Last Updated 27 Jul 2020

Physiological Theories

Words 1146 (4 pages)

People’s motivations vary from person to person.  It is the way a person thinks and acts, their personality that makes them unique.  There are many theories concerning the type of energy that initiates behavior, what causes people to think and act in certain ways. Different psychological theories have been developed concerning why people act the way they do.  A biological theory, states that peoples motivations are primarily based off of their biological makeup (Britannica Encyclopedia, 2008).

For example, if someone was depressed, or upset, it would most likely be blamed on a chemical imbalance in the brain, and could be corrected with medication.  Another theory developed concerning people's motivations is called psychosocial theories. Psychosocial theories refer to one's psychological development, and there interaction in a social environment. Basically psychosocial theories determine that people’s personalities are based primarily off of their interactions with others (Britannica Encyclopedia, 2008).

The development of interactionism was first linked to the work of the German theorist Max Weber.  Interactionism, like psychosocialism, is primarily based on a person’s social interaction with others. Interactionism is linked to the concept of the American dream, pertaining to the individual having the power to change society, and indeed history from below, rather than being manipulated from above. Interactionism basically, is the study of how individuals act within society.

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Motivation can easily be defined as that which gives purpose and direction to behavior.  Ella's motivation can be accounted for by a biological theory of motivation, meaning that Ellis motivation is primarily directed by biological factors. Ella is primarily influenced by her biological makeup, which would include any balances or imbalances in dopamine, serotonin, or other chemicals released in the brain that affect mood and behavior. I find it interesting to note that in some cases, defense attorneys are asking judges to omit criminals, suggesting that their clients have a genetic predisposition for violent or impulsive behavior (Weiss, 2008).

I would speculate that Ellas’s source of motivation would be chemicals, or medications, probably relying heavily on prescriptions to accommodate her various psychological needs. In my own opinion, Ella’s source of motivation would be prescription drugs, caffeine, or other commodities that she thinks will help her focus more intently on her goals. Ella’s motivation would differ from that of Marcelo’s or Masoko’s. Ella's motivation is primarily driven by biological factors, as Marcelo’s and Masoko’s are driven by social interactions with others. The effort that Ella would put forth when trying to obtain a promotion would be that of changing biological factors of herself to better accustom herself to the necessities of her occupation.

I feel that, instead of changing biological factors about themselves, Marcelo’s and Masoko’s approach would be that of social interaction. I think that due to Marcelo and Masoko’s differences in belief concerning motivational behavior, Ella will rely on exterior means to motivate herself for her promotion, Marcel and Masoko are primarily focused on getting to know others in their field, networking with individuals in order to obtain the information necessary for the promotion. I think that it is unrealistic to have a biological approach concerning motivation, in many instances; mood altering drugs taken on a daily basis can often do more harm than good to the individual.  Although I do agree that in some instances, chemical imbalances can take place that need to be corrected, I do not believe that it is always the correct solution.

Marcelo’s source of motivation would be primarily driven by social interaction with others.  Due to his acceptance of a psychosocial theory for motivation, Marcelo will be more likely to source his information off of that obtained from others in his occupation. Marcelo’s approach would differ from Ella’s approach primarily do to the social factors involved. Ella will rely primarily on biological aspects to accomplish her goal and obtain the promotion desired, while Marcelo will primarily use the eight developmental stages developed by Eric Erickson when trying to accomplish his goals.

Eric Erickson articulated eight stages that take place from infancy to adulthood, centering on the first and most important stage, which is the individual questioning the trustworthiness of his reality, or environment.  I think that would be a first step for Marcelo when making friends, will be to develop a relationship of trust with them. A difference in Marcelo’s approach to accomplishing his goals, and that of Masoko’s approach, is that Masoko will tend to be more self reliant, as Marcelo will be more socially reliant.

Masoko’s source of motivation will be focused primarily from within rather than without. Although Masoko’s interactionist approach will rely on information gained from social gatherings, he will also rely on strength within himself.  Interaction theories have grown in the latter half of the 20th century, having its roots here in America.  Max Weber, a German theorist, promoted that nothing in society is determined, and that people can break free of being labeled (Encarta Encyclopedia, 2008). When comparing Masoko’s approach to that of Ella’s, Ella will be more apt to rely on medications, and other chemical therapies, as Masoko will rely on social interaction with others, and will- power from within. Another difference in Masokos approach to sourcing his motivation will be his own self-reliance, rather than just relying on social interaction with others, like Marcelo.

Although Ella, Macelo, and Masoko’s approach to obtaining the motivation needed for the upcoming promotion are all valid and interesting theories, I think the right answer is uniting a bit of each theory. I don't think that motivation should be sourced from any one theory, but rather a series of theories used at appropriate moments in time. I think that if they would have used principles of each theory in order to source there motivation, they would be far more successful. When building an individual who has a realistic combination of motivating theories, Sam, I would say that biological factors that should be included would be; developing a diet in which a daily multi vitamin is taken and a healthy diet is enforced.

Sam should also utilize the sociological principles of the psychosocial theory of motivation. Sam should gain a lot of his insight from interacting with others. Lastly, Sam should take the self reliant aspects of the interactionist theory of motivation. Sam, being confident in his own abilities, healthy, and socially interactive, will be able to effectively communicate his ideas to his peers, and make a positive impression on his employer in order to obtain the desired promotion. I think that the motivational theories will interact with each other in a positive way. I think that the important thing is balance, having too much of anything is never a good thing. The positive aspects of each theory should be integrated, health and fitness from the biological aspect, social interaction from the psychosocial aspect, and lastly, self reliance from the interactions aspect.


Weiss, R (2008) DNA Tests Offer Deeper Examination of Accused the Washington Post; retrieved on April 21, 2008 from

Physiological Theories essay

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