In this article we will discuss about the types and measurement of motives.
Types of Motives:
1. Physiological motives or primary motives
2. Psychological motives or secondary motives.
1. Physiological Motives: Hunger and Thirst:
Experiments done earlier in this century led to the conclusion that the source of the hunger motivation was stomach contractions. But many believe that level or rates of use of dissolved nutritive substances circulating in the blood are crucial for the activation of feeling.
The homeostatic mechanism in feeling seems to be general in keeping levels of nutritive substances or the rates at which they are used within certain limits. If rates of use fall below a certain point called the set point, hunger drive is initiated and food is ingested to raise the blood levels of nutrients lack to the set point.
Glucose or “blood sugar” is now believed to be an important substance involved in the initiation of hunger motivation and feelings. Low rates of glucose use such as occurs after periods without food and in diabetes are correlated with reports of hunger and eating behaviour.
Eating Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia:
An eating disorder in which individuals starve themselves and lose a dangerous amount of weight. Some 20% of anorexia individuals literally starve themselves to death. Anorexia nervosa affects mainly females between the age of 12 and 40 although both men and women of any age group may develop it.
People with the disorder typically come from stable homes and they are often successful, attractive and rich. Their lives revolve around food although they eat little and cook for others, go shopping for food frequently or collect cook books.
Bulimia is a disorder in which a person binges on very large quantities of food. An entire gallon of ice-cream may easily be consumed in a single sitting, following such a binge sufferers feel guilt and depression and typically induce vomiting or take laxatives to rid themselves of food, a behaviour known as purging.
Constant binging and purging cycles and the use of drug to induce vomiting or diarrhoea may create a chemical imbalance that can lead to heart failure. Typically, though the weight of a person suffering from bulimia remains normal.
The body water level is maintained by physiological events in which several hormones (ADH) regulate the loss of water through the kidneys. The physiological mechanism involved in maintaining the body’s thirst motivation and drinking are triggered.
Thirst motivation, drinking are mainly triggered by two conditions of the body. Namely, loss of water from cells and reduction of blood volume when water is lost from body fluids water leaves the interior of the cells, thus dehydrating them. In the interior or front of the hypothalamus our nerve cells called osmoreceptors, generate severe impulses when dehydrated. This nerve impulses act as a signal for thirst and drinking.
Thirst generated by loss of water from the osmoreceptors is called cellular dehydration. Loss of water from the body also results in hypo-volemia or a decrease in blood. When blood volume goes down so does blood pressure.
The drop in blood pressure stimulates the kidneys to release an enzyme called renin. Through a several step process, renin is involved in the formation of substance known as angiotensin that circulates in the blood and may trigger drinking.
The idea that cellular dehydration and hypo-volemia contribute to thirst and drinking is called the double depletion hypothesis. To see how both mechanisms are at work, take an example of how we feel after a sweaty tennis game when the body has lost a lot of salt and water.
The osmoreceptors are dehydrated and the blood volume has gone down. Thirst is triggered and we take a lot of fluids bringing the blood volume back to the normal level.
2. Psychological Motives:
They are also known as secondary motives, learned motives or social motives. Social motives are the complex motives or needs that are the well springs of many human actions. They are called social motives because they are learned in social groups, especially in the family as children grow up and they usually involve other people.
These human motives can be looked upon as general stages that lead to many particular behaviour, no sooner is one goal reached, then the other is directed towards another one. If for example, a person has a deep urge for affiliation that establish friendly relations with one acquaintance but this does not amount to motive.
The person is derived to do the same with others and to maintain this pattern of friendship often they have established. Thus social motives are general, persisting characteristics as these strengthen, differ greatly from one individual to another. Psychological motives are also called secondary motives or learnt motives or learnt in social groups specially in the family as children grow up.
Among the many learnt motives the most studied motives are:
Need For Achievement: Secondary Motive:
Striving for success:
The need for achievement is the stable learnt characteristics in which satisfaction is obtained by striving for and attaining a level of excellence. People with high need for achievement seek out situation in which they can compete against some standards and prove themselves successful.
