Human Motivation 6th Edition by Robert E. Franken – Test Bank
Themes in the Study of Motivation
Overview: The purpose of this chapter is twofold: (1) to describe the fundamental concepts or themes that guide current theories and research in the study of motivation, and
(2) to briefly review the major issues and concerns of earlier theories that have served to shape the development of motivation as we know it today. Motivation theorists assume that every behavior has a cause. Theories of motivation can serve as efficient/practical guides that give focus to the search for causes.
Theories that have the broadest appeal are those that are capable of accounting for the greatest number of facts with the fewest possible concepts. However, attempts to achieve parsimonious causal explanations of human motivation have often failed and/or led to oversimplification and eventual loss of a theory’s explanatory power.
Such was the fate of some of the classical theories reviewed in this chapter. On the other hand, theories of the past have left an important body of psychological constructs that have become an integral part of current thinking about motivation. Today, as in the past, motivation theories are primarily concerned with identifying the causes of the arousal, direction, and persistence of behavior. However, unlike some of the previous theorists that are discussed in this chapter,
current theorists are more eclectic in their search for causes, examining the potential contributions of biological, learning, and cognitive processes to human motivation. Other issues and concerns influencing current thinking are: (a) the assumption that all behavior represents an attempt to adapt; (b) the need to provide causal explanations for individual differences in motivation; (c) assessing the limitations of human volition or willpower; and (d) assessing the possibility of taking control of our behavior through self-regulation.