Our driving forces

Eduard Spranger has defined six different driving forces that we humans use to value the world. These drives define the “why” of our behavior, and we humans have a tendency to pursue what we value. According to Spranger’s theory, it is our personal attitudes, interests, goals and preferences that make up our driving forces, these driving forces guide us through our lives and our careers.

The six driving forces are:

  • Theoretical
  • Practical-Economical
  • Aesthetic
  • Social
  • Individual
  • Traditional

All of our driving forces affect us, but the six driving forces affect us differently

The strongest driving forces (usually two) affect us the most. They lead to action and the combination of them is important.
The intermediate driving forces (usually two) affect us in certain situations.
The weakest driving forces (usually two) affect us through the lack of these driving forces.

Theoretical driving force

They have a passion for discovering the truth. Most likely, their main goal in life is to acquire and systematize knowledge for the benefit of (often) the knowledge itself.

The theoretical driving force stands for the quest to discover, understand, systematize and analyze. Distinctive for people who have a strong theoretical drive is that they are curious, they want to understand and put things in context, they want to be well-read and have a lot of information.

Objectivity and rational thinking come first. What motivates is to have the opportunity to learn new things, to be an expert and to be involved in a development context. Since the theoretical man’s interests are empirical, critical and rational, he is often intellectual, fond of the scientific and philosophical.

Internship-Economic driving force

They often have a practical interest in money and a passion for what is useful. Time and resources are measured with a view to future financial gain.

The practical-economic driving force stands for the aspiration to use time, money and other resources in an optimal way. It can be about either wanting to preserve what has been achieved, or to develop and create something new. Some general traits of people with a strong practical-economic drive are that they are often practical, think ahead and want to get a return on their efforts, enjoy doing business and are good at planning their time and achieving results.

They are motivated by the possibility of receiving returns and various forms of rewards. This person wants training to be practical.

Aesthetic drive

They often have an interest in form and harmony. Life is a series of incidental events enjoyed each for its own sake.

The aesthetic drive is about a quest for harmony, form and beauty. It can be about a desire to protect the environment or to surround yourself with beautiful things, dress nicely and have a beautiful environment around you. People with a strong aesthetic drive strive for balance and want to have time for enjoyment, consider self-realization important, and often have a sense of what is beautiful and harmonious.

They are motivated by the opportunity to:

  • To realize their dreams
  • Personal development
  • Balance in life
  • Creativity and emotions

Social Driving Force

They often have an inherent love for people. They would like to eliminate hatred and conflict. They are empathetic and generous, which can be a disadvantage, however.

The social driving force stands for a desire to be a good fellow human being and humanist, to have the opportunity to help others.

They want:

  • Help others
  • Contribute to the development of others
  • Stand up for others.
  • They are motivated by having the opportunity to help and get the opportunity to engage with people.

Individual Drive

They often want to be able to control their own lives or have the power to influence others.

The individual drive is about a quest for power and influence, they like to lead others and have freedom in their actions, they can sometimes be powerful careerists.

They are motivated by:

  • Appearance
  • Making a career
  • Ability to push through decisions
  • Get to shape your life.

People who are leaders in any field generally have high individual drive.

Traditional driving force

They often like uniformity and order but dislike change and chaos.

The traditional driving force stands for an effort to either preserve the system, traditions and regulations or to change them. General features are a desire to see context in existence, to be able to follow one’s values and understand the meaning of life on a deeper level.

People with a strong traditional drive are often motivated by the opportunity to feel a sense of belonging and to work for what they believe in.

The drive can also aim to unite with a higher reality by withdrawing from everyday life.

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