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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Motivation.doc

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PSYC 102
Kevin Hamilton

MOTIVATION: • When we discussed learning in Psych 101 - we talked primarily about classical conditioning, operant learning and observational learning as ways that behaviour can change through experience and practice • the study of learning is concerned with how changes in behaviour take place (this is largely a descriptive approach to explaining behaviour) • Motivation, on the other hand, is concerned with why behaviour takes place (explanations of behaviour) • Motivation is defined as: a need or desire that energizes and directs behaviour  It is paradoxical that animals that are low in energy are able to raise their energy expense enough to allow them to hunt. • Three part definition  Need/ desire  Energy  Direction • Motivation can be studied from several interrelated perspectives:  Biological  Social personality (cultural)  Cognitive • The biological perspective is concerned with the physiological basis of motivation (e.g. hunger, thirst, reproduction, emotional states)  We are not biologically inclined to being happy all the time, as we would then lose our motivation. 1 • The social personality perspective examines the influence of disposition and effects which occur when dispositions and group interaction combine. This includes cultural influences. • The cognitive perspective examines motivation in terms of how we learn, process and interpret information, and how we make causal inferences. • Early views of motivation stressed the concept of instincts: • Ethology (the study of organisms’ behaviour in their natural environment): Konrad Lorenz, Karl Von Frisch, Nicholas Tinbergen • Fixed action patterns: invariant sequences of behaviour unique to an entire species; behaviour triggered/produced by releasers (i.e. certain stimuli)  E.g. red belly of Stickleback (male) triggers/produces aggression in females, as the red-belly sticklebacks eat their offspring as soon as they are born  E.g. ducklings following single file, as the mother can easily keep track of her offspring and the streamline created by the mother’s movement in water allows the ducklings to move along more easily • Imprinting – rapid learning of important bonds for survival – ducklings imprint the concept of “mother” on the first moving thing they see. Other perspectives on motivation: • Freud’s sexual drive reduction theory 2 • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs  Life is constructed by free will and self-choice  Maslow developed his ideas by studying healthy creative people rather than troubled individuals  Concept of self-actualization is based on studying notable people  Their interests were problem-centred rather than self- centered and they were secure in their own sense of who they were  They focused their interests on a particular task—one they often regarded as a mission in life  Most enjoyed few deep relationships but many superficial ones  Many had been moved by spiritual or peak experiences that surpassed ordinary consciousness • Arousal theory 3 • Drive reduction theory (See text for Freud and Maslow) Arousal theory: • The most widely used theory/explanation of behaviour • Yerkes- Dodson law : inverted U-shaped relationship between performance and arousal • The optimal level of arousal has to do with the nature of the task 4 • We all need some degree of stimulation (as found in sensory deprivation studies lasting for a maximum of 3 days)  Sensory deprivation tank (A.K.A. isolation/floation tank) has been proven to improve sports performance and learning by improving an individual’s power of visualization and self-management • Individuals differ in terms of arousal requirements (i.e. thrill seekers) • Environmental experience - the more stimulation one gets the more one requires to obtain optimal arousal Drive Reduction Theory: • Drive reduction theory uses the concepts of need, drive and incentive to explain why behaviour takes place Need: • An internal biological state that requires correction 5 Drive: • Motivational push given to a behaviour as a result of the organism being in or developing a need • Drive usually results from deprivation, which leads to an energized or aroused state, where the organism directs its behaviour towards satisfying the deprived state • Note: drive theory has problems with explaining curiosity, as well as with why animals will eat saccharin, which has no nutritional value  A possible explanation of why animals eat saccharine is because their brains are unable to distinguish saccharin (artificial sweetener) from real sugar  Animals may engage in behaviours that do not have an immediate payoff due to some possible future rewards Incentive: • This motivational concept focuses on the goal objects themselves • Incentive is viewed as a pulling force, and is closely related to the concept of reinforcement in learning (positive/negative/primary/secondary) 6 Types of motivation: • The main types of motivation (not independent of each other) are: • Biological: hunger, thirst, safety, reproduction • Achievement • Belonging I. Biological motivation: • The activity of biological systems for maintaining survival are explained in terms of homeostasis • Homeostatic systems are designed to maintain a steady state through feedback regulatory mechanisms (e.g. body temperature) Hunger: • Triggered by variations in blood chemistry – low glucose, high insulin • Some sensors in liver and stomach • Body weight maintained at a set point (see the fat rat) • Set point maintained by the hypothalamus (also controls thirst and regulates metabolism and hydration) • Lateral hypothalamic lesions produce aphasia (weight loss) • Ventromedial hypothalamic lesions produce hyperaphagia (weight gain) 7 • Damage to hypothalamus can produce adipsia (no drinking) or polydipsia (excessive drinking) • The efficiency of
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