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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Biology of Motivation (Genetic contribution to motivated behaviour)

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PSYC 2230
Frank Marchese

Chapter 3: Biology of Motivation (Genetic contribution to motivated behaviour) 1. Early instinct theories: Thus, every instinct consists of thoughts about the goal object; the emotions aroused by that object; and purposive striving aimed at reaching that object (p. 44) 1. Alteration of instinct in 4 ways: a. Instinct may be activated by an object or the idea of the object, and by related objects. a. Generalization stimuli = A and B are similar, elicit response from either stimuli b. Discrimination stimuli = A and B are so different, don’t elicit response to A, but to B only b. Movements through which instinctive behaviour occurs can be modified, such as curiosity at first is directed toward the physical environment and later by more intellectual pursuits (cognitive) a. Curiosity motivation, manipulative motivation c. Several instincts may be triggered and resulting behaviour a blend of the excited instincts (in summation effect), such as sexual behaviour is a blend of curiosity and mating instincts d. Instincts may be organized around certain objects of ideas, and become less responsive to other objects. Thus self-assertive at work and submissive at home McDougall’s method of analysis was anthropomorphic – he ascribed human qualities to animals asking himself how he would feel if he was in the same situation as the animal. (p. 45) - Animals don’t share the qualities of a human - The closer of the species to human, the more similarity there is to ascribed compared to human - McDougall was faulted; cannot ascribe the cognition/affect of animal to humans D. Criticisms of instinct theory: Kuo (1921) attempted to demolish the concept of instinct because: (p. 45-46) 1. No agreement on types of or how many instincts exist 2. Behaviours called instincts are learned since all behaviour is built on random responses, some of which are reinforced and retained, others not and are extinguished 3. Behaviour is aroused by external stimuli rather than the result of genetic programming (p. 55) 2. Ethological theory: Ethology is firmly based on Darwin’s theory of evolution. Much ethological research has focused on instinct, looking at conditions and components of it. Motivated behaviour has been studied in the naturalistic environment. Key concepts include (p. 47-48): appetitive & consummatory behaviour, fixed action patterns (FAPS), key stimuli, vacuum activity, intention movements, conflict behaviour, reaction chains, imprinting (p. 46-66) a. Appetitive behaviour = restless, searching behaviour subject to modification through learning as when where food can be found (appetites, hungers, thirst) b. Consummatory behaviour = coordinated, fixed-patterns of responding to specific stimuli as in following response of young animals to movement of parent (ex: visual tracking, imprinting) can be increasingly more refined. i. Atypical fixation = autistic children fixate on an object over and over ii. Fixed action pattern = certain fixed behaviours in diff species of animals (Human infants: sucking, putting things in their mouth) c. Action specific energy (ASE) = each behaviour has an energy and can be inhibited from occurring d. Innate releasing mechanism (IRM) = works like a lock that can be opened by a specific stimulus (key) e. Key stimuli = simple visual or auditory stimuli such as the red belly of a male stickleback that releases aggressive behaviour in a competitor if the former invades a territory. Sometimes the key stimuli are “supernormal” in that they represent larger stimulus configurations that are complex (p. 47-52) f. Fixed action patterns (FAPS) = species-specific motor behaviours, rigid, and stereotyped in their expression. Key stimuli elicit these FAPs. Such behaviours have survival value for the young since the first moving object seen is the parent and have access to parent enhances survival and care. FAPs are independent of learning and not readily modifiable through learning. i. Sources that give rise to behaviour in animal is far less ii. Sources that give rise to our behaviour is far greater (that makes it unpredictable) 3. Imprinting: A socialization process involving instinctive and learned components. Following responses in newborn animals reveal that during a critical or sensitive period that organism is most likely to effortlessly exhibit the motor pattern. (as animal becomes imprinted, it attaches to other members of its group, initially attachment to parent, then later beyond to parent) a. Lorenz described major characteristics of imprinting: i. The attachment process occurs during a limited period in organism’s life. Strength of imprinting peaks during critical period 1. If critical period is closes, the attachment is fixed 2. Phases of human development (Erikson) – infants are attached to caregivers, but door doesn’t completely closed even after attached to parents. Indiscriminatory smile occurs to other human faces
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