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positive and negative motivation

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

positive and negative motivation

Positive motivation is the type of motivation a person feels when he expects a certain reward. An example of Positive motivation is when a father tells his sun, "if you studied well and got high grades i will buy you the new play station".

Negative motivation is the type of feeling a person gets when he expects punishment. An Example of negative motivation could be telling your child "if you didn't study, i wont let you travel this summer"

The difference between positive and negative motivation

Both positive and negative motivation could lead to the same result however on the long run the overuse of negative motivation may result in problems like hating the person who uses it against you. For example a boss who always uses negative motivation to motivate his employees is most likely going to be hated.

So The difference between positive and negative motivation is that positive motivation doesn't have side effects on the long run while negative motivation may have some.

when to use negative motivation

Negative motivation is only recommended when proper escapement channels are available. For example a parent must not threaten his little child to get high grades until he makes sure that he has the correct books and that he knows where to start from.

Another example, a boss should never shout at his employees when they make mistakes without first showing him how to do things correctly or how to improve their performance. If the person knows how to escape the punishment then negative motivation is certainly going to be effective.

This explains why some people become depressed when they face a problem while others never experience depression on facing the same problem.

The first group of people had no place to escape because they didn't know what to do in order to solve the problem and that's why they got depressed. For the second group the problem created negative motivation but because they were aware of the actions they should take they didn't become depressed.

Using positive and negative motivation together

Should you use the stick or the carrot?
In fact you should use both together!

Its advised that you use positive and negative motivation together whenever possible because it has been proven that people become more motivated that way.

By using both positive and negative motivation together you will be able to motivate the people you are dealing with to a great extent.

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