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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 - Conceptualizing and Measuring Motivation

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PSYC 2230
Frank Marchese

1. Level of analysis: how is motivation analyzed? There are 4 main categories of analysis (p. 21-24) a. Physiological analysis: this involves a study of brain structures and systems that control behaviour, such as in Olds and Milner’s study of the brain. i. One way is manipulation of the brain and behaviour by electrode implantation and stimulation has identified several areas associated with behaviour. ii. A second approach is chemical manipulation with the use of a canula – a tube inserted into brain sites – releasing chemicals into the brain. iii. A third way is through lesion that surgically removes a structure in order to observe effect on aggression, sexuality, fear (p. 71-72) iv. A fourth way is recording the electrical activity of neurons as in the EEG (p. 78), brain activity is recorded in brain waves. Each brain wave is correlated with a particular behavioural state (ex: alpha waves – person is awake, alert, but calm. Beta wave – person is awake, alert, but active. Delta/theta waves – person may be moving more towards drowsiness and sleep) b. Individual analysis: here are the study involves the study of effects of deprivation on motivated behaviour, or the study of models on the aggression in children (p. 17) i. Ex: deprivation of a rat in hunger in a maze ii. Ex: Bandura’s 1960-1970s work: children seen a movie, they imitate the models (either show non/aggression). Children who observed this model were put in similar situation and see whether imitate c. Social analysis: here we examine situational/social factors such as in Asch’s on conformity. Individuals faced with evidence to contrary – will they conform? Or Milgram’s work on obedience i. Asch’s 5 confederates planted in experiment; participants observed their response, and see whether subjects dis/agree. If all 5 say yes, subject also says yes ii. Subject will deny his/her own senses in order to agree with the group’s consensus (ex: line A is shorter than line B, but it is obvious that line B is shorter. Subjects will conform, deny their sense, and agree on the perception of others) iii. Milgram: learner is confederate, gets shocked if get answers wrong. Significant percentage of subjects deliver shock iv. Ordinary people (not particularly sophistically) placed in social pressure will perform giving shocks v. Situation in which groups of people collaborate: war, riot vi. Diffusion of responsibility = individuals don’t assume personal responsibility d. Philosophical analysis: some theorists see motivation as arising out of an aversive state that behaviour seeks to overcome. Freud viewed conflict as giving rise to anxiety and this was aversive and motivated the organism into psychological defenses such as repression. Drive-reduction (reduction of anxiety) seems to motivate behaviour (p. 24) i. Pain is aversive, and it is motivated – so individuals will try to ameliorate the aversive state to alleviate the anxiety ii. Repression = unconscious – individual try to block out the conflict/dampen the anxiety for relieve iii. Suppression = conscious – cognitively say I must forget about the conflict iv. Anxiety creates a state of arousal, person is motivated to alleviate the anxiety v. Derive-reduction = any behaviour that reduce discomfort/arousal becomes learned vi. Label arousal state as anxiety: instead of labelling being hungry as hunger, person label it as anxiety 2. Major constructs of motivational theory: a construct is a device to assist in theory building and explanation (p. 26- 28) a. Energy: is it some source of energy that drives behaviour? Is the energy general or specific? Are there mechanisms that direct this energy? If the energy is specific than that energy can direct and guide behaviour toward goals. Freud postulated 2 energy sources: libido or sexual energy and aggression or destructive capacity. These 2 sources are instinctually based and direct the person to different goals, which lead to a reduction in the tension create by these instinctually based energy sources. All instincts have: i. A source: some bodily deficit (give rise to instinct; needs to be altered/corrected for homeostasis) ii. An aim – gratification of a need iii. Drive/impetus – leads to action iv. Objection – through which the instinct achieves its aim v. Aggression : to remove the object of irritation, individual might resource the behaviour vi. Libido: through imagination, through looking, through self-manipulation, through interaction vii. Sublimation = individual will channel their energy in behaviour that enhance themselves viii. All the defenses are beneficial – all serve the purpose to regain a balance in anxiety ix. Displacement = if angry/aroused, displace it on innocents (not beneficial to anyone) x. When energy comes to a certain level, it turns into a certain behaviour xi. Bliss is the reduction of stimulation/decrease in discomfort b. Heredity: genetically programmed motivation dispositions. Instinct theory proposes that there is an accumulation of energy that must be discharged (Freud). Preprogrammed behaviours reduce the unsettling motivation. Specifics stimuli may release these preprogrammed behaviours (p. 43, 46-49) i. As energy accumulates, it becomes uncomfortable. Individual is driven to discharge it ii. Animals are responsive to certain signals, which release actions (when they act, they reduce energy) iii. Ex: imprinting (as specific stimuli) – new born animals in critical period are responsive to certain stimuli, when those stimuli appear during critical period the animals behave automatically iv. Human infants are imprinted: they release certain signals to which we response (mutual imprinting) c. Learning: Hull proposed that one may learn that certain stimuli are associated with drive-reduction and in and of themselves become motivators (incentives) to actions i. Reinforcements can act as incentives d. Social interaction: interactions with others may facilitate or inhibit action. Actions such as obedience, conformity, rioting, (such as Le Bon’s “crowd hysteria”) i. Social facilitation effect = the presence of others tend to facilitate the individual ii. Catatonic patients = they do not like the presence of other e. Cognitive processes: theories that deal with how we process and deal with discrepant information, and attributional processes dealing with interpreting others and as well as our own actions in terms of locus of causation (p. 21-27) i. Attributaional processes = what do we attribute? (success/failure) ii. Locus of causation = to internal/external f. Activation: bodily mechanisms that monitor inner states that lead to action: hunger, thirst, sleep, emotions (hypothalamus) peripheral receptors such as hunger pangs, and central receptors in the brain (p. 72) which cue us that we are hungry/thirsty/sleepy g. Homeostasis: optimal levels exist within the organism to ensure balanced functioning. Tip the balance and some correct/action must be made to restore homeostasis i. Cognitive dissonance = we are motivated to correct the dissonance to return to equilibrium ii. Cannon (1920s): theories of emotions – highly emotional person is highly motivated h. Hedonism: motivated by pleasure and pain. To seek reward and avoid punishment i. We learned behaviours that help us avoid certain consequences / help us approach positives i. Growth motivation: self-actualization (p. 348-353) – the fulfillment of one’s potential, as Maslow and others have purported. Motivation is not always to correct deficits, but may also be to enhance (p. 349) i. People fail to self-actualize because they have inner blocks (I’m unworthy, I’m a failure) or external blocks (certain circumstances that inhibit them from actualizing
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