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PSYC3020 Applications > Motivation > Flashcards

Flashcards in Motivation Deck (20)
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What is Motivation?

• The force that energises people to act, directs
behaviour toward the attainment of specific
goals, and sustains the effort expended in
reaching those goals (Steers & Porter, 1991)
• Easy to define
• But very complex construct
• Hard to definitively measure
• Many theories and views


Self-regulation or self-control (possibly the core of motivation) is:

“… the capacity for altering one’s own
responses, especially to bring them into line
with standards such as ideals, values, morals,
and social expectations, and to support the
pursuit of long-terms goals.”
(Baumeister et al, 2007, p. 351)
“… the self’s capacity for altering its behaviors”
(Baumeister & Vohs, 2007, p. 115)


What do we need in order to enhance self-regulation
and facilitate goal attainment?

3.Monitoring and evaluation process
4.Change process
5.Feedback mechanism
• These are the central processes found in all
models of self-regulation and goal striving


Types of motivation theories

1. Need theories
2. Behaviour-based theories
3. Cognitive theories
4. Goal theory


Need theories of Motivation

• Biological and psychological needs drive behaviour
1. Biological needs
• E.g. The need for food and the drive of hunger
2. Psychological needs
• E.g. Need for human contact and interaction


Maslow’s Need Theory

• Arranges needs in a hierarchy from lower, more basic
needs to higher-order needs, with the idea that the
lower needs have to be met before higher one can be
• (Maslow, 1965)

Esteem Needs
Social Needs
Safety Needs
Physiological Needs

Top 3 are growth needs, bottom 2 deficiency needs

• Dominated work motivation for many
1. Intuitively satisfying – but needs does not group
together in the ways predicted
2. Theory could not predict when particular needs
would be important
3. No clear re’lship between needs and behv’r
4. The need construct is not precise
5. Need as biological phenomenon is problematic
6. Ignores ability to construct own perceptions of
need and how to meet them

Maslow’s need hierarchy theory
• Highly influential in applied settings
• Useful framework
• Limited empirical evidence
• But – the deficiency/growth distinction very
useful in a number of areas in terms of thinking
about the relative configurations of
deficiency/growth dimensions e.g. happiness
and money


Alderfer’s ERG Theory (1972)

• Collapses Maslow’s five categories into three
1. Growth Needs
2. Relatedness Needs
3. Existence Needs


Money and Happiness

Yes, money can buy some happiness!
• Robert Cummins: Australian Unity Wellbeing
Index (2010)
• Sample size: 2,000 Australians
• Composite scores assessing ratings for satisfaction with many different areas of life.
• Rate Personal Well-being “0 to 100”
• Average score about 75/100 on PWBI

Low levels of income are significantly related to low PWBI – but once
lower level needs met it’s harder to get more happy


Herzberg’s Two-factor Theory

• Hygiene Factors and Motivators
• Hygiene factors occur in the working
• People complain if lacking
• But in themselves insufficient to motivate
• Do not lead to high performance
• Motivators – opportunities for professional
advancement and personal development
• People need these to flourish at work


Hygiene Factors

Co. policy & administration Supervision
Work itself
Working conditions



Recognition for achievement
Interpersonal relations
Salary – can be a motivator


Needs Theories: Achievement motivation theory (McClelland, 1961)

Achievement motivation theory: Three needs are
central to worker motivation (McClelland, 1961):
1. Need for achievement: Drive to succeed and
get the job done
2. Need for power: Desire to direct and control
the activities of others and be influential
3. Need for affiliation: Desire to be liked and
accepted by others

Achievement motivation theory has been
well tested and has led to useful interventions:
1. Programs that match workers’ motivational
profiles to particular jobs
2. Achievement training programs


Cognitive and Behavioural Theories

1. Expectancy Theory
2. Goal Theory


Expectancy Theory: (Vroom, 1964)

The “what’s in it for me?” theory!
• This is a cognitive and rational theory of
• Need theories focus on individual's past and
their needs and drives.
• Expectancy theory centres on outcomes.


Three Parts to Expectancy Theory

1. Expectancy (probability)
• If I tried can I do it?
2. Instrumentality (probability)
• Will doing it be worthwhile?
3. Valence (subjective value)
• Do I value the outcome?

Simplistic overview:
“If I work hard, I’ll do a good job” x
“Good work will produce rewards” x
“I value the rewards I’ll get”=
“I’m motivated to work hard”


Pros and Cons of Expectancy Theory

• Generally supported by empirical evidence
• But - no focus on why individuals value outcome
• Only concerned with how much
• Expectancy theory only focuses on the extrinsic
motivations and the conscious decisions people
• Much behaviour is intrinsically motivated and
stimulated by factors outside of conscious awareness
• May not hold for complex task/goals


Behaviour-Based Theories

• Focus on behavioural outcomes as critical to
affecting work motivation
• Three types
1. Reinforcement theory
2. Extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation
3. Goal-setting theory


Reinforcement theory:

Behaviour is motivated by its consequences (e.g., positive reinforcers e.g., getting a bonus and negative reinforcers e.g. threat of the sack).
• Reinforcement is a better motivational
technique than punishment because the goal of
punishment is to stop unwanted behaviours,
whereas reinforcement strengthens the
motivations to perform a desired behaviour


Positive and Negative Reinforcement

• Positive Reinforcement
• Something nice for performing for a behaviour.
• Negative Reinforcement
• Something unpleasant stops when you perform a
behaviour (nagging!).
• Punishment
• Something unpleasant for performing a behaviour


Reinforcement Schedules

• Fixed interval (set time)
• Regular pay checks given to employees.
• Variable interval (varying time)
• Praise from boss
• Fixed ratio (set number of actions)
• Bonus after reaching set sales target
• Variable ratio (unpredictably varying number of
• Poker machines, email