What is the relation between fun and motivation? Are they the same?

What is the relation between fun and motivation? Are they the same?

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Are 'having fun in doing something' and 'being motivated to do something' the same thing?

If not, how are fun and motivation related? Is there any formal definition on this? Would it be possible to be motivated to do something without having fun in it?

As a temporary answer, and based on the comments, I will say that:

Motivation is related to the long term cost and revenue (in the broadest sense) for an activity, i.e. more extrinsic. If the long term revenue is higher than the cost, you might be motivated to undertake the activity.

Fun is related to the short term cost/revenue for an activity, i.e. intrinsic. If the short term revenue is high enough than a certain treshold you will say the activity is fun.

Improvements welcome :-)

Theories of Motivation: 4 Theories | Psychology

There are several definitions of the term motivation. Different psychologists have emphasised different aspects of motivation. Several terms—motive, drive, need, instincts, curiosity, goal incentive and interest are used to explain the term motivation. It is considered psycho-physiological phenomenon. McClelland advocates that home environment, social philosophy and social norms and values are the significant factors which contribute a developing motivation.

Motivation energises the behaviour, releases the energy and arouses the activities. It also regulates the human behaviour. It is difficult to provide a comprehensive definition of the term motivation. Psychologists have developed several theories of motivation to explain and understand the nature of motivation.

Some important theories of motivation have been listed here:

(1) Kurt Lewin’s Theory of Motivation :

Kurt Lewin considered psychology a science, closely related to everyday life, the pivot of Kurt Lewin psychology was in the motivating condition of a person’s—environment situation. Further-more he was extremely in democratic practice and principle, although the field psychology appliances all fields of psychology it is particularly useful in social-personality and educational psychology.

Kurt Lewin’s goal was to make the concept of field psychology of sufficient scope that applicable to all kind of behaviour and yet specific enough to permit representation of definite person in concert situation. He observed that S-R association psychology are based on statistical prediction may apply to the average of children or to the typical behaviour age group.

Kurt Lewin Field Psychology is more precisely called topological. Kurt Lewin has borrowed his idea and concepts in developing his psychology, from other sciences, physics and mathematics and geometry. Vector from physics, in using these related concept he added rigidly to the definite of mother science, but he constituents them in such a manner that they become most useful in the system of psychology.

The following terms are summarised the concept of field theory:

A consciously behaving self centre of ability and needs.

Status of a person which if he exists in relation to a goal, have a part in determining toward that goal, corresponds to tension, the inner system of person is the region of the person.

Everything in which a person can make psychological moment do anything about his person and environment are mutually dependent one another.

Foreign Hull of life space complex of non-psychological facts which surrounds a life space, that part of person’s physical environment particular environment which do not include in psychological environment, physical and social raw material, and foreign hill limits behaviour possibilities.

Theory of Vector Analysis:

Vector is a force which has got three characteristics:

Attracting by an object and tends to region in life space. Positive or negative tends to away from region of life space. It means positive or negative unproductive environment fact properties that the organism tends to move towards the region or away from the region is termed as valences.

It refers to the relative position of respective region of a person temporarily continuous life space. There is locomotion between goal and power of application.

Which is very closed related psychological needs? The state of one system relative is stage of surrounding system.

It is a region of valence it is common region towards which face with in life space point. It is a region of life space to which a person is attractive psychological barrier.

Vector is the force or strength to act in certain direction.

It is the psychological situation of an individual between the person and goal.

Topology is the non-mechanical geometry of spaces. Geometrical figure in space is topology. Lewin tried to explain the topology of a person as structure of the person.

The level of future performance in a familiar task which as individual knowing his level of part performance in that task, explicitly undertakes to reach.

The difference between the level of the last performance and the level of the new goal is called goal discrepancy a person is striving for ideal goal to distinguish it from his action goal. It is determined by individual performance.

Risk Taking Behaviour:

Setting is too high, to hit the target is high risk taking behaviour. Setting is the moderate or low to hit the target is low risk taking behaviour.

To set his goal according his past performance a little length.

To set the goal to high according to the past performance is to the failure.

(2) The Instincts Theory of Motivation by Mc Dougall :

McDougall has developed ‘Instincts theory’ in the beginning of the twentieth century. He was of this view that instincts are the spring of human behaviour.

McDougall has defined the term instinct:

Instincts as complex inherited tendencies common to all members of a species compelling each individual:

(i) To perceive and pay attention to certain objects and situation.

(ii) To experience positive and negative emotional excitement on perceiving them.

(iii) To act in a way which was likely in the long run to preserve the individual?

McDougall, James and Burt advocated the theory of instincts. The instincts are inborn and unlearned response tendencies which determine the behaviour of an individual.

Charles Drawing is of the opinion that the most fundamental instincts of human beings are inherited rather than acquired.

McDougall prepared a list of twelve original instincts which was extended to eighteen instincts or basic propensities such as:

The instincts cause the occurrence of behaviour. McDougall proposed that every instinct is followed by specific emotional behaviour or disposition as fear with escape anger with pugnacity, etc.

Most of human behaviours are determined by sentiments, and all behaviours are purposive.

The theory of instincts was rejected by other psychologists on the basis of the following reasons:

1. Most of the human behaviours are acquired by learning and experiences.

2. Watson arranged on instincts—generally animals fight of an instinct of pugnacity. It is merely circular description of behaviour.

3. Each theorist of instinct psychology has prepared his own list of instincts to explain the behaviour. There is no final test of instincts. There are more than eight hundred instincts which were proposed in early twentieth century.

4. The human behaviour is modified and shaped by cultural factors in which a child lives. It has been advocated by social anthropologists, the human behaviour is not influenced by the instincts as proposed by theorists.

The psychologists have evolved the concept of drive as an explanation of human behaviour.

The following four meaning of the term drive have been enumerated:

1. Drive is the energy which moves the body.

2. It is a tendency of a human behaviour.

3. It is internal stimulus and internal tissue condition which release energy and directs to activity.

4. It is a specific goal directed activity of an individual.

Thus, the awareness of instincts and drive is essential to a teacher to make use of these concepts in organizing teaching in classroom and to motivate his students.

(3) Theory of Achievement Motivation—McClelland :

The theory of motivation was developed by social psychologists, Mc Clelland. John Atkinson and their associates during the mid of present century. The psychologists through that an individual psychology is greatly influenced by social, political and economic problems. The life philosophy and psychology decide the approach for solving the problems. McClelland holds the view that psychology of an individual and the nation can contribute to understand these problems.

He rejects the traditional explanation that economic growth may be interpreted in terms of economic variables. The sociological and psychological factors are major variables affecting economic growth, he believes that changes in the beliefs and attitude of persons gave impetus to economic growth in certain countries.

