Motivation and Emotion

These are some definitions and descriptions which I consider significant.

I state these as if I understood the significance and as if I accept them to be valid.

Motivation is factors that DIRECT and ENERGIZE behavior.

Motives are desired GOALS that prompt or underlie behavior.

The simple behavior of drinking may have the goal of satisfying thirst.

The complex behavior of taking a walk may have the goal of obtaining exercise.

Behavior has goals; it is goal-directed. Directionality is a spatial metaphor. In actuality, it is pointing to inward need satisfaction.

It is assumed that motives STEER the choice of activities.

This has the implicit assumption that we are at choice; we are choice makers, choosers, and motives are our allies in our choice-making.

It may be wise to know your motives.

Why do people CHOOSE particular GOALS for which to STRIVE?

What specific motives DIRECT behavior?

What individual differences in motivation account for the variability in people’s behavior?

Emotions are feelings that generally have physiological and cognitive elements and INFLUENCE behavior. They MOTIVATE our behavior and reflect our underlying MOTIVATION.

Needs, filtering through the person’s affective makeup and the cultures they are embedded in, generate emotions. Needs also shape motives or desired goals. Emotions fuel motives with a particular kind of energy. Shaped by needs and fueled by emotions, motives initiate actions. Actions are always contextual, bringing together individual skills and values relevant to the situation; the unfolding of the action produces impact and feedback, which become part of the reflective judgment guiding the action. In high-emotion situations, reflective judgment may not operate the same way as in low or moderate-emotion situations, so watch out. It is understood that emotions are an important component in motivating our behavior, and the behavior that results from motivational needs, in turn, influences our emotions.

An Instinct is considered an inborn behavior pattern that is biologically determined.

A Drive is considered a motivational TENSION or AROUSAL that energizes behavior to fulfill a NEED.

It seems that motives and emotions generate drives, a state of arousal.

Primary drives are generated by the biological needs arising from hunger, thirst, fatigue, and lust; the first level in Maslow’s hierarchy pyramid; and maybe the second level of safety needs.

Primary drives typically operate according to the principle of Homeostasis, in which an organism strives to RESTORE any DEVIATIONs from a BALANCED, preferred INTERNAL STATE.

Secondary drives are drives in which no biological need is fulfilled, e.g., the need for achievement. They seem to be based on learned needs and past experience.

Drive-reduction theory proposes that behavior is motivated by drives to reduce biological needs. However, it does not explain why people sometimes seek out stimulation.

Arousal theory suggests that we try to maintain certain levels of STIMULATION and ACTIVITY, increasing or reducing them as necessary.

An Incentive is an external STIMULUS anticipated as a REWARD that directs and energizes behavior.

Incentive theory explains motivation in terms of EXTERNAL STIMULI.

Cognitive theories explain motivation by focusing on the role of an individual’s thoughts, expectations, and understanding of the world.

Expectancy-Value theory is a cognitive theory suggesting that people are motivated by expectations that certain behaviors will accomplish a goal and their understanding of the importance of the goal.

Intrinsic motivation is considered to cause people to participate in an activity for enjoyment, not for the reward it will get them.

Extrinsic motivation is considered to cause people to participate in an activity for a tangible reward.

Secondary Drives

Need for Achievement: A stable learned characteristic in which satisfaction comes from striving for and achieving excellence.

Need for Affiliation: A need to establish and maintain relationships with other people.

Need for Power: A tendency to seek impact, control, or influence on others to be seen as a powerful individual.

Some Functions of Emotions

Emotions prepare us for action. They act as a link between events in the external environment and individual behavioral responses. They are stimuli that aid in developing effective responses to various situations.

They are effective, making them purposive, making them meaning-generating.

Emotions shape our future behavior. They promote the learning of information that will assist us in making decisions.

Some Theories of Emotion

Cannon-Bard theory: The same nerve impulse produces both physiological and emotional arousal simultaneously.

