Showing posts from February, 2022


This is a brief sketch of a theory of motivation. Motivation drives action. It also causes the experiences of pleasure and pain. We experience pain when motivation increases, and pleasure when motivation decreases. Motivation is generated by emotions, such as hunger, thirst and lust. Emotions generate motivation, and motivation generates action. Each emotion has a biological function. Hunger motivates eating. Thirst motivates drinking water. Lust motivates sex. Some emotions react to stimuli. For example, if you are pricked with a pin, then you will experience pain. The pin activates sensory receptors in the skin (nociceptors), which send a signal to the brain, where it generates an emotional reaction. That reaction will motivate you to act in a way that avoids the noxious stimulus. Behavior can be divided into two broad categories: avoidance and pursuit. Some emotions generate avoidance behaviors. Fear is a generic emotion that motivates avoidance. Other emotions, such a