McClelland holds this view that human beings differ from one another with regard to the strength of achievement motive. The motivation to achieve contributes for economic growth of nations.

He defines the term motive:

“A red integration of change in a fact by a cue and anticipation of a future change in affect contingent upon certain actions.”

The term ‘red integration’ means reinstatement of psychological process in the conscious as a result of stimulation by an environment-event.

(a) Environmental cues events, and

(b) Affective aroused in the individual are important for motivation.

A number of variables in home or family school and society affects the achievement motive.

Parental guidance and expectation develop need for high achievement in life among children. The attitudes and motives are developed by home environment.

The social philosophy and norms of socially are the significant variables in developing achievement motive.

McClelland (1965) enumerated twelve propositions for developing new motives in human beings:

1. Education attempts develop a new motive will best succeed when the individual has many reasons in advance to believe that he can, will or should develop a motive.

2. Educational attempts will be best succeed when the individual understands that developing the new motive is realistic and reasonable.

3. The individual is likely to develop the motive when he can describe and clearly conceive the various aspects of the motive.

4. Change in thought and action will most likely occur and endure when the individual can link the motive to related actions.

5. The new motive is most likely to influence the thoughts and actions of the individual when he can link it to events in his everyday life.

(4) The Hygiene Theory of Motivation :

Fredrick Herz berg (1&66) has formulated a new theory of motivation. It has presented for industry and trade but it has influenced the teaching-learning activities. The teacher can use effectively the hygiene factors in this teaching. The hygiene theory is very helpful in organizing teaching activities and creates appropriate situation for motivating the students-activities. According to Maslow, Herzberg has also explained the ‘Need of Theory’.

He classifies human needs into two categories:

(i) Hygiene Factors:

These hygiene factors are involved in the learning environment and situation. Here learning environment means the situation in which the students gain experience or learn new knowledge. Thus, the hygiene factors refer to components of learning environment.

(b) Administration and norms of the school,

(c) The form of supervision of the school, and

(d) The safety and standard of school.

These factors provide the encouragements to the students to work hard. If these factors are of lower standard, the students would not be happy and it would result the poor learning outcome. The students develop the negative attitude towards the work. The hygiene factors function as pre-requisite for an effective motivation.

These factors are related to the environment or working conditions rather than work or task and form the organizational climate of the school. The principal and teachers should be careful about these factors, because the environment of school influences, directly on the student’s achievement.

The motivators are related to the activities and behaviour of the learners rather the environment of learning. The motivator provides the happiness to the students to increase their level of achievement and develops the positive attitude towards the work. It develops if the feelings of satisfaction and facilitate for better learning. The motivators are organized in teaching-learning activities such as reward, verbal praise, recognition, success, knowledge of result and neatly, etc.

These motivators are helpful in realizing the following facts:

6. The new motive will influence thought and action when the individual sees the motive as an improvement in his self-image.

7. The motive is likely to influence thought and action when the individual can see and experience the new motive as an improvement on the prevailing cultural values.

8. The motive is likely to influence thought and action when the individual keeps a record of his progress toward achieving goals to which he is committed.

9. The motive is likely to influence thought and action when the individual keeps a record of his progress toward achieving goals to which he is committed.

10. Change in motives are likely to occur in an atmosphere in which the person feels warmly but honestly supported and which he is respected by other as person capable of guiding and directing his own future behaviour.

11. The more the setting dramatizes the importance of self-study and lifts it out of the routine of everyday life, the more changes in motives which are likely to occur.

12. If the new motive is a sign of membership in a new reference group, changes in motives are likely to occur.

The fantasies of an individual reveal motivational basis of his actions. Mc Clelland has attempted to make use of the fantasies to measure achievement motivation. He has used the projective technique for measuring achievement, motivation. He has used thematic apparition tests to collect information’s of the fantasies of the subjects with the help of pictures.

The assumption underlying TAT pictures is that when a picture is presented to a person in social setting under unstructured situations and he is asked to tell a story about what is happing in the picture. In doing so he may often reveal about himself or his fantasies. The TAT stories written by the subject are studied qualitative and quantitative. The technique is reliable and promising development in the field of measuring motivation.

Mc Clelland advocates that motives develop out of affective arousal. The theory of motivation is called affective arousal theory.

Mc Clelland suggests a course for teachers, he may teach students how to develop the motive to achieve, and especially those students who are not ably deficient in the desire to meet challenges to master and generally to succeed. He has to develop new entering behaviour to realize advanced instructional objectives.

The teacher can play a crucial role in developing achievement motive by the following ways:

1. Make clear understanding of achievement motive in life by telling the stones of great persons and their achievement.

2. Provide a proper environment in the classroom and in school. The conductive environment develops achievement motive among students.

3. Make it clear to the students that the motives will improve their self-image.

4. Emphasize upon the fact that new motive is an improvement of prevailing social and cultural values.

5. Make an effort to develop conductive social climate in the classroom, so that every student would feel elevated and thus belongs to high group of students.

6. Make students committed to achieving concrete goal in life related to the newly developed motive.

7. Ask the students to keep the record of their progress towards their goal. The teacher should emphasize on self-study of students.

(a) Achievement and performance,

(b) Recognition and responsibility,

(c) Advancement and freedom and

The motivators have the permanent influence on the change of behaviour of the students whereas hygiene factors have temporary effect. The motivators are included in the activities of teaching content. The hygiene factors and motivators are not contradictory to one another but they are supplementary to one another. The creative approach of teaching can be followed with the help of these motivation and higher motivators provide the self-satisfaction and feeling of self-realization.

The equipment of a classroom, laboratory and library and motivators encourage the students for learning. Therefore, working conditions and norms of the educational instructions should be conducive to learning. There should be good rapport between teacher and students or among students. The internal motivations are more effective than external one. The teacher should use an appropriate techniques of motivation in dealing with different types of students.


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What Is The Relationship Between Motivation And Emotions?

The young girl was a newcomer to the school. The other children taunted her and shunned her because she was different — not like them — and a stranger. Not only was she a stranger, but she did not speak English very well, so the others laughed at her.

She became very unhappy and vowed she’d show those other children that she was just as good as they were. She spent long hours studying. She practiced her English every chance she got.

She volunteered to grocery shop for her mother. It wasn’t easy, but she was able to learn a little more English with every trip, asking questions about her purchases, and learning what they cost.

Within a fairly short time her English improved a great deal, and because she studied so much her understanding of all her subjects improved. Her grades rose. She didn’t let the attitudes of the other students get her down, but worked on her own progress.

She was very good at math, and one day another girl asked if she would help with understanding the homework. The two became friends, and this crack in the door of the closed society caused it to slowly open, and the girl was gradually accepted and befriended by the others.

Why Was She Successful?

She was motivated by her emotions. Her unhappiness at not being accepted caused her to find a way to change her situation. She was motivated to find success.

Of course, she could have let the whole negative attitudes of her peers overwhelm and discourage her. Instead, she chose to see things differently. Her attitude of not being willing to accept the others’ negative judgment of her got her started on the road to acceptance.

What is attitude? It is a composite of thoughts, feelings, and actions. Results are produced depending on that attitude. You choose your thoughts. These in turn cause your feelings, or emotions, which then lead to your actions.

How Do Motivation And Emotions Work Together?

You are motivated from your thoughts and emotions, which stimulates you to act and behave in such a way to help you achieve your desired goal. Your emotions emerge from the motive itself.

Both the words “emotion” and “motivate” have the same underlying Latin root, which means “to move.” Emotions and motives involve arousal — Therefore, they drive or move our behavior.

When experiencing emotions or strong motivation, we feel the experience. An emotion is a mental and physiological feeling state that directs our attention and guides our behavior.

Motivation is closely related to emotion. The definition of motivation is “a driving force that initiates and directs behavior.” Though some motivations are biological, there are many others that can influence behavior.

These include the motivation for social approval and acceptance, for achievement, and for taking or avoiding risks. Motivation causes us to engage in particular behaviors because when we do, we feel good.

The greatest talent a person can have is to be able to tell themselves to do something, and then to go and do it. To do so, the person must be making a committed decision. A true decision means you are committed to achieving a certain result and you will not waver from the chosen path.

We need to understand how motive and emotion are related. These are two psychological features that seemingly share a cause-and-effect relationship. There is a definite link between the two. Consider these factors:

  1. Both the arousal of emotion and the motives behind a certain motivation activate or energize behavior.
  2. Emotions often go together with motives.
  3. It is also typical for basic emotions to possess their own motivational properties. For example, happiness motivates a person to better performance.

Motivation and emotion are both linked to energy or intensity rather than to information or direction. Think of an emotion you have had that has moved you to react in a certain way. Did you feel the emotion? Did it create a feeling of warmth in your body? The two, motivation and emotion, are often associated with pressure and heat. They both rely on the relationship between the individual and his environment.

The Vehicle Of Behavior Has Two Drivers

Our motivation drives our behavior. Our emotions affect that behavior. When working toward a goal, it is very important to keep a positive attitude if we wish to perform well in our task. If we have emotions like frustration or boredom, these can lower our motivation and thus lower the chance that we will act.

What creates emotions? Emotions are feelings or affective experiences that are shaped in response to specific stimuli. They develop into a pattern of cognitive, physiological and behavioral responses. Emotions can be the result of situations where our motives and goals are satisfied, threatened, or frustrated.

Emotions are event-driven. They are learned behaviors which usually hibernate until called forth by an external event.

As you can perhaps see, our emotions can play an important role in how we think and behave. In our daily lives, emotions cam compel our actions and influence all the decisions we make about our lives, both large and small.

The purpose of emotions is to communicate to others. Our memories, thoughts and beliefs create emotions, as the brain will interpret what is going on around us and in our lives.

Emotions then trigger how we feel or behave. All our decisions in life are influenced in some way be this process. Emotions can affect not just the nature of the decision we make, but also the speed at which we make it.

What we need and desire both have a strong impact on the direction of our behavior. If we have a goal of success, and have wrapped our emotions around the idea, then we will be quite motivated to reach that goal.

These two, motivation and emotions, come in a single package that can affect our progress. To reach a goal, we need both of these factors. We need to become emotionally attached to the idea of our success, and these emotions in turn will motivate us to move in the necessary direction. Then we need to act in a consistent manner until we finally arrive at our worthy destination.

May this post speak to your emotions and motivate you to climb the ladder of success.

What is the relation between fun and motivation? Are they the same? - Psychology

The purpose of this section is to give you an introduction to principles of motivation and emotion. Motivational theories explain the “itch” or “drive” or “reason” behind our behaviors – voluntary and involuntary. Theories of emotion explain how we experience and interpret emotion on a physiological, cognitive, and social level.

Motivation Generally

Motivation is essentially a force which acts upon you, causing you to behave a certain way or perform a certain action. It can’t be observed directly, but it can be inferred by assuming that a behavior satisfies a certain need or drive. Motivational theorists look at motivation in terms of three variables: activation, persistence, and intensity. Activation is basically initiative. Persistence is really about the durability of a behavior – more highly motivated behaviors persist, even if they are not immediately successful. Intensity is really about energy or vigor – more highly motivated behaviors deserve (and get) more of your time, energy, and effort.

Motivational Theories

Motivational theories are really just ways of interpreting behaviors by suggesting some sort of cause, purpose, or rationale behind the behavior.

  • Instinct theories of motivation take an evolutionary perspective. James and McDougall came up with a list of instinctual fixed action patterns such as attachment, curiosity, sociability, and play. Inspired by Darwin’s theory of natural selection, they suggested that we engage in these behaviors because they are adaptive and enhance our odds of survival and reproduction.
  • Drive theories suggest that biological needs trigger a “drive” (an internal state of tension) which motivates behaviors which restore an internal state of balance – homeostasis. Generally, drives are useful for explaining biological needs such as hunger, sleep, and sexual drives. Drives may also explain certain psychological needs, such as reducing cognitive dissonance by engaging in rationalizations – the rationalizations are a response to a drive to reduce dissonance, a psychological state of tension. The key term is homeostasis, or balance.
  • Arousal theories suggest that optimal arousal is the goal, rather than homeostasis. This is useful for explaining personality differences, such as the difference between extroverts (who require more stimulation) and introverts (who may require less). Arousal theories explain emotional phenomena such as stress, boredom, and depression. They also help to explain reckless, sensation-seeking kinds of behaviors.
  • Incentive theories are useful for explaining behaviors which are motivated by extrinsic, rather than intrinsic forces. Extrinsic motivators are motivators which come from “outside” of you things like being motivated to do your job well not because you care about the work, but because someone else who cares about the work is paying you to do the work.
  • In contrast to incentive theories, humanistictheory focuses on the importance of intrinsic (internal) psychological and emotional needs. For example, you may do your job well not because you are paid to do it (extrinsic) but because you enjoy the work (a goal) or because it means something to do good work (a value).

Biological Motivation – Eating and Energy Homeostasis

Our biological drives are good demonstrations of motivated behavior and the impact that motivation can have on your bodily and psychological function. Energy homeostasis is the process of maintaining body weight and mass by balancing the amount of energy in and energy out – stabilizing the relationship between blood glucose, insulin, and basal metabolic rate (resting energy use). Energy balance exists when your ingestion of calories (energy) matches your use of calories through exercise and activity. This will maintain weight, whereas a positive energy balance (more energy in than out) will result in an increase of fat cells (stored energy) in the adipose tissue. Negative energy balance (more out than in) will result in energy being drained from the reserves in adipose tissue, leading to weight loss.

