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As it turns out, the complexity of our behavior requires a complex set of explanatory ideas.
According to the oldest motivational theory on the books, organisms behave as they do because they are following a set of biologically pre-programmed instinctual urges. Like the birds and the bees, humans are enacting a set of behaviors hardwired into our neural circuitry. This theory is undoubtedly too simple to apply to humans, much less birds and bees.
However, inner needs must certainly be part of the equation in understanding our behavior. This next approach to motivation proposes that organisms large and small, simple to complex, prefer the state of homeostasis in which all of their needs are fulfilled. Their "drives," in other words the need states that propel behavior must be "reduced.
However, if the theory were true, no one would ever seek out excitement. No one would go bungee jumping or seek comparable mental challenges. At the opposite pole of drive reduction, arousal theory proposes that we seek to increase, not decrease, our level of stimulation.
We want the high that accompanies a rush of endorphins when we push ourselves physically or mentally. Animals as well as humans get bored from too much homeostasis.
However, too much arousal can also thwart our ability to achieve our goals.
A variant of arousal theory, called the "Yerkes-Dodson Law," takes this fact into account. The Yerkes-Dodson law proposed in but still used today Smith et al. You might consider this the "Goldilocks" principle of motivation. Each individual, and each task, has its own peak between arousal that is too low and arousal that is too intense.
Once you find your optimum level of arousal, your performance will be both flawless and enjoyable. Our behavior may also be determined by forces that propel us to do something we otherwise would not. Incentive theory is the basic principle behind marketing. A good marketing strategy will cause you to want something you neither have nor think you need.
An item that you would have given no thought to now becomes a handy little impulse purchase that you toss into your bag or cart. Adding to the draw of the impulse purchase is the fact that you may feel you deserve a treat, having practiced extreme self-restraint throughout the rest of your shopping expedition a phenomenon called " ego depletion ".
Moving from simple conditioning to the realm of behavior controlled by thoughts, the cognitive theory of motivation proposes that our expectations guide our behavior.
Cognitive theory, the creation of University of Rochester psychologists Ed Deci and Richard Ryan, proposed that we have two types of motivation: Intrinsic motivation is what drives us to fulfill our inner potential and interests.
Extrinsic motivation, by contrast, is your desire to achieve tangible rewards such as money or the glory that come with status and recognition. Deci and Ryan developed the counter-intuitive proposal that people who receive extrinsic rewards for behaviors that they find intrinsically satisfying become less creative and productive.
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Positive conflict is the notion that a healthy discourse may exist in the disagreement among group members regarding personality traits, styles, or characteristics or the content of their ideas, decisions or task processes which involves a pathway towards resolution.
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