The Motivation of Behavior

The Motivation of Behavior

The Motivation of Behavior

The Motivation of Behavior

Excerpt

Two major aims have served as guideposts throughout the writing of this book. The more important of these has been to develop a tightly reasoned, systematic analysis of the concept of motivation, with special emphasis upon its relative utility as an explanatory component of general behavior theory. The lesser goal has been to formulate the analysis in such a manner as to make it intelligible to the advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate student in psychology.

In principle, if all behavior is motivated, any book about motivation should encompass all of psychology, at the very least. Since such inclusiveness is patently impossible, an author is forced, in reducing his task to manageable proportions, to neglect certain topics of special interest to particular readers. He must be selective, therefore, and in the absence of widely accepted criteria for evaluating the importance of each and every area, the process of selection must be governed primarily by idiosyncratic factors. In the succeeding pages, for example, almost no consideration is given to the topic of sexual behavior. This omission should not be construed, however, as reflecting the belief that there are no significant motivational aspects to sexual behavior. Rather it is a consequence of the conviction that while much is known of the effects of hereditary and environmental variables upon sexual behavior, especially in lower mammals, the concept of sexual motivation has thus far played only the vaguest of roles in behavior theory generally. This point is underscored by the observation that the terms drive and motivation are almost never used in published works on reproductive activities, even when such works . . .

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