Schachter-Singer theory: Emotions are determined jointly by a nonspecific kind of physiological arousal and its interpretation based on environmental cues.

{you may switch from anxiety to excitement by interpreting the arousal as positive anticipation and a call to adventure or exploration}

Facial-Feedback Hypothesis: Facial expressions reflect, determine, and help people identify the experience of emotions. SMILE, and you will feel BETTER.

PLUTCHICK’s Emotion Wheel

Fear, anger, acceptance, disgust, joy, sadness, anticipation, surprise;

Awe, submission, love, optimism, aggressiveness, contempt, remorse, disappointment.

Motivation and Effort

When seen as a force (a metaphor), motivation would have a forcefield, which would have an effect that can be seen and measured as movement, displacement, exertion, and energy dissipation. This effect produces an output that we can name as effort expended.

The final output of motivation is effort.

Effort has a duration, direction, level and intensity, and flow; these are process variables. It also has a shape and form, which is a context variable. Effort has also attached a value making it a relationship variable. As constitutive of praxis, effort is transformational. Taken together, we can conceive of effort as a dialectic of human action.

We are not interested in motivation per se, but its transformed impact on the world as effort.

Effort produces performance.

The workplace culture has been fixated on performance for many decades now. Managers are flooded with narratives and discourse about influencing and motivating workers to work willingly and effectively and change for the good. Best practice, benchmarking, process improvement, culture change, you name it.

Work well, work better.

What motivates us, and how does it happen; content theories, process theories. Depicted in hierarchies, flow diagrams, models, frameworks, tables, lists, dichotomies,…

Content Theories

What are the specific things that motivate an individual at work?

How do people’s needs, strengths, and goals come together to form motivations in this particular individual in this particular situation?

What happens when a need is satisfied, and a goal is achieved?

What does determine the importance of a need or the culturally modified version of it as a want?

Where do pain and relief fit; threat, punishment, reward, enticement?

Change of behavior will come by:

diminished satisfaction of a need at a lower or prior level; threat.

an increase in the valence of a need at the next level through directing attentional processes; opportunity.

Content theories are progressive. You move from one level to the other progressively or regressively when a lower need becomes dissatisfied without prospects.

Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy is depicted as a pyramid with concrete levels; a modified version is Alderfer’s ERG Theory which assumes a needs continuum based on core needs of existence, relatedness, and growth.

Existence needs motivate you to survive. Safety needs of the material kind are subsumed under this need.

Relatedness needs are at the social level of Maslow: love, affection, belonging, and affiliation. In addition, the social aspect of safety needs and the social aspect of esteem needs feed into this category. In effect, the relatedness need spans three levels of Maslow. For example, social recognition, prestige, and status arise from relatedness needs. At the lower end, the protection of the group, and the predictability of group life would be considered safety provided by relatedness.

Growth needs correspond to the development of potential, self-actualization, improvement, creativity, and achievement. They would also subsume self-esteem and self-respect from Maslow’s esteem needs.

ERG theory assumes a continuous spectrum, and needs from a broad range may operate simultaneously.

A specifically work-related content theory of motivation comes from a field study by Herzberg. The two-factor theory distinguishes hygiene factors as necessary for preventing dissatisfaction: working conditions, salary, fairness, and direct supervisor interaction; and motivators as necessary for satisfaction and growth: quality of human experience, recognition, achievement, responsibility, advancement, and characteristics of the task and work itself.

The opposite of dissatisfaction is clearly understood as no dissatisfaction, achieved through hygiene factors. Satisfaction is understood to be a separate line to be achieved through motivators.

The content theory of McClelland identifies three main social motives:

Achievement – self-actualization, 

Power – esteem, and 

Affiliation – love. 

You may spot for yourself or others these motives by observing if these may describe what you see…

The Achievement motive may be active if you…

have the urge to strive for success,

are yearning to obtain satisfaction from accomplishing a challenging task or goal,

prefer tasks with a reasonable chance of successful completion,

avoid tasks too easy or too difficult,

look out for feedback about your performance.

