Human motives of behaviour
Why are behavioral motives important?
As part of the Evo-Eco approach, we have developed an understanding of human motivation based on the idea that each human motive evolved to solve a particular kind of problem of survival or reproduction presented by the human way of life. The set of 14 motives identified through this deductive process should encompass all of the kinds of motivations humans experience. Investigating these different motives can be a powerful lever of change with respect to behaviour.
Key research and contributions to this area:
A project testing behavioural motives in the UK
Watch the video below to find out about our study measuring the effects of different motives on handwashing behaviour using electronic sensors, and to hear about the interesting sex differences observed.
Full list of publications related to motivation:
- Judah G, Aunger R, Schmidt WP, Michie S, Granger S, Curtis V. Experimental pretesting of hand-washing interventions in a natural setting. American Journal of Public Health. 2009 October 24: 05-11
- Aunger, Robert and Val Curtis (2013) ‘The anatomy of motivation: An evolutionary ecological approach’. Biological Theory 8:49-63.
- Aunger, Robert, Wolf-Peter Schmidt, Ashish Ranpura, Yolande Coombes, Peninnah Mukiri Maina, Carol Nkatha Matiko and Valerie Curtis (2010) ‘Three kinds of psychological determinants for hand-washing behaviour in Kenya.’ Social Science and Medicine 70: 383-391.
- Curtis, Valerie, Lisa Danquah and Robert Aunger (2009) ‘Planned, motivated and habitual hygiene behaviour: an eleven country review.’ Health Education Research 24(4): 655-673.
- Aunger, Robert, and Valerie Curtis (2008). ‘Kinds of behaviour.’ Biology and Philosophy 23(3):317-345.