In order to maintain this balance, eating has to happen in response to a biological need. Slight drops in glucose and increases in insulin are pretty good predictors of eating behavior – when eating takes place, glucose and insulin levels return to normal. The same is true for ghrelin, which is secreted by cells in the stomach lining and increases sharply just prior to eating. After eating, ghrelin levels return to baseline. During eating, stretch receptors in the stomach send signals to the hypothalamus which signal satiety – the satisfaction of the hunger drive. This is aided by the secretion of cholecystokinin in the small intestines, which is also released in response to eating, and is responsible for you feeling “done.” Naturally, disruptions in the function of these hormones and neurotransmitters can cause abnormalities in eating behavior – either being full too quickly, or not feeling full at all (for example, individuals with Prader Willi Syndrome).

There are also internal signals which regulate long term eating behaviors, rather than single-instance eating behaviors. These long-term signals have more to do with regulation and maintenance of body weight, and they include leptin, insulin, and neuropeptide Y. In general, secretion of neuropeptide Y triggers eating and promotes fat storage, whereas secretion of leptin and insulin decrease eating behaviors.

Obesity and Weight Maintenance

Obesity is a substantial problem in the U.S. – as many as two-thirds of americans are heavier than the ideal body weight (medically, not socially), and half of them are medically obese (having a BMI over 30). Factors implicated in obesity range from hormonal disruptions due to dyssomnias, genetic issues, hypothyroidism, and psychological issues to behavioral problems such as impulse control, a sedentary lifestyle, and the cafeteria diet effect. Social issues can also create a propensity toward obesity most of us learn our eating and exercise habits from our parents and immediate families, which may also reduce social incentives to lose weight. Researchers generally conclude that there are behavioral and social causes which may or may not also have an underlying genetic influence for example, leptin resistance creates a physiological predisposition toward obesity if it is not managed through diet and exercise.

One of the most significant problems for individuals who are seeking a healthy body weight is the existence of a set point. Basically, if a dieter reduces caloric intake, the body will slow metabolic processes down to maintain the body’s weight balance. This is because we are actually programmed with a prejudice in favor of weight gain, rather than loss – for our hunter-gatherer ancestors, surviving a famine promoted survival. Although this biological predisposition remains, the ready availability of food makes this artifact of our evolution a problem, rather than an advantage. This is why individuals who lose a few pounds find that their weight loss ceases after a few weeks, despite continued dieting.

Sexual Motivation

The drive for sex is another example of a behavior that can be explained in terms of balance and homeostasis. Human sexuality is often described in terms of four stages: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. More or less, sexual thoughts or the presence of an attractive person cause hormonal changes, creating an internal state of tension which is not resolved until orgasm is achieved. That’s not to say that sex is necessary – it is just the fastest path to resolving a sexual drive. The sex drive appears to be motivated by the secretion of testosterone, which is eventually metabolised whether or not you have sex. It results in increasing levels of excitement and CNS arousal, culminating in orgasm – the rapid contraction of pelvic muscles resulting in a feeling of release and satisfaction.

The sexual drive doesn’t necessarily explain monogamy, which is the tendency to have only one sexual partner at a time. Obviously, monogamy is not universal. However, the majority of people engage in relationships one-at-a-time, and most people will eventually commit to a for-life monogamous relationship. This is possibly a relic of our evolutionary past, where pair-bonds ensured survival for your mate and your offspring. Oxytocin, a hormone released during sex, intimate contact, and childbirth, promotes feelings of closeness, bonding, and attachment. So there may also be a physiological basis for the tendency toward monogamy – although there is also evidence that the release of oxytocin is highest with a new partner, and that this effect might be stronger in some individuals than it is in others.

Psychological Motivators

Humanistic psychologists focus on psychological needs as the motivators for behaviors, suggesting that our goals, ideals, values, beliefs, and expectations motivate us just as much as our biological drives.

The Hierarchy of Needs, created by Abraham Maslow, is a model of motivation which incorporates both physiological needs and psychological drives, culminating with self-actualization. Self-actualization can be defined loosely as a high degree of synchrony between your goals, values, self-concept, dreams, and actions. Individuals who are self-actualized are dynamic, genuine, real, autonomous, open, and appreciative. However, to get to this point all of the other needs in the hierarchy must be satisfied – you cannot ignore your physical drives to achieve self-actualization.

Deci and Ryan more recently developed self-determination theory, which emphasizes that we are motivated to grow toward greater levels of autonomy, relatedness, and competence. Autonomy here means behaving in a way which is intrinsically, rather than extrinsically motivated. People who are autonomous do what they do because it matters to them, not to others. This produces a higher degree of personal fulfilment and satisfaction. Competence is the ability to respond to challenging situations by using your unique skills and abilities. Relatedness is the opportunity to share your values and accomplishments with others.

Components of Emotions

Emotions are complex physiological and psychological experiences which can be strong motivators in and of themselves. They involve three components: physiological arousal, the subjective experience, and some behavioral “expression.” Emotions can function as motivators (for example, fear motivating you to run away from a bear), as goals (getting married because you want to be happy and in love), and as information (decision-making based on how you feel about your options). Use of emotions as information requires emotional intelligence and practice interpreting the non-verbal experience of emotions.

Although the purpose of emotions is not exactly clear, most scientists agree that we evolved the capacity for emotions because they provide information and allow us to share information with other members of our family and community. The basic emotions (fear, happiness, surprise, anger, disgust, and sadness) reinforce this idea, because they are universally recognized regardless of culture, language, or race. This underscores the notion that emotions are about sharing information.

The Subjective Experience

The trickiest component of emotions is the subjective experience. Roughly speaking, this is your interpretation of emotional information, which you then label as “sadness” or “guilt” or “grief” or “elation” depending on your experiences, awareness, expectations, and social or cultural expectations. Emotions can be analysed and organized based on activation (the intensity of the arousal), valence (whether it is positive or negative), and interpersonal engagement (whether the emotion is social, or personal). The interpersonal engagement piece is particularly important when we talk about cultural differences in the expression and experience of emotion for example, americans of european heritage tend to be less aware of the social context of their emotions, so their awareness of interpersonal engagement is lower than individuals of east-asian heritage.

Physiological Arousal and Activation

The experience of emotion depends on the activation of physical systems such as the autonomic nervous system and the limbic system. Although research has demonstrated subtle differences in the kind of physiological activation we associate with different emotions, the general rule is that emotions require activation of the sympathetic nervous system and activation of the amygdala – the portion of the brain responsible for interpreting emotional experiences.

