Understanding Human Motivation

Understanding Human Motivation

Understanding Human Motivation

Understanding Human Motivation

Excerpt

In recent years, social scientists have been focusing more and more interest and attention upon the dynamics of human behavior. This, we feel, is a very healthy sign: unless and until we really understand the fundamental or basic strivings of human beings in all their interrelationships our theories of personality and our attempts at psychotherapy will, at best, leave much to be desired. Credit for the pioneer work in the field of human motivation must be attributed for the most part to Sigmund Freud and other psychoanalysts. Although no one can deny the inestimable value of their contributions in understanding the dynamics of human behavior, there has still remained a great need for experimental research.

Actually, psychologists had been aware of this need for some time, as can be attested by the many studies during the last three decades on motivation with rats and other animals. But because of the relatively simple nature of these animal subjects as compared with complex human beings, and because the results of animal research can not be directly and wholly applied to an understanding of human behavior, such studies yielded a paucity of information on the dynamics of human motivation. It would seem, therefore, that if we are to acquire a more thorough and extensive understanding of human motivation, we need to deal primarily with human beings. Fortunately, an increasing emphasis has been devoted, in the last two decades, to theoretical discussions and experimental studies pertaining to human motivation. This book of readings has been conceived and organized in line with this trend of thought.

Our primary aim in bringing together these articles was to provide a readable, interesting and basic introductory text on human motivation for undergraduate courses. One of the editors (C.L.S.) has taught such a course in human motivation for the past ten . . .

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