The quest to fulfill our needs drives most of our behaviors. An emotion is a subjective feeling that is accompanied by physical and behavioral changes. Some emotions can feel better than others and some are more intense than others. Some examples of emotions include sadness, passion, love, disgust, pride, and anger. Did you know the complexity of our emotions is what separates humans from animals?
There are four major theories of emotions:
James Lange theory
Schachter's two factor theory
Motivation is a set of factors that activate, direct, and maintain behavior, usually toward a goal. There are three categories of motivational theories: biological, psychosocial, and biopsychosocial.
- Instinct theories: Behavior is motivated by genetic survival.
- Drive reduction theory: Motivated behavior occurs as a mean to reduce physiological imbalances and return to homeostasis (a balanced state).
- Arousal theory: Organisms seek an optimal level of performance that maximizes their performance.
- Incentive theory: Our goals motivate us.
- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Lists five categories of motivated behaviors from basic to most complex. Maslow believed that we must progressively work through each level of need to reach a higher state of being. Self-actualization is the ultimate level where we reach our full potential.
Extrinsic Versus Intrinsic
Motivation can come from two places: outside and inside. Motivation that comes from the outside is called extrinsic motivation, and motivation that comes from the inside is intrinsic motivation.
Intrinsic motivation fuels your interests and passions, and drives you to do the things that you really enjoy and allow you to grow as a person. Some examples of intrinsic motivation are:
- Getting your degree in something you love.
- Learning how to play the piano.
- Learning how to dance salsa.
Extrinsic motivation is fueled by outer rewards or threats of punishment, like buying a new outfit because you want to look good to others, earning a material reward, or studying because you don't want to fail, not because you enjoy learning the material.
Lasting motivation only lasts when you feel it from inside (internally).