The activation of the amygdala is based on sensory input – for example, seeing a bear in the woods results in signals eventually reaching the amygdala, which then communicates with the hypothalamus and medulla to begin activation of the sympathetic nervous system. There are two pathways – direct and indirect – which can be thought of as pre-process and post-process. For example, the image of a bear is routed to the thalamus, then to the visual cortex, then to the temporal lobe (for identification), and then to the amygdala. This is the indirect pathway, which yields slower but more accurate responses. There is also direct communication between the thalamus and amygdala, resulting in a more unconscious response to the stimulus before it has been fully processed. This allows us to respond (and possibly escape) while we are determining the level of danger, rather than having to wait around for the processing to be completed.

Behavioral Expression of Emotions

Behavioral expression can be divided up into two broad classes. The expressions for basic emotions appear to be pre-programmed based on evolution. On the other hand, expressions for more complex “blended” or “hybrid” emotions are learned by interacting with other members of our family, community, and culture. These are governed by external rules called display rules, and these rules determine not just how emotions are expressed, but who can express them and when. Display rules are really a collection of norms and expectations that help us to understand, filter, and interpret the complex emotions of other people. When people violate these norms we feel confused, awkward, or alienated. So understanding display rules and being able to express emotions appropriately is a function of our participating in society at large, not just a personal experience.

Theories of Emotional Interpretation

Having looked at the components of emotional experience, the only remaining question is the sequence in which these components are experienced and how that sequence affects our interpretation of emotions. William James and Carl Lange’s James-Lange theory of emotion suggests, counter-intuitively, that we base our subjective experience of emotion on our physiological state – basically, recognizing that you are afraid because you are running. More or less, the brain recognizes a particular physiological state as being associated with a familiar emotion.

This feedback-based theory has some support, including the facial-feedback hypothesis, which indicates that we do evaluate our physiological states when interpreting our emotions. However, the work of Walter Cannon suggests that many emotions have similar patterns of physiological arousal (meaning that we shouldn’t be able to distinguish between them based on arousal alone), and that often the physiological response doesn’t occur until after we have already reacted to the stimulus (such as in the case of shame or embarrassment). Gregorio Maranon demonstrated that individuals who were injected with epinephrine (producing a fight-or-flight response) did not identify their emotion as “fear” because, even though their body said “fear,” they were aware of the experiment and knew they were not in danger.

Maranon’s experiment highlights that there is a cognitive element to our emotional experience, later expanded upon by Schachter and Singer’s two-factor theory of emotion. They suggested that it is the interaction of physiological arousal and a cognitive evaluation of both the arousal and the context of the arousal that leads to the use of a particular label for example, someone who is experiencing arousal of the sympathetic nervous system while on a ferris wheel may evaluate their emotions as “excitement” if they view the context of their arousal as “fun at the carnival,” or as “fear” if they view the context of their arousal as “people die on these kinds of rides.”

On the other hand, cognitive-appraisal theory suggests that our experience of emotion depends almost exclusively on our cognitive appraisal of the situation, without much regard to our physiological arousal at all. This represents an almost complete reversal compared to James-Lange. Cognitive-appraisal theory is useful for understanding the interaction of personal and cognitive factors, such as self-efficacy or locus of control, and our experience of emotions.

What is Emotion?

In psychology, emotion refers to the conscious and subjective experience that is characterized by mental states, biological reactions and psychological or physiologic expressions (e.g. facial expressions). The word “emotion” was a 1579 adaptation of the French word “emouvoir” (to stir up).

Emotion is different from “feelings” because feelings subjectively represent emotions, which means that feelings are only private to the person. Also, emotion is distinguished from “mood” based on the period of time that they are present a mood lasts longer than an emotion. Interchangeably used with emotion, “affect” is the experience of emotion, and is associated with how the emotion is expressed (as seen on facial expressions or hand gestures).

A Breakdown of All Five Stages:

1) Physiological Needs:

The first or the bottom-most stage in the pyramid is termed as the Physiological Needs or Basic Needs. It consists of all those basic survival needs which include food, water, air, warmth, etc. Without the satisfaction of these needs, human survival will be at a continuous risk, and thus, this is the most immediate need, thirsting for immediate satisfaction in humans.

2) Safety Needs:

The second need, listed in Maslow’s theory of motivation, is the Safety Need. This need, as the name suggests, is the need for safety or security of the individual, including laws, order, stability, etc. In work-places it can also include job-security, etc.

3) Social Needs:

Man is a social animal, and so, it is a great need of ours to socially interact with others, creating bonds like friendships, relations, intimacy and being “a part” of a group. For this reason, it is also termed as Belongingness Need.

4) Esteem Needs:

This refers to both our self-esteem and esteem from others. Our need of self-esteem includes confidence, dignity, independence, a pleasant sense of the self, etc, while our need for esteem from others include respect, a good reputation, etc.

5) Self-actualization Needs:

This refers to the need for one’s personal growth. It includes realizing one’s full potential and capabilities and working towards achieving them.

What is Motivation?

Motivation is an internal process. Whether we define it as a drive or a need, motivation is a condition inside us that desires a change, either in the self or the environment. When we tap into this well of energy, motivation endows the person with the drive and direction needed to engage with the environment in an adaptive, open-ended, and problem-solving sort of way (Reeve, 2015).

The essence of motivation is energized and persistent goal-directed behavior. When we are motivated, we move and take action.

Motivation is influenced by the satisfaction of needs that are either necessary for sustaining life or essential for wellbeing and growth. Physiological needs for food, water, and sex (yes sex) serve the organism to maintain life and also provide satisfaction from doing so.

Psychological needs for autonomy, mastery, and belonging direct our behavior in much the same way. As do the needs for achievement, power, closure, meaning, and self-esteem. Some of these needs will become motives as will all the intrinsic activities we engage in.

Our environment and social context will play a significant role in terms of extrinsic motivation. We will also be motivated by goals, values, and desires to experience specific emotions associated with certain end-states (Reeve, 2015).

The best way to explain motivation is to show what it looks like in everyday life. Here is an example of possible motivational reasons a person could have to engage in exercise.

Reasons to Exercise Type of Motivation Real-Life Examples
Fun, enjoyment Intrinsic motivation Children run, jump, and chase simply for the sheer fun of it.
Personal challenge Flow Performers get “in the zone” when their pursuits optimally challenge their skills.
Forced to do so External regulation Athletes exercise because their coach tells them to do so.
Accomplish a goal Goal Runners strive to run a mile in six minutes or less.
Health benefits Value Patients exercise to lose weight or to strengthen the heart.
Inspiration Possible self People watch others exercise and become inspired to do the same.
Pursuit of a standard of excellence Achievement strivings Snow skiers race to the bottom of the mountain, trying to beat their previous best time.
Satisfaction from a job well done Competence As exercisers make progress, they feel more competent, more effective.
An emotional kick Opponent process Vigorous jogging can produce a runner’s high, a euphoric rebound to the pain.
Good mood Positive affect Being in nature can induce a good mood such that people exercise spontaneously, skipping along without even knowing why.
Alleviate guilt Introjection People exercise because they think that is what they should or ought to do to please others or to relieve their sense of guilt.
Relieve stress and anxiety Personal control After a stressful day, people go to the gym, which they see as a structured and controllable environment.
Spend time with friends Relatedness Exercise is often a social event, a time to enjoy hanging out with friends.

