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Understanding Motivation Part 2

While it is important to understand the basics of motivation, a deeper understanding can also be useful for writers who wish to go for a more in-depth explanation of their characters' motivations. For a more in-depth understanding and explanations of motivation, one would need to explore the different theories of motivation. The main theories that a writer should review are:

Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow was a humanistic psychologist who is well known for his Hierarchy of Needs theory. Humanism is a psychological perspective, which emphasizes the potential for good that is innate in all humans, with a focus on advocacy of value-based and value-affirming social science (Waarmoth, 1998). The humanistic elements of positive psychology played an intricate role in Abraham Maslow’s development of his Hierarchy of Needs theory. Maslow’s (1954) Hierarchy of Needs theory was based upon his proposed classification of what he perceived to be basic needs; these needs were organized into five categories: physiological, safety and security, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. Maslow’s theory states that an individual’s needs appear sequentially as the person develops from birth to adulthood (Lester, 2013). The needs at the base of the pyramid are considered more powerful than the higher needs as the more the base needs are satisfied, the better the upper needs cans be satisfied, and the better the psychological health of the individual (Lester, 2013).

The intuitive nature of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory is one of the theory’s greatest strengths as it allows the theory to be easily grasped and applied in a range of diverse fields (O’Connor & Ybatel, 2007). The diverse use of the theory is what makes it so valuable as it can be utilized in understanding how and why there is an increase in a character's motivation, morale, or productivity. In addition to being applicable in a diverse range of ways, the theory can also be applied to a diverse range of people as it accounts for the fact that people all have different individual motivational frameworks (Redmond, 2010).

Nonfiction Uses

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory remains applicable in the workplace today for assisting employers and workplaces in understanding motivation, morale, and production. Workplaces that utilize Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory need to ensure that all the lower needs of the theory are met so that their employees can then meet their higher needs which in turn should assist with motivation, morale, and production in the workplace. The bottom-most tier physiological needs can be met by employers offering better staff meals, providing an allowance on employees’ food, and/or ensuring that the employees have the needed life essentials or the funds to acquire such (Jerome, 2013). Employers ensuring that employees all have a safe working environment, employees are paid at a fair rate, and that they feel secure in their jobs. A sense of belonging can be fostered by having a work environment designed to promote feelings of acceptance and belonging; this can be achieved with team building events and/or company culture training (Jerome, 2013). The esteem needs of employees can be met by having leaders who recognize and reward employee achievement through rewards, praise, and through the setting of achievable goals (Jerome, 2013). The highest tier of self-actualization needs can be met through the offering of assignments, which encourage and explore employees’ creativity and innovation while allowing them to make use of their own natural talents and inclinations (Jerome, 2013).

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Sefina Hawke