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Lecture 9

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Connie Boudens

PSYB30 – Lecture 9 Purple Text – Prof’s Speech Regulation and Motivation: Self-Determination Theory Why Motivation? - We want to know what drives people, and how people differ in this regard o What is it that causes people to do the things they do, what it is that causes them to make certain choices - Psychodynamic theories are essentially motivational o Because you are talking about the different forces (sexual, aggressive) and how they work together and against each other to form aspects of personality The Humanistic Tradition in Psychology - Tradition arose as a Reaction to reductionism of behaviourism and pessimism of psychodynamics o Psychodynamic view of personality is very pessimistic – sees individual as constantly struggling, and as having to operate under the weight of a superego and the expectations of society, etc. o Behaviourist view of personality – personality is what you can see the person doing, doesn’t address unconscious, only observable behaviours; reduces personality to just the behaviours that you see - View individual as active system with an inherent propensity for growth and the resolution of psychological inconsistencies o Active system – don’t look at individual parts, look at how everything works together, if something is affecting one part, it will affect the whole o Trait perspective – looks at individual traits, not a system o Inherent propensity – if there is some inconsistency between two things that the person perceives, they are very motivated to resolve that inconsistency - Optimal functioning allows both increasing complexity and integration o Organism will acquire more skills, will become more adaptable to different circumstances they may face, etc., and maintain a certain level of integration o People becomes more complex, but not more scattered Key Humanists - Abraham Maslow o Hierarchy of needs - Carl Rogers o Positive regard (being accepting of a person no matter what they do) o Everyone has this actualizing tendency and you have to find out what is blocking them from achieving their goals; something is blocking them from reaching their potential Three Fundamental Psychological Needs - self-determination theory is based on 3 needs (that are said to be universal human needs) - Relatedness - Competence - Autonomy Competence - Sense that a person optimally has that you can produce certain positive outcomes and avoid negative ones o If you have a strong feeling of competence, you feel you can make something happen in a particular domain - Feeling that you can reliably produce desired outcomes and/or avoid negative ones - Requires: o Understanding of the relationship between a behaviour and its consequences (referred to outcome expectations) o Feeling capable of successfully engaging in the behaviour (efficacy expectations) o 2 pieces of the puzzle: feeling like you can do the action, and feeling like you understand what you’re doing and what the outcome will be Autonomy - Feeling that one is action in accord with sense of self and causal agent with respect to actions - Feeling that one can act in accord with sense of who one is and that one can affect certain outcomes - Sense of choosing, not feeling compelled or controlled o To feel autonomous, you have to feel that you are choosing that particular behaviour and not that someone is imposing that particular behaviour onto you - Not the same as independence – can still be autonomous if have assimilated values of significant others o Being independent is more like you are doing your own thing; you are not concerned with how your behaviour is tied in with others Internally vs. externally imposed control - Central issue in autonomy is the experience of freedom from pressure, regardless of who is imposing the pressure o it doesn’t matter who is imposing the pressure on you, but whether there is pressure and whether you feel pressured o You can impose pressure on yourself o Pressure doesn’t have to come from an external source o It doesn’t matter if the pressure is internal or external, but how oppressive it is and how controlled the person feels by it Internally informational vs. internally controlling regulation - Behavioural regulation from within is not necessarily adaptive - Just because you are imposing standards on yourself, it is not necessarily going to be a good thing for you Reasons for Exercising - If behaviour is regulated in a Controlling way, the person may say: I must exercise to lose weight/look good/prevent heart disease, etc. o Lack of choice/a lot of pressure o Lowers self-determination - Informational: task mastery/social affiliation/enjoyment o Choice/stronger feeling of competence o Focusing on getting better at things, the way you feel when you leave the gym, etc. o Raises self-determination o Informational motivation – much more motivation; more congruent with competence Relatedness - The need to feel close to others and emotionally secure in one’s relationships - The need to have contact with other people - The sense that significant others care about one’s well-being - The more those needs are met, the more motivated the person feels - The more internalized the motivation is, the more perpetuating it will be Internalization of Behavioural Regulation - Self-determination theory – looks at how internalized the regulation of a particular behaviour is; the more internalized the regulation is, the more it is part of the person and how they see themselves and the closer that person will be to being intrinsically motivated to engage in that activity o Difference between doing something because if you don’t you’ll go to jail (controlling motivation), as opposed to doing something because it brings you joy (intrinsically motivating) - Transforming socially-sanctioned activities into personally endorsed values and self- regulations, when things are more internalized - When a behaviour is self-determined, it means that those people assimilate and reconstitute external regulations so that they can be self-determined when enacting them; the person is doing it at their own free will and because it is congruent with who they are - Not merely conforming to social norms, person is actually taking in norms and transformed them so that they are a part of who they are and their value system The self-determination continuum - Degrees of self-determination in behavioural regulation
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