A concept of incentive emerged by Clark L. Hull, the Drive-Reduction Theory focuses on just how motivation originates from biological requirements or drives. In this concept, Hull proposed a person’s behaviour is an outside screen of his desire to fulfill his physical deficiencies.

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Origin of the Theory

Clark L. Hull was working at Yale College as soon as he started to develop the drive-reduction concept. Inspired by a number of prominent researchers such as John B. Watchild, Ivan Pavlov, Edward Thorndike and also Charles Darwin, Hull based his concept on the previously theories that relate to the principles of inspiration. His concept is grounded on the principle of homeostasis, believing that behaviour is among the ways in which a perboy have the right to preserve the state of homeostasis or balance. The theory was further developed by Kenneth Spence as it began to be a major theory of inspiration in the late 1940s.


The Theory

A “drive” is a state of arousal or anxiety motivated by a person’s physiological or organic demands. These needs incorporate hunger, thirst, require for warmth, and so on. In this theory, Hull declared that drives provide climb to an individual’s motivation. Furthermore, Hull explained that an individual is in a state of need as soon as his survival is endangered. When a person’s drive emerges, he will be in an unpleasant state of stress and anxiety and the perkid will certainly behave in such a method that this stress is reduced. To reduce the tension, he will start seeking out means to meet his biological demands. For circumstances, you will look for water to drink if you are thirsty. You will certainly seek for food if you are hungry.

According to the concept, any behaviour that reduces the drives will be repetitive by human beings and also pets. This is bereason the reduction of the drive serves as a positive reinforcement (i.e. a reward) for the behaviour that led to such drive reduction.


Today, the drive-reduction theory is mostly ignored in the area of psychology, despite the glory it has actually appreciated from 1940s to 1950s. While drive-reduction concept is not much put into practical application nowadays, it is helpful for students to learn around the concept, its principles and also its influence to modern-day psychology. In this means, the students would have the ability to understand just how various other theorists built on the drive-reduction concept and also why some thinkers proposed concepts opposing Hull’s Theory.

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While Hull’s drive-reduction theory describes exactly how main reinforcers are effective in reducing drives, many psychologists argued that the concept is not applicable in the principle of second reinpressures. For instance, money is a powerful additional reinforcer as it deserve to be used to purchase main reinforcers favor food and water. However before, money in itself cannot reduce an individual’s drives. Another problem via the theory is that it does not provide an explanation around the reason behind world engaging in actions that are not expected to minimize drives, such as a person eating also if he is not hungry.