The Biological Theory As It Pertains to Motivation


Give an overview of biological theory as it pertains to motivation. What role does the brain play in terms of motivation? Include in your answer details about brain structure and functions, as well as brain activity and emotions, as all relate to motivation. 

Shop Amazon – Used Textbooks – Save up to 90%


Homeostasis seems like one of the best examples of the biological basis for motivation. In fact, homeostasis can be seen as the driving force behind behavior; whether it is the balance between ID/Superego, self-control, and self-actualization, or sexual expression and sexual conformity. Biologically speaking, homeostasis is the maintenance of the internal and external conditions of the body in order to bring about a set-point balance (Deckers, 2005). This balance is maintained through the feedback of environmental conditions from the body to the brain. The brain then adjusts to compensate. In particular, I have never been very impressed with the set-point theory of hunger or the boundary model of hunger. They do not account well for extreme obesity and extreme anorexia. These theories work well with animals that do not rely so heavily on their cerebral cortex for mediation of motivation. In humans, we do not always eat because energy stores are low. Sometimes we eat out of habit, out of social obligation, out of obsession. In fact, there is some research that suggests that we become hungry not because our body is depleted of energy, but as a result of our body purposefully depleting itself of energy in order to compensate for the perceived influx of calories that is to come from eating (Pinel, 2007). According to this research, we experience hunger as an extension of the prediction that we are going to eat, rather than as a result of energy depletion.  

Get up to 80% Off Textbooks at Barnes & Noble


Deckers, L. (2005). Motivation: Biological, psychological, and environmental, Second Edition. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. 

Pinel, J.J. (2007). Basics of biopsychology. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: