Biological Drive vs Social Motive: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Origin: Biological drives are innate and originate within the body to fulfill physical needs like hunger, thirst, rest, sex. Social motives arise from external cultural and environmental influences.
  2. Purpose: Biological drives aim to maintain bodily equilibrium and ensure survival and reproduction. Social motives promote conformity, competition, cooperation among groups.
  3. Examples: Hunger, sleep, and sex are biological drives. Achievement, affiliation, and power are common social motives. Biological drives are more universal while social motives differ across societies.

What is Biological Drive?

Biological drives are also known by the other name, physiological drives that arise from within and compel the organism to act according to its need for its fulfillment and maintain homeostasis. These are primarily innate in nature and are required for human survival.

For example, these include – thirst, hunger, sleep, sexual desire, etc. These drives are influenced by the biological mechanisms of the body, such as – hormones, genetic predispositions, and brain chemistry.

These drives start from the individual’s birth to till their death. This is why the individual faces discomfort if these drives aren’t fulfilled.

What is Social Motive?

Social motive is referred to as behavior that is influenced by social influences or psychological factors. Unlike to that biological drives, social motives are formulated by cultural norms, values, societal norms, etc. It includes various societal needs such as – power, achievement, status, affiliation, belongingness, and recognition. 

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Social motives include the behavior that the individual learns because of societal norms and cultural values, and with a different society, it changes accordingly. It helps in shaping their belief, desires, behavior, attitude, etc.

Difference Between Biological Drive and Social Motive

  1. The biological drive is referred to as the internal needs of an individual that allows them to act in such a way as to maintain homeostasis and ensure human survival. While on the other hand, Social Motive is referred to as the behavior that is influenced by social influences or psychological factors.
  2. The nature of biological drive is innate or internal, whereas, on the other hand, the nature of social motive is that social influences learn it.
  3. Biological drive arises because of bodily needs and biological processes, whereas, on the other hand, social motive arises because of the continuous social interactions of individuals. 
  4. The internal biological mechanism regulates biological drives; alternatively, the social motive is controlled by the influence of cultural norms and society.
  5. The biological drive is individual-focused and self-preservation oriented. In contrast, the social motive is individual-focused and society oriented.
  6. Physical sensations or drives express biological drives, while comparatively, on the other hand, the social motive is expressed by social behaviors or interactions.
  7. Biological drives are less focused on society, unlike social motives, which are mainly focused on society.
  8. Biological drives are developed from birth to throughout life, whereas social motive is developed in society as it ultimately influences it and is a learned behavior.
  9. The psychological impact of biological drives brings intense discomfort to the individual if not met, but social motives promote belongingness, fulfillment, or exclusion.
  10. Biological drives include thirst, hunger, sexual desires, and sleep. In comparison, examples of social motives are – achievement, power, affiliation, status, belongingness, etc. 
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Comparison Between Biological Drive and Social Motive

Parameter of ComparisonBiological DriveSocial Motive
DefinitionIt is referred to as the internal needs of an individual that allows them to act in such a way as to maintain homeostasis and ensure human survivalIt is referred to as the behavior that is influenced by social influences or psychological factors 
NatureInnate or internalLearned by social influences
OriginIt arises because of bodily needs and biological processesIt arises because of the continuous social interactions of individuals 
RegulationBy internal biological mechanismInfluences of society and cultural norms
Focus and oriented It is individual-focused and self-preservation oriented It is individual-focused and society oriented
ExpressionsPhysical sensations or drivesSocial behaviors or interactions
Adaptability Less focused on society More focused on society
DevelopmentFrom birth to throughout lifeChanges according to the society 
Psychological Impacts It brings intense discomfort if needs aren’t metIt promotes exclusion, belonging sometimes, or fulfillment
ExamplesThirst, sleep, hunger, sexual desiresAffiliation, status, power, achievement, belongingness
References
  1. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/orpc/vol5/iss3/1/
  2. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.ps.38.020187.002333?journalCode=psych

Last Updated : 09 September, 2023

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