intimacy Thematic Apperception Test • Assesses latent needs • Assumptions: o Manifest Needs: reflected in overt behavior o Latent Needs: not reflected in behavior • Subjects provide a story about a picture that they are shown • Latent needs are projected into the story • Newer version: called the Picture Story Exercise Specific Needs Achievement • Desire to do things well, to feel pleasure in overcoming obstacles • TAT/PSE images: stories involve obtaining goals, overcoming adversity, performing well • High need for achievement… 9/17 o Associated with choice of moderately difficult tasks o Predicts higher performance in some domains o May result in behavior that is similar to that motivated by desire to avoid failure Power • Desire to have an impact on others, prestige, to feel strong • TAT/PSE images: vigorous action, concern about status, position, or self-image • High need for power… o Predicts behavior in interpersonal interactions o Manifests in less concessions in negotiations o May be manifested differently depending on sense of responsibility Affiliation • Desire to spend time with others • TAT/PSE images: concern about acceptance by others, attempts to establish and
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