It’s hard to understand psychology, especially when it comes to motivation. So in this post, I’ll talk about the different theories of various psychologists about human motivation.
There are a few motivation theories out there.
Still, four popular views can lead us to the answer to how and why people get motivated. This includes the hierarchy theory, motivation-hygiene theory, goal setting, valence theory, and reinforcement theory. Each approach has different explanations concerning motivation that is important to know. It also includes the highlights of Carl Jung’s insights about introverts.
Different thinkers have tried to find the reason and processes for what motivates people to work. Due to their unique approaches, they came up with relative theories that discuss the factors concerning motivation.
What You Will Learn on This Page
Hierarchy of needs, a motivation theory by Maslow
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory claims that we are motivated to satisfy the needs at each level before moving on to the next. In this hierarchy, the lowest level of requirements, which are physiological and safety, must be met before a person can move on to other, higher needs.
The five levels are:
- Physiological Needs. The need for food and shelter must be satisfied before you can move on to the next level.
- Safety Needs. It is necessary to feel safe and secure to have any chance at fulfilling your other needs.
- Love/Belonging Needs. It is the need for friends, family, and close relationships to feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself.
- Esteem Needs. It is the need for self-respect, confidence, and recognition from others to feel good about yourself.
- Self-Actualization Needs. The need for personal growth and self-fulfillment only happens when you’ve accomplished all four levels below it!
Maslow’s theory is often described as a pyramid with the more basic needs at the bottom and higher-level needs at the top.
Motivation hygiene theory by Herzberg
Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory is that there are two types of motivators.
- Hygiene factors, which are things that keep you on task and in a good mood, and;
- Motivational factors make you feel inspired to do your best work.
Herzberg proposed that satisfaction is more closely related to hygiene than motivational factors. Hygiene factors are environmental elements such as the following.
- Job security
- Workplace safety.
He also found that most people will be satisfied with these things so long as they’re in place.
However, he also found that when a person is dissatisfied with these factors in their work environment. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be motivated to do better work. They just won’t be happy doing it.
For example, suppose your salary isn’t enough, yet you have excellent benefits and a fantastic boss who treats you well. In that case, you may still feel unmotivated at work because of a lack of motivation rather than dissatisfaction with your job environment.
Moreover, the factors that have the most significant impact on job satisfaction are:
- Recognition for work done
- Good relationships with co-workers
- A sense of achievement at work
These all fall under motivational factors.
Goal setting or task motivation theory by Locke and Latham
Edwin Locke and Gary Latham created this theory. It’s based on the idea that setting specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-related (SMART) goals help us be more motivated to achieve them.
An example of this would be if you wanted to lose weight. Your goal could be: “I want to lose 20 pounds” instead of “I want to get healthy.”
This is because the first goal is specific (20 pounds).
- Measurable. How much do I need to weigh?
- Attainable. Do I have the ability to get there?
- Relevant. What does this mean for my life?
- Time-related. When do I want it?
The theory proposes that three factors are involved in this process.
- The desire or need to achieve a goal
- The ability to attain the goal
- The feedback about progress toward the goal
This theory is critical because it explains why humans behave this way and continue behaving this way throughout their lives. It helps them achieve their goals, which are often related to survival and prevents them from being distracted by other unrelated tasks or activities.
Expectancy or valence theory by Vroom
Expectancy theory is a motivation theory that states that employees are motivated by the anticipation of a reward.
This is one of the earliest theories of motivation, and Victor Vroom developed it in 1964. His model has three components, which are:
Expectancy is the employee’s belief in their own ability to perform a task. If you think you can do something, then you’ll be motivated to do it.
Valence is how much that task means to you. The more valuable an outcome is to you, the more likely you’ll be motivated by it.
Reinforcement is any reward or punishment that affects your behavior in the future. Rewards are positive reinforcements, and punishments are negative reinforcements.
To put it simply, the idea behind it is this.
If you’re working hard at something and expect it will pay off, that will make you feel good about yourself and more likely to keep going.
But if you don’t think much of what you’re doing, or if you don’t believe it will lead anywhere, that will make you feel bad and want to stop working.
In other words, when someone says they’re motivated by “expectations,” they say they believe their effort will be rewarded somehow. Make them feel good about themselves, so they keep going!
Highlight: Carl Jung’s Theory about Introverts
Jung is one of the earliest thinkers that psychologically defined and explained the terms introvert and extrovert.
According to him, the personality has four pairs, which are all opposing. These are the following.
- Extroversion and Introversion
- Sensing and Intuition
- Thinking and Feeling
- Judging and Perceiving
He stated that these types of personalities are all present in everyone, but there is one dominant in each of us. But why do we keep talking about Carl Jung, and what does it have to do with motivation?
The highest level to satisfy our needs. If you’ll go back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the peak level is the self-actualization needs. Jung(1923) believed that we’d achieve self-realization once there’s a balance between introversion and extroversion.
Let’s look at today’s perspective on introversion and extroversion. It is concentrated on analyzing the behaviors and traits of humans.
But when it comes to Jung’s vision. It focuses on the objectivity and subjectivity of the world.
- For Jung, extroverts view the world as objective, while;
- Introverts view the world as subjective.
Due to this theory of psychological functions by Jung, a tool called Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was developed.
This tool aims to self-evaluate one’s personality. Through this assessment, individuals can assign themselves which of the four characters best describes them.
It’s a psychology thing!
One of the complicated yet interesting areas to talk about is psychology. It’s exciting to talk about motivation and how it occurs in our system.
Thanks to these early thinkers, we’ve found tangible explanations for why and how we feel motivated in our workplace and life.
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, we all have a common denominator. And that’s our motivation!
We hope this post gave you information about the different theories about motivation, and we look forward to reviewing other modern perspectives about introverts and motivation!
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