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PSYCH 101 Unit VIII Motivation & Emotion

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University of Waterloo
Richard Ennis

PSYCH 101  Unit 9: Motivation Characteristics of Motivation: • Motivation attempts to explain why humans act the way they do • Motivation is an inferred construct because we cannot see motivation, but we can see human behaviour o As a result, we are able to infer why that behaviour occurred • Motivation is also assumed to be an intervening variable that is behind all behaviour and is therefore essential for performance o Motivation though is very hard to predict since people are inherently complex and variable • Motivation is also very fleeting o What makes us do something in a current moment may not necessarily be the same reason that makes us do something in a different time How is Motivation Measured? (DIP) 1. Direction (i.e. choices) o Deliberate approach or avoidance of activities o Selection of outcomes worthy of effort o Degree of task difficult selected 2. Intensity: o The degree of energy, enthusiasm, and effort displayed o Measured by perceived level of effort or physiological arousal 3. Persistence: o Commitment to choices illustrates motivations to fulfill a certain goal o Continual effort following frustration/goal-blockage Mechanistic Approach to Explain Motivation: • Mechanistic approach focuses more on human instinct and primal needs and drives • It explains human behaviour and motivation as innate responses based on something from the environment Internal Forces: Instincts & Evolution, Drive-Reduction Theory, Psychodynamic Theory, and Incentives • Instincts & Evolution: o Fixed and predictable pattern of behaviour that is not acquired by learning, and is likely to be rooted in genetics o Many species have genetically programmed instincts that “motivate” actions o Humans have shown certain reflexes (e.g. babies) and general patterns that may be explained by natural selection  However, our behaviour is less prescribed by genetics than other animals • Drive Reduction: o A drive is an aroused/tense state related to a physical need such as hunger or thirst o This theory argues that humans are motivated to try and reduce these drives (e.g. eating to reduce hunger) o Drives are reduced in order to restore homeostasis to maintain a steady inner state o Advocates of Drive Reduction Theory:  Clark Hull: • American psychologist who was driven to try and explain psychological theory using mathematical terms  Konrad Lorenz: • Studied animal behavior and was able to project his findings on humans • Introduced the notion of needs, drives, and catharsis • Argued that humans tend to aggress and that there are triggers that cause humans to become aggressive • But when drive is reduced, then aggression will decrease to zero arousal (i.e. state of catharsis) • Psychodynamic Approach: o Proposed by Sigmund Freud o Theory revolves around intrapsychic conflicts which include our unconscious drives, needs, and wishes o Behaviour is caused by the human need to deal with these conflicts o The behaviour is designed to decrease those needs/wishes leading to catharsis • Incentive Values: Thorndike’s Law of Effect Theory o Thorndike’s Law of Effect Theory:  Behaviour is modelled after outcomes  A positive outcome means that the behaviour was seen as successful = more likely to engage in that behaviour  The opposite is true as well, for negative outcomes causing the particular behaviour associated with the negative to not be expressed o Thus, outcomes have some form of incentive value o The greater incentive towards a positive or negative outcome, causes greater motivation to do or not do something Humanistic Approach to Explain Motivation: Two theories will be analyzed here: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs/Motives and Carl Roger’s Discrepancy Approach. These theories appeal solely to humans. • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: o Proposed that humans are on quest to “be all we can be”. o Maslow proposed that there is a pyramid scheme of levels, whereby the next level of achievement can only be done if the previous level has been attained  Humans strive to satisfy basic needs before they find motivation to pursue goals higher up o The pyramid:  Psychological Needs (Bottommost level) • Need to satisfy hunger and thirst  Safety Needs • Need to feel safe and secure in the world  Belongingness and Love Needs • Need to feel loved and belong/accepted; not lonely or isolated  Esteem Needs • Need to be respected and recognized by others to promote one’s own self-esteem, achievement, competence, independence  Self-actualization needs • Need to live up to our fullest and unique potential  Self-transcendence needs (topmost level) • Need to find meaning and identity beyond oneself o One of the first humanistic theories, but was not founded on any research, and current research does not support it.  Example: Mary Ainsworth proved that babies require belongingness and love first and foremost before all else • Roger’s Discrepancy Theory: o Carl Rogers proposed that all people have a so called “ideal self”, which is the person they want to be o People compare their ideal selves to the person that they are in reality o Demotivation occurs when the two selves are incongruent o Motivation occurs when the two selves are congruent o Thus, the more congruent the two selves are, then the less discrepancy there is = self-actualization is more attainable o Thus, people are motivated to go on a life-long journey to lessen the discrepancy between their two selves  However, healthy people tend to always raise the bar and inherently create their own discrepancies between their ideal self and real self  This causes lifelong growth and progression Expectancy Approach to Explain Motivation: Two theories analyzed here: Henry Murray’s Expectancy-Value Approach, and Albert Bandura’s Self Efficacy Theory. • The Expectancy-Value Approach: o Motivation is a product of the outcome of expectations and the incentive value of the outcome  Essentially, behaviour is modelled after a person’s analysis of how likely that outcome can be achieved (expectation); they do this taking into consideration the incentives of that outcome as well.  Motivation = E x V o Humans are motived to make choices that will be most economical for them, yielded by the most incentives o However, this theory is not always true:  Sometimes humans settle for lesser values  Turns out that people, in themselves, are also making their own analysis on what they think is the outcome expectation.  Sometimes people that the most valuable outcome is not achievable, and therefore they settle for less, because they think that it is the “next b
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