Instincts and tension reduction

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    Instinct and Tension Reduction is a theory of causation, or motivation, of behavior – causation from a behaviorist perspective, motivation from a mentalist perspective. The idea is that when an inherent instinct, such as a need for food, exceeds a threshold value we act to reduce the tension so caused. In other words, when our bodies need food we are motivated to act to reduce the feeling of the tension of hunger by obtaining food and ingesting it. This idea goes back at least as far as Sigmund Freud’s theory of drive that, sans tension, went on to underpin the behaviorist theories of Drive Reduction in the 1940s.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of personality and individual differences
    EditorsVirgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)9783319246123, 9783319280998
    ISBN (Print)9783319246109
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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