There should always be something in our lives which triggers us to take the next step, even if we fall back, we rise again due to that force inside us. Motivation is that force making us to do more and more on a daily basis. Humans are living their lives just because of this force, motivation. It implies the idea that for desirable outcomes, we work accordingly. If a person wants to achieve something, he works in that direction. He thinks that doing something will surely give positive outcomes and that will lead to desired results. For example, if a person works hard, he does so because he has made up his mind that this hard work will give him good performance, and that will automatically give him desired results. It shows that efforts and expectations are directly proportional, which means that if expectations are high, a person will put in more effort to get results.

This theory gives two variables; expectancy: this is the probability of getting a desired result; valence: this is the strength of someone’s desire for something. So, this motivation is die product of the strength of one’s desire and the perceived probability of getting something good.

V + L = M

Valence, which is the value of reward, and expectancy, which is the belief of hitting a specific goal, join together to give a person motivation. Furthermore, expectancy depends upon an individual’s past experiences and the confidence which an individual has in his abilities to achieve his target. The more he knows about upcoming circumstances due to his past experiences, the more the chances that to hit his target. Also, the more he makes his firm about certain things, the more likely he is to get the desired thing. Expectancy ranges from zero to one depending upon an individual’s perceiving the possibility of an outcome. If an individual has no optimism regarding outcomes, his expectancy will be zero. On the contrary, if he is an optimist that a certain outcome will come, his expectancy will be one.

Moreover, Valence varies from -1 to +1. If the achieved outcomes are those which an individual expected, his valence will be +1. If the achieved outcomes aren’t as per his expectations, his valence value will be -1. For example, he thought that after working day and night, he would get the position of a manager, but he got just a 10% rise in his income, which didn’t meet his expectations.
The expectancy theory is applied in real life as well, like, a school teacher working for a school from the past six years would expect a rise in salary after a certain period of time, but she gets recognition as a senior teacher but doesn’t get the desired outcomes. On contrary, she observes that the new colleagues are getting higher pay than her. In this situation, her expectancy was high, but her valence was -1, as she didn’t get what she expected; she got the recognition, which she really didn’t want, and her income wasn’t increased.

To sum up, this expectancy theory is something which people apply both consciously and unconsciously. Putting effort into something isn’t a painful thing when the target is an individual’s desirable thing to him. Not everyone can rise after putting effort because so many factors are involved in the process of achieving target goals.

  • Zonish Muneer is doing BS in English from Jinnah University for women Karachi. She writes for various news sites.

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