PSYC 1200 Lecture 6c
Chapter 10: Motives for Behaviour
Motivation A process influenced by a combination of nature (genes) and nurture (learning) that causes some behaviour (e.g. to move toward
some goal or away from some unpleasant situation).
Drive Theory Behaviours are caused by fulfilling biological needs or “drives”, such as hunger, thirst, comfort, mental stimulation, sex, etc.
Disadvantage: Behaviour does not necessarily occur to satisfy biological needs alone (eg. is drinking coffee/beer just about thirst?).
Biological Motives Hunger, Thirst, Sex, Temperature, Excretory, Sleep & Rest, Activity, Aggression.
Social Motives Achievement, Affiliation, Autonomy, Nurturance, Dominance, Exhibition, Order, Play.
Extrinsic Motivation Participating in an activity to gain a reward.
Intrinsic Motivation Participating in an activity for its own sake.
Basic Drives Basic drives come from genes (nature), but are expressed through learning.
Eating & Body Weight When We Were Wrong: being overweight was always assumed to be caused by psychological disturbance.
Maintenance When We Did The Research: overweight people were not more psychologically disturbed than average-weight people.
Genetic Basis of Weight: a partly genetic biological mechanism that maintains people’s body weight at a certain level (set-point).
It is influenced by basal metabolism rate (rate of converting calories to energy rather storing them as fat).
Environmental Basis of Weight: Over the past 30 years, 50% of North American Adults are overweight. This trend is observed
regardless of gender, social class, and age. Obesity is a costly social problem and a threat to physical and psychological health.
Factors of Obesity:
Fatty food is cheaper, tastes great, and more convenient to make.
Modern technology gives us more leisure and less exercise (e.g. We drive, instead of walk)
Modern hobbies consume minimal calories (e.g. watching television, video games).
The Role of Genes: people evolved when food was scarce and starvation was a major concern. A solution inherited from our
ancestors is eating when food is available and storing it as fat when you have more than enough for the time being.
The Role of Modern Environment in N.A.: food is cheap and always available in abundance, but the same genetic urge to eat and
store fat remains, causing a natural tendency to become obese.
How to fight genetics: reducing calorie intake alone will only slow down metabolism (rate of calorie consumption to maintain set-
point), but regular exercise increases metabolism, regardless of set point and can actually lower one’s set point.
Cultural Influences on Weight: people’s weight partly depends on cultural perceptions of “ideal” body shape and weight.
For females, cultures favour larger body shapes: Calabari of Nigeria, Spain, Italy, Mexico, African Americans.
While others favour smaller body shapes: North Americans of North-Western European Descent (but the “ideal”
changes significantly across time depending on the role of women in the workplace).
Consequences of these cultural ideals for Body Shape:
For women & some men: Bulimia (regular binge eating then purging) and Anorexia (chronic under-eating, starvation).
For men & some women: anabolic steroid use.
For everyone: depression and anxiety because of not living up to a difficult sometimes impossible standard.
Motivation and Sex There’s a need to engage in sexual behaviour because it is how we ensure our genes get represented in the next generation.
The Biological Basis of Sexual Desire: the hormone testosterone is important for the existence and intensity of one’s sex drive,
but having sex also increases testosterone levels and castration does not necessarily eliminate sex drive.
Sexuality & Gender Sexual Experience: Men and women are not completely different with respect to how they experience sex. The similarities
Differences between men and women in the domain of sexuality are more striking than the differences.
Sex Drive: Men seem to have a much stronger impulse for sex and are much less able to suppress