What are lewin’s Motivational Conflicts?

To understand motivational conflicts, we need to understand what is conflict? the word ‘Conflict‘ derived from a Latin word ‘confligere’ which means ‘strike two things at the same time’. In a simple definition, Conflict is a perceived incapability of actions, goals & ideas. Colman defined ‘A conflict is the anticipated frustration entailed in the choice of either alternative’.

Motivational Conflicts can occur at three levels- 

  1. Emotional Conflict– love, hate, Happy , surprise, fear, stress, etc
    1. Between Two positive emotions
    2. Between One Positive Emotion and One Negative Emotion
    3. Between Two Negative emotions
  2. Cognition Conflict – Between two thoughts
  3. Behavioral Conflict – Between two actions

Types of Motivational Conflicts

1. Intra-Conflicts or Intrapersonal Conflicts or Goal conflicts –

 Kurt Lewin, ‘founder of social psychology’ (1935) identified three patterns of conflict:

    1. Approach-Approach ConflictIt will occur when individual forced to choose between two appealing outcomes. For example two attractive job offers.
    2. Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict It will occur when individual forced to choose between two different undesirable outcomes. For example, doing a hectic job or being unemployed.
    3. Approach-Avoidance Conflict-  It will occur when there is only one goal which will have both appealing and unappealing outcome simultaneously. for example a job with attractive salary with life risk.
    4. Double/ Multiple  Avoidance-Approach Conflicts-  It has added later. A complex conflict situation arising when a person is confronted with two goals or options that each have significant attractive and unattractive features.

2. Inter-Conflicts or Interpersonal Conflicts

1.Between two individuals.

2.This can be resolved through some strategies such as avoiding, smoothing, forcing, confronting and compromising.

3. Assertive behavior and I am ok, you are ok interpersonal orientation help to resolve such conflicts easily.

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