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What are social motives?

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Quick Answer

Social motives are the thoughts and ambitions that drive people to accomplish certain goals while avoiding other outcomes. These desires are based on cultural norms and accepted behaviors. Many social motives are shared by all humanity.

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Social motives carry a strong influence over how people conduct themselves on a daily basis. These ideas and goals are designed to show individuals the ways in which they are expected to act and what sorts of behavior are unacceptable. Positive outcomes versus negative ones are dictated by what society determines is best for the ongoing health and stability of these groups.

The core social motives are the need for achievement, the need for affiliation and the need for power. Emotions and actions of all kinds are sorted into each of these groups, while the antithesis of these three categories are rejected as behaviors and outcomes that are unacceptable within social constructs.

Motivation and ambition are largely based on what is socially acceptable. The weight of public opinion heavily sways the decisions people make and how they lead their lives based on social motives and public appearance. These concepts ensure that the fabric of a culture is kept intact and that groups are able to continue existing harmoniously without fear of social discord.

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