Two Factor Theory on Human Emotion

Two Factor Theory on Human Emotion


The “Two Factor Theory” or the “Motivation-Hygiene Theory” is one of the finest theories of human psychology. The theory is established by the famous psychologist Herzberg. Let me first explain, what this theory is all about. According to this Two Factor Theory, in a work place there exist two different categories of factors; the motivation factors and the hygiene factors. The presence of motivation factors in the workplace provides job satisfaction to the employee. And the absence of hygiene factors in the workplace results into job dissatisfaction. The most interesting aspect of this theory is; these two factors are independent of each other. For example, the presence of motivation factors provides satisfaction but their absence does not result into dissatisfaction. It only makes the employees “Not Satisfied” and not “Dissatisfied”! Similarly, the absence of hygiene factors results into dissatisfaction but their presence should not be considered as satisfaction. Or in simpler terms, the presence of hygiene factors makes the employees, “Not Dissatisfied” rather than “Satisfied”!

Does this Two Factor Theory applies to human emotions?

Going by this theory, can I conclude that the absence of “Love” should not be considered as “Hate”.

Sounds confusing?

When we admire a political leader, a movie star or a sportsman; we can surely praise them and their acts. That is natural. But does that mean, we need to hate the opponent of such leader, actor or sportsman?

I love Narendra Modi; so I have to hate Rahul Gandhi.

I love Shahrukh Khan; so I have to hate Salman Khan.

I love Sachin Tendulkar; so I have to hate Brian Lara.

You must have heard these arguments before. And this is not new. Let’s turn a few more pages back in the history; there were Mahatma Gandhi supporters and there were Bhagat Singh supporters; both these groups hated each other. If we go back to the mythological zone; there was conflict between Shaivaties and Vaishnavas. There is conflict among the followers of Karna and Arjuna of Mahabharat.

Why it is so? What is the solution to such madness?

I got a good answer to this question while attending a virtual classroom of “Integrative Management” by Venkata Sir.

He mentioned about two theories of decision making;

  • Either Or Theory and
  • AND theory.

If we go by the “Either Or” theory; we will chose only one of the two options available. This will make us miss some crucial and positive points of the option that we rejected. Where as the “AND” theory is an integration of all the options available. We choose the good points of all the available options and get rid of the negative points of them.

I wonder why we can’t use this integral approach with our own mind. We can look at the good qualities of both the options and ignore the bad qualities.

These two theories “Two Factor Theory” and “AND Theory” definitely can be put into human emotions. All we need to remember is absence of love does not mean hate. And we can integrate the good qualities of all the opposite factors to get better result.

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