According to drive-reduction theory, people are urged to satisfy physiological needs in bespeak to maintain homeostasis.

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Learning Objective

Evaluate the benefits and flaw of just how drive-reduction theory defines motivation


Key clues Drives space thought to underlie all habits in that behaviors are only conditioned, or learned, if they satisfy a drive. Drive-reduction theory has actually been criticized because that failing to explain how second reinforcers minimize drive or why people engage in "pleasure-seeking" behaviors.

Motivation explains the wants or demands that direct actions toward a goal. Motivations are typically separated into two types: drives are action of an inspiration like thirsty or hunger that have primarily biological purposes, when motives are sustained primarily by social and also psychological mechanisms.

Drives and Homeostasis

An beforehand theory of an ideas proposed that the maintain of homeostasis is specifically important in directing behavior. Homeostasis is the tendency to keep a balance, or optimal level, within a organic system. In a body system, a control center (which is often component of the brain) receives entry from receptors (which are frequently complexes of neurons). The control facility directs effectors (which may be various other neurons) come correct any imbalance in the body detected by the manage center.

The objective of organic drives is to correct disturbances that homeostasis. Unsatisfied drives are detected by neurons focused in the hypothalamus in the brain. This neurons then create an integrated solution to carry the drive earlier to its optimal level. For instance, as soon as you space dehydrated, freeze cold, or exhausted, the proper biological responses room activated immediately (e.g., body fat reserves space mobilized, urine production is inhibited, you shiver, blood is shunted away from the body surface, etc.). While your body immediately responds come these survive drives, you also become encouraged to correct this disturbances through eating, drink water, resting, or actively seeking or generating warmth by moving. In essence, friend are motivated to interact in whatever actions is crucial to fulfill an unsatisfied drive. One way that the body elicits this behavioral motivation is by boosting physiological arousal.

Drive-Reduction Theory 

Drive-reduction theory was an initial developed through Clark Hull in 1943. According to this theory, deviations native homeostasis develop physiological needs. These needs an outcome in psychological drive says that direct habits to meet the require and, ultimately, carry the system earlier to homeostasis. As soon as a physiological require is not satisfied, a negative state of stress is created; as soon as the require is satisfied, the journey to fulfill that require is reduced and the organism return to homeostasis. In this way, a drive deserve to be assumed of as an instinctual need that has the power to motivate behavior. 


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Father of drive Reduction Theory

Clark Leonard Hull arisen drive-reduction theory, among the earliest theory of motivation.


For example, if it’s been a while due to the fact that you ate, her blood street levels will certainly drop below normal. Short blood sugar induces a physiological need and a matching drive state (i.e., hunger) the will straight you to seek out and consume food. Eating will eliminate the hunger, and, ultimately, your blood street levels will go back to normal. 

Drive-reduction theory additionally emphasizes the function that habits play in the kind of behavioral solution in which we engage. A habit is a pattern of habits in i beg your pardon we regularly engage; when we have involved in a habits that effectively reduces a drive, us are much more likely to interact in that actions whenever challenged with the drive in the future (Graham & Weiner, 1996).

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primary and second Drives

Drive-reduction concept distinguishes in between primary and an additional drives. Primary cd driver are innate biological needs (e.g., thirst, hunger, and desire for sex) that room usually crucial for survival. Secondary drives, on the other hand, space not usually crucial for survival and are often connected to society or identity factors (e.g., the desire for wealth). Secondary drives are linked with major drives due to the fact that the satisfaction of second drives indirectly satisfies primary drives. Because that example, the desire for wealth is not essential for survival; however, wealth provides you through money that have the right to be used to get food, shelter, and other an easy needs, thereby indirectly satisfying these major drives. Secondary drives become connected with main drives through timeless conditioning. 

Drive-Reduction Theory and also Learning

According to Hull, journey reduction is a major aspect the learning. Drives space thought to underlie all behavior in that habits are just conditioned, or learned, if the combine satisfies a drive. Individuals confronted with much more than one need at the same time experience multiple drives, and also research has displayed that multiple drives deserve to lead to much more rapid learning than a single drive.

Critiques that Drive-Reduction Theory

There space several problems that leave the validity the drive-reduction theory open for debate. Because that one, drive-reduction theory has actually trouble explaining why humans and also other pets voluntarily rise tension by exploring their environments, even when they are not hungry or thirsty. There are additionally complications to drive-reduction theory led to by so-called "pleasure-seeking" behaviors, i m sorry seem come be inconsistent to the theory"s precepts. Why would an individual actively seek out much more stimulation if it is already in a state that relaxation and fulfillment? proponents of drive-reduction theory would certainly argue that one is never in a state of complete fulfillment, and thus, there are always drives that must be satisfied.