modes of motivational orientation

modes of motivational orientation

three forms or modes of motivational orientation, identified by Parsons and Shils (1951):
  1. cognitive (i.e. the perception of objects in terms of their characteristics and potential consequences);
  2. cathartic (i.e. the perception of objects in terms of the emotional needs of the actor);
  3. evaluative (in which the actor allocates energy among ends and attempts to optimize outcomes).

All three modes of orientation can be involved in any instance of social action, but equally particular instances or types of social action can be characterized by primarily involving one rather than the others. See also PATTERN VARIABLES, PARSONS. Compare TYPES OF SOCIAL ACTION.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000