The positive and negative environmental stimuli that motivate behavior play an important role in our daily lives. These triggers, also known as arousals, are generally triggered by certain physiological needs. These are often referred to as drive and incentive. Both types of stimulation can motivate different behaviors. The drive for sports participation is an example of a positive arousal. The incentive for gambling is a negative arousal.
The purpose of these two operations is to modify an individual’s behavior by influencing its frequency, intensity, duration, and speed. For example, a fast-food worker who earns a minimum wage is highly motivated to work hard in order to earn a raise. The pay raise would act as a strong reinforcer of their working behavior. For example, a high-paying job would encourage a person to work even harder to make a higher salary.
An example of a motivating operation is a pay raise. A fast-food worker who is earning a minimal wage may feel very motivated to work hard in order to get a pay raise. Because of the current deprivation of money, this would be a positive reinforcer of his work behavior. In the above example, the CEO of a large investment bank is given an incentive package to encourage him to increase the company’s profit margin.
Another example of a motivating operation is punishment. A student who receives praise for good work might seem more motivated to work hard for his new pay. However, if the student is not given praise, he or she may seem less motivated. This example illustrates the effect of both negative and positive environmental stimuli on behavior. For instance, a fast-food worker deprived of food might associate a dentist with pain or fear. The deprivation of food can lead to more intense and frequent performance of the same behaviors.
A simple example of the motivational effect of a negative stimulus is a dentist’s pain. The patient may not be able to face the pain that he is afraid of. In such a situation, the patient is more likely to show up for his appointment than someone who experiences the same aversive stimulus. Similarly, a dentist may be a patient’s favorite place, but she might not feel like going in for a dental appointment.
In other cases, the positive environmental stimuli that motivate behavior are called motivating operations. These operations amplify the positive reinforcement by increasing the frequency, duration, or speed of a learned behavior. A typical example is a fast-food worker who works for a minimum wage. The person will be motivated by a pay raise if the pay is low enough. A small raise would become a strong reinforcer.
If a student receives praise for good work, they will be more likely to repeat that behavior. If a student is not praised, they may be less motivated in the future. Both positive and negative environment stimuli are important in establishing and maintaining habits. A dentist’s office environment should not be intimidating for the patient. A person should be comfortable with the place he/she is working at.
For example, a dentist might wonder why a patient doesn’t show up for an appointment. It may be because the patient associates the dentist with pain or fear. Therefore, the pain and the fear of the dentist are the motivating factors. It is important to understand the difference between the two and how they affect each other’s behavior. The goal of the practice is to improve the quality of life for everyone.
Motivation can be internal or external. Biologically oriented theories suggest that the presence of a reinforcer influences a person’s future behavior. The presence of a reinforcer alone is not sufficient to explain a person’s present behavior. In contrast, the presence of MOs evokes a response that is not dependent on the presence of the reinforcer. In this case, the MOs are the primary source of motivation, but they are not the only source.