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10 Apr 2012
Chapter 10: Motivation and Emotion
- Motivation—relates to the study of the processes involved in goal-directed behaviour
- Our goal-directed behaviour is often associated with specific emotions—thus motivation and emotion
are often linked
Motivational Theories and Concepts
- Motives:
oNeeds, wants, interests, and desires that propel people in certain directions
- Motivation: involves goal-directed behaviour
- Study conducted by Donald Taylor, McGill University:
oStreet kids have rejected traditional society and its standards and goals but have not replaced
these goals with any long-term goals of their own
oStreet kids are characterized by little motivation to reach definable and coherent goals
Drive Theories
- This approach to understanding motivation was explored most fully by Clark Hull in the 1940s and
- Hull’s concept of drive was derived from Walter Cannon’s observation that organisms seek to
maintain homeostasis—a state of physiological equilibrium or stability
oE.g. human body temperature normally fluctuates around 37 degrees Celsius
When temperature rises, you will perspire
When temperature decreases, you will shiver
These actions are designed to move your body back to 37 degrees Celsius
- Drive theories apply the concept of homeostasis to behaviour
- A drive:
oAn internal state of tension that motivates an organism to engage in activities that should
reduce this tension
oThese unpleasant states of tension are viewed as disruptions of the preferred equilibrium
- Drive theory:
oWhen individuals experience a drive, they are motivated to pursue actions that will lead to
drive reduction
E.g. hunger motive—if you go without food for a while, you begin to experience some
This internal tension (the drive) motivates you to obtain food
oEating reduces the drive and restores physiological equilibrium
-However drive theories cannot explain all motivation
oHomeostasis appears irrelevant to some human motives such as a “thirst for knowledge”
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oMotivation can occur without drive arousal
E.g. you may stop for ice cream after seeing an ad even though you are not hungry
- Drive theories assume that people always try to reduce internal tension
Incentive Theories
- Incentive theories propose:
oExternal stimuli regulate motivational states
- An incentive:
oAn external goal that has the capacity to motivate behaviour
oE.g. a promotion at work, approval from friends, an A on an exam, ice cream
- Some incentives may reduce drives, but others may not
-Drive and incentive models of motivation are often contrasted as push vs. pull theories
oDrive theories focus on how internal states of tension push people in certain directions
Motivation lies within an organism
oIncentive theories emphasize on how external stimuli pull people in certain directions
Source of motivation lies outside the organism, in the environment
Incentive models don’t operate according to the principle of homeostasis
In comparison to drive theories, incentive theories emphasize environmental factors
and downplay the biological bases of human motivation
Expectancy-value models
- Incentive theories that take reality into account—the reality that we can’t always obtain the goals we
- According to expectancy-value theory:
oOne’s motivation to pursue a particular course of action will depend on two factors:
Expectancy about one’s chances of attaining the incentive
the value of the desired incentive
e.g. your motivation to pursue a promotion at work will depend on your
estimate of the likelihood that you can get the promotion (expectancy) and on
how appealing the promotion is to you (value)
Evolutionary Theories
- argue that natural selection favours behaviours that maximize reproductive success—passing on
genes to the next generation
-they explain motives such as affiliation, achievement, dominance, aggression, and sex drive in terms
of their adaptive value
- evolutionary analyses of motivation are based on the premise that motives can best be understood in
terms of the adaptive problems they have solved for our hunter-gatherer ancestors
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- David Russ—points out that it is not by accident that achievement, power (dominance), and intimacy
are among the most heavily studied social motives, as the satisfaction of each of these motives is
likely to affect one’s reproductive success
The Range and Diversity of Human Motives
- Motivational theorists of all persuasions all agree on one point:
oHumans display an enormous diversity of motives
- Most theories (evolutionary theories being an exception) distinguish between biological motives and
social motives
oBiological motives:
Originate the bodily needs, e.g. hunger
Most are based on needs essential to survival
oSocial motives:
Originate in social experience, e.g. the need for achievement
Depends on people’s experiences
oPeople have a limited number of biological motives, but they can have an unlimited number of
social motives through learning and socialization
- The motives psychologists have studied the most: hunger, sex, and achievement
The Motivation of Hunger and Eating
Biological Factors in the Regulation of Hunger
- Walter Cannon and A.L. Washburn, 1912 study
oThere is an association between stomach contractions and the experience of hunger
oCannon theorized that stomach contractions cause hunger
However correlation is no assurance of causation
His theory was eventually discredited
oStomach contractions often accompany hunger, but they don’t cause it
Based on research that showed people continue to experience hunger even after their
stomachs have been removed out of medical necessity
If hunger can occur without a stomach, then stomach contractions can’t be the cause
of hunger
Brain Regulation
- Research with lab animals suggested that the experience of hunger is controlled in the brain—in two
centers located in the hypothalamus
oHypothalamus—a tiny structure involved in the regulation of a variety of biological needs
related to survival
- Research with lab rats:
oWhen lateral hypothalamus (LH) is lesioned, the animals showed little or no interest in eating
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