Motivation Meaning, Definition and Theories

Meaning Of Motivation

Motivation is derived from latin word ‘movere’ which means ‘to move’ or ‘to energize’ or *10 activate’. It is a process which arouse energy or drive in the individual to proceed in an activity. The activity is aroused, fulfills the need and reduced the drive of tension. Until it has not fulfilled the need, the drive is not reduced. Motivation Is often used to refer an Individual’s goal, need, wants, intentions and purpose.

For example, one is hungry, the need is food, and Its induced drive. When the food is searched and drive ‘hunger’ is reduced. All human behavior is motivated by something. Very little human behavior is completely random. Most human behavior is the goal directed. People do things for some reason to get certain result. The reason may not always seem logical or rational, but they do tend to be systematic and has behavior is relatively predictable. Above example shows that behavior is driven and pulled towards goals. They also show us that such goal-seeking behavior. This driving and pulling action leads toward persistent behavior directed towards a particular goal is term as motivation


  •  “A state or a set of the individual which disposes him for certain behavior and for seeking certain goals”. –Woodworth & Marquis
  •  “an affective connective factor which operates in determining the direction of an individual’s behavior towards an end or goal, consciously apprehended, or unconscious. –Drever
  •  “hundreds of every day words refer our motives, what striving desire need goal, aspiration, drive, wish, aim, ambition, hunger, thirst, love
    and revenge, to name a few. –Morgan

Cycle of Motivation

From ancient times motivation has been recognized as an important determinant of behavior. A girl wants person in to be A doctor. A man strives for power and politics. great pain wants relief from it. Another is badly hungry and he wants nothing but food. A is boy is lonely and he wants friends. A man committed murder and the police say has just that his motive was revenge. These are a few motives that play so important role in human behavior. They vary from simple basic wants such as complicated long-term motives, such as Hunger and sex to complicated long-term motives, such as political ambition or the desire to serve humanity.

cycle of motivation

Theories of Motivation


Instinct Theory of Motivation

In this theory people are stick to behavior in certain ways because of the evolutionary program For example: Animal’s seasonal migration. These animals do not learn to do this it is an inborn pattern of behavior. Intrinsic motivation comes on role when we act without knowing about its reward it is an action which you pursue for pure enjoyment of it. For example: Doing painting in your leisure time can give you feeling of enjoyment.

Drive Theory (Push Theory of Motivation)

According to this theory, all activity is directed towards tension reduction. The main limitation of this theory is that it fails to explain tension-arousal behavior in which people often engage. For example, you may miss your lunch in order to enjoy a special dinner. You may search the knowledge, new places, test your abilities or take risks of for “their own sake”.

The theory of Drives was proposed by Clark Hull 1943. The main elements of his theory are:
(a)  A biological need triggers a strong drive (D).
(b) This non-specific drive state energies random activity in the organism.
(c) When one of the random actions leads to a goal that reduces drive tension, the organism stops being active.
(d) The reinforcement (reduction of tension) strengthens the association between goal stimulus (S) and the successful response (R).

Incentive Theory (Pull Theory Of Motivation)

Incentive theory is based on behavior learning theory proposed by pavlov. The incentive theory suggests that people are motivated to do thing because the external reward. This story emphasized that an attractive incentive energizes us to do something, while and unattractive incentive discouraged to do something, For example a student is motivated by incentive of good grades and teacher is motivated by incentive of promotion. In contrast with the push of drive theory. Incentive theory are pull theory of motivation. We are pushed by our drive and pulled by incentive, the drive is the need and the incentive is the reward.

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