Classification of motives


Classification of motives:

Human behavior is ignited by motive. The motive can be stated as a need. Every human behavior expresses his attempt to satisfy his need. Psychologists have no definite criteria on how to classify different human motives. However some researchers tend to categorize motives according to whether they are learned or unlearned or whether they are physiological or psychological.

Primary motives are the ones that are unlearned and are physiological. The most common primary motives are hunger, thirst, sleep and sex.

General motives are the ones that are unlearned and not physiological. All primary needs seek to reduce tension or stimulation. General motives are curiosity, manipulative activity and affection etc.

Secondary motives develop as human society develops economically and become more complex. The examples of secondary motive are need of power, need of affiliation and status etc.

Different kind of secondary motive:

The power motive: Alfred Adler was the psychologist who supported the power motive. Power motive is the wish to control the other people. The power of controlling means to direct other’s behavior. It is a personal competence. In organizations it is the competence of a person that gives him power. The power should be used for the excellence of organisation.

The achievement motive: David McClelland is the researcher who worked on the achievement motive. Out of his wide research has materialized a clear outline of characteristics of the high achiever. Achievement motive can be articulated as a desire to perform in terms of a standard of superiority or to be unbeaten in competitive situation. The specific characteristics of high achiever are

  • Reasonable risk taking
  • Need of instant feedback
  • Satisfaction with accomplishment
  • concern with the task

The affiliation motive: The motive displays need belong to and be accepted by others. The concern of this motive is important in the field of group dynamics. The higher the need for affiliation among the group members the higher is the group cohesiveness.