Meaning, Definition, Nature, Types and Functions of Motivation

Motivation in one form or the other is always present at the root of all human activities, as human behaviour in one form or the other is guided by

What is Motivation?

Motivation in one form or the other is always present at the root of all human activities, as human behaviour in one form or the other is guided by motives or drives. In every sphere of life and at various phases of activities motivation plays a vital role. So our success and achievement in life depend on motivation.

Meaning, Definition, Nature, Types and Functions of Motivation

Motivation is said to be the heart of learning' sine-qua-non of learning', 'golden road to learning' and potent factor in learning, as all learning is motivated learning. Learning cannot be successful, effective or efficient without persistent, purposeful and selective effort.

Meaning of Motivation

Motivation is derived from the word 'movere' which means to move. It is the process of arousing action, sustaining activity in progress, regulating and directing pattern of activity through energy transformations within the tissues of the organism. It is an art of inculcating and stimulating interest in studies and in other such activities. Some of the aspects of motivation are stressed by the terms: incentive, intention, impulse, desire, drive, determination, need, urge, wish, want, will, longing appetite, attitude, bias, prejudice, set, readiness, purpose and the like.

Definitions of Motivation

Some of the well known definitions of motivation are given below:

(1) According to Thompson, "Motivation covers any and every factor of the spring of human action from the beginning to the end i.e., attitudes, bias, urge, impulse, cravings, incentive, desire, wish, interest, will, intention, longing, aim."

(2) According to Guilford, "Motivation is an internal factor or condition that tends to initiate and sustain activity."

(3) According to Johnson, "Motivation is the influence of general pattern of activities indicating and directing behaviour of the organism.

(4) According to McDonald, "Motivation is an energy change within the person characterised by effective arousal and anticipatory goal reactions.

(5) Definition by Skinner, "Motivation in school learning involves arousing, persisting, sustaining and directing desirable behaviour."

Process in Motivation

The elements of the process of motivation are: (1) Motivates, (2) Behaviour, (3) Goal, (4) Feedback.

(1) Motive:- Motives prompt learner to action. Motives determine the general direction of learner's behaviour.

(2) Behaviour:- Behaviour is a series of activities of an individual. It generally motivated by a desire to achieve a goal.

(3) Goal:- Motives are directed towards goals. Goals are the ends which provide satisfaction to learners.

(4) Feedback:- Feedback may be in the form of reduction or increase in tension.

Motivation Cycle

We have stated that the terms need, drive, tension, goal, incentive are different aspects of motivation. Motivation is a state of the organism which is initiated by some need that moves or drives the organism from within and directs its activities to a goal that can bring about the satisfaction of that need. Hence motivation constitutes a cycle completed in different stages:

(1) Need:- In the beginning, there is a need. desire or want.

(2) Drive:- Need, desire or want gives birth to a drive or motive.

(3) Motivate to Act:- The drive or motive so produced, then motivates the organism to act for reducing the motive or drive.

(4) Goal-directed:- In this way, the behaviour of the organism becomes goal-directed.

(5) Reaching and Goal:- In the final stage of the motivational cycle, the organism reaches the desired goal and his drive or motive is satisfied.

When the organism reaches the desired goal, he gets immediate reinforcement or encouragement. In other words, he is further motivated. to act. The term "incentive" is frequently used for this stage of motivational cycle. Incentives in this way, are the objectives or situations satisfying the desired motives and intensifying the individual's motivation. Offering over-time allowance to an employee is an example of incentive.

Sources of Motivation

There are four major sources of motivation: (1) Needs, (2) Drives, (3) Incentives and (4) Motives.

(1) Needs:- Every individual, who has his existence in this world, has to strive for the satisfaction of his needs or wants. In the words of Boring, Langfeld and Weld, "A need is a tension within on organism which tends to organise the field of organism with respect to certain incentives or goals and to incite activity directed towards their attainment."

Needs are relatively permanent tendencies which seek their satisfaction in achieving certain specific goals. When these goals are achieved, need no more exists for the time being. Need is different from want in the sense that I may want a car. It may be want or wish but not essentially a need. But need is always wanted. The needs can be classified in two categories:

  1. Physiological Needs:- Physiological needs are those needs that are necessary for survival of the individual e.g., need for food, rest, sleep, sex, light, elimination of all sorts, and needs for activity.
  2. Psychological Needs:- Psychological needs include need for belongingness, need for security, need for status and prestige, need for self-confidence, need for achievement, need for independence, need for self-actualisation etc.

(2) Drive:- Drive is an original source of energy that activates the human organism. It is an intra-organic activity or condition of tissue supplying stimulation for a particular type of behaviour. In words of Shaffer and others, "A drive is a strong persistent stimulus that demands an adjunctive response."

