Why do we behave the way we do?
1. Instinct theory – a complex, unlearned behavior with a fixed pattern throughout the species
Example – spider creating a web
2. Drive-reduction theory – physiological needs creates an aroused tension that motivates an organism to satisfy the need. In
other words, organisms are motivated to behave in ways that maintain homeostasis.
Example – we get hungry, we are motivated to eat
3. Incentive theory – positive or negative stimuli lure or repel us
Example – the lure of money entices us to go to work every day.
4. Optimum Arousal Theory – each of us has an optimal level of arousal and we are motivated to behave in ways that help us
achieve that arousal.
Example – Some people like to rock climb because it is exciting.
* Why do students go to college? List as many reasons as you can think of and then classify them as drive-reduction (DR),
incentive (I), or optimum arousal (OA).
A human infant rooting
to find the mother’s
Getting a glass of water
when you are thirsty.
Going for a walk when
you are worried or
Reading a book on a
long car ride
Studying hard to pass
an exam.
Crying when hurt or
Developing a lasting,
intimate relationship.
Motivation can be extrinsic or intrinsic:
Extrinsic motivation – a desire to perform a behavior due to promised rewards or threats of punishment (Example – Studying for a
test because you will be grounded if you don’t bring up your grades)
Intrinsic motivation – the desire to perform a behavior for its own sake and to be effective (Example – Studying for a test because
the information is interesting or because you want to be knowledgeable)
Management Styles:
Theory X - workers are lazy, error-prone, and extrinsically-motivated. They need simple tasks, close monitoring, and incentives.
Theory Y - workers are intrinsically motivated to promote self-esteem, enjoy satisfying relationships with others, and fulfill their
potential. If given freedom and challenges, they will demonstrate their creativity and competence.
Does one management theory have it right? Why?
-OR- Do both theories have practical applications? If so, why?