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Three Motivation Systems But Only One Self-Esteem?

Abstract : In our studies concerning violence at school and school failure, we did not find significant correlations between, on one hand, two different scales measuring empathy (B.E.E.S.: Balanced Emotional Empathy Scale and C.E.C.: emotional Contagion, Empathy, and emotional Cut-off) and, on the other hand, a scale measuring self-esteem (E.T.E.S.: Toulouse self-esteem scale). Moreover, it is the teenagers experiencing school failure and emotionally cut-off which paradoxically express the strongest scores of self esteem. Self esteem is a complex concept measured with different types of scales. Could these scales represent different psychological processes according to the motivations expressed by the subjects? To explain these results and to answer the question, the authors propose to use a synthetic model of the human motivations comprising three complementary and/or antagonistic systems of motivation. We wish to show how each system, comprising the whole range of feelings from frustration to pleasure but in three different registers, can explain a facet of the total self esteem. In a first system of motivation, the motivation of reassurance results from the care to which each one was subject, i.e. the unconditional acceptance of its person. To have been able, in external reference, to receive this kind of gratifying feedback and to feel that, feeds our idea that we are then estimable, worthy of regard. The motivation of innovation comes from the intrinsic pleasure which one feels each time one gains in autonomy, that one overcomes ordeals that one succeeds during trainings. Self esteem which results from this is due to the fact that, in this case, one is in internal reference, and it is the consequence of our own consciousness of our merit and value. The motivation of addiction constitutes an hypertrophy of the motivation of security, the pleasure is obtained in active, conscious or not conscious, research of situations of dependence to products (exogenous drug-addiction), to behaviours (endogenous drug-addiction) or to people (as for “love addiction”). In this search, the person can feel an insatiable need for recognition and seeks outside himself the signs that he is worthy of regard. As in the case of an addiction, the self esteem which results from it is only temporary and encourages to seek in external reference, with a logic of “always more”, an inaccessible feeling because it is not compatible with the motivation of innovation which is developed only in internal reference. In conclusion, the authors propose to substitute, to the usual categories in the scales of self esteem (social self, physical, school…), three groups of items likely to reflect additional motivations, i.e. the motivations of reassurance and innovation and an antagonist one, i.e. the motivation of addiction. The latter, because it’s opposed to the dynamics of two others, locks up the person in repetitive behaviours and maintains him in a psychological status quo.
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Contributor : Christian Reynaud Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, December 8, 2016 - 4:18:33 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 8:24:46 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01412710, version 1


Daniel Favre, Christian Reynaud, Claude Caussidier. Three Motivation Systems But Only One Self-Esteem? . Stefan De Wals ; Katerina Meszaros. Handbook on Psychology of Self-Esteem, nova science publishers, pp.61-81, 2012, 978-1-62100-458-5. ⟨hal-01412710⟩



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