PSYC 1010 Lecture Notes - Opponent Process, Disinhibition, Thalamus
Motivation & Emotion
Components of Motivation:
1. Drive or arousal
2. Goal-directed behaviour
Theories of Motivation
1. Freud’s notion of life/death instincts
2. Sociobiological view: Most of our behaviours are motivated towards ensuring the future survival
of our genes.
3. Instinct theories
4. Hulls Drive-Reduction Theory
- Proposes that biological needs or deficiencies increase our level of arousal or drive. All of
our behaviour is geared towards satisfying this biological need, thus, reducing this drive to a
- Incentives: Anticipation of reward.
5. Optimal level of Arousal Theory (Hebb)
- When arousal is too low or too high, we try to attain an “optimal” level.
How external stimuli “pull” us.
How internal states “push” us.
E = D * H
(Probability of a specific response) = Drive * Habit Strength
What motivates us to engage in risky/dangerous behaviour?
1. Zuckerman’s Sensation-Seeking Theory
- There is a strong biological predisposition to high or low sensation-seeking
2. Opponent Process Theory *
- The nervous system has a tendency to counteract any deviation from normalcy. If there is
too much of a swing to one pole of emotions, the opponent process kicks in. In other words
a negative emotion will trigger an opposite positive emotion and vice-versa.
Introverts: Have high “resting” (natural) levels of arousal.
Extraverts: Have low “resting” (natural) levels of arousal.
Characteristics of high sensation-seekers
1. Thrill and adventure seeking
2. Experience seekers
3. Disinhibition (they have little inhibitions)
4. Susceptibility to boredom
Conflict exists when a person has two or more competing motives. Two incompatible responses exist
simultaneously, but both cannot be satisfied.
Two types of motives:
A. Approach Motive: There is a reward to be gained if you approach the goal.
B. Avoidance Motive: The end goal is unpleasant and you want to avoid it.
Types of Conflicts
1. Approach-Approach Conflict
2. Avoidance-Avoidance Conflict
3. Approach-Avoidance Conflict
Vacillation Point: When your approach and avoidance tendencies are equal.
Attitude = Behaviour
Two Types of Motives
Deficiency Motives: People are motivated to remove a deficiency or discomfort.
Growth Motives: Even when there is no deficiency people are motivated to develop beyond
their present condition.
- Aesthetic Needs
- Cognitive Needs
A. Gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, body language, etc…
B. Subjective experience of the emotion.
C. Physiological reactions.
Facial Expression (Ekman)
Innate – certain expressions are cross cultural
Pure or primary emotions – innate
S emotion physiological reaction
“I tremble because I feel afraid”
S physiological reaction emotion
(Different pattern for each emotion)
“I feel afraid because I tremble”
S Brain (thalamus) physiological response & experience the emotion
“The dog makes me tremble and feel afraid”
Schachter’s Two Factor Theory
S General Arousal Cognitive appraisal Emotion