Motivation is a need or desire that energizes and directs behavior

(Butler 1954)

Hierarchy of Motives

-Abraham Maslow said that people have a hierarchy of needs. There are five levels to this pyramid, which are: Physiological needs, Safety needs, Belonging and love needs, Esteem needs, and Self-Actualization. The way in which one moves up levels is by satisfying the needs starting at the base of the pyramid and moving up. Some people in life only satisfy the basic needs, never reaching the self-actualization level.

Key Words

Hierarchy of needs- Maslow's pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with psychological needs that must first be satisfied before higher level safety needs, and then psychological needs become active.

Self Actualization- Living up to your fullest and unique potential.

Hunger and Eating Disorders

Eating is an innate human response to hunger. Proper nutrition is vital for a healthy functioning body.

Hormones: In our body there are hormones to control both hunger and fullness. The hormone ghrelin (found in stomach) produces hunger. Orexin is also hunger producing. While hormones such as obestatin, leptin, and PYY, diminish hunger. The interaction of our appetite hormones and brain activity help us to maintain a particular weight and a healthy body. Set point is this particular weight at which your body tends to stay at. However, some people may develop disorders in which they go against this natural tendency.

Eating Disorders: Anorexia nervosa, Bulemia nervosa, and binge eating disorders. These disorders can be brought on by the environment the individual is surrounded by (School or family pressures) as well as low self-esteem. Such disorders can create tremendous complications to the individual, and in sever cases even death.A  final issue that can develop from improper nutrition and hunger management is obesity. This is becoming a larger problem in today's society, as WHO states "more than 1 billion people are overweight, and 300 million clinically obese". Once someone becomes obese, it becomes even more difficult to loose weight, due to an increase size of fat sells and a body's natural tendency to return to it's natural set point.

key terms

Anorexia nervosa- An eating disorder in which a person (usually an adolescent female) diets and becomes significantly (15 % or more) under weight, yet, still feeling fat, continue to starve.

Bulimia nervosa- An eating disorder characterized by episodes of overeating, usually of high calorie foods, followed by vomiting, laxative use, fasting, or excessive exercise.

Binge eating- An eating disorder where significant binge eating episodes, followed by distress, disgust, or guilt, but without the compensatory purging, fasting, or excessive exercise that marks bulimia nervosa.

Sexual motivation

Sexual desires are initiated by both internal and external stimuli-hormones (internal stimuli) that are present in the body released by primary sex organs. In females, this hormone is estrogen, and in males it is testosterone. Sexuality is present in a variety of age groups, starting to become evident with the development of secondary sex characteristics at the beginning of adolescence. Sexually active adolescence face increased risks than adults do, due to their tendency to be less responsible and make risky decisions. During this time of adolescence is when people tend to fully discover their sexual orientation. The types of sexual orientations are straight, heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual. Sexual orientation has been proven to be a biological trait, as opposed to common belief that it is cognitive choice. It is believed to be a result from genetic influences such as the level of hormones a baby is exposed to when being carried in it's mother's womb. Twin studies have shown that if one identical twin is homosexual then there is an increased chance that the other twin will be as well.  

Key words

Sexual Orientation- An enduring sexual attraction towards members of either one's own sex (homosexual orientation) or the other sex (heterosexual orientation).


A major experiment involved with motivation was done by Robert A. Butler. In this experiment he put monkeys in a room locked by latches to observe how curiosity motivated them to play with and eventually unlock the latches.

key people overall

Abraham Maslow- Came up with the concept of hierarchy of needs and studied human motives and behavior. Maslow introduced the theory of self-actualization. He later introduced the theory of self transcendence which said that people strive to find their life meeting and reach their life purpose.

Robert A. Butler-Experimented on the curiosity motive in monkeys

Abraham Maslow

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