27 Mar, 24

The Psychology Behind Motivation: What Drives Us To Achieve?


Motivation is what drives us to do things, both big and small. But this doesn't mean that everyone has an endless reserve of motivation. We might run low on it sometimes. The reasons might vary. Understanding the concept of motivation better and learning of the theories governing human motivation help us conquer the giant easily.

What Exactly Do We Mean By Motivation?

Science defines motivation as the internal and external forces that drive an organism to act and achieve goals. The notion is complex, comprising physical, social, and environmental components. Motivation activates reward and pleasure pathways in the brain. The brain's reward system relies on neurotransmitters like dopamine. They motivate people to accomplish specific things. Psychological motivation encompasses ideas, feelings, and experiences. Maslow's hierarchy of requirements and the Self-Determination Theory claim humans are pushed by fundamental physical needs to higher-order psychological wants like self-actualization and self-esteem.

The environment also affects motivation. External events, rewards, and connections can affect motivation. B.F. Skinner's operant conditioning theory demonstrates how rewards and punishments may motivate individuals. Motivation changes with your mood and environment. Scientists can fully understand human motivation by understanding how complicated biological, social, and environmental elements interact. Brain, psychology, and behavioral economics studies help us understand how living things motivate.

What Are The Different Types Of Motivation?

Motivation can be broadly categorized into two main types: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. These categories describe the underlying reasons or sources that drive an individual's behavior.

Intrinsic Motivation

Doing things because you enjoy them. Hobbies, curiosity, and work satisfaction inspire people. People driven by intrinsic urges frequently enjoy doing something rather than just getting results. It's about freedom, self-determination, and professional passion. Because they appreciate and like their work, genuinely driven people feel good about themselves and their work. This includes finding educational projects, developing a creative pastime, or learning for enjoyment.

Extrinsic Motivation

However, extrinsic motivation involves doing activities to earn advantages or avoid punishments from outside sources. External inspiration comes from tangible advantages, appreciation, or the desire to avoid undesirable things. External drive can help govern behavior, but it may not make someone enjoy their job. Both positive and negative reinforcement are used. Positive reinforcement involves praise and incentives, whereas negative reinforcement drives people to avoid punishment and criticism. Extrinsic motivation includes working for money, studying to earn excellent grades, and entering competitions to win gifts.

Achievement Motivation

The desire to succeed, overcome challenges, and master new skills drives achievement motivation. Highly driven people want to be good at things and are willing to do occupations that make them feel good. This sort of motivation helps achieve personal objectives and overcome obstacles. Strong-willed people seek challenging occupations to demonstrate their skills.

Affiliation Motivation

The need for friendship, social interaction, and healthy connections drives this sort of motivation. People with high-association motivation require social ties and may actively seek out social interactions. This urge is connected to happiness from excellent relationships and emotional ties. Due to affiliation drive, people form alliances, collaborate, and participate in group activities.

Power Motivation

Being driven by power involves desiring to dominate or impact others or your environment. People driven by power desire to be in command, control what happens, and make decisions. People with this motivation might act nice or bad. They may wish to lead or dominate others.

Incentive Motivation

External rewards or penalties motivate action. Incentives encourage people to get praise, credit, or genuine rewards. However, incentive motivation centered on avoiding unpleasant outcomes or fines is evident in such persons. Incentive motivation changes behavior by associating acts with positive or undesirable outcomes.

What Is The Psychology Behind Motivation?

The psychology behind human motivation is a multifaceted field that encompasses various theories, models, and perspectives aimed at understanding why individuals behave in certain ways and what drives their actions. Several prominent theories contribute to our understanding of the psychological underpinnings of human motivation:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs says that people are motivated in a way that looks like a pyramid with five levels. The basic level includes physiological needs like food and housing, which must be met before moving on to higher levels of safety, social relationships, self-actualization, and respect. Maslow says that people are driven by needs that aren't being met and that as lower-level needs are met, people's attention moves to higher-level needs. As people move through these levels of needs, the theory suggests that they move toward personal satisfaction and self-realization. This takes into account how complicated the human drive is across different areas of life.

Self-Determination Theory (SDT)

Self-determination theory According to this view, humans are motivated by liberty, competency, and relatedness. Competence is the need to do things well, autonomy is the need to make your own judgments, and relatedness is the desire to have significant relationships. SDT emphasizes internalizing inspiration for optimal growth and wellbeing. It distinguishes self-motivated from personal ideas and hobbies and controlled motivation from outside factors. Social Determination Theory (SDT) illuminates how fulfilling basic psychological needs influences desire and behavior.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory

Cognitive Evaluation Theory, a part of SDT, examines how external rewards impact our motivation. Praise and favorable remarks can improve intrinsic motivation by satisfying competence and independence needs. Extrinsic rewards that control or force may weaken inner motivation. The approach emphasizes the need to consider social and environmental factors in motivating activities. It also emphasizes the need to balance internal and external motivation.

Expectancy-Value Theory

Expectancy-Value Theory states that a person's motivation depends on their likelihood of success and the value of a goal. People do more when they think they'll succeed and get valuable outcomes. Worth is based on how significant, fascinating, or desirable the aim is, whereas expectation is based on confidence in success. How hope and worth interact to motivate people to start and accomplish tasks. We can comprehend goal-directed behavior's mental processes from this.

Goal-setting Theory

Edwin Locke and Gary Latham discovered that clear, challenging objectives inspire individuals. Setting specific, hard objectives can help people succeed by providing direction, concentration, and a mechanism to track their progress. Feedback, demanding tasks, and determination are crucial to goal-setting, according to theory. When objectives are challenging but achievable and progress is tracked, individuals are more inspired. Real-world applications include education, corporate management, and personal improvement. It helps us comprehend and develop drive by creating goals.

Social Cognitive Theory

Albert Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory explains how observing and emulating others motivates humans. It assumes humans learn by watching and imitating others. Vicarious incidents allow people to be inspired by others' actions. Self-efficacy, or feeling you can accomplish something or attain your objectives, is crucial to understanding what motivates people in social cognitive theory. Self-regulation, mutual determinism, and observational learning help explain how social and cognitive variables shape behavior and drive.

Drive Reduction Theory

Based on Clark Hull, this theory states that individuals are motivated to reduce physical and emotional stress. When they feel that they don't have enough, they want to do something to relieve tension and restore equilibrium. The feedback hypothesis states that rewarding lower-drive activities makes them more likely to be repeated. The mechanical perspective of Drive Reduction Theory examines how biological and psychological systems impact behavior and maintain bodily equilibrium.

Motivation And Happiness

Motivation has a close link to happiness and mutually fueling the efforts of each other. If you have not been feeling quite up to it for some time now, it might be time to seek some external help. Zivanza is one of the most trusted places offering you a place to open up to certified expert psychologists. If you ever feel like talking to someone, remember to give us a call.


Contact us

Recent Posts

Recent Posts

Speak to our Expert

+971 52 167 7884

Consult our Doctors

Book Appointment