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Skinner’s theory explains operant conditioning and certain behaviorism by putting positive and negative reinforcement. Skinner used rats to show how punishment and reward were used as motivation factors to rats in completing their tasks. Skinner used positive reinforcement by putting a hungry rat and a box with a lever on the side, a light on the top (which is considered motivation), whereby the rat bumped the lever causing the food to drop. The rat realized that the food was connected to the lever and hence kept repeating the same action. A person is usually motivated to perform an action that makes him feel good (Waqas & Saleem, 2014). A pleasure sensation is often attained following the rewarding of an individual with positive reinforcement through the strengthening of behavior. The opposite feeling is caused by negative behavior but leads to the same results. That means that negative support, including punishment, is vital in discouraging harmful behavior (Cherry, 2018). Skinner made use of rats in proving this theory. The shock stopped after the lever had been hit by the rat, which consequently caused the rat to go to the lever to control the shock frequently. This theory is credible in providing explanations about language acquisition, learning processes, and behaviors (Cherry, 2018). Besides, it is employed in various facilities such as psychiatric hospitals and workplaces. However, this theory fails to focus on how thoughts influence learning and behavior.
Moreover, the essence of self-determinant theory (SDT) is undeniable. The SDT was developed in the 1970s and exclusively for intrinsic and extrinsic forms of motivation. Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is connected to the behavior of individuals. It is believed that it is crucial to have intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for individuals’ overall well-being, even though the two are the direct opposite of each other (Deci & Ryan, 2008). The SDT has been applied in several areas, such as healthcare and sports. Some researchers argue that this theory does not only deal with motivation but also reveals personality traits. The self-determination theory is further divided into two sub-theories that provide profound details of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The two are cognitive evaluation theory and organismic integration theory. The self-determination theory also focuses on how the individual perception of rights and wrongs is influenced by cultural and social factors (Waqas & Saleem, 2014). Through such a view, it can be seen that the greatest motivation is the experience of an individual with relatedness, competence, and autonomy. That is because an individual’s overall well-being can be adversely influenced if his or her psychological needs, such as performance and creativity, are not supported. Furthermore, the self-determination theory addresses the biological, cognitive, and learning components of motivation through its empirical research. This theory has brought forward several findings of how humans function, growth, and well-being (Hansen, Smith, & Hansen, 2002). For instance, some results have revealed that intrinsic needs’ reasonable satisfaction often leads to mental and physical wellness. Besides, the studies performed on the concept of vitality showed that a person’s experience with nature causes a positive impact on his or her well-being. Such studies have also identified aspects of passion that an individual may internalize. SDT emphasizes the primary psychological aspect that analyzes the concept of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan, 2008). Besides, it helps answer some of the vital questions such as why individuals are motivated, the effects that an individual experiences when he doesn’t satisfy his psychological needs, and ways of regulating behavior.