Psychology Key Theories of Motivation Term Paper

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¶ … Motivation


The work Robert E. Franken entitled: "Human Motivation" describes two paths that follow from hostile feelings: (1) adaptive; and (2) maladaptive. The model presented by Franken illustrates the two paths that might be taken resulting from hostile feelings derived from frustrated needs of an individual. Two cases will be examined in order to understand the progression of each of these pathways. The first case examined is an individual named Elizabeth who has lived a difficult life in a low-income poverty level household. Elizabeth's parents are caring and supportive and are both employed full-time although they are both in low-paying jobs. Elizabeth's mother and father are positive individuals and serve as good role models. Elizabeth's parents do not drink or use drugs and take the responsibility of raising their children seriously and encourage achievement in education. Television viewing is censored by Elizabeth's parents and they keep track of who Elizabeth associates with, where Elizabeth goes with her friends, and have rules concerning bedtime and curfew which are enforced.

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The second case examined is a girl named Sally who is also from a low-income poverty level household however, in Sally's case her parents are alcoholics and use drugs and are abusive toward Sally and her siblings. Neither of Sally's parents has a good work ethic and they are constantly changing jobs or unemployed because of losing their jobs relating to problems with alcohol and drugs. Sally's parents do not censor Sally's television viewing, they do not keep track of who Sally is associating with or where Sally is going with her friends and do not encourage Sally in her education. There is no set bedtime at Sally's home and curfews are erratic decisions depending on the mood of the moment. Furthermore, Sally's parents often have friends late into the night making it hard for Sally to study or to even sleep on a regular schedule. The hardest thing for Sally is that her parents tend to become very hostile towards her and toward the world-at-large in their frustration with their difficulties in life.

Term Paper on Psychology Key Theories of Motivation Assignment

Psychological control is often a variable in the relationship of parents and children in which maladaptive hostility is the path which has been followed. The work of Soenens et al. (2005) relates that psychological control "refers to parental behaviors that intrude upon children's thoughts and feelings, and has been characterized as typical of parents who excessively use manipulative parenting techniques such as guilt-induction and love withdrawal." Psychological control is believed to "control adolescent's development towards autonomy, infers with the acquisition of a secure sense of self and leads to disturbances in psychosocial functioning." (Soenens, et al., 2005; p,.1) Other negative outcomes of psychological control include depression and low self-esteem. (Soenens, et al., 2005; paraphrased) in terms of the community and individual involvement the work of Michalik, et al. (2007) entitled: "Longitudinal Relations among Parental Emotional Expressivity and Sympathy and Prosocial Behavior in Adolescence" published in the Social Development journal (2007) relates that parental expression of emotion "may also be one of the ways that parents contribute to children's prosocial development. Parental emotional expressivity generally is linked to the quality of the parent-adolescent relationships and adolescent's adjustment." (Machalik et al., 2007; p.1) the study reported in the work of Michalik et al. (2007) reveals:" if the emotions are not directed at the child, the child is relatively unlikely to become over-aroused and experience distress in the situation, and more likely to process relevant information. In contrast, the observed measure of parental negative expressivity reflected emotion observed in the parent-child interaction and likely included frustration with, and disapproval of, the child. Exposure to hostile negative emotion directed at the child may cause overarousal, a self-focus, and failure to process information about others' emotions and needs in evocative contexts."


