In this article we will discuss about the primary and secondary motives.
Primary motives are essential for survival. They must be satisfied first before we can take up any other activity. Primary motives come to action when the physiological balance of the body is upset. This balance is called homeostasis.
Hunger or Thirst drive:
When an organism experiences hunger or thirst, certain biological changes occur in the body. Once the hunger/thirst is fulfilled, the physiological balance or homeostasis is restored. Respiratory drive is the drive for air or oxygen. If oxygen supply is not there even for a moment, it may result in brain damage, loss of memory and loss of control on one’s body.
Sleep drive occurs usually at regular intervals for a person. Lack of sleep or inadequate sleep over long periods can result in confusion, attention deficit, muscle tremors and increased sensitivity to pain. The metabolism rate drops during sleep regenerating energy.
Drive for elimination of wastes:
When the bladder or intestine becomes distended with waste material, they cause pressure and discomfort. The person becomes restless until the waste materials are eliminated and pressure relieved. Sex drive is considered a biological drive since it is dependent on physiological conditions. Unlike hunger and thirst, sex is not essential for survival of the individual but is necessary for the survival of the species.
Maternal behaviour is instinctive in nature. It is unlearned. Physiological drive causes maternal behaviour. Maternal drive is caused by prolactin, a hormone secreted by pituitary.
Human life has not only just biological aspect but also social aspect. Hence human behaviour is activated by the following social motives.
1. Achievement motives
2. Affiliation motives
3. Aggression motives
4. Power motives
5. Curiosity motives.
These are called social motives since they develop as a result of relationships with people.
1. Achievement motives:
They refer to a drive towards some standards of excellence. People with high-level achievement motives prefer tasks that would promise success and are moderately difficult. David C McClelland has found that while high achievers tend to succeed, low achievers tend to avoid failures.
High achievers challenge failures and work harder while low achievers accept failures and go for less difficult tasks. High achievers prefer personal responsibility and like to get feedback about their works.
Children whose parents have accepted their independence tend to become high achievers, while those of overprotective parents tend to become low achievers. Children learn by copying the behaviour of their parents and other important people in their lives who serve as models. The parental expectations also develop achievement motivation in children.
2. Affiliation motives:
Man cannot exist in isolation. The need to be with other people is known as affiliation need. This need is revealed through one’s attraction to others through friendship, sociability or group membership. They make more local phone calls, visits and seek approvals of others.
Need to rely on others which is called dependency motive is one form of the need for affiliation. When little children are frightened, they seek others to comfort them. This kind of experience in early life makes one seek the friendly company of others when faced with anxiety and fear.
3. Aggression motives:
Intense frustrations after high expectations, verbal and nonverbal insults, fear and anxiety can trigger aggression. Television and cinema depicting violence can make youngsters model themselves to aggressive behaviour.
Psychoanalysts maintain that each individual, as part of his biological inheritance, possesses destructive death urges as well as constructive life urges. In most of us, a favourable balance exists between life and death urges so that kindness triumphs over cruelty. Social learning (modeling), classical conditioning and instrument conditioning are the ways in which hostile aggression may be learned.
4. Power motives:
Social power is defined as the ability of an individual to produce intended effect on the behaviour or emotions of other people. Persons with power motives will be concerned with having impact, influence and reputation.
They exercise their power by joining political parties, voluntary organizations, and associating themselves with prominent and popular men. They select jobs which have an impact on others and dominate weaker sections of the society. They often try to convince others, play more competitive sports and tend to drink more.
5. Curiosity Motives:
Almost all individuals have a desire to have some standing position among the people of his society or group. Nobody likes to be considered inferior. Efforts to achieve a rank in the hierarchy of the group are present not just in human beings, but even among birds and animals, e.g. ‘pecking order’ among hens.