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Theories of Motivation: Behavior Modification

Prepare an essay focusing on a selected motivational theory/concept related to our course. The first part of this essay should focus on describing, explaining, and analyzing your theory/concept. The second part of your essay should focus on applying this theory to your workplace (using very specific examples) and then critiquing the theory you've chosen (based both on your analysis/application of the theory and what other researchers/scholars have said about it). Before reading on, consider these four verbs again: describe, explain, analyze, apply, and critique. They are substantively different, and I want you to be sure that you address each of them individually in your essay.

Remember, anyone can copy complex information or an explanation (e.g., particle physics, thermodynamics, or quantum mechanics) and simply paste it into an essay, and the same is true for motivational theory. However, simply copying and pasting text from a website into an essay doesn't mean you understand it. You must demonstrate in your writing that you do in fact comprehend the theory/concept you've chosen. You've got to convince me that you know what you're talking about. So while you'll be using information from other sources, your essay MUST also demonstrate evidence of critical thinking. Your concept or theory is most likely linked with a primary theorist (perhaps more than one), so be sure to include the names and contributions of those most closely associated with your theory. How you structure your essay is up to you, but it must have a recognizable logical structure and appropriate transitions. Here are a few possible topics for you to consider:

Goal-Setting theory
Behavioral Modification (e.g., operant and classical conditioning)
Humanistic Motivational Theory
Cognitive Theory of Motivation
Cognitive Dissonance Theory
Drive Reduction Theory
Herzberg's Two-Factory Theory
Theory X and Theory Y
ERG Theory
Expectancy Theory
Intrinsic/Extrinsic Motivation
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Reactance Theory
Attribution Theory
Social Learning Theory
There are lots of additional concepts related to motivation and motivational theory for you to choose from. Be sure to "do a little shopping" before you pick one to make sure that your chosen theory/concepts allows you to meet the assignment's requirements.

A word about scope: Some of these theories are more specific and focused than others. Nevertheless, you are expected to engage your chosen theory to a substantive degree of detail. If you simply "regurgitate" information without actively interacting with it, you will most likely be disappointed with the outcome. Rather, your essay should demonstrate that you understand the material and that you have intellectually engaged with it. In other words, your essay should represent the product or outcome of your thinking; it should not be a chronicle of the evolution of your thinking process itself.

Details: Please follow APA format; incorporate at least four sources (properly cited and formatted); use transitions between paragraphs; include an abstract; check for spelling and grammar errors. Consider your audience to be college educated adults who are somewhat familiar with the topic of motivational theory. Please format your essay and cite your sources using proper APA citation guidelines

Solution Preview

To discuss any motivation theory, one must first step back and take a close look at the meaning of the term "motivation." Motivation is the desire to want to move to a higher level of the self. It is a compelling feeling of wanting to explore and contribute to a specific "something." Finally, motivation is the internal desire to accomplish something that will ultimately lead to self gratification and satisfaction for the motivated individual. However, motivation can be affected by a variety of external sources, such as illnesses, lack of finances, etc...For example, no matter how much I may love going to work, if I'm sick, my priorities change and work is no longer a motivator for me. What I have just described here is my theory on motivation. Because human cognition and behavior is so complex, over the years, researchers have invested precious time in trying to explain them, as well as trying to find ways to control them for the betterment of the individual or of mankind in general. Hence, a motivational theory provides an explanation of why a certain behavior occurs and the different ways that behavior can be dealt with in an attempt to increase it or stabilize it, thereby keeping the individual motivated.

With that said, one of the motivational theories that I personally find interesting is the behavior modification theory. I choose this theory because I have had so many dealings with individuals who needed my assistance in helping them live a better life. The only way I was able to do that was to empower them through some type of behavior modification technique which I will describe below. However, those techniques were not without shortcomings. With that said, here is a little background about behavior modification theory, as I know it. B.F. Skinner is often referred to as The Father of Behaviorism and there is a good reason for that:

The focus of B. F. Skinner's research was on operant conditioning. During the process of operant conditioning, the organism is "operating" on the environment, doing its natural day to day routine. During this operating process, the stimulus is introduced to the organism. The stimulus is referred to as a reinforcing stimulus (or a reinforcer). The purpose of the reinforcer is to increase the occurrence of the operant. Therefore, in operant conditioning, a behavior occurs, and then the behavior is followed by a consequence. The nature of the consequence in turn determines the likelihood of that behavior reoccurring in the future.

For example, Skinner uses what is called a Skinner box and puts a rat in it as a cage. The rat cage has a pedal or bar on one wall. When that bar or pedal is pressed, it causes a ...

Solution Summary

All about behavior modification and its applications to every day life situations.