| There are two basic strategies for avoiding things that are bad for you. You can remove it or you can remove yourself. The first involves fight and the second involves flight; the emotion underlying the first is rage and the emotion underlying the second is fear. Consider one of our remote ancestors confronted by a sabre-toothed tiger. He can remove it or he can remove himself. He can kill it or run away. The only good tiger is a dead tiger or a distant tiger.|
The need-reduction theory and the activation theory are diagramed together in Figure 4.2 to clarify the similarities and differences between them. Both theories involve a negative feed-back loop to maintain you in your optimal state. Both theories describe the nervous system as a mediator between the internal environment (that is, the other subsystems of the person) and the external environment. According to the need-reduction theory, the function of the nervous system is to mediate between a state of deprivation in the internal environment (a need) and a thing in the external environment that will satisfy the need (positive goal), so that you will approach that thing. According to the activation theory, the function of the nervous system is to mediate between a thing in the external environment (negative goal) and a state of the internal environment (an emotion), so that you will avoid that thing.
Since the nervous system is merely a mediator between internal and external environments, the person is extrinsically motivated . The person is pushed and pulled by outside forces - pushed by needs and pulled by satisfiers of those needs, pushed by threatening things and pulled by the emotions generated by those things. Behaviorists argue that all human motivation is indeed determined by those extrinsic needs. When asked to explain more sophisticated behaviors beyond those obviously linked to the primitive motivations of hunger and thirst and the primitive emotions of rage and fear, they talk of secondary drives, which are established through association with those primary drives. Thus, in the famous experiment in which chimps were taught to work for tokens which they could 'spend' in a chimpomat, their capitalistic tendencies were explained in terms of the tokens being the means of obtaining food to remove the hunger drive to satisfy the hunger need to regain the optimal state to survive. Capitalism is established by making money the means to the ends of satisfying those extrinsic needs.
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