4 January 2011
Psych 178 – Lecture 1
What is motivation? How do we motivate self and others?
• Motivation is more than just achievement, you may be more motivated to play video games than to do well
in school but that does not mean you are not motivated.
o This means there are a lot of phenomena that fall under the definition of motivation.
• Why do we act the way we do? This falls across a lot of domains.
• Another problem is that we already know a lot of about motivation and a lot of theories about motivation
and how to change motivation already.
• How do we get beyond regular people who already seem to know so much about motivation?
o Create theories that incorporate a wide variety of phenomena.
Why is someone drinking?
• He has a hunger, a need. A thirst.
Theories of Motivation
• How do we develop scientific theories on how to motivate people?
o Take metaphors by taking the known to illuminate the unknown.
This person is a shark. Does not mean this person is literally a shark but someone who is
dangerous and someone you have to look out for.
This person is a lamb. This person is very docile and tame. You do not need to be aware of
A person can be more than one metaphor.
o The person is a machine – the person does not think and does not have emotions. There are just
Rats go out at night not by choice but by years and years of evolutionary history. It has no
choice but to go out at night.
Can the machine metaphor sufficiently fit human action and what is the range of behaviour
we can explain with this metaphor?
o The person is a decision maker – the image is one of a