Motivation Theories: Freud and Rogers

Post a 200- to 300-word response to the following: With which of the motivation theories do you agree most?

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I do not always agree with Freud’s outlook on the psychology of the human mind but in the area of motivation, psychoanalysis holds its own. I do agree with Freud that sexual fulfillment (life instincts) and aggression (death instincts) are huge motivational factors in our lives (McAdams, 2006). In fact, I also agree that those two factors affect us on an unconscious level. I have witnessed it in my own life. Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint why we are doing what we are doing. It is during those times that our unconscious mind is having an effect on our conscious actions. I can even see in my own life how the motivations of sexuality and aggression have found socially acceptable outlets; namely, through activities such as marriage and martial arts. I have also witnessed my internal struggle between the ID, ego, and superego. I can also see the superego and how it plays out in my life, as it struggles with the ID for supremacy. I guess I agree with psychoanalysis most because I have witnessed firsthand how the mechanisms in the theory have played out in my life.

With which of the theories do you agree least? Explain your position.

I have always leaned behaviorist before I even knew what the word behaviorist meant. I think that our environment has an extensive impact on our motivations and our personality traits. I, however, did not really agree with the humanistic approach to motivation, especially Carl Roger’s theory of client-centered therapy. As I read about Roger’s theory I realized that this might be due to my lack of empathy in my own life. Likewise, I did not like his emphasis on subjectivism because subjective observations are sometimes very unreliable. I guess the worry that I have is that by trying to emphasize the subjective account of the client any objective conclusions could be difficult to reach. Also, if the basic guide of human motivation is actualization, then why are so many Americans apathetic towards self-actualization? That pretty well summarizes my concerns.

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McAdams, D.P. (2006). The person: A new introduction to personality psychology. Danvers, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


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