What Are Biological Motives?

Biological motives are the driving force behind goal-oriented behaviors that result from an individual’s physiological state. Some examples of biological motives are an individual’s response to hunger, thirst, temperature change or the need for rest. Biological motives are usually differentiated from those that are influenced by society, but they can also be shaped by the meaning behind the resulting behavior or by its social and cultural context.

A motive can be described as something that drives an individual to engage in or refrain from a behavior that is directed toward achieving a specific goal. In addition to being driven by biological motives, human behavior can also be the result of sociological and intrinsic, or personal, motives.

The study of human behavior patterns and their often overlapping motivational factors gave rise to the emergence of a variety of specialized fields of psychology, such as behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, evolutionary psychology and affective neuroscience.