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Compare And Contrast Two Theories Of Motivation Explaining How The Two Approaches May Differ And How They May Be Similar

1353 words - 5 pages

The subject of motivation can be approached from a number of perspectives. Some theories approach motivation as coming from within a person (Drive Theory), whereas other theories approach motivation as coming from within the person (Incentive Theory). Compare and contrast two theories of motivation explaining how the two approaches may differ and how they may be similar. Does one theory seem to explain motivation better than the other? Support your argument with examples from each theory.Motives are reasons people hold for initiating and performing voluntary behaviour. They indicate the meaning of human behaviour, and they may reveal a person's values. Motives often affect a person's perception, cognition, emotion and behaviour. A person who is highly motivated to gain social status, for example, may be observant of marks of social distinction, may think often about issues that pertain to wealth, may especially enjoy the feeling of self-importance, and may behave in ways associated with upper-class status . By defining motives as reasons, we do not imply that motives are primarily cognitive; any more than establishing a motive for crime in a court of law requires conscious premeditation. A person can have a reason to behave, and thus a motive, without necessarily being aware of it.Aristotle (330BCE/1953) divided motives into ends versus means on the basis of the individual's purpose for performing the behaviour. Ends are indicated when a person engages in a behaviour for no apparent reason other than that is what the person desires to do. Examples include a child playing with a ball for physical exercise and a student reading a book out of curiosity. In each of these examples, the goal is desired for its own sake. In contrast, means are indicated when a person performs an act for its instrumental value. Examples include a professional athlete who plays football for a salary and a student who studies to improve a grade. In each of these examples, the goal (salary, grade) is desired because it produces something else. A person might seek a salary, for example, as a means of enhancing social status, or high grades as a means of pleasing a parent.An analysis of a person's behaviour may identify a series of instrumental acts followed by one or more end goals that complete a "behaviour chain". For example, a person may take a second job for the extra salary (instrumental motive), desire the extra salary to purchase health insurance (instrumental motive), and desire the health insurance to benefit their family (end goal). This example of a behaviour chain shows three behaviours, two motivated by instrumental goals and a third by an end goal. Logically, only goals that are desired for their own sake can serve as the "end" of a purposeful explanation of a series of human acts (Reiss, 2003).The number of instrumental motives is, for all practical purposes, unlimited. Only imagination limits how may different ways individuals can pursue the end goal of,...

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