Psychology uses a number of theories to explain a concept or term. Same is for “motivation”
Why do you write civil service again and again? What motivates Leander Paes or Dhoni to practice before each match? What motivated a rich man’s son to shed his weight?
The theories as single or mostly as a bundle can be used to explain motivation. The earliest of the theories is Drive Theory. In common parlance motivation is often called as drive too. What drives you to do it? Is common way of asking What motivated you?.
The drive theory is used to explain behaviors like drinking water or eating food. The basic biological needs pushes a person to do a behavior to reduce the need.
Biological need - > drive - > bahaviour -> reduces drive - > need satisfied (for that time to re-occur later).
The drive is closely related to homeostasis. The drive leads to behavior for human body to reach homeostasis. Homeostasis is a concept in physiology which tells that body functions maintain the cells or body in normal range. Once the homeostasis is disturbed ( hunger/thirst) the body balance changes. This creates a drive for the human being to act in manner to maintain this homeostasis.
The theory which was initially used to explain eating or drinking was later extended to other behavioral patterns. But the extent to which it can explain all types of motivation is questionable.
Eg: Person may read erotic material to increase sexual excitement even though sexual activity may not be anticipated. Here the behavior increase drive.
This and many other behavior shows that drive theory is insufficient to explain “motivation”.
.. to be continued!
Keywords: biological need, homeostasis
Motivation: Internal processes that activate, guide and maintain behaviour over time (source: Robert A Baron)