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Lecture 5

PSY336H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Blue-Collar Worker, Knitting, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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Dan Dolderman

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PSY336 Lec 05 Flow
October 11, 2016
Goals transform a random walk to a chase. M. Csikszentmihalyi
Extrinsic motivation vs. Intrinsic Motivation
IM = Fun, enjoyable, meaning, self-congruence = more durable.
Intrinsic Motivation also intersects with emotions. Introjected motivations came from
insecurity (contingent self-esteem), so when you are involved in introjected motivation,
you are, by definition, insecure. When you win while in introjected motivation, you are
happy, but if you lose in introjected motivation, then you feel crap. The emotional
experience of someone coming from introjected motivation is very volatile. if
introjected, then winning = positive emotions, evaluations, motivations, attitudes; if
introjected, then losing= negative emotions, evaluations, motivations, etc. i.e. if you are
introjectedly motivated, then it will be hard for you to do things that you are not good at.
Prof tells a story: a 4 year child. The girl started to draw letters when she was 2 and half.
Parents celebrated how well the child did. The parents over-rewarded the child by saying
“oh it’s so awesome, it’s the best, etc.” So the child was happy and drew more and more.
But what happens when mom and dad doesn’t get as excited next time she showed them
her letters? The girl started to think that she’s not good enough, so she tries to do better,
faster, do more. Then the girl started to get anxious whenever she draws. As soon as she
makes a mistake in drawing, she gets nervous. Then slowly but eventually, she lost
interest in drawing. So Play turned into Competition turned into Work.
The closer you are to the left hand side of the PLOC continuum, i.e. closer to extrinsic
motivation, the more volatile your emotions are. Loses mean a lot to you. The closer you
are to the right hand side of the continuum, the more you are just doing it for the fun of
doing it. The activity becomes less meaningful to you in the self-evaluation perspective.
You are not in it for winning or losing.
Maslow: the less deficiency needs are activated, the more being needs can manifest.
Maslow’s hierarchy is not really a strict hierarchy. It’s more of a probabilistic hierarchy.
He just said that the lower needs tend to be predominant. If the lower needs were not met,
it’s less likely that the person will be able to manifest the higher needs.
The other perspective of SDT is to figure out what promotes IM and what promotes EM.
SDT was both a theory of motivation, and a developmental theory of security.
SDT: Fundamental Human Needs (FHN) = Competence, Autonomy, Relatedness.
o Relatedness: if people feel connected, it’s good.
o Autonomy: people like having free choice. When people feel controlled, you
usually get behaviour reactance; people want to take control back.
o Competence: striving for superiority, mastery etc.
Think of these 3 needs as a three-legged stool. The stool allows you to reach higher than
what you would normally be able to. So when your 3 needs are met, you should be able
to stand on a solid foundation of security, and reach higher. Imagine now that someone
comes along, and cuts short one of the legs. You are standing on top of it, so you gonna
get worried about the person cutting your leg. This is going to be salient to you. The same
goes for when you control a kid, and the kid turns to reactance, rebellious to get control
back. If the kid was criticized a lot, then they gonna be worried about competence needs,
find more resources at
find more resources at
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