Brief notes on the various stages of Motivational Cycle

Most of our motives have a cyclical nature- they are aroused, they trigger behaviour, which leads to a goal and finally, after the goal is reached, they are shut off. The behaviour that is related to drive state is called "Instrumental behaviour" because it is instrumental in bringing about the goal or the satisfaction of need.

Stages of Motivational Cycle

The first stage of the motivational cycle is the Driving State, simply called as drive. This term is often used when the motive state has a biological or physiological basis. It is regarded as impelling a person or animal to action.

Drives can originate when an organism lacks something. Drives can also be aroused by environmental stimuli, such as advertisements from newspaper magazines and television etc.

For example, when someone sees a sexy picture in a magazine, his sex drive is aroused. Besides all these factors, some cognitive factors like thoughts and memory can also trigger driving states. Very often term "need" is used to refer to the driving state. Drives can originate when an organism lacks something in its needs. This is one meaning of the word need. The need creates a drive state in the organism. It acts as if it pushes the orgs to behave in a certain fashion to satisfy its need.

The second stage of the motivational cycle is the instrumental behaviour. It is instigated by the driving state. Thirst, for example, drives an animal to explore water. Sooner or later this behaviour succeeds, thereby reducing the need and the drive state, in other words, the animal's exploratory behaviour is instrumental in finding water and reducing the thirst drive.

When instrumental behaviour achieves its goal, the need is satisfied there follows a temporary period of relief. This is the third stage of motivational cycle. For example, in thirst, lack of water in the body produce need and a drive state (first stage); the organism has shown some explore behaviour (second stage) and finally he quenches his thirst by drinking water i.e., reaching the goal (third stage).

When the thirst is satisfied, motivational cycle is over. But when the need for water will build up again, the organism will once more go through motivational cycle.

Goals may be positive or negative. Food, sexual satisfaction and championship are some of the examples of positive goals. These are the goals, which the individual approaches or tries to reach.

On the other hand, negative goals are those, which the organism tries to escape from or avoid. Dangerous, unpleasant and embarrassing situations are some of the examples if negative goals. However, goals depend upon the drives or needs, which are active.

Needs, Drives, and incentives

The terms such as need, drive and motive are frequently used interchangeably. But each term is distinguished from the other.

Motive is a general term, which refers to any process internal or external involved in instigation, direction and termination of behaviour. All voluntary responses involve motivation.

Motivational process consists of (a) a drive state in the individual, (b) the behaviour aroused and directed by this state and (c) le goal towards which the behaviour is directed.

Thus motivation is one of le determinants of behaviour. Motivation is considered to be a state of the individual where his/her energies are mobilized selectively towards the attainment of a goal. It is an internal or external state of an organism that forces it to action- to start upon a sequence of behaviour.

Therefore motivational states are specific to particular "drives" and "needs" and are explained in terms of specific goals and the directions it takes. Motives cannot be observed directly. It is inferred from behaviour of the organism.

Needs are the physiological or environmental imbalances that give rise to rives". A need is the absence of something desired, required for the organism's welfare, individual is aware of his needs when she/he is in a state deprivation. When a person is hungry, he/she needs food, when thirsty needs water, and when alone, needs social companion.

Drives are the effects of the deficits and lacks, which define needs. Drives the tendencies or urges to act in specific ways, determined by the nature the need that gives rise to the drive. For example, on account of fasting, the fed for food gives rise to hunger drive. The hunger drive may then be seen a motive for behaviour relating to eating.

Incentives are motivators of behaviour. Like need and drive incentive motivational concept, which is associated with drive-reduction components or subjective value attached to a goal.

Incentive means value or effectiveness of the goal as a motive for behaviour. For example attractiveness of dress material determines one's behaviour purchasing it. But goals or objectives do not possess the same incentive value for a person; they have low or high incentive values.

Therefore incentives are conditions or objects that are perceived as satisfier of some need. The greater the value of an object the greater is its perceived incentive.

Further, a supplementary reward for example, a bonus in a company job, a merit promotion in an office serves as incentive before reaching the goal. Annual prize ceremony in schools for high rank holders is an incentive better performance in examinations.