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Motivation And Reinforcement On Performance Essay

1475 words - 6 pages

PAGE PAGE 1 Motivation and Reinforcement
Running head: Motivation and ReinforcementMotivation and Reinforcement on PerformanceKimball K. YamasakiVirginia Military InstituteAbstractA simple game was given to volunteer cadets at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). In order to measure motivation, half were offered more incentives if they produced a certain high, but obtainable, score. Results indicate that offering extra incentives for a reaching a higher, more difficult, score did play a large part in the performance of the cadets in this game. The group with incentives had a mean score that was 45% higher than the group without incentives. The results are interpreted in the context of the motivation and incentives theory, as well as the reinforcement theory (drive reduction theory).Motivation and ReinforcementMotivation plays a large part in our behavior. In psychology, motivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of behavior (Atkinson 1965). Motivation is having the desire and willingness to do something. The theories of motivation address multiple issues of behavior. The majority focuses on learning and drive reductions or the need to reduce motivational needs. The Motivational theory comes in many forms (Peters 1965).In the behavioral side of motivation Pavlov would state that biological responses to associated stimuli energizes and directs behavior under classical conditioning. Operant learning states the primary factor is consequences: the application of reinforcers provides incentives to increase behavior; the application of punishers provides disincentives that result in a decrease in behavior (Tapp 1969). In the aspect of this study, operant conditioning plays more of a role because of the application of reinforcers or incentives.The cognitive view of motivation focuses on the cognitive dissonance theory. This is similar to disequilibrium in Piaget's theory of cognitive development. This theory was developed by Leon Festinger (1957) and states that when there is a discrepancy between two beliefs, two actions, or between a belief and an action, we will act to resolve conflict and discrepancies. The implication is that if we can create the appropriate amount of disequilibrium, this will in turn motivate the individual into changing his or her behavior. Then this newly developed behavior will lead to a change in thought patterns which in turn leads to more change in behavior (Coger C.N., & Appley M.H. 1964).The psychoanalytic theories of motivation start with Freud (1990). Freud suggested that all action or behavior is a result of internal, biological instincts that are classified into two categories: life (sexual) and death (aggression). However other psychoanalysts believe that interpersonal and social relationships are the fundamental, such as Erikson (1993) and Sullivan (1968). Adler (1989) proposed power, while Jung (1953, 1997) proposed temperament and search for soul or personal meaningfulness...

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