Monday, April 18, 2011

Theories and Theorists

Maslow's Hiearchy of Needs and Humanism
In 1943, Abraham Maslow proposed A Theory of Human Motivation.  Maslow's theory is a key component of humanism, a psychological ideal popular in the 1960s and 1970s.  Humanism focuses on the way humans gain emotions, beliefs, and values, as well as how they interact with one another (Ormrod, 2008, p. 458).  Ormrod's text explains how Maslow's hierarchy of needs attempts to explain the phenomena that motivates humans using the following five categories:
1. Physiological needs - food, water, rest, physical activity, air, etc. 
2. Safety needs - security within the environment; stability
3. The need for love and belonging - "fitting in" and "being a part" of a group or a society
4. Esteem needs - people strive for both self-esteem as well as the need for esteem, or positive feelings, from other people; if esteem needs are not met, an individual may feel as though they are less, or inferior, when compared to others
5. Need for self-actualization - "to develop and become all they are capable of becoming"
                                                                                                                                                    (Ormrod, 2008, p. 458- 459)

The Drive Theory
This theory suggests that all organisms are motivated by a drive to maintain a physiological state of balance.  The drive is a need within an organism that is vital to the organism's "optimal functioning" (Ormrod, 2008, p. 455) level.  When there is a drive present, the organism acts to reduce the need and regain homeostasis.  The following researchers contributed to the theory of drive:  Sigmund Freud, Clark Hull, and Robert Woodworth. (Ormrod, 2008, p. 455-457).

Motivation in relation to the Theory of Arousal
Arousal refers to the "level of internal energy an organism is currently experiencing" (Ormrod, 2008, p. 457).  When the level of arousal is low, an individual is in a relaxed state such as sleep.  High levels of arousal are related to increased energy levels and, in extreme circumstances, even anxiety.  Heron's study in 1957 concluded that humans have a need for stimulation and seek to maintain an optimal state of arousal.  "Too little stimulation is unpleasant, but so is too much," according to Ormrod (2008, pp. 457-458).


Beth A. Sasser said...

I use Maslow myself! Grin.


Sarah said...

Great blog with lots of new, interesting information regarding motivation! Love the colors!!

Eshan said...

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