Homeostasis, discrepancy, dissonance. A theory of motives and motivation

Stagner, R. (1977). Homeostasis, discrepancy, dissonance. Motivatíon and emotion1(2), 103-138.


The argument is presented that motivation is equated to energy mobilization, and that the mechanism involved in all such instances of arousal is a discrepancy-detecting and -reducing mechanism. Motives are specific categories of discrepancy but they operate through a common arousal system. This system, further, may be coopted into (integrated into) processes involving social comparison, relative deprivation, discrepancies with respect to ego-involved persons and objects, and industrial, social, and political motives. While biological homeostasis provides the basic CNS system, other forms of discrepancy-triggered energy arousal must be recognized as important. Hedonism and theories of curiosity, as well as other similar factors, can be subsumed under discrepancy theory.

Published by dfmarks


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: