Motivation from a social perspective

Motivation from a social perspective

Motivation from a social perspective


While sitting in a café sipping your coffee, you stare at a man in the corner of the room. He is in a business suit and appears to be waiting for someone. A beautiful woman comes in, and he stands and greets her with a kiss on her cheek. He orders another coffee for her and opens his briefcase. He takes out some documents and she begins to read them and sign each one. While she is signing, more people come into the café and all seem to either wave at or greet the man in the suit. He seems to know everyone in the café.



Some people have many friends while others have few to none. Some people, like the man above, are socially accepted, while others are ostracized. Some people move in and out of relationships with ease, while others are needy and “clingy.” Likewise, some people seek to achieve positions of power, while others do not. What accounts for these differences? This week, you explore how motivational theories attempt to explain the relationship between motivation and behavior change.

By nature, human beings are social creatures. They have social needs, such as safety and belonging, that have allowed them to band together and thrive. For millennia, humans have been motivated by these needs to survive adverse conditions. Today, most people desire more than mere survival; they are motivated by social needs, like achievement, affiliation, intimacy, and power. Persons with high desires for achievement or power may become leaders of business, politics, or other fields. Individuals with high affiliation needs may seek membership in many groups and desire approval and close relations with those around them. Individuals with high intimacy needs often seek strong emotional attachments. Thus, different needs produce different motivators and different behavior.

To prepare for this Discussion, select a social need from the following list: achievement, affiliation, intimacy, and power. Consider how this need influences motivation.

Post by Day 4 an explanation of how the social need you selected might influence motivation and provide an example to illustrate your point. Support your response with references to the Learning Resources.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.



  • Article: Geiger, M. A., & Cooper, E. A. (1996). Using expectancy theory to assess student motivation. Issues in Accounting Education, 11(1), 113–129.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the ProQuest Central database.
  • Article: McClelland, D. C. (1985). How motives, skills, and values determine what people do. American Psychologist, 40(7), 812–825.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.
  • Article: Schneider, B., & Alderfer, C. P. (1973). Three studies of measures of need satisfaction in organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 18(4), 489–505.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the SocINDEX with Full Text.