Instinct Theory

Type of psychology: Motivation

Fields of study: Biological influences on learning; motivation theory

Until behaviorism, which rejected instincts, became the dominant theoretical model for psychology during the early decades of the twentieth century, instinct theory was often used to explain both animal and human motivation. As behaviorism faded, aspects of instinct theory returned to psychology—modernized, but still recognizable as parts of the oldest theory of motivation.

Key concepts

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