Types of Motives in psychology Biological, Social & Curiosity Motives

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 01:08 -- Umar Farooq

Biological Motives

These are also known as physiological motives and very important for the survival. These are natural and exist at the time of birth. These are activated due to imbalance in the body and maintain state of equilibrium.


  1. These motives of human and animals are the same.
  2. These are to a large extent rooted in the physiological state of the body.
  3. These are such needs which are absolutely necessary to be satisfied.


The list of examples may include hunger, thirst, desire for sex, pain, etc.

Social Motives

These are called social motives because of their being learned in social groups, especially, in family as children grow up and because. They usually involve other people.
Psychologists and social psychologists have given them various names as follows.

  1. Acquired or learned motives.
  2. Complex motives.
  3. Secondary motives.

Why Secondary Motives?

They are called secondary motives because they are not primary in nature their need for satisfaction is not absolutely necessary.

Explanation of Social Motives

These are the complex motives states or needs, that are the offspring of many human actions in fact these motives can give us some insight into an individual’s social behavior. What sort of social motives activate an individual depend on an individual social experience which is unique to himself and depends on his way of receiving things, his personality make up, his learning capacity, his intelligence, opportunities and weaknesses.


The example of social motives is shyness.

Major Types of S. Motives

Morgan has classified social motives into three types as follows.

  1. Need for achievement
  2. Need for Hunger
  3. Human Aggression

Curiosity Motives Curiosity

Man wants and tries to know and explain everything. So to engage in these activities is not only biological or social motive but also because. These motives help to satisfy our curiosity about the natural surroundings. The curiosity want is closely related to man’s insistent search for knowledge. Sometimes curiosity is for need satisfaction while some other times it is for pleasure.

The arousal of curiosity want depends on the environment in which the individual lives. Rich and complex environment will evolve more complex wonder and more search for an explanation of the wonder.


The play behavior of a child has been interpreted by many psychologists as a means of gaining and understanding and mastery of the environment.

These are three such motives which are discussed as under.

1. Stimulation and Explanation Needs

Experiments show that humans have a tendency to seek sensory as well as physical stimulation and re motivated to explore their surrounding in order to satisfy their curiosity. Closely related to curiosity motive is a need for sensory stimulation. People seek complex as well as novel stimuli because such stimuli arouse feeling of pleasure in us and increase owe awareness and knowledge.

2. Effective Motivation

This concept was given by white (1959). It is a general motive to act competently and effectively when interacting with the environment. We try to be effective not only in mastering environment but also in our relationship work and other social activities.

3. Self-Actualization

It refers to an individual need to develop his/her potentialities. In other words to do what he or she is capable of doing self-actualization is thought to be the top need in the hierarchy of needs or motives.