For a more in-depth discussion of the many mechanisms of motivation, see our article on Motivation and What Really Drives Human Behavior.

What is the relation between fun and motivation? Are they the same? - Psychology

Human sexual motivation is an unusual motivation. In lower animals we speak about sexual motivation as a "drive." That is, we state that some internal, innate force pushes the animal to engage in reproductive behavior. Humans don't simply give in to an internal push towards sexual behavior. Instead, human motivation to engage in sexual behavior is due to a complex relationship among several factors.

Most theorists refer to motivation as an inferred need, desire or impulse which initiates, directs and sustains behavior (e.g., Coon, 1997 Wood & Wood, 1996). One group of psychologists calls motivation a factor which explains the relations between stimuli and behavior (Bernstein, Clarke-Stewart, Roy, & Wickens, 1997). By combining these two definitions and applying them to human sexual behavior we could say that sexual motivation is an inferred, internal state influenced by several factors which determines engagement in sexual activity.

Collecting Data on Human Sexuality

Problems with data - Before discussing the elements of sexual behavior, it is important to understand the methods of collecting data that are involved in studies on human sexual behavior. Due to the private nature of the subject matter, most research is performed using surveys, self-reports and volunteers. Self-reports and surveys can be riddled with errors. For example, individuals make errors either intentionally, to give socially-acceptable responses, or accidentally, by forgetting, or even unintentionally because what they think motivates their behavior doesn't (see, e.g., Walster, Aronson, Abrahams, & Rottman, 1966). Finally, volunteers in sex studies are not typically subjects from which one can generalize. Take, for example, the question, "how often do you masturbate?" Volunteers who are willing to answer questions like this are probably more outgoing than the general population. Another important fact to keep in mind is that most studies of sexual behavior are correlational. Studies which show behaviors differentially produced by men and women, heterosexuals versus homosexuals, or members of different nations, are only descriptive since they cannot control for all potential variables. In other words, it is rare that we can assume causation from any of the variables examined in studies of human sexual behavior.

Two landmark studies - With the above information in mind, it is important to introduce two early sources of data on sexual attitudes and behavior. One primary source of self-reported data which has greatly influenced the field of human sexual behavior comes from the Kinsey studies (Kinsey, Pomeroy & Martin, 1948 Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953). These reports were highly influential due to the nature of the questions asked and the large number (several thousand) of subjects who were polled. Kinsey's studies sought to identify, among other facts, what sexual behaviors people engaged in, what age they were when they began engaging in them, and how often they were currently engaging in them. They also indicated that women and men were not very different from each other in terms of sexual physiology. This information raised a furor in the conservative decade of the 1950s (Wade & Tavris, 1996). However, the Kinsey studies also stated that sexual differences were due to women's lesser sexual capacity. Herein lies the error in descriptive studies that are used to imply causation. Kinsey and associates completely disregarded the effects of culture and learning on their subjects' behavior.

Another landmark study, due to the methodology used, involved actual physiological measurement of sexual responses in male and female volunteers (Masters & Johnson, 1966). This study dispelled the myth that women's sexual response to intercourse was vastly different from men's and indeed showed that both sexes had very similar physiological responses. Their results would indicate that differential subjective responses to sexual intercourse between the sexes were indeed more likely associated with culture and learning.

The data collected in these studies are now rather outdated. Furthermore, critics of the studies state the information is not generalizable since the participants were primarily white, middle-class volunteers (Bernstein, et al., 1997 Wood & Wood, 1996). It was with this information in mind that two recent studies were conducted, one in the United States and one in Great Britain, which gathered data from non-volunteers using extensive interviews (Laumann, Gagnon, Michael, & Michaels, 1994 Wellings, Field, Johnson, & Wadsworth, 1994). These studies were designed to include a representative sample and also allow participants to give in-depth, and anonymous answers (due to the sensitive nature of some of the questions) (Laumann, et al., 1994 Wellings, et al., 1994). Laumann and his associates found a more conservative pattern of sexual behavior than did the Kinsey studies indicating that volunteers are not, in fact, representative of the general population (Bernstein, et al., 1997).

In summary of the method of data collection, there are difficulties associated with collection of data from volunteers and generalization is limited. Superior studies should attempt to choose broader samples and provide participants an opportunity to produce honest, confidential answers. Further, those who analyze studies of human sexual motivation need to beware of drawing causal conclusions where none are warranted.

Factors in Human Sexual Motivation

It is common to try to organize various psychological topics by placing the factors involved into environmental and physiological categories. For example, you would place hormones, a known component of sexual motivation, into the physiological category. But where would you place something like desire for physical pleasure, a frequently cited element in sexual motivation (Abramson & Pinkerton, 1995 Cofer, 1972 Hatfield & Rapson, 1993)? Physical pleasure has both a physiological component (the physical sensations associated with touch) and a subjective psychological component. Where does something subjective like pleasure fit in our breakdown into physiological and environmental components? Pleasure is an emotion (Cofer, 1972), which, according to the Schacter-Singer theory, is a subjective feeling based upon physiological arousal and interpretations of the stimuli that are linked to the arousal (Cornelius, 1996). Thus emotions are both physiologically- and cognitively-based. This indicates that another category exists into which we might place sexual motivators, but to state this would be to miss the larger issue. The larger issue is that pleasure is influenced by both our cognitions and our physiological functioning. As a factor involved in sexual motivation, it is not unusual to be associated with motivation and to simultaneously be associated with other variables that are themselves identified as related to sexual motivation and which may or may not belong to the same category. Thus, identifying categories and then placing the elements of sexual motivation into discrete categories is a difficult, if not impossible task. Rather than attempting to do so, the current author will identify the variables that have been linked to sexual motivation and identify, where possible, any mediating variables.

Physiological Correlates - An analysis of human sexual motivation couldn't proceed without first discussing physiological factors, in particular, hormones. The influence of hormones in sexual behavior is well-supported by research. Both men and women produce estrogens, progestins and androgens, though women produce far more estrogens and progestin and men more androgens (Hokanson, 1969 Leger, 1992). In lower species, hormone levels are almost directly correlated with sexual behavior, however, as one moves up the phylogenetic scale, other elements become involved (Fisher, 1993 Hokanson, 1969). In humans, hormones are also related to sexual desire, but are not the entire story.

