8 Theories of Motivation Used in Psychology

Theories of Motivation

Theories of motivation have described how peoples’ behaviours or human factors affect their success. It means if the people are reinforced by something or someone for a given objective, they will easily walk towards a successful pathway. Even though there are many clarifications regarding this, we have selected eight of the most important theories out of those. And, we hope to describe the basics of all these through simple word set. Actually, it is to define those theories even for the general population. That is how they would be able to utilize the information for their benefits.

5 Most important theories of motivation based on satisfaction!

Maslow’s theory of the hierarchy of needs

The Maslow has introduced this theory about needs and satisfaction. So, it deeply discusses how these two factors bonded with motivation. And, he has grammatically shown the connections through a hierarchy type illustrations.

Alderfer’s ERG theory

Basics of this theory have built up through the Maslows’ revealed. So, the Alderfer describes the needs as higher and minor. And, further, as he explained, there should be an equal connection between these two needs to be satisfied and motivated. Yet, deep studies are needed to get the core of their findings.

McClelland’s achievement motivation theory

Here, the researcher has tried to describe motivation out of satisfaction. So, as he described, the needs may arise with experience and education. And, the theory explains the connection between motivation through achievements, power and affiliation. Thus, this is a bit different from the other ones.

Herzberg’s two-factor theory

Again, this theory is describing the connection between motivation and satisfaction. But, since it especially discusses employee motivation, it is doubtful whether this can be applied to the general population or not. And, it has depended upon two hypotheses.

Skinner’s reinforcement theory

The basics of this theory describe how reinforcement differ from positive or negative behaviours. Hence, it describes how people will motivate for certain things through the desired feedbacks. So, if the parents or teachers are promoting gifts, appreciation and promotions for positive behaviours, the children will tend to do such activities. But, if they receive frequent negative motives, they will not positively reinforce desired behaviours.

Theories Based on Expectancy, Equity and Goal Setting for Motivation

Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory

As the name suggests the expectancy theory describes how motivational factors may vary with individual needs and expectancy. So, if people need or except something special they will work for it. But, if they are out of needs and hopes, they will not be motivated enough for certain objectives. And, the theory explains these facts under three main factors.

Adam’s equity theory

This is one of the most effective theories explained in 1965. As it highlights, motivation is depended upon equality. It means if all are treated in the same manner, they will be motivated to do the things. Often, this theory applies to employees. And also, it is ideally described how teachers and parents should treat their children or students.

Locke’s goal-setting theory

Since this theory takes “behaviour” as its primary factor, it describes the motivation in a different point of view. And, it has introduced several markers which are important for successful goal setting.


The theories of motivation are somewhat deeper psychological matters. Thus, it needs more discussions and practical inclusions to understand these theories. But, we hope this simple guide will give you enough ideas to know the existed facts. We hope to meet you with more details through the coming posts.


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