Motivation and Emotions

  • Padmasiri de Silva
Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series (LPR)


The term ‘motivation’ is a general one that covers three aspects of behaviour: states that motivate behahviour, behaviour motivated by these states and the goals of such behaviour. All three aspects may be regarded as stages in a cycle. Hunger as a motivational state would impel a person to seek food, appropriate behaviour which is instigated by this need would be the seeking of means to attain the end, and the alleviation of hunger would be the final goal. The motivation cycle then terminates until the need for food emerges again.1 Thus terms like need, want, motive, drive, etc., refer to some inner condition of the organism that initiates and directs its behaviour towards a goal. Some of the goals are of a positive nature, goals that individuals approach; others of a negative nature, which individuals try to avoid. Where the motivageating states have a clear physiological base, the goals are relatively fixed — as in the need for sleep or food — whereas there will be a greater degree of flexibility and variation in the case of the desire for fame, status, position, etc.


Sexual Pleasure Western Psychology Painful Feeling Hedonic Tone Pleasant Feeling 
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  1. 35.
    Mrs C. A. F. Rhys Davids, ‘Sin’, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (New York, 1910–21), vol. II, p. 71.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© M.W. Padmasiri de Silva 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Padmasiri de Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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