William McDougall's purposive psychology is a theoretical approach within psychology that emphasizes the role of instincts and purposive action in human behavior. According to McDougall, individuals are driven by innate instincts that guide their actions and motivations. These instincts serve as internal drives that push individuals to engage in purposive behavior, seeking specific goals and outcomes. McDougall believed that instincts are not fixed, but rather can be shaped and influenced by social and cultural factors, allowing for flexibility and adaptation.
In the context of an online community, McDougall's purposive psychology can shed light on the motivations and behaviors of community members. It recognizes that individuals join online communities driven by various instincts and purposes, such as the need for social interaction, validation, knowledge sharing, or belongingness. Understanding these underlying instincts and purposes can help community administrators design and facilitate online spaces that fulfill these needs, promote active engagement, and create a sense of purpose and fulfillment for community members. By recognizing and addressing these fundamental motivations, online communities can enhance member satisfaction, participation, and overall community well-being.