Theoretical Viewpoints on Motivation

Understanding Nature and Nurture and the effects on the developing human individual: A case for learning and maturity in is application for the educational set-up. The effect and influence of genes on human behavior correspond to one side of the nature/nurture debate. Advocates on the nature side stand on the argument that genes primarily shape the outcome specifically in such traits as a person’s temperament, intelligence and personality.

Support towards the nurture part of the debate argue that all that are in the environment, with such influences as education, day-to-day events or encounters, and the way individuals are being reared, are all dominant or principal influences of these traits. Generally, in this day and age, behavioral scientists do not take an either a solid nature or nurture stance. However, it has not diminished the controversy over which of heredity or environment has greater influence on behavior (Pinker, 2003, p. 2).

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The controversies will probably remain in the years to follow but the issue that the dichotomy must eventually end: nature and nurture will both be determinants of human characteristics like intelligence, personality and temperament; the social and political implications of this matter is further described and explained in detail in the discussion that follows. The question of whether heredity or environment is more important in determining the course of human development has been debated over the centuries.

For example, the rejection of the prevailing notion of the day that babies were miniature adults who arrived in the world fully equipped with abilities and knowledge and who simply had to grow in order for these inherited characteristics to appear (Pinker, 2003, p. 2). There is that idea/belief that the mind of a newborn infant is a “blank slate,” or a tabula rasa. What gets written on this slate is what the baby experiences – what he sees, hears, tastes, smells, and feels. According to Locke, all knowledge comes to us through our senses.

It is provided by experience, no knowledge or ideas are built-in (Pinker, 2003). The behaviourists’ standpoint, with the likes of BF Skinner, was that human nature is completely malleable: early training can turn a child into any kind of adult, regardless of his or her heredity. This is most exemplified in an individual’s activity. The subject of human motivation is quite complicated for a number of reasons. Firstly, humans mature more slowly than any other organisms on this planet, and for this, the motivational tendencies are acquired more slowly too.

Secondly, the individual is dependent on many of his fundamental satisfactions on other people; this is illustrated on his/her use of symbolic language to communicate these needs to others (Franken, 1994). Motivation is defined as the concept that represents the fundamental influence that drives behavior and providing its direction (Morris et al. , 1999, p. 284). In organizational behavior the principles in the study of behavior, especially on motivational theories, are applied in the workplace. Such theories help explain what motivates people in their attitudes toward work, their employers and other aspects of employment in general.