In males, a minimum level of testosterone is necessary to maintain normal sexual motivation in males (Leger, 1992). If males' testosterone levels fall below the threshold, sexual motivation is greatly reduced. However, once the threshold level is reached, it no longer predicts sexual behavior. Women's studies also show correlations between hormones and sexual desire (Leger, 1992 Sherwin & Gelfan, 1987 Sherwin, Gelfan, & Brender, 1985), however, the results are inconsistent (Leger, 1992). Since neither increases nor decreases in hormones in either males or females are perfectly correlated with sexual desire, it stands to reason that there must be other factors involved. As Hokanson (1969) concludes, hormones serve the primary purpose of readying the individual for action, but other factors determine whether the individual actually engages in sexual activity.

Another physiological factor in sexual motivation may well be odor and sense of smell. Of all the elements researched, odor and sense of smell have received the least attention, probably because, as Kohl and Francoeur (1995) state, their influence on sexual behavior is difficult to ascertain. However, body odor (i.e., airborne hormones) definitely influences our behaviors. In their review of numerous studies such as synchronization of menstrual cycles of women who live together, and the influence of hormone-scented masks on individuals' ratings of others, Kohl and Francoeur (1995) state that odor must be involved in our sexual behaviors also. Helen Fisher (1993) also agrees that odors may influence sexual behavior and cites that some men in Greece swear by body-odor scented handkerchiefs which they use to lure women into relationships.

Sexual Orientation - Our desire to engage in sexual behavior with someone is also influenced by sexual orientation. Sexual orientation refers to the direction of an individual's sexual attraction (Wood, et al., 1996). Most individuals are heterosexual (Laumann, 1994 Wellings, et al., 1994) which means they are primarily attracted to the opposite sex. Homosexuals are individuals who are attracted to the same sex and bisexuals are attracted to both sexes.

Why are individuals attracted to one sex rather than another? LeVay (1995) believes that most researchers of the topic agree it is a combination of multiple factors including genetic makeup, hormones and social experiences. He further believes that newer studies (e.g., Bailey & Pillard, 1991 Bailey, Pillard, Neale, & Agyei, 1993) indicate that genes are perhaps more influential than the other factors. Studies indicate that the percentage of individuals who call themselves homosexual is quite small, ranging from about .5% to 2.8% (Laumann, 1994 Wellings, et al., 1994) . This estimate is significantly lower than the rates given in the problematic Kinsey Reports (1948 1953).

In his review of several studies on the prevalence of homosexuality, LeVay (1995) states that it is best to keep an open mind towards reviewing new evidence since changing attitudes and beliefs appear to be linked to self-stated homosexuality. What he was referring to was the indication that individuals are more likely to express their gay behavior within their own culture as that culture becomes more accepting of homosexuality. Thus it is apparent that culture influences the expression of one's sexual orientation which in turn influences sexual motivation.

Pleasure - As mentioned earlier, pursuit of erotic pleasure is a primary reason to engage in sexual behavior (Abramson et al., 1995 Hatfield et al., 1993). Kinsey and colleagues (1948 1953) found that children between the ages of 2 and 5 years of age spontaneously touch their genitals. At this age, one could not argue that this sexual behavior is learned or designed to contribute to reproduction. Abramson and Pinkerton (1995) point out that the pleasure of sexual behavior is physiologically and psychologically-based and that the sex organs do not exist merely to guarantee reproductive behavior. As an example, they cite the female orgasm, uncommon during vaginal penetration, but very common by more direct means of clitoral stimulation. In other words, sexual pleasure does not occur merely to ensure procreation. We engage in sexual behavior because it is enjoyable. However, as will be reviewed later, what is considered pleasurable, may well be influenced by one's interpretation of the stimuli.

Cognitions - How a stimulus is interpreted influences how individuals respond to that stimulus. Zellman and Goodchild (1983) surveyed 400 teenagers and found that the behaviors girls felt conveyed romantic interest were the same actions boys considered invitations to sex. Since societies create very different gender roles for men and women, differences in interpretation of the same data are bound to occur (Wade, et al., 1996). Wade's comments indicate that culture influences sexual behaviors, not only through performance of behaviors that are considered appropriate, but also through interpretation of those behaviors.

Cognitions and arousal - Based upon the results of surveys such as the Kinsey studies (1948 1953), men have been considered to be more sexually responsive than women. Early studies comparing men and women's subjective responses to erotic films supported that theory. However, when studies were conducted comparing male and female physiological responses to male-produced, male-intended erotic films, researchers found that men and women actually experienced the same physiological arousal (Laan, Everaerd, Van Bellen, & Hanewald 1994). When participants were asked to express their feelings about the stimuli, men reported sexual arousal and positive affect, yet women reported disgust and lack of arousal. In other words, both men and women experienced the same physiological arousal but different subjective arousal. When women viewed an erotic film produced by women for women, the female participants showed the same physiologic arousal as they did to male-produced films, but reported significantly greater sexual arousal, interest and positive affect. As interpreted by the researchers, the difference was due to how women interpreted the content of the films. Essentially, this study indicated that interpretation of the stimuli is of great importance in subjective feelings of sexual arousal. Cognitions affect sexual arousal in another fashion. According to Kalat (1996), inhibition of arousal can occur in individuals who believe that sex is shameful. These individuals experience sexual arousal, but have difficulties achieving sexual orgasm because of their thoughts.

Palace and Gorzalka (1992) studied sexually functional and dysfunctional women and found that cognitions and physiological arousal were simultaneously important in sexual arousal. They hypothesized that cognitions and physiological arousal comprise a feedback loop to determine overall sexual arousal. These many studies indicate that the thoughts individuals have regarding various stimuli impact individuals sexual motivation through influencing their arousal or their interpretations of behavior.

Attraction - Numerous elements have been identified as playing a role in attraction. For example, attraction is a function of proximity (how frequently you cross paths with someone), familiarity and similarity (e.g. in looks, or attitudes) (Kalat, 1996). This has been supported both with studies of attraction to friends and to romantic partners.

Playing hard-to-get also contributes to human's attraction to one another (Hatfield, Walster, Piliavin & Schmidt, 1988). Apparently individuals make attributions about potential significant others based upon how quickly that person returns a show of interest. Those who are easily attained are less attractive than those who are more difficult too attain due to the traits the relationship-seeker attributes to her. For example, relationship seekers fear that easy-to-get women might display inappropriate behaviors in public. However, a hard-to-get woman who indicates interest in the relationship-seeker has positive traits attributed to her such as warmth and friendliness.

