The following points highlight the seven main types of innate tendencies. The types are: 1. Need 2. Want 3. Drive and Urge 4. Motive 5. Instincts 6. Reflexes 7. Learned Motives.
Type # 1. Need:
Need indicates a lack of something which is useful or desired. A person needs food when he is hungry. So he will strive for food. His behaviour to strive for food and to get it, is determined by this need. Robinson Cruso had the need for a company in the desolate island. So he yearned for the company, until he found a native whom he named Friday. Psychologically a person needs company when he is lonesome.
Type # 2. Want:
Want is very close to need and indicates the state of acquiring an object of need or desiring for the same. A person wants to be wealthy, because he needs money. Want signifies the affective side.
Type # 3. Drive and Urge:
Both these terms are interchangeable. Drive or urge is an impelling force for action. Here the conative side is emphasised more. We speak of hunger-drive, sex-drive or sex-urge. There is drive for attaining liberty, attaining distinction, passing the examination, an urge to embrace the beloved, an urge to avoid accidence etc.
Type # 4. Motive:
Motive is more comprehensive in meaning. It is a combination of thought, feeling or condition that causes one to act. It can last even for a moment, or for a long period. A young boy is just attracted towards a girl whom he meets for the first time. He is motivated to talk to her. The motive is very brief and transitory.
A person may have a long motive to a mass wealth or to become a public leader. From dawn to dust we are motivated to do all sports of action. Each action has a motive behind it. This way, a motive is a very comprehensive term.
Since the human organism has a number of organic and psychological needs and wants, we have corresponding drives, urges and motives. All these are inter-related and inter-dependent. They are, in fact, the dynamic forces and powers of human behaviour.
According to William Thomas, there are four fundamental motives:
(i) Desire for security,
(ii) Desire for response,
(iii) Desire for recognition, and
(iv) Desire for new experience.
Some psychologists mention two types of motives – learned motives and unlearned motives. The latter constitute such motives which accompany the animal from the very birth and are universal in all animals. These are usually termed as “instincts”. Attitudes interests and purposes are the learned motives.
Type # 5. Instincts:
An instinct is an innate tendency to behave in a particular manner. It is also called unlearned behaviour, because it arises from tendencies which exist in the mind of the individual at birth. It is a natural impulse by which human beings and all animals are guided independent of reason or experience.
A bird prepares its nest instinctively. A bee collects honey instinctively. Every animal seeks food to satisfy his gustative instinct. McDougal has listed as many as thirteen instincts which are common to animals and men, and thus has added one more (the instinct of laughter) which is peculiar to men only.
Type # 6. Reflexes:
When we try to find how the organism acts, and acts in different ways, we have to study the working of nervous system, because it is the nervous system that is responsible for all our actions. There are sensory nerves that carry the message of the outside stimuli to the brain, and the motor nerves take orders from the brain and in turn arouse activity in the muscles.
Each sensory nerve fibre runs from a receptor to some definite part of the nerve centre and each motor nerve fibre runs from some part of the nerve centre to a muscle. When a sensory nerve fibre is stimulated, it quickly transmits a message to the cord or brain. Similarly when a motor neuron is stimulated in the brain or spinal cord, it quickly transmits a message to a group of muscle fibres which thereupon contract.
All this takes place swiftly, in a fraction of a second. It is called a ‘simple reaction’.
A reaction involves:
(i) The sensory nerve,
(ii) The brain or spinal cord, and
(iii) The motor nerve.
Most of our actions need this three-fold process. But there are certain acts which bye-pass the brain or spinal cord, such as winking, sneezing, response to bright light, flow of saliva in response to a testing substance in the mouth, and the flow of tears due to smoke. Such actions, not depending upon the signal of brain are called Reflex Actions.
Woodworth defines Reflex as follows:
“A reflex is a direct muscular or glandular response to a sensory stimulus, an involuntary and unlearned response. Unlike the simple reaction, it does not depend upon the subject’s being prepared or ‘set’.”
Reflexes are also responsible for some of our acts. These are unlearned motives, because these work automatically. But these are different from instincts which are unlearned.
The difference between reflex and instinct is explained in the following table:
1. Movements of only one part of the body e.g., sneezing, winking.
2. These are very simple, temporary and lasting for just a moment.
3. Brain is not involved. Accompanied by little consciousness.
4. Not variable and adaptable.
1. Movement of the whole body e.g., bee-collecting honey
2. Complicated and last for some time.
3. Brain involved. Each instinctive acts.
4. Variables, adaptable and develop into complex forms of behaviour
The Motivation Cycle:
We know that the terms ‘need’, ‘drive’, ‘tension’, ‘goal’ ‘incentive’, all express different aspects of motivational behaviour. We may describe motivation as a state of the organism which involves the existence of a need that moves or drives the organism from within, and directs its activities to a goal that can bring about the satisfaction of the need. Therefore, motivation as a general term constitutes a cycle completed in different stages.
In the beginning there is need, desire or want which gives birth to drive or motive’. The drive or motive so produced, then motivates the organism to act for reducing the motive or drive. In this way the behaviour of the organism becomes goal directed.
Type # 7. Learned Motives:
The learned motives have been differentiated in numerous ways. Habits are learned motives e.g., smoking. Attitudes are dispositions or tendencies to act towards an object in a particular way. I may have bad attitude towards my teacher, and hence I will behave with him in a particular way. An interest is a kind of attitude that makes attention to a thing easy.
Woodworth states that an interest springs from the individual’s ability to deal effectively with some phase of the environment. I may be interested in reading fiction. I will naturally attend to this task effectively. An ideal is a learned motive which a person owns in order to be guided to perform various tasks.
Truth and Ahinsa were ideals before Mahatma Gandhi that motivated him to lead the independence movement in a particular manner. A purpose is a broad term which may cover innumerable activities directed to a definite end. My purpose to write a book may be to make some original contribution, or to earn money, or to attain fame.
In words of Woodworth a purpose is a goal-set with foresight of the result to be obtained. Our instincts are unlearned motives. But during our life-time some of the our instinctive drives become organised into sentiments. A sentiment is an acquired motive disposition directed towards an object. It is an organised system of instincts and emotions and impulses centred round some object.
I may have a strong religious sentiment which impels me to attend to worship daily for some time, to perform religious ceremonies and to harbour a strong feeling of devotion to my deities.
Many wars have been fought in history simply being motivated by religious sentiment. Under the influence of a strong patriotic sentiment, Bhagat Singh laid down his life and welcomed death-sentence happily.
Play is another innate tendency which impels children to attend to certain activities. There are three more innate tendencies namely sympathy, suggestion and imitation which are the offshoots of our gregarious tendency in feelings, thought and action, respectively.
One word ‘Mimesis’ for all the three, as used by Nunn denotes this learned motive in a social environment. An adolescent is motivated blindly to participate in strikes and demonstrations in sympathy with students of his age-group beaten by police at even so distant a place as 500 miles away. Under the suggestions of lago, Othello lost Desdemona. When a child imitates his father in smoking, he is not at fault. The younger generation has the tendency to imitate the elders.
Motivation, Hierarchical Needs:
Maslow (1954) suggested set of five basic needs which must be satisfied to reach the highest level of motivation.
These needs are:
(iii) Love and Belongingness,
(v) Self- actualization.
All these are diverse types of motives that impel a person to act in a particular way, or to behave in a particular manner.