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Motivation Theories – When the Going Gets Tough…

According to motivation theories, motivation literally means enthusiasm or drive. It’s the driving force that keeps people pushing through life even when the going gets tough at times. The root of motivation is desire. It’s the desire that drives you to value things and to identify what’s relevant or irrelevant.

You can see the good results of motivation from people who are already successful in their life. Moreover, people who are poorly motivated are those who suffer from the so-called inferiority complex. People who suffer from an inferiority complex are those who aren’t confident of themselves.

According to psychologists and their theories of motivation, you have different kinds of desires. And all these desires are attributable to your desire to stay alive. In essence, motivation is more involved with a man’s emotions. It implies a positive feeling that keeps people from doing things. These people who are highly motivated are described as enthusiastic individuals. They are optimistic – they don’t give up easily in reaching for their goals.

In layman’s terms, motivation pertains to determination. But if you would delve deeper into the actual theories on the meaning of motivation, it’s beyond that. Motivation can be understood completely when you study the different factors that affect it. Hence, this brings you down to the study of the various kinds of motivation theories.

1. Maslow’s Theory –

Abraham Maslow is known for his humanistic theory. This theory of motivation states that the behavior of humans can be understood by means of their needs. Humans act depending on what they need. He devised the so-called hierarchy of needs. The needs of all individuals are distinguished into four main classifications namely: physiological needs, safety needs, belonging needs, esteem needs, self-actualization and deficit needs.

2. Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory –

This theory is devised by Frederick Herzberg. According to Herzberg, human motivation is influenced by two factors. These two factors are the hygiene factors and the motivation factors. These factors greatly influence a person’s motivation in the workplace especially when it comes to job satisfaction. Such factors are fringe benefits, relationship with coworkers, physical environment, challenge, and many more.

3. Alderfer’s ERG Theory –

Clayton Aldefer has expanded the humanistic theory of Maslow. This results in the theory of motivation called ERG theory. ERG theory deals with the human needs that affect any person’s behavior and way of thinking. The ERG stands for Existence, Relatedness and Growth. Existence includes the physiological and safety needs of people. The Relatedness pertains to the need of people for love and sense of worth while the Growth in this theory is all about the need of humans for self-actualization.

4. Cognitive Dissonance –

This is the motivation theory proposed by Leon Festinger. This theory discusses that a person is dissatisfied because of unsuitability between two ideas. For instance, you want to buy a perfume, but there’s the tendency that you feel that this perfume is appropriate or inappropriate for you.

5. Self-determination Theory –

This theory is conceptualized by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan. This focuses on the concept that humans are motivated because of the encouragement they get from their environment. This theory has identified that the factors that has a great effect to the way people behave is self-sufficiency, positive feedback from people around them and the need for belongingness.

6. Achievement Theory –

This theory is states that humans have three basic needs that greatly affect their behavior. These needs are the need for accomplishment, authority and attachment.

7. Goal-setting Theory –

This is all about the energy of an individual to reach his goals. The accomplishment of his goals is shaped by three important elements such as convenience, problems associated with achieving your goals and the accurateness of the goal itself.