All the drives are created by needs. Drives become active when there is some felt need. For example, when there is a need of food, water and sex we feel hungry, thirsty and sexy respectively and these are called drives. The term 'drive' is used for physiological needs. Need gives birth to drive. A drive is because of needs. The drive directs the behaviour in a definite direction according to the needs.

(3) Incentive:- Those environmental things which satisfy the drives of a living being are called incentives. For example, hunger drive is satisfied with food, so food is called incentive. But needs and drives an the internal requirements whereas the incentive is a thing or being which is found in environment. Incentives incite, arouse, and move to action when they are associated with certain stimuli which signal their presence.

According to Boring, Langfeld and Weld, "An incentive may be defined as an object, a situation or an activity which excites, maintains and directs behaviour." In words of Hilgard, "In general an appropriate incentive is one that can reduce the intensity of a drive." Incentive activates the activity. Incentives can be of two types:

  1. Positive incentives include praise, prize, smile, money.
  2. Negative incentives include pain, punishment etc.

(4) Motives:- Motives take a variety of forms and are designated by many different terms such as needs, desires, tensions, sets, determining tendencies, attitudes, interests, persisting stimuli and so on. Some psychologists call motives as innate or acquired energies, and some psychologists call them as physiological or psychological condition.

Types of motivation

The following are the types of motivation:

1. Positive Motivation

Positive motivation or incentive motivation is based on reward. The workers are offered incentives for achieving the desired goals. The incentives may be in the shape of more pay, promotion, recognition of work, ete. The employees are offered the incentives and try to improve their performance willingly.

According to Peter Drunker, the real and positive motivators are responsible for placement, high standard of performance, information adequate for self control and the participation of the worker as a responsible citizen in the plant community. Positive motivation is achieved by the co-operation of employees and they have a feeling of happiness.

2. Negative Motivation

Negative or fear motivation is based on force or fear. Fear causes employees to act in a certain way. In case, they do not act accordingly then they may be punished with demotions or lay-offs. The fear acts as a push mechanism. The employees do not willingly co-operate, rather they want to avoid the punishment.

Though employees work up-to a level where punishment is avoided but this type of motivation causes anger and frustration. This type of motivation generally becomes a cause of industrial unrest. In spite of the drawbacks of negative motivation, this method is commonly used to achieve desired results. There may be hardly any management which has not used negative motivation at one or the other time.

Role of Motivation in Teaching-Learning Process

(1) Motives direct behaviour i.e., they give a sort of direction to the behaviour of the individual in such a way that he gets satisfying feeling. Sultan of Kohler was directed by hunger to get the bananas. The teacher should make his pupils active and motivated to direct their energies upon well defined and attainable goals.

(2) Motives energise behaviour i.e., they provide energy to the learner in his learning activities. Reward induces further success and punishment for failure induces action for achievement. So motives like reward and punishment etc. are very helpful in learning process.

(3) Motives select behaviour i.e., only those acts of learning are selected which are supported by our motives. They dispose the learner to react to certain situations and ignore other i.e., they help the learner in the achievement of right responses and in the elimination of wrong responses.

(4) Helpful in capturing attention:- Motivation helps in capturing attention. The teacher can help the students in concentrating their attention on studies by motivating them.

(5) Helpful in developing interest:- Motivation is an art of inculcating interest in the students. Hence, the teacher can arouse the interest of the students in work by motivating them.

(6) Acquisition of knowledge:- Motivation helps in the prompt acquisition of knowledge. Hence the teacher can motivate the students for prompt acquisition of more arid more knowledge by using the best methods of teaching.

(7) Helpful in character formation:- The teacher can motivate the students for acquiring noble values and ideals. Thus, he can help them in the formation of character.

(8) Development of social qualities:- Motivation helps in the development of social qualities. The teacher can motivate the students for developing community feeling and social qualities by encouraging them to take part in group activities.

(9) Development of sense of discipline:- The teacher can motivate the students for desirable activities. He can solve the problem of indiscipline by developing sense of discipline in the students.

(10) Progress according to individual differences:- The teacher can help the students in doing work according to the individual differences by using appropriate motivation. Thus, he can provide opportunities to the students for making progress in accordance with individual differences.

(11) Foundation stone of personality:- Motivation plays an important role in the development of personality-physical, intellectual, emotional, social, academic, vocational, etc. It has been regarded as the foundation stone of personality. The teacher should motivate the students from time to time for the purpose of assisting them in the best development of personality.

