What drives human behaviour?
What makes us want to get up in the morning? What makes us go to work? What motivates us to to seek relationships? Some of the following theories may provide some insight into what makes us tick..
The Drive theory of human motivation can firstly be considered. According to this view, biological and genetic drives are the cause of motivation. This theory proposes that the underlying reasons for human motivation is the motivation to survive. This claim means that all humans have the same motivations due to our similar biological programming. This theory promotes that the root of all motivations is the motivation to survive. For example, McDougal proposed two drives; primary drives which deals with the primal needs of the individual (sex, thirst, hunger) and secondary drives which deals with the social drives of the individual. This can be compared to Hull’s drive reduction theory. That the reduction of drive is what motivates us. E.g. a mother may be motivated to provide food for her children and will want to ensure that they are fed- this relates to the need to promote survival. On the other hand one could argue that such behaviours could be learnt- that the reason why the mother feels the need to feed her children is because she has learned this behaviour from others. In addition not all people are driven by instinctual urges to protect and promote survival. For example, not all mothers take good care of their children.- therefore the instinct theory does not take individual differences into account.
According to McClelland’s theory we all have a need tor achievement, a need for affiliation and a need or power. According to McClelland these motivators are learned and regardless of our gender or culture we all have these motivational drives. The problem with this theory is that there are individual differences-not all people are driven by power, achievement or affiliation. Alternatively the ‘Drive reduction theory’ could be considered. According to Hull, humans have biological states that motivate us. These states are ‘arousal’ or ‘tension’ which humans are driven to reduce. For example, when some people are feeling tired, they may feel motivated to sleep. Whilst Hull’s view similar to the instinct view of human motivation can explain how humans may respond to their biological urges it doesn’t really address individual differences.
However we can could consider a more behavioural approach to human motivation. For example, people may simply be more motivated to do things as they are likely to be rewarded.