They tend to avoid situations on which success will come too easily, which would be unchallenging or those in which success is unlikely. Instead people with high in achievement motivation are good at choosing tasks that are of intermediate difficulty.
In contrast, people with low achievement motivation tend to be motivated primarily by a desire to avoid failure. As a result they seek out easy task in order to avoid failure or they seek out very difficult tasks for which failure is sure and almost any one would fail at them. People with high fear of failure will stay away from task of intermediate difficulty, since they may fail when others have been successful.
Measuring Achievement Motivation:
How can we measure a person’s need for achievement?
The technique used most frequently is to administer a Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). In TAT, people are shown a series of ambiguous pictures. They are told to write a story that describes what is happening, who the people are, what led to the situation. What the people are thinking or want, and what will happen next? A standard scoring system is then used to determine the amount of achievement.
For example, someone who write a story in which the main character is striving to beat the opponent; studying in order to be well at some task, or working hard in order to get promotion shows clear signs of an achievement orientation. It is assumed that the inclusion of such achievement related imagery on their stories indicates an unusual high degree of concern with, and therefore, a relatively strong need for achievement.
Need for Affiliation:
Striving for friendship—most people have a need for affiliation, an interest in establishing and maintaining relationships with other people. Individuals with a high need for affiliation write TAT stories that emphasize the desire to maintain or reinstate friendships and show concern over being rejected by friends.
People who are higher in affiliation needs are particularly sensitive to relationships with others. They desire to be with their friends most of the time and they want to be alone less often than people who are lower in their need for affiliation.
At the same time affiliation motivation may be less important on gender in determining how much time is actually spent with friends. According to the results of one study regardless of their affiliative orientation, female students spend significantly more time with their friends and less time alone than male students do.
Need for Power:
The need for power is a tendency to seek, control or influence over others and to be seen as a powerful individual. As you might expect people with a strong need for power are more apt to belong to organization and seek office than those low in the need for power.
They also opt to be in professions on which their power needs may be fulfilled such as business management and you may not be surprised to see them assume prestigious position in college teaching.
There are some significant sex difference on the display of need for power. Men who are high in power needs tend to show usually high levels of aggression, drink heavily, act in a sexually explorative manner, and participate more frequently in competitive sports — behaviours that collectively represent somewhat extravagant, flamboyant behaviours.
In contrast, women display their power needs, in a more restrained manners congruent with traditional social restraints on women behaviour. Women high in a need for power are more apt than men to channel their power needs in a socially responsible manner (such as by showing concern for others or through highly nourishing behaviour).
In common with other types of motivation the need for power may express itself in several quite diverse ways. How a particular need is manifested reflects a combination of peoples’ skills, values and the specific situation in which they find themselves.
Measurement of Motives:
The methods employed for the measurement of motives may be classified as direct, indirect and experimental, depending upon the nature of the adopted measures of technique.
1. Direct methods:
In this method required information about the motives of an individual is gathered directly from the primary source. The subject and his natural behaviour are assessed by directly asking him to account for his own behaviour. The major techniques or methods included in this category may be named as questionnaire, inventories, motivation scale, check list, interview, etc.
2. Indirect methods:
The material to which the subject is exposed in the indirect measures of motives consists of fairy ambiguous stimulus situations. Based on the mechanism of projection, subject is expected to provide clues on his hidden or true motives by responding to these unstructured stimuli.
The interpretation of these clues by the experimenter may then help in the assessment of the subject’s true motives. All the projective techniques like Rorschach’s inkblot test, TAT test, sentence completion technique, word association technique, role playing, etc. fall in the category of indirect methods of measuring motives.
3. Experimental methods:
Experimental methods of measuring motives consist of the measures involving objective observations under controlled conditions. For ascertaining the real motives, here the experimenter first makes some tentative hypotheses and then tests them in the laboratory for arriving at some objective reliable and valid conclusions.