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Kendra Cherry

Instinct Theory - Psychology Definition of the Week

By August 23, 2013

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instinct theory

Definition: The instinct theory of motivation suggests that human behaviors are motivated by underlying biological instincts. These instincts are unlearned and tend to be universal in expression. The rooting reflex in an infant is one example of an instinctive behavior.

While the instinct theory enjoyed some popularity in psychology, it fails to explain all human behaviors. Learn more about the history of the instinct theory of motivation.

Image courtesy Piotr Bizior


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