Module 32 Page 1
Basic Motivational Concepts and Hunger
Motivation - a need or desire that energizes and directs behaviour. (4 Types)
1. Instincts and Evolutionary Psychology
Instinct - a complex behaviour that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned.
o Charles Darwin's theory composed of a list of over 5759 supposed human instincts
collapsed. Rather than explaining human behaviours, he was simply naming them. Ex.
Labeling a bright child with low grades an 'underachiever.'
o The underlying assumption that genes predispose species-typical behaviour remains as
2. Drives and Incentives
Drive-Reduction Theory - the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state
(drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need.
Homeostasis - a tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the regulation of
any aspect of the body chemistry, such as blood glucose, around a particular level.
Not only pushed by the need to reduce drives, but also pulled by Incentives - a positive or
negative environmental stimulus that motivates behaviour.
3. Optimum Arousal
o Some motivated behaviours actually increase arousal
o Human motivation aims not to eliminate arousal but to seek optimum levels of arousal.
Having our biological needs satisfied we feel driven to experience stimulation and we
hunger for information.
o However, with too much stimulation comes stress, and we then look for a way to
4. A Hierarchy of Motives
o Maslow's pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with physiological needs that
must first be satisfied before higher-level safety needs and then psychological needs
o At the self-transcendence level people strive for meaning, purpose and communion that
in beyond the self, that is transpersonal. Module 32 Page 2
o The pyramid is somewhat arbitrary, as the order of such needs is not universally fixed;
as some people have starved themselves to make a political statement.
The power of activated motives hijack our consciousness. Ex. When you are hungry, thirsty,
fatigued, or sexually aroused little else may seem to matter.
Glucose - the form of sugar that ci