The Power of Motivation: Crash Course Psychology #17

The Power of Motivation: Crash Course Psychology #17

You can directly support Crash Course at Subscribe for as little as $0 to keep up with everything we’re doing. Also, if you can afford to pay a little every month, it really helps us to continue producing great content.

Feeling motivated? Even if you are, do you know why? The story of Aaron Ralston can tell us a lot about motivation. In this episode of Crash Course Psychology, Hank tells us Ralston’s story, as well as 4 theories of motivation and some evolutionary perspectives on motivation.

Table of Contents

Four Theories of Motivation:
Evolutionary Perspective 1:38:22
Drive-Reduction 2:45:10
Optimal Arousal 3:38:21
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs 4:49:04
How Sex, Hunger, and the Need to Belong Motivate us 5:29:02

Want to find Crash Course elsewhere on the internet?
Facebook –
Twitter –
Tumblr –
Support CrashCourse on Subbable:


June 2, 2014 / 50 Comments / by / in
  • At 3:50 when you were explaining the definition of optimum arousal, you labeled it as drive reduction theory. In the end this was a great video πŸ™‚ It REALLY HELPED ME STUDY

  • i keep hearing a snoring sound whenever the slides switch to another topic. 2:18, 2:41, 3:05, 3:11, 3:50 ????? Why put that in there, so we can fall asleep faster?

  • Thanks Hank. I have a psychology test in 30 minutes and this helped a ton haha.

  • :p

  • this is strong and profound.

  • I study daily, and still question what exactly motivates me

  • People who thought this video will motivate you. Like this comment

  • shameless promotion for Paper Towns

  • There was a commercial about motivation before this video.


  • 10:33 Or Hitler. I'm not calling Ralston or anyone else a Nazi but the desire to survival and a feeling of belonging were things Hitler very much played on to further his political ends. Though I guess this could be said of a lot of politicians.

  • Okay, so I'm not the only one who looks at the word physiological and says "psychological." Even Crash does it.

  • Unlearned? You mean nonlearned? Because unlearned is when you learned something and then you undo it.

  • motivaciones (?)

  • sitting here calling BS on evolution for the 1000th time. Really makes him sound dumb.

  • hi , can tell me what is main of motivation?

  • he's not gonna be picking anyone up in the near future. that's for sure

  • He said psychological and the screen said physiological

  • Hank, you said "psychological" but on the screen it said "physiological"… how will I ever learn about motivation if you're gonna be inconsistent???

  • My motivation is pumping and humping.

  • 9:35 Seems that CrashCourse have predicted an affair of Bernard and Theresa from Westworld πŸ˜‰

  • why the hell did you flash "scoodylipooping" a few times between 6:026:03 ????

  • 3:50 — you are defining 'optimal arousal' but you write 'drive-reduction theory'

  • My, you can talk πŸ˜€ I like it!

  • I always interpreted Maslow putting sex as important on his hierarchy was sex as in reproduction.

    If you are not having sex and reproducing you (your genes, DNA, etc) will not survive

  • suckle

  • should speak slower than this

  • lazy

  • just when I thought all your videos were incredible you make them even more. and you do videos like this

  • wait what? that was a commercial???

  • His tongue is motivated enough for marathon.

  • I was hoping this would be a great video to share on LinkedIn. But this is more about Buritos and sex apparently. So. I think I'm not going to share it second thoughts…

  • Hey to all who watch this in Psychology Class.

  • Ghrelin can be disrupted with drugs, eating disorders etc right???

  • Was that example necessary for a motivational video…whew, I suppose, but..whew.

  • Whew..I'm tired and I wasn't even speaking!

  • For some reason this video makes me want to go SCOODYLIPOOPING. I wonder why.

  • What is scoodylipooping?

  • I'm motivated to comment that this is an excellent lecture. Once again, thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚

  • I got an add for motivation right before this video….

  • He was so YOUNG…

  • can u please talk a little slow,,u speak faster than my brain can process,,,bt i really appreciate your work

  • TO get motivated for doing any thing, we need a very strong reason. That's basically driving reduction like we study hard because we think to be successful in future(such a lie).
    best example:- I am writing a comment on a motivational video because I was said to, to get full marks in an assignment, that is my motivation.

  • Wish you didn't try so hard to come across as "funny" or lighthearted.

    You're discussing serious topics here, so please stay serious.

  • I can't believe I didn't even bother to watch this to the end…

  • Wait… He had a dream about picking up his children, so he cut his arm off… I think maybe he didn't want to have to pick any children up.

  • "otherwise none of us would be here, thinking about severed arms and sex and stuff."
    …I…don't think those things should be in the same sentence like that… πŸ˜›

  • I dont think a person needs motivation to cut your arm off to free
    yourself from a live-death situation. Isn't that more like, survival instinct
    driving you through? The only other option would be to give up and die, and
    that's not an option, unless you want to die. Which means you'd probably need
    more "motivation or will-power" to not try to save yourself at all

  • Is that hank green

  • I do not appreciate the inappropriate pictures.

%d bloggers like this: