A Biological Theory Of Motivation
This biological theory of motivation (The Intuition Theory), suggests that motivation levels are regulated by neural pattern recognition events. Subconscious drives impel people to achieve excellence, or to spend exceptional energies on services to humanity. There have been five well known theories of motivation, which seek to explain the reasons why a few people spend more energy than others to achieve their goals. All these theories essentially outline the crucial impact of neural activities on motivation.
The Instinct Theory suggests that motivated behavior is a biological instinct. The Drive Reduction Theory suggests that motivated behavior seeks to reduce the tension of drives triggered by sensations such as hunger or pain. The Arousal Theory suggests that motivated behavior is the result of a search for an optimum level of arousal.
The Psychoanalytic Theory suggests that motivated behaviors follow fundamental drives to survive and avoid death. The Humanistic Theory presents the Maslow Hierarchy, where people strive to achieve their maximum potential. Instinctual responses, drive reduction, arousal, psychological and humanistic drives are the varied aspects of the powerful neural drives, which ultimately motivate people. The Intuition Theory suggests that these drives are powered by the intuitive choices of the mind.
- Intuition focuses the nervous system on
an activity. Wisdom, or emotions decide.
- Strategic drives use coded knowledge to
- Motivation is limited by neural wisdom.
Excellence is delivered by wider knowledge and skills.
- Excellence results in flow.
- When emotions dominate, an individual
will persist in the task.
- Speed dial circuits, created by
painful experiences, focus people on specific goals.
- Different people are motivated by
- Many people are not fortunate enough to
work on rewarding careers.
- The Intuition Theory suggests that
inner wisdom and emotions motivate the system.
Biological Theory Of Motivation – Wisdom, Or Emotions
intuitive choices a person makes in life are determined by the
options available within his mind. The system runs through millions
of possibilities to make each choice. Everywhere, it is
intuition,which enables inherited processes to deliver swift
decisions. Animals cannot afford to freeze into immobility, unable to
decide between chewing grass and drinking water. If the choice is to
chew grass, the drive to quench thirst is instantly inhibited. This
website describes intuition as
a process, which eliminates unfit possibilities within milliseconds
to choose a single option for action. In this process, when the
system knows the answers, actions flow with effortless energy. When
answers are lacking, the system fumbles. In more complex situations,
emotions guide system strategies. When emotions dominate, the system
acts with passion for good or evil.
Biological Theory Of Motivation – Neural Drives
solutions are often not immediately available, neural drives
constantly seek answers to problems faced by the system. Neural
drives are purpose driven. When you decide to move a piece on a chess
board, sequences of motor impulses persist from the instant your hand
picks up the piece, till it is set down in its new position. Muscle
movements are sequences of contractions, which last just
milliseconds. Each signal invokes only a tiny contraction.
muscles contract and relax over thousands of cycles till your chess
piece reaches its desired position. The motor codes continually issue
precise instructions to meet a set objective. Your hand does not
wander off on its own. The human mind has immense knowledge, stored
as coded answers from myriad evolutionary and real life experiences.
Intuitive drives manage neural search processes, which constantly
locate suitable answers from this lode of experience. But, answers
are not always available. The information may not be there in the
Biological Theory Of Motivation – Excellence And Knowledge
is limited by neural wisdom. Successful people make millions of
choices during the course of their lives. The wisdom in their words,
the experiences they remember and even their social choices are all
decisions and abilities of the system. Famous actors, statesmen and
business leaders have access to the crucial physical and mental
knowledge, which supports quick and effective decisions. Those
choices carry them to the top. The legendary management guide Peter
Drucker defined excellence as the ability to easily do something,
which others find difficult. The easy intuitive availability of
answers is crucial in the motivation of successful people. When a
person appears to lack motivation in a job, the real problem may also
be an inability to locate suitable answers. He lacks the crucial
insights and motor skills. Wiser decision making processes constitute
one aspect of increased motivation. Such knowledge is the key to work
Biological Theory Of Motivation – Excellence Results In Flow
its highest level, motivation achieves flow. Flow is a state of mind,
where people become totally immersed in their tasks and lose all
sense of time. It is a state, where people work for the pure
enjoyment of completing the task and not for any external reward. The
solution of problems is in itself, a reward. Professor Wolfram
Schultz discovered that reward oriented behavior is promoted by the
release of a group of neurotransmitters by neurons in the early
reptilian part of the human brain.
These neurons detect
signals in the environment, which indicate the possibility of a
reward within a specific time frame. By releasing dopamine, these
neurons increase neural activity in the forebrain, mainly in the
prefrontal regions, where attention and analysis take place. Schultz
noted that the release continues only for the predicted time period,
when a reward can be expected. The release reduces at the end of this
period. The releases stop if the rewards have become a matter of
routine. Novelty is essential for sustained interest.
solution of each new problem, however simple, provides a reward.
Dopamine increases alertness and provides clarity to immediate
objectives and makes a person feel more energetic and elated.
Research has shown that people achieve flow, when they feel that they
are in control of tasks, which are goal directed, provide feedback
and give them a sense of meaning. Studies indicate that flow does not
require engagement in creative, or artistic tasks. Flow has been
shown to be experienced even in tasks such as analyzing data, or
filling out income tax returns. Flow occurs, because the system is
rewarded with swift answers in the challenges of the job.
Biological Theory Of Motivation – Persistent Emotions
is another aspect of motivation. Some people are said to be
motivated, when they complete a job with speed and excellence. There
are others, who bring extra-ordinary energy to a job. Energy results,
when a person strikes harder as well as when he persists in his
effort. Persistence is the result of a single minded focus, where an
individual keeps after a single objective, regardless of setbacks.
Such objectives are set by strong emotions.
emotions are triggered by specific organs, developed by nature over
millions of years. Each subsystem triggers signals, which enable the
achievement of a specific objective. A reptilian system initiates
signals, which act to satisfy hunger and thirst. Anger and fear
signals from the amygdala generate fight, or flight responses. The
insula generates emotions like guilt and love, which act to support
Myriad competing emotions offer as many
objectives to the system. An intuitive
decision making process
chooses the most powerful emotion as the current motor control
option. When a specific emotional signal is strong and persistent,
the system focuses on the objective of that emotion. The process
causes people to become emotionally motivated.
Biological Theory Of Motivation – Neural Plasticity And LTP
amygdala dispatches fight, or flight responses to avoid pain. Love
and compassion are emotions, which sense the pain of others. Jealousy
and envy are emotions, which feel the pain of failure, when
confronted by competition, or failure. The amygdala triggers
avoidance behaviors, which seek to lessen pain. The amygdala also
remembers. Neural plasticity and long term potentiation (LTP) are
neural phenomena, which set off “speed dial circuits” which make
the amygdala persist with its signals.
Speed dial circuits are
created in the organ by particularly painful experiences, or when a
person dwells repeatedly on memories of painful events. The system
focuses persistently on the objectives of the dominant emotion, which
could be fear, anger, compassion, or envy. The system returns from
any diversion to a single goal, which seeks to avoid the remembered
pain of these emotions. When these emotions lead to positive results,
people are said to be dedicated. When they lead to antisocial
results, people are called fanatics.
Biological Theory Of Motivation – Pleasure Motivates
potential for pleasure motivates. The feeling of pleasure had been
shown to be located in the septal areas of the brain for rats. The
animals were observed when they were able to self stimulate
themselves, by pressing a lever, through electrodes implanted in the
septal area. They continued pressing the lever till they were
exhausted, preferring the effect of stimulation to normally
pleasurable activities such as consuming food. For human beings, the
highest pleasure is a sense of fulfillment in their careers. Such a
sense of fulfillment varies between people.
please different people. While one is thrilled by the sound of music,
another delights in the exploration of history. Not everyone is lucky
enough to be employed in a field which grants them a true sense of
fulfillment. A talented musician may not enjoy bagging grocery. While
people can seek employment in agreeable fields, the majority of
people can only seek an adequate income, which can bring them joy in
their favored fields. Money can also be a powerful motivator.
Biological Theory Of Motivation – Many Lack Motivation
characteristics of motivation are preset in the nervous system. Some
people have great skills and talents. Others inherit, or
subconsciously modulate neural circuits, which make them loving and
compassionate. Still others find immense pleasure in the products and
services, which their jobs provide to people. Society praises such
people as being motivated.
The large majority of people are
not so fortunate. They choose a career by accident. They pay little
conscious attention to their work, which is usually a matter of
unconscious habit. Such people have a few options to
become more motivated. They can evaluate their own strengths and
weaknesses and choose a career, which appeals to their passions, or
where they can be excellent. They can learn on the job and bring
excellence through continuous study and practice.
Biological Theory Of Motivation – The Intuition Theory
neural network is a biological system. It carries within it vast
inherited and acquired knowledge. An intuitive process, which makes
instant contextual decisions from available knowledge powers the
activities of the mind. The Intuition Theory holds that, when this
process is supported by the stimulus of talent, pleasure, passion, or
learned ability, motivation is increased.
This page was last updated on 28-Jan-2016.
Back To Top
Return from Biological Theory of Motivation to The Home Page
E-Mail Your Comments