This article throws light upon the five mechanisms that facilitate the efficient and smooth functioning of motives. The mechanisms are: 1. Parallelization 2. Fusion 3. Ordination 4. Conflict.
Mechanism # 1. Parallelization:
We often come across one or more motives operating at the same time and at the same degree along with the other psychological processes, yet independent of one another. Scientists in the past claimed that if a man is thirsty at a given moment, he can only experience thirst and his whole behaviour will be driven to satisfy thirst, and until this is satisfied he will not aim for the satisfaction of any other drives.
Similarly, a man who is starving for food will divert all his behaviour to reduce this condition without allowing any other motive to operate. However, this neither fits into a commonsensical nor scientific notion, because, if this was the case, to what can we attribute the large number of instances of food starvation due to poverty and over-population in the third world?
It becomes obvious from this that the operation of more than one motive independently and yet with equal intensity is possible at any time. Hence the mechanism may be referred to as parallelization. However, such a condition results in overall ineffectiveness. It is now realised that human activity can be initiated by more than one motive being active at the same time.
Mechanism # 2. Fusion:
Motives and their expressions change as the individual grows. They change due to the cumulation of a variety of motives, which in turn get fused. In the process the contents and structure of the original motives can rarely be discerned in their independent form, at the level of behaviour.
This transformation of motives occurring due to fusion can be clearly understood from the following example: different motives like love for one’s motherland, affiliation to one’s countrymen, refusal to function under foreign dominance, etc. could get fused into a sense of patriotism or what we may call patriotic sentiments. Thus, a group of motives fuse together and get transformed to sentiments and at times these sentiments can act as very powerful motivators.
Mechanism # 3. Ordination:
This mechanism consists of the interplay of functions like super ordination and subordination. At a given point in time, depending on the gravity of the situation, some motives gain the utmost importance and dominance by pushing other motives to less dominant positions. These motives which gain dominance demand immediate execution and achievement of the goal. This mechanism operates to a high degree at the human level.
We often come across instances of human beings giving up material possessions, loved ones, even their own lives, in preference to facing defeat or disgrace. For instance, suicide and self-immolation committed by some of the Indian princesses like Rani Padmini of Chittoor, or harakiri by Japanese soldiers who kill themselves instead of facing defeat and disgrace, may be cited as examples.
Mechanism # 4. Conflict:
The simultaneous occurrence of two or more mutually antagonistic impulses or motives usually generating tension is called a conflicting situation. We experience conflicts so often that we are thrown into a state of internal debate, thus creating a tussle between two or more motives.
For instance, a working woman who is about to leave for her work realizes that her child is suffering from high fever. She experiences a conflict in deciding, whether to go or not. How she resolves this depends on various factors and conditions existing at that particular time.