Impact of Motivation

Anyone who has ever had a goal (like wanting to lose 20 pounds or run a marathon) probably immediately realizes that simply having the desire to accomplish something is not enough. Achieving such a goal the ability to persist through obstacles and endurance to keep going in spite of difficulties.

There are three major components of motivation: activation, persistence, and intensity.

  1. Activation involves the decision to initiate a behavior, such as enrolling in a psychology class.
  2. Persistence is the continued effort toward a goal even though obstacles may exist. An example of persistence would be taking more psychology courses in order to earn a degree although it requires a significant investment of time, energy, and resources.
  3. Intensity can be seen in the concentration and vigor that goes into pursuing a goal. For example, one student might coast by without much effort, while another student will study regularly, participate in discussions, and take advantage of research opportunities outside of class. The first student lacks intensity, while the second pursues their educational goals with greater intensity.

Nature of Motivation

Motivation is a psychological phenomena which generates within an individual. A person feels the lack of certain needs, to satisfy which he feels working more. The need satisfying ego motivates a person to do better than he normally does. From definitions given earlier the following inferences can be derived:

  1. Motivation is an inner feeling which energizes a person to work more.
  2. The emotions or desires of a person prompt him for doing a particular work.
  3. There are unsatisfied needs of a person which disturb his equilibrium.
  4. A person moves to fulfill his unsatisfied needs by conditioning his energies.
  5. There are dormant energies in a person which are activated by channelizing them into actions.

Techniques of Motivation

The techniques of motivation refer to different methods of motivating employees. All such methods are based on an application of different motivation theories. Some of the important methods or types are as follows:

1. Participation

Participation refers to an activity involving employees in management decision making and planning activities. Participation of employees in formulating corporate plans and policies provides the feeling of belonging, recognition, acceptance, accomplishment, and responsibility. As a result employees will be motivated for a higher level of performance.

2. Behavioral Motivation

This refers to the process of enhancing employee's behavior with the help of different tools and techniques. Because the changed behavior of employees can motivate themselves towards the higher level of performance. This also increases their job responsibility.

3. Money and Financial Benefits

Money and financial benefits are generated externally. They are provided in terms of pay, incentives, benefits, and other tangible services This works as a 'carrot' for motivating employees.

4. Work Group

Under it, employees are categorized into different work units to fulfill their different societal needs. Then the employees are allowed to work in the group, and they discuss the quality and productivity thereby finding out the causes of deficiencies. Hence, employees are self-motivated and self directed towards the attainment of organizational jobs and responsibilities.

5. Profit Sharing Plans

It is another way of motivating employees by allowing them a certain percentage of profit. When employees directly participate in the profit of the company, they can be motivated towards earning the better profit.

6. Skill-Based Pay

This method of motivation is concerned with paying employees on the basis of skill held by them while performing the tasks. By doing so, highly skilled employees will be directly motivated towards a higher level of job performance. Similarly, employees with lower skills are induced to improve their skills and knowledge.

7. Flexible Return

This means the designation of a pay system or incentive plan which is based on attempt shown by the employees in the actual workstation If individual's efforts and attempts are recognized by some sorts of considerations they can motivate themselves for the higher level of performance.

8. Praise and Reproof

This is also an external motivation. The excellent work and correct behaviour are praised by teacher so that probability of desirable behaviour is increased. They get encouragements for their good performance.

The reproof or criticism of wrong work is also a technique of motivation. The proper use of this technique has the positive effect and undesirable behaviour probability may be reduced. This technique is mos effective and useful for bright students and this should not be used poor studies. It should be used in a statement form.

9. Reward and Punishment

It is an important techniques of motivation for classroom teaching-learning situation. The reward is given for good and correct work of the students. It is an external type of motivation. The students get encouragement for their work.

10. Competition and Cooperation

It is a social motivation hence it is more useful in classroom teaching. We observe the feeling of competition and cooperation among the students in schools. One student intends to perform better than others. The teacher encourage the student by this technique.

11. Success and Failure

Bernard says that success develops the self-confidence among learners. The success is most effective for average student, but it provides motivation to everyone.

Functions of Classroom Motivation

The following are the main functions of classroom motivation:

  1. It organizes the behaviour of the students.
  2. It initiates and sustains the activities and behaviour of the learning.
  3. It regulates and controls the student's behaviour.
  4. It accelerate the rate of activity and behaviour of students.

These functions of motivation serve the following purpose in education.

  • Describe change in pupil's behaviour.
  • Character building of the students.
  • Active and attentive responses of the learners.
  • Mental development.
  • Development of interest.
  • Development of social efficiency and traits.
  • Raising the level of attainment.
  • Development of feelings and attitude.
  • Facilitate and individual variation in learning situation.

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