Chapter 9- Motivation
Motivation: factors that energies, direct, or sustain behaviour
-FOUR essential qualities of motivational states: Energizing, directive, persistence, differ
Clark Hull: proposed that when an animal is deprived of some need, a specific drive
increases in proportion to the amount of deprivation (arousal).
Some behaviours are motivated for their own sake
-One of the hallmarks of childhood is curiosity, a mental state that leads to intrinsically
-Learning theory: rewarded behaviours increase in frequency, rewarding intrinsically
motivated behaviours would reinforce them. Evidence that extrinsic rewards can
undermine intrinsic motivation and decrease the rewarded behaviour
-Self-perception theory: states that people are seldom aware of their specific
motives and draw inferences about their motivation on the basis of what seems to
make the most sense
-People feel anxious when socially-isolated
-Need-to-belong theory: need for interpersonal attachments is a fundamental motive
that has evolved for adaptive purposes
-Social exclusion theory: anxiety warns you that you may be facing rejection from
-Social comparison theory: we are motivated to have accurate info about themselves
-Social dilemma: when there is a motivational conflict both to cooperate and to be
-People are sensitive to cheaters: humans have an inference mechanism for
detecting cheating specific to the social domain. People are rejected for cheating
-Challenging goals arouse the greatest effort, focusing on concrete, short-term goals
facilitates achieving log-term goals
-Deindividuation: a phenomenon of low self-awareness in which people lose their
individuality and fail to attend to personal standards
-One way to reduce negative affect is to avoid self-awareness through escapism
-TOTE model: model of self-regulation in which people evaluate progress in achieving
-Delaying gratification: children who are able to turn hot cognitions into cold
cognitions have an easier time delaying gratification. Hot cognitions focus on the
rewarding, pleasurable aspects of objects, whereas cold cognitions focus on conceptual
or symbolic meanings. This hot/cold distinction is based on how the info is processed in
the brain, with the hot system being amygdale based and the cold system
hippocampus based. The amygdale processes the reward features of biologically
significant stimuli, whereas the hippocampus processes plans, strategies, and goals
and is therefore responsible for self-control
-Self-regulation requires awareness and the ability to inhibit the behaviour
-People with prefrontal damage have difficulty focusing on a task because they are
unable to ignore other stimuli in the environment
-Working memory is important for the temporal organization of memory, which is often
required for self-regulatory task
-We eat not because we have deficient energy stores, but because it is time to eat
-Sensory-specific satiety: a phenomenon in which animals will becomes full relatively
quickly if they just have one type of food to eat, but will eat more if presented with a
different type of food
-Diversity of food types were more likely to satisfy nutritional requirements and survive
than those who relied on a small number of foods
-Can eat more if presented with a variety of food, even if you previously felt are full
-Neophobia: avoidance of unfamiliar foods
-Stimulants: (cocaine), activate the sympathetic NS.
-Marihuana: large concentration of these receptors in the hippocampus, impairs
-Opiates: (Heroin) increases dopamine activation
-MDA: (ecstasy), causes hallucinations, more serotonin release, often feel depressed
-Women differ from men in how the hypothalamus controls the release of sex hormones
-Erotophobia: disposition to respond negatively to sexual cues. Those high in
erotophobia report parental strictness about sex, those high in erotphobia may be at
greater risk for unwanted pregnancies and STDs, because they are less likely to carry
condoms or take other precautions
-State of deficiency
-People need other people
-Needs lead to goal-directed behaviors.
-Maslow: need hierarchy - survival needs at the bottom and personal growth at the top
of ultimate priority. Must satisfy all needs from bottom up. (physiological, safety,
belonging and love, esteem, self-actualization)
-Maslow’s theory is an example of humanistic psychology, where people are striving
towards personal fulfillment.
-Humanists think humans are unique because try to improve themselves.
-When someone achieves their personal dreams and aspirations. “When a man can be,
he must be”.
Not much empirical evidence for this hierarchy however. More at descriptive level.
-Psychological states activated to satisfy needs.
-Created by needs, motivates behavior that satisfies need.
-State of arousal is drive
-Basic drives help animals maintain equilibrium (homeostasis)
-Deprived of need drive state increases creates arousal
-Overtime if a behavior consistently reduces drive it becomes a habit (reinforces)
-The tendency for bodily functions to maintain equilibrium
-External objects (not internal drives) that motivate behaviours
-Yerkes-Dodson law: performance increases with arousal up to a certain optimal
point, then decreases. Inverted U.
Optimal levels of arousal are desirable on their own.
-Pleasure is a very strong motivator... perhaps above all else. As shown with rats. Also
explains behaviours that don’t satisfy basic needs. Freud believed that drives are
satisfied according to the pleasure principle.
-Hedonism: human experience of pleasantness and unpleasantness
-Sweet means safe to eat, bitter means toxic.
-External goals towards which activity is directed (e.g., paycheck)
-No apparent biological goal, for their own sake - value or pleasure.
-e.g., children’s curious behaviour is intrinsically motivated (perhaps is adaptive,
learning about environment).
many intrinsically motivated behaviors allow to express creativity
-many creative pursuits not themselves adaptive solutions, but are modern uses of
mechanisms that evolved for such purposes (e.g. prefer art that captures our
-Why do extrinsic rewards sometimes reduce intrinsic values?
-Children playing with markers, one group told to expect reward, other group not. The
group given the extrinsic reward spent less time playing with pens.
-Feelings of personal control and competence make people feel good about themselves
and inspire them to do creative work. Doing something to gain external rewards does
not satisfy our need for autonomy.
-OR b/c of self-perception theory (because of the extrinsic reward people do not
attribute the activity to doing it because of their own satisfaction)
Need to belong theory
-That need to belong is adaptive - those that lived in groups survived better. Lack of
social contact causes despair and emptiness.
Social exclusion theory - anxiety warns individuals if they may be rejected from the group.
-But doing away with grades not good. If extrinsic reward provides info about how much
personal control we have, will not undermine intrinsic motivation.
-Extrinsic rewards undermine only behavior that is intrinsically rewarding
Why are human beings social?
Need to belong theory:
-The need for interpersonal attachments is a fundamental motive that has evolved for
-Lack of social contact causes emptiness and despair
-Social exclusion theory: anxiety warns individuals may be facing rejection from group
-“physiological effects of electric shock”
-Those in low anxiety told that shocks would be painless
-high anxiety told will be painful
-10 minute waiting time spent alone or with others? Anxious people chose to spend