MOTIVATION: Intrinsic Motivation, Leadership, Human Sexuality

Cultivating Intrinsic Motivation

Studies show that intrinsically motivated people work harder & enjoy their work more.

Maslow: Humans have needs beyond those of survival & reducing drive tensions.

To do something important with one's life is as essential as the basic biological needs.

Lower level needs must be met first before one would move to higher levels.

Eventually to self-actualization.

May also be driven: intrinsic & extrinsic

Violinist for 4 hours a day simply to excel is driven by intrinsic motivation

Practice sessions are motivated by external rewards such as winning a competition or gaining admiration from his parents, then this is extrinsic motivation.

Humanistic Theory

Cultivating Intrinsic Motivation

Todd Marinovich was nicknamed:

“Robo QB”

‘Trained’ at a young age by his father to be the perfect quarterback.

Todd wasn’t always fond of the very strict regimen designed by his dad.

Was Todd Marinovich…

Intrinsically Motivated?


Extrinsically Motivated?

Definitely Extrinsically.

John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success helped the coach to develop great teams at UCLA.

Greatest basketball coach in the history of the sport, winning ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period, including an unprecedented 7 in a row.

Achievement Motivation

A desire for significant accomplishments; for mastery of things, people, or ideas; for attaining a high standard.

Leadership Style

Task Leadership: Goal oriented Leadership that sets standards & organizes work.

Social Leadership: Group oriented Leadership that builds teamwork, mediates conflict & offers support.

Achievement Motive: Need to master difficult challenges, to outperform others, & to meet high standards of excellence.

Above all else, the need for achievement involves the desire to excel, especially in competition with others.

David McClelland argued that achievement motivation is of the utmost importance.

Need for achievement as the spark that ignites economic growth, scientific progress, inspirational leadership, & masterpieces in the creative arts.

David McClelland (1950s) explored what motivates humans to challenge themselves, particularly in relation to others.

McClelland’s Theory: Need for Achievement

Used experimental data based on participants' descriptions of ambiguous pictures to support his claims.

In longitudinal studies,

McClelland found that subjects who scored high on tests of achievement were more likely to be entrepreneurs.

Other theories of social motivation claim that

Fear can be a very powerful motivator, with some humans being driven by a fear of failure while others are more afraid of success.


David McClelland:

“People with a high need for achievement are not gamblers; they are challenged to win by personal effort, not by luck.”

Not necessarily.

Subjects have been asked to choose how difficult a task they want to work on:

Subjects high in the need for achievement tend to select tasks of intermediate difficulty.

For instance, in one study, subjects playing a ring-tossing game were allowed to stand as close to or far away from the target peg as they wanted.

High achievers tended to prefer a moderate degree of challenge.

Do people high in achievement need always tackle the biggest challenges available?

Achievement Motivation


Prefer very easy or

very difficult tasks.


Prefer moderately difficult tasks.

Failure is very unlikely:

No Embarrassment

Success is attainable:

Attributable to their skill & effort.

People who are relatively high in the need for achievement work harder & more persistently than others. They delay gratification well & pursue competitive careers.

However, in choosing challenges they often select tasks of intermediate difficulty.

The pursuit of achievement tends to increase when the probability of success & the incentive value of success are high.

The joint influence of these factors may explain why people high in achievement need tend to prefer challenges of intermediate difficulty.

Achievement Motivation

Does high achievement motivation mean success in life?


Series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s & early 1970s led by psychologist Walter Mischel, then a professor at Stanford University.

In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward provided immediately or two small rewards (i.e., a larger later reward) if they waited for a short period, approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room and then returned. (The reward was sometimes a marshmallow, but often a cookie or a pretzel.)

Follow-up studies: Researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes:

SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI), & other life measures.

Sexual Drive:

Pleasure that organisms derive from sex ensures that they will procreate, helping their species survive.

Like hunger, it is a complex interaction involving chemistry, biology, & psychology.

Chemistry - the release of specific chemicals in the body triggers the emotions we associate with sex drive.

Cognition - plays an important role in mediating the sex drive.

Just as cultural beliefs play a role in determining the foods one will eat or avoid, personal values and cultural customs are determining factors in when, how, and with whom one satisfies the sex drive.

A Primary Need - However... sexual activity is also associated with higher needs in Maslow's hierarchy, such as belonging, avoidance of loneliness, and self-esteem.

Good beginning, however major problems with his study included sampling size & questionnaires.

Confidential interviews with 18,000 people (early 1950’s)

Most men & half of all women have premarital sex.

Kinsey’s Studies

The Physiology of Sex

1960’s William Masters and Virginia Johnson set out to explore the physiology of sex.

382 females & 312 males

Only people who were willing to have sex & display orgasm in a lab environment.

Filmed more than 10,000 sex cycles.

Discovery of The Sexual Response Cycle (4 Stages)

  • Excitement Phase
  • Plateau Phase
  • Orgasm
  • Resolution Phase

The Psychology of Sex

Research on human mating preferences suggests:

Men: Greater value on physical attractiveness & youthfulness

Women: Greater value on social status & financial resources


This data backs an Evolutionary approach to Psychology of sex.

The Psychology of Sex - The Evolutionary Approach

Consistent with evolutionary theory, Buss (1989) found specific results for six of the thirty-seven cultures studied by Buss are shown here.

Gender & potential mates’ financial prospects.

Consistent with evolutionary theory, Buss (1989) found that females place more emphasis on potential partners’ financial prospects than males do. Moreover, he found that this trend transcended culture.

Gender & potential mates’ physical attractiveness.

Buss found that all over the world, males place more emphasis on potential partners’ good looks than females do.

The Physiology of Sex

People can find sexually explicit images either pleasing or disturbing- but they are nonetheless biologically arousing.

Viewing erotic materials:

  • changes one's attitudes to be more liberal about sexual practices.
  • may make some people dissatisfied with their own sexual interactions.
  • elevates the likelihood of overt sexual activity for a few hours immediately after the exposure.

Pheromones appear to be important in lower animals determinants of sexual desire in but of limited relevance to humans.

Adolescent Sexuality

Cultural Acceptance

About ½ of all high school kids in US report having sex.

Rates are higher in Western Europe but lower in Arab or Asian countries.

Also change over time in the same culture:

In 1900 3% of women reported having sex by 18.

Now that number is around 1/2.