Traditionally, the concept of motivation involved enticing a person to perform or behave in a particular manner because he perceived those actions as having a desirable outcome. Negative motivation is precisely the opposite concept.
What is Negative Motivation?
Negative motivation describes the pain or negative consequences someone experiences when they fail to complete an event or task correctly or cannot achieve their goals. Behavior motivated by anticipation or fear that an undesirable outcome will result from not performing can be said to be negatively motivated. Fear is a potent negative motivator, especially when that fear relates to your survival or, in the case of employees, their income.
One way to maintain high production levels in your company is to motivate your workers to perform well. Countless techniques and methods exist for eliciting improved behavior and productivity, and your attitude toward creating a happy and positive work environment helps you choose which methods work best. These techniques fall under the umbrella of positive motivation. Negative motivation techniques focus on the consequences of underperforming and failing to meet goals instead of positive motivation, where the focus is on the benefits of superior performance.
Examples of Negative Motivation in various fields
Let us explore the impact of negative motivation in varied field and its impact. We will also explore if Negative Motivation can have a positive impact.
The most prevalent form of negative motivation happens in the workplace. Negative motivators take something away from the employee if performance levels are not met. Let us look at some examples of negative motivators.
Usually, money is the driving force of the negative motivator. Withholding a raise because a team member is not improving is an example of using money as a negative motivator. Other negative motivators include the threat of failing to advance in the company or even losing a job altogether. If a team member knows that he must meet specific performance goals to retain his position, he will be motivated to meet them. The unspoken threat of losing a job can prompt employees to work harder and longer without complaint.
The negative motivation here is the pain or negative consequences an athlete experiences when they fail to complete an event or task correctly or cannot achieve their targets. Most athletes will be familiar with the negative emotions and consequences which result from failure and will strive to avoid the pain by performing well and meeting their objectives.
An example of negative motivation would be a coach punishing an athlete by withdrawing privileges if they fail to complete a 100m swim within an allotted time frame. The level of motivation is once again affected by the intensity of the pain or the severity of the consequences of failure.
However, these negative feelings can also place excessive pressure on the athlete to succeed, leading to burnout. Athletes can lose their passion for their sport or increase their risk of injury by overtraining, potentially shortening their potential career. Therefore, it is not advisable to use negative motivation to push an athlete to perform well.
3. Consumer Branding
Negative motivation on the part of consumers results in a move away from an ‘avoidance object.’ Meaning the goal-directed behavior exhibited is so the consumer can avoid a possible occurrence from happening.
Choosing a costlier showroom service for your car, which is your pride and joy, is so you can be assured the vehicle is spared of any lousy service handling that may hinder its smooth functioning. A marketer should communicate solutions differently for different motives. So, for example, if it is a showroom service advertisement that you’re running, state the headline as, ‘Pinching pennies for your car service, Don’t!’ and for a premium timepiece brand, your headline may say, ‘Crafted with precision, just like you.
The first headline is a caution that asks you to avoid non-showroom service, motivating you negatively. The second one urges you to join in because the timepiece represents you, encouraging you positively.
4. Public Speaking
Negative motivation is a standard speech method used by motivational speakers.
A negative motivation example is a failure to follow a speaker’s advice will result in negative consequences. It was found that all challenges framed as a threat caused the team to embrace change to avoid the threat. This negative motivator was more effective than promising potential benefits the change might bring.
Once the team had embraced the negative, it was then imperative that the threat be reframed as a positive motivation of opportunity related to pleasure.
Using negative motivation in marketing and ad campaigns is a great way to rile your clients and customers into making decisions.
An example of negative motivation is seen with the television advertisements for Crimsafe Security Screens. Security Screens for homes are an excellent example of avoidance objects.
They are used to avoid an opposing goal, as they prevent someone from breaking into your home. The product is aimed at those with a prevention focus, meaning those who have more interest in safety and security and the absence of adverse outcomes. The product can also be described as having functional product features that fulfill consumers’ prevention goals and enhance their satisfaction.
6. School Grading Systems
Believe it or not, negative motivation is also a powerful tool in school systems.
They are considered driving forces to get students to perform well or improve their grades.
The students who gained their grades received positive incentives (i.e., the addition of points), whereas the students who maintained their grades received negative incentives (i.e., the subtraction of points). It was hypothesized that students who received negative stimuli would exhibit higher motivation levels than those who received positive incentives.
Their test results and grades can be either positive or negative incentives, and they provide excellent assignment completion than when no stimulus is offered. They also discovered that grades used as a negative incentive are more powerful than when they are used as a positive incentive. Furthermore, the greater the negative incentive, the more likely students were to complete the assignment.
There are numerous other areas where negative motivation is used as a driving force to get work done. While they have proved to work very effectively, one should always use caution when this motivation method involves fear and forceful methods to get the work done or improve one’s performance.
Also, check the following list of negative attitudes.