Motivation is the area that studies the factors that energize, or stimulate,
Some of the most commonly motivated behaviors relate to immediate
biological survival (such as responding to hunger and thirst), as well as to
long-term social needs (such as affiliation and achievement).
A need is a state of deficiency, such as a lack of air or food. You need air and
food to survive. You also need other people. Failure to satisfy the need leads to
psychosocial or physical impairment.
Drives are psychological states activated to satisfy needs. Needs create
arousal, which motivates behaviors that will satisfy our needs.
When an animal is deprived of some need (such as water, sleep or sex) a
specific drive increases in proportion to the amount of deprivation. The drive
state creates arousal, which activates behaviors until performing one of them
reduces the drive.
If a behavior consistently reduces a drive, it becomes a habit; the likelihood
that a behavior will occur is due to both drive and habit.
The Yerkes-Dodson law dictates that performance increases with arousal,
thus creating a shape like an inverted U. Thus, you perform best on exams
when you have a moderate level of anxiety.
Freud believed that drives are satisfied according to the pleasure principle,
which tells organisms to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Extrinsic motivation emphasizes the external goals toward which an
activity is directed, such as drive reduction or reward. For example, working
to earn a paycheck.
Intrinsic motivation refers to the value or pleasure that is associated with
an activity but has no biological goal or purpose. For example, listening to
music. They are performed for their own sake.
The need to belong theory states that the need for interpersonal
attachments is a fundamental motive that has evolved for adaptive purposes.
This theory is supported by evidence that people feel anxious when excluded
from their social groups. According to social exclusion theory, anxiety warns
individuals that they may be facing rejection from their group.
The process of transcending immediate temptations in order to achieve long-
term goals is known as delay of gratification.