Chapter 9 states in the section entitled: "Positive Emotional States and Evolution" that there is consideration evidence which "indicates a link between positive emotional states and physical health. One important implication of this finding is that such things as optimism, positive illusions, meaning and humor all follow a common pathway to health by creating a positive emotional state." (Chapter 9) Stated as a "major moderator of stress" is 'coping'. The theory of Epstein states that those who are able to effectively deal with stress are more constructive thinkers during times of difficulty while those who experience instead of coping with stress are destructive thinkers. The Constructive Thinking Inventory (CTI) is stated to contain "a global measure of coping, plus six specific measures or scales: (1) emotional coping; (2) behavioral coping; (3) categorical thinking; (4) superstitious thinking; (5) naive optimism; and (6) negative thinking. (Chapter 9) Researchers believe that destructive thinking is early emergent in life and arises from parental withdrawal of love after a poor performance of some type. Destructive fear settles with the child's manner of thinking concerning their own capacities and develops into a self-destructive and negative view in terms of outcomes. This negative destructive thinking style can be defined as a fear-based thinking in the individual who 'expects' failure on their part. Social support is highly determinative in this area of thinking style development. A recent work published in the Science Daily - 'Science News' relates: "there are reasons to believe that the brain has evolved mechanisms that detect things in the environment that signal threat. One of those signals is the look of fear." (Science Daily, 2002) Another article published in the Science News (2002) relates that that experiences of the individual alters the individuals' perceptions of emotion. Stated specifically is that children who are physically abused "develop a broader category of anger because it's adaptive for them to notice when adults are angry." (Science Daily, 2002) Additionally stated is that while this sensitivity "could be protective in a threatening environment, it could be disadvantageous in others. An abused child might over-interpret a social cue, such as an accidental ball toss during recess, to be hostile. As a result, the child might try to protect himself by lashing out, calling names or exhibiting other inappropriate behaviors." (Science Daily, 2002) Fear may be either positively applied by the individual for example in the case of the individual who senses a reason to fear in a situation and thereby avoids danger. This type of fear development is healthy and protective. However as noted in the Science Daily article just presented, the child who has negative fear perceptions derived from a situation in which fear would not normally exist reacts behaviorally to that fear in an inappropriate manner within the social setting.


Motivation has been defined as an "...internal state or conditions that activates behavior and gives it direction...desire or want that energizes and directs goal-oriented behavior...influence of needs and desires on the intensity and direction of behavior..." (Huitt, 2001) Huitt relates that Franken (1994) added a component in the definition of motivation and stated that motivation is: "...the arousal, direction and persistence of behavior." (2001) the assumption is made by most motivation theorist that motivation is involved in the performance of all learned responses..." (Huitt, 2001) in other words, those changes in behavior are explained better through use of principles of environmental/ecological influences, perception, memory, cognitive development, emotion, explanatory style, or personality..." (Huitt, 2001) it has been identified in research that motivation is derived either 'extrinsically' or 'intrinsically', or in others words the individual is motivation due to 'outside' or 'inside' influences. The sources of motivational needs of the individual can be divided into categories of: (1) behavioral; () social; (3) biological; (4) cognitive; (5) affective; (6) conative; and (7) spiritual. Extrinsic motivation and Intrinsic motivation are linked to social cognition motivators however, extrinsic motivation is affected by operant conditioning while intrinsic motivation is affected by cognition, affect and conation motivators. The work of Maslow, in what he has termed the 'hierarchy of needs' in what was an attempt on his part of synthesize a large volume of research relating to human motivation. The hierarchy of human needs is based on two categories: (1) deficiency needs; and (2) growth needs. It is posited by Maslow that each lower needs requires to be met before moving to the higher level needs. There four levels in to hierarchy which are: (1) physiological; (2) safety; (3) belongingness and love; and (4) esteem to achieve. The individual I sonly able to act upon the needs of growth when the deficiency needs have been met. In order for the individual to reach a level of self-actualization the individuals must have their lower level needs met. The self-actualizing individual is one who has an efficient perception of reality and is open to new experiences and can experience without dream. The self-actualizing individual is not bound by conviction, nor rebellious for the sake of being rebellious. The self-actualizing person are internally motivated for growth and development in realizing their own potentialities. The following are… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Psychology Key Theories of Motivation.  (2007, December 13).  Retrieved June 7, 2020, from

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"Psychology Key Theories of Motivation."  December 13, 2007.  Accessed June 7, 2020.