Theories of Motivation and Emotion


After reading the required resources, answer the following questions:

  1. Compare the six (6) major theories of motivation.
  2. Distinguish between the psychological and the biopsychosocial theories of motivation.
  3. Differentiate between extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.
  4. Contrast the three theories of emotion.
  5. What is your point of view about the theories of motivation and emotion? Explain your answer.


Remember to review the academic expectations for your submission.

Submission Instructions:

  • Submit your initial discussion post by 11:59 PM Eastern on Wednesday.
  • Contribute a minimum of 150 words for your initial post. It should include at least one academic source, formatted and cite in APA.
  • Respond to at least two of your classmates’ discussion posts by 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday. Ask a question, and provide a different viewpoint.

Contrast the three theories of emotion

1. Comparison of the Six Major Theories of Motivation:

a. Instinct Theory: This theory posits that behaviors are driven by innate instincts programmed into organisms. Instincts are fixed patterns of behavior that are unlearned and universal among a species.

b. Drive Reduction Theory: Developed by Clark Hull and further expanded by others like Kenneth Spence, this theory suggests that physiological needs create internal tensions or drives that motivate organisms to satisfy those needs and return to a state of homeostasis.

c. Arousal Theory: This theory suggests that individuals are motivated to maintain an optimal level of arousal or alertness. People seek to increase arousal when it’s too low and decrease it when it’s too high.

d. Incentive Theory: According to this theory, behavior is motivated by external stimuli or rewards. Individuals are driven to pursue rewards or avoid punishments.

e. Cognitive Theory: Cognitive theorists like Albert Bandura emphasize the role of mental processes such as beliefs, expectations, and perceptions in motivating behavior. Individuals are motivated by their interpretations of events and their expectations of outcomes.

f. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Abraham Maslow proposed that human needs can be organized into a hierarchy ranging from basic physiological needs to higher-level needs for self-actualization. Individuals are motivated to fulfill needs at each level, with higher-level needs becoming motivating once lower-level needs are satisfied.

2. Psychological vs. Biopsychosocial Theories of Motivation:

Psychological theories focus solely on psychological factors such as instincts, drives, and cognitive processes to explain motivation. Biopsychosocial theories, on the other hand, take a more holistic approach by incorporating biological, psychological, and social factors in understanding motivation. Biopsychosocial theories recognize the interplay between biological processes (like brain chemistry), psychological factors (such as beliefs and attitudes), and social influences (like culture and social norms) in shaping motivation.

3. Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic Motivation:

Extrinsic motivation refers to behavior driven by external rewards or punishments, such as money, praise, or grades. Intrinsic motivation, on the other hand, involves engaging in behavior for its own sake because it is inherently satisfying or enjoyable. Intrinsic motivation is driven by internal factors like personal interest, curiosity, or a sense of competence.

4. Contrast of the Three Theories of Emotion:

a. James-Lange Theory: This theory proposes that emotions arise from physiological arousal. According to James and Lange, individuals first experience physiological changes, which then lead to the experience of emotion.

b. Cannon-Bard Theory: Contrary to the James-Lange theory, Cannon and Bard argued that physiological arousal and emotional experience occur simultaneously, rather than one causing the other. They proposed that the thalamus sends signals to both the cortex (where conscious emotional experience occurs) and the autonomic nervous system (which produces physiological arousal) simultaneously in response to a stimulus.

c. Schachter-Singer Two-Factor Theory: This theory suggests that emotions involve both physiological arousal and cognitive appraisal. According to Schachter and Singer, individuals interpret their physiological arousal within the context of the situation to label the emotion they are experiencing.

5. Personal Point of View:

I believe that the theories of motivation and emotion offer valuable frameworks for understanding human behavior, but they are not exhaustive or mutually exclusive. Instead, they complement each other and can be integrated to provide a more comprehensive understanding of what drives human actions and experiences. Additionally, I think it’s important to consider individual differences and cultural variations in motivation and emotion, as these factors can significantly influence how people perceive and respond to motivational stimuli and emotional experiences.

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