Another overwhelmingly important element in attraction is physical attractiveness. As stated previously, research between attitudes and behaviors are not always consistent. Research on what individuals find attractive in potential dates provides further evidence for this inconsistency in human sexual behavior. Although subjects stated that physical attractiveness was one of the least important elements in their attraction to someone else, in actual experiments using blind dates, the only factor which predicted whether subjects desired a second date with the same person was the attractiveness of the blind date (Walster, Aronson, Abrahams, & Rottman, 1966). This was true for both male and female participants of the study. In a study on physical attractiveness and relationship length, the factor which best predicted whether couples would remain together nine months after they began dating was the similarity in their physical attractiveness (White, 1980). This "matching" phenomenon in which people tend to select mates that match them in terms of physical attractiveness, has been replicated and expanded upon with consistent results (Feingold, 1988). It might seem that we learn to appreciate beauty from the culture that we are born into, yet studies of pre-school children indicate that they too, prefer attractive classmates and also make attributions based on classmates' physical characteristics (Dion & Berscheid, 1971).

Attraction to others is yet another element of sexual motivation that has its roots in both nature and nurture -- it is obviously innate to seek out attractive others, yet we still lean towards mates who are more similar to us, an apparent influence of culture and learning in addition to an inherited predisposition.

Learning - Learning is, of course, highly influential in sexual motivation. We copy the behaviors of those we respect and admire. We learn to repeat behaviors that are rewarded (and sexual behavior is rewarding for most) and we learn to discontinue behaviors that have negative outcomes.

Conditioning is believed to influence sexual motivation. Certain stimuli may increase sexual arousal. For example, one might become sexually aroused by candlelight due to the learned association with sexual pre-encounters such as a romantic, candlelight dinner. It has also been proposed that conditioning accounts for sexually dysfunctional behaviors and sexual deviance (O'Donohue & Plaud, 1994). For example, a pedophile (person sexually aroused by children) might have been accidentally sexually aroused in the presence of a child. Principles of conditioning indicate he would seek this same combination of factors in the future in order to achieve the same pleasurable circumstances again. In her study of sexual motivators, Barbara Leigh (1989) states that fear of rejection, a learned component, is indeed the reason most often given by single men for not engaging in sex.

Matching theory (Carli, Ganley, & Pierce-Otay, 1991), which states that individuals within couples are frequently very similar in attractiveness ratings, is easily understood using the principles of conditioning. For example, an average-looking man who is rebuffed whenever he approaches beautiful females should reduce his attempts to interact with beautiful women. Similarly, he should rebuff less-attractive women if he could interact with more attractive women. Who he ultimately couples with should be very similar in looks due to the conditioning of each person's partner-choosing behaviors.

Conditioning as a theory to explain sexual deviance and dysfunction is not without its critics. O'Donohue and Plaud (1994) examined several studies which used behavioral and aversion therapy to change sexual behaviors. Due to methodological problems in the studies they examined, they believe that conditioning plays a much smaller role in sexual motivation than previously believed. Thus conditioning may play some role in the sexual motivation, but how much of a role it plays is not clear.

Culture - As mentioned throughout this essay, culture determines what behaviors are gender appropriate, what behaviors may or may not be performed in public, and what behaviors are considered sexually arousing. Yet culture and learning are inextricably tied together. An individual could not acquire his or her culture's norms without learning taking place. Conversely, there is very little one could learn which is not influenced by culture. For example, when we model the behaviors of individuals from our own society, we are copying behaviors that are more than likely already societally-influenced. If we view behaviors performed by individuals from another culture, we do so through lenses already colored by our society's influence. Hence any learning we might acquire from a culturally-different person is mediated by our own culture first.

Attitudes and Culture - Attitudes are defined as relatively stable evaluations of a person, object, situation or issue (Wood et al., 1996). Studies have shown that behaviors normally considered proper in one culture, may be improper or unarousing in another. In other words, attitudes towards sexual behaviors are culturally learned. For example, some cultures find kissing repulsive (Tiefer, 1995) while other cultures insist on same-gender sex as a rite of passage into adulthood (Herdt, 1984).

It is still noted, even in newer surveys in the United States (e.g., Laumann et al., 1994), that men and women have different attitudes toward sexual behaviors. For example, men are more interested in a variety of sexual behaviors, such as group sex, than are women. These divergences are undoubtedly, as mentioned earlier, a function of the gender roles each society impresses upon its members. A comparison of Swedish and American college students sought to examine if indeed the difference in men's and women's attitudes could be definitively tied to culture, rather than inherent gender differences (Weinberg, Lottes, Shaver, 1995). Specifically, it was believed that men and women in Sweden would have more convergent and relaxed attitudes toward sexual behaviors than the American participants. Sweden is generally known to have more relaxed sexual standards. It is believed that this is due, in part, to several years of mandatory sex education and the relatively equal power that women have in society. The study indeed showed that Swedish men and women had very similar attitudes towards sexual behaviors. Americans, as expected, had very different attitudes about what constituted appropriate sexual behaviors. While the current author cautioned earlier against drawing causal conclusions from a descriptive study such as this, the information further indicates that culture is associated with differences in sexual attitudes.

The influence of learning on sexual motivation is quite profound. Attraction, cognitions, and sexual orientation, variables mentioned previously, are also influenced by learning. Thus a key component which determines the level of our sexual motivation is learning.


In conclusion, sexual motivation is influenced by complex relationships among numerous factors including hormones, cognitions, learning and culture. Because these variables are also associated with one another, in addition to sexual motivation, it is difficult to place them in discrete categories. Finally, the inability to clearly isolate the many variables involved in human sexual motivation ensures that this topic will continue to fascinate researchers for a very long time.

Motivation and What Really Drives Human Behavior

In our world of exponential change and ever-increasing complexity, the power rests with those who act, and especially those who act with self-determination and persistence.

Our motivation is our most valuable commodity. Multiplied only by action, its value fluctuates with how we invest our attention.

Why is it that we are all born with limitless potential, yet few people fulfill those possibilities?

Some of our motives to act are biological, while others have personal and social origins. We are motivated to seek food, water, and sex, but our behavior is also influenced by social approval, acceptance, the need to achieve, and the motivation to take or to avoid risks, to name a few (Morsella, Bargh, & Gollwitzer, 2009).

This article introduces some of the core concepts in the science of motivation and provides links to more in-depth discussions of more nuanced topics and specific applications of motivational theories to real-world motivational problems.

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free. These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your clients create actionable goals and master techniques to create lasting behavior change.

Watch the video: JETZT LIVE! 100% MOTIVATION! (July 2022).


  1. Gibbesone

    Yeah ... Debatable enough, I would argue with the author ...

  2. Lennie

    In my opinion, you are wrong. I'm sure. I can defend my position. Email me at PM, we will discuss.

  3. Quennel

    What follows from this?

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