The Power motive may be active if you…

in relationships, you have an impulse to make suggestions to others, give your opinions, evaluate things and people,

and seek out roles to exercise influence and persuasion.

The Affiliative motive may be active if you…

maintain strong, warm relationships with friends, and relatives,

give emotional support easily to people in need

and are agreeable.

Process Theories

How is behavior initiated, directed, and sustained?

Expectancy models examine the link between expectations, effort, performance, and outcomes.

Will my effort produce the necessary performance?

Will my performance be seen and rewarded?

Will the reward be fair and good enough for my performance?

Will there be a reward available?

Do I desire the award?

What you can do and what you choose to do are deeply rooted in your meaning-making generator. Likewise, what you could potentially do is grounded in your sense-making generator.

Vroom Expectancy Theory teaches us that people exert work effort to achieve task performance and realize work-related outcomes in proportion to valence, instrumentality, and expectancy.

Valence appraises valued outcomes and can range from very undesirable to very desirable. To increase valence, identify needs and match rewards to needs.

Instrumentality implies that I can predict what level of task performance will result in what outcome. To reveal instrumentality, clarify possible rewards for performance, and give performance contingent rewards.

Expectancy; I can predict what performance level I can achieve, ranging from impossible to certain. I can achieve a level of task performance by exerting reasonable effort. Select capable workers, train and support them, and set clear goals.

Managerial implications of expectancy theory:

Determine the outcomes employees value.

Identify good performance so you can reward appropriate behaviors.

Make sure employees can achieve targeted performance levels.

Link desired outcomes to targeted levels of performance.

Make sure changes in outcomes are large enough to motivate high effort.

Monitor the reward system for inequalities.

Organizational implications:

Reward people for desired performance and do not keep pay decisions secret.

Design challenging jobs.

Tie some rewards to group accomplishments to build teamwork and encourage cooperation.

Reward managers for creating, monitoring, and maintaining expectations, instrumentalities, and outcomes that lead to high effort and goal attainment.

Monitor employee motivation through interviews or anonymous questionnaires.

Accommodate individual differences by building flexibility into the motivation program.

Porter and Lawler’s Expectancy Model

Performance, the across-time aspect leads to job satisfaction, the in-time aspect leads to flow and positive emotions.

Abilities and traits are across-time variables.

Rewards are incentives, initiating factors for taking up a task as a goal. They are linked to needs and need satisfaction. They can range from satisfying thirst to satisfying self-actualization.

Rewards have value; they may be valued more or less by an individual.

Who does value what and why?

Why does someone desire something more than someone else?

Value, valence, desirability. How much do I value these outcomes?

Rewards can be intrinsic to the activity or the person: a sense of achievement, responsibility, recognition, and flow.

Rewards can be extrinsic to the activity or person: salary, financial stability and security, and insurance.

Perceived equitable reward is a judgment on what a fair reward would amount to regarding the level of effort or for a given standard of performance.

Attaining or exceeding this level of reward would result in satisfaction. Conversely, an actual reward that falls short of this level would feed dissatisfaction, thus lowering satisfaction.

Perceived effort-reward probability. This amount of effort will bring this amount of reward, probably.

What are my chances of getting various outcomes if I achieve my performance goals? This is the instrumentality component, again.

This effort will result in this performance, which will result in this outcome reward, and I can do this if I choose to.

What are my chances of reaching my performance goal if I work hard? …if I slack off? This is the expectancy component, again.

What are my abilities and traits relevant to the task at hand?

What are my view and attitude toward the work and my role in it?

As I now exert energy and effort and bring my abilities and traits to the task, I will produce a level of performance in line with my role perceptions.

Any energy sink, value frustration, lack of suitable ability, neg-temperament, inaccurate role perception of what is required, etc., will result in non-optimal performance or waste.