Motivation – Definition, Meaning & Types

Definitions: The following three definitions cover all aspects of the meaning of the term ‘Motivation’. ‘Motivation is driving force which stimulates an individual to initiate and sustain a behavior.’ ‘Motivation is a biological, social or psychological state that drives a person towards a specific action’. ‘Motivation is a desire that fuels an individual to perform…

Definitions: The following three definitions cover all aspects of the meaning of the term ‘Motivation’.

‘Motivation is driving force which stimulates an individual to initiate and sustain a behavior.’

‘Motivation is a biological, social or psychological state that drives a person towards a specific action’.

‘Motivation is a desire that fuels an individual to perform or continue an action based on needs and wants of the individual’.

Meaning: Human beings engage in various actions. For example, a student studies his books, a man is striving to get a job, a man is taking an injured from a road to a hospital to save his life, a person is eating a meal and so on. Behind each of these actions, there is a driving force which compels the person to engage in that action – which is called motivation. For example, a student studies his books because he wants to get high marks in his exam. The aim of getting high marks is a motivation for the students studying his books. Similarly, a man is striving to get a Job because he wants to earn money – the aim of earning money is a motivation for the main striving to get a job.

Every action has an aim. Every action has certain good and bad consequences. These aims, rewards or punishments serve as a motivation for engaging in an action. These aims, rewards or punishments create a driving force which stimulates an individual towards an action. For example, ‘hunger’ is a biological drive that compels an individual to eat some food. Similarly, ‘relief from pain’ is a driving force compelling an individual to act to relieve the pain, e.g. by eating medicine etc.

Apart from the above naturally existing motivation, a purposeful motivation is also offered to fuel an individual to initiate and sustain certain behavior. For example, incentives, bonuses, allowances, awards, appreciation certificates, prizes, promotion and demotion; and rewards and punishments are purposeful motivation mostly offered at an organization to improve the efficiency and productivity of its employees.

Similarly, merit certificates, distinction certificates, silver and gold medals, achievement-shields, and other prizes are designed at educational institutions to motivate students towards their studies. 

Being motivated means to have an impetus or inspiration to behave actively towards a goal.

   MOTIVATION & MOTIVES

The terms ‘Motivation’ and ‘Motives’ are sometimes used interchangeably but there is a difference in meaning of both terms. ‘Motivation’ is a generalized term while ‘motive’ is a specific term. A motive is an agent of motivation. A motive is a goal, an aim, ambition, a need, a want, an interest, or a desire that motivates an individual towards an action. On the other hand, the term ‘Motivation’ refers to the process in which motives motivates an individual towards an action.

   TYPES OF MOTIVATION

There are two major types of Motivation.

  1. Intrinsic Motivation
  2. Extrinsic Motivation

   Intrinsic Motivation

It is a type of motivation in which the motives originates from inside the human body. It refers to the internal driving state stimulating an individual to behave in a specific way.

It includes all biological drives such as hunger, thirst, sleep, relief from pain, temperature regulation, need for oxygen and so on. For example, the hunger is driving force coming from inside to compel an individual to eat food. Similarly, after doing all day activities, the individual feels tired and requires a good amount of sleep to relax for the next day. Our curiosity, internal fears, psychological needs and desires also serve as intrinsic motives.

It includes the following motives:

  • Biological drives: e.g. hunger, thirst, relief from pain, sleep, temperature regulation,
  • Curiosity
  • Internal fears e.g. fear of rejection
  • Psychological needs e.g. need for being accepted and appreciated by others.
  • Internal desires e.g. desire to gain power or dominance.

   Extrinsic Motivation

In this type of motivation, the motives originate from outside the human body. The driving force exists outside the human body that stimulates the individual for certain actions. Though these motives are external to the human body but they have a rewarding or punishing impact for the individual.

It includes the following motives:

  • Incentives
  • Bonuses
  • Allowances
  • Promotion and demotion
  • Rewards and punishment
  • Merit and Distinction certificates
  • Appreciation certificates and prizes

  OTHER TYPES OF MOTIVATION – POSITIVE & NEGATIVE INCENTIVES

The Incentive Theory has given following two types of Motivation:

  1. Motivation by Positive Incentives
  2. Motivation by Negative Incentives

Incentives are external rewards and punishment which stimulate an individual towards an action.

   Motivation by Positive Incentives

It is a type of motivation that is resulted from positive incentives – rewards. The positive incentives give a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. These are rewards. For example, Increase in pay, promotion in job, car-bonus, house-allotment, achievement awards and other benefits offered to employees at an organization.

   Motivation by Negative Incentives

It is a type of motivation that is resulted from negative incentives – punishments. The negative incentives give a feeling of pain, displeasure or dissatisfaction. These are punishments. It includes demotion in job, penalties and fines imposed on employees due to their low performance.

 

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Author: Asaan Hai

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