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PSYC 1010 Lecture Notes - Opponent Process, Disinhibition, Thalamus

Course Code
PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

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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
“0” level.
- 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.
Incentive Theories
How external stimuli “pull” us.
Drive theories
How internal statespush us.
Mathematical Description
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.
Cognitive Dissonance
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.
- Self-Actualization
- Aesthetic Needs
- Cognitive Needs
Three Components:
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
Mixed emotions
S emotion physiological reaction
“I tremble because I feel afraid”
James-Lange Theory
S physiological reaction emotion
(Different pattern for each emotion)
“I feel afraid because I tremble
Cannon-Bard Theory
General Arousal
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
Facial-Feedback Theory