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Lecture 4


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PSYC 2230
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MOTIVATION LECTURE 4: OCTOBER 2ND, 2012 TOPIC: CHAPTERS 2AND 3—INSTINCT THEORY (pp. 36-39) very important Early Instinct Theory—provided an entree for ethology. Ethology, Classical Ethology and Modern Ethology, Sex andAggression Ethology--(pp. 39-57). ➔ Early Instinct Theories--Instinct as explanation for motivated behavior reach popularity during the later 1800s and early 1900s. Instinct acted as a theoretical bridge between human and animal. (p. 36)-- definition of instinct can be found. ◦ An instinctual based behavior is inborn, innate, genetically programmed, and it occurs naturally. This means that it is unlearned. Most vigorous response that occurs without learning is when the appropriate response is presented, before the critical time or after the stimulus is weak but during the critical time you react quite vigorously. ◦ Example: you see a bear.Achild would be curious while an adult would show fear because they have already perceived and understood the circumstances as threatening in terms of their perception. Our reactions to ordinary events can vary from weak to vigorous responses. Outside of the sensitive/critical period our response is either weak or nonexistent. We are prepared to respond to a particular stimulus. How many instincts due humans have, can they be modified by experience and can they be weakened as we develop and progress? ➔ Nominal Fallacy--Although popular, instincts were found to not be scientifically sound because merely naming a behavior as this or that instinct does not explain it. Rather, it is necessary to specify the conditions under which behavior occurs, to arrive at a cause-effect relationships. ◦ Name cause, introduce cause and see if effect occurs. Examining cause-effect relations can lead to better reasoning and understanding. ➔ William James-- Instincts are similar to reflexes in that they occur blindly; meaning automatically without knowledge or end or goal. Since every instinct is an 'impulse', it falls within the province of motivational psychology. ➔ 1) For James, this impulse to action may be inhibited by learned habits, and some instincts are transitory; only useful during certain developmental periods and eventually become... ◦ Example: bite your tongue, hold your horses → holding back instinct response. Making a conscious attempt to inhibit and restrain yourself. Holding back your impulse to action in check. Superego tends to restrain, the ID is an impulsive agency while the Ego is a reasoning agency and the Superego is the conscious. The ID is unreasonable and irrational → part of our personality therefore could be a risk if we are completely ID bound. Example: think before you speak, look before you leap, think before you act, bite your tongue before you say something you might regret → we have expressions that when they are generated they act as an influence that restrains on our action. ➔ 2) Instincts provide a base upon which new behaviors may be built. ➔ 3) Instincts are adaptive and have come about during course of evolution ◦ Self preservation instinct and species preservation instinct. Survival of individual versus survival of species. Our capacity to learn, harness, and to control is considerable in comparison to animals.Animals are more controlled by instincts while our instincts are modified. ➔ William McDougall-- Psychology must discover and classify various instincts. Each instinct consists of three components: 1) Cognitive, meaning the knowing aspect that the object can satisfy, 2) Affective, meaning the feeling an object arouses, and 3) Conative, meaning the strive toward or away from an object. ◦ Stimulus ResponseAssociationism versus Cognitive Response. To be parsimonious is to explore a simpler explanation. Scientists strive for correct, parsimonious explanations because the explanation is less encumbered. Example: what level of cognition are we giving to rats? Instead of this we use stimulus response because we can identify step by step what is the stimulus and what is the response and so on in the rat experiment we studied. Example: psychoanalytic theory is a complex theory therefore not parsimonious. When we look at explaining our own behaviors are we parsimonious or do we get locked into complexity? --self reflection (go deeper → more complex). Parsimony forces us to be specific. ◦ Cognitive Process: What else besides a physical object can arouse a feeling? → your interpretation of the object, a particular context (atmosphere), thinking about the object can arouse a feeling even when the object is not there, the memory of a prior experience with the object, another object reminds us of the initial object that is absence, dreaming about the object, talking about the object → symbolic communication (use words to talk about objects that are not in the here and now), talking to ourselves, planning how to get the object, we imagine the object (internal image).Arouses us and provides an impulse. Example: a child (out of sight out of mind) they only understand the physical object that they can see and come into contact with not the abstract which is simply talking about it. ◦ Conative Process: our experience may lead us to approach or avoid an object through processes such as prior experience, imagining, remembering etc. ➔ Thus, every instinct consists of thoughts about the goal object; the emotions aroused by that object; and purposive striving aimed at reaching that object. ➔ Alteration of instinct in four ways (p. 38 first column) ➔ 1) Instinct may be activated by an object or the idea of an object, and by related subjects. ➔ 2) Movements through which instinctive behavior occurs can be modified, such as curiosity at first is directed toward the physical environment and later by more intellectual pursuits ◦ Curiosity → motive through play. Intellectual play—mind games. Example: when a child always asks why even though they may know why. They like to play guessing games such as “I Spy”. Its a situation where they know the answer and you do not. It is striving for superiority → child is trying to bring you down to size. They like to tell jokes. They like to ask riddles → reaching a level of intellectual maturity which they turn into riddles and jokes → power motivation → I can understand something you the adult do not. Child assumes the role of knowing since up to this point the adult was always the one with all the answers.At what point in cognitive development can a child engage in deception on purpose? ◦ Strategic Interaction → teens engage in particular mind games to seem on top (more competitive). Example: why were you late? Teen says oh my dog made me late and each day the teen adds on to the story for why he/she is late → elaborate explanation (then the dog ran and then the neighbor came over...). You complicate the exchange with the irrelevant. You confuse the other individual and then the subject is dropped because you talked for so long. Intentionally avoiding confronting a particular
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