Motivation is a theoretical construct, used to explain behavior (behavior). Motives are hypothetical constructs, used to explain why people do what they do, for example, when they use some strategy to achieve a goal.
Types of theories and models
Monist and pluralistic motivational theories
A class of theories about why people do things seeks to reduce the number of factors down to one and explain all behaviour through that one factor. For example, economics has been criticized for using self-interest as a mono-motivational theory. Mono-motivational theories are often criticized for being too reductive or too abstract.
Conscious and unconscious motivations
A number of motivational theories emphasize the distinction between conscious and unconscious motivations. In evolutionary psychology, the “ultimate”, unconscious motivation may be a cold evolutionary calculation, the conscious motivation could be more benign or even positive emotions. For example, while it may be in the best interest of a male’s genes to have multiple partners and thus break up with or divorce one before moving onto the next, the conscious rationalization could be, “I loved her at the time”.
Freud is associated with the idea that human beings have many unconscious motivations that cause them to make important decisions because of these unconscious forces, such as choosing a partner.
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