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University of Toronto Scarborough
Marc A Fournier

Chapter 7 Motives and GoalsWhat Do We Want in LifeMotivationrefers to movementWhat gets people movingIndividuals have inside of them wants desires aims and intentionsWe act upon these wants producing behaviourEric Klinger applied some aspects of the Darwinian theory to construct a definition of motivation which also applies to animalsFrom the beginning animals have been constructed to pursue necessary goals which means in turn that they have been shaped by the requirements of goal pursuitGoalstriving and motivation in the larger sense are integral facets of life as an animalCharacteristic adaptations are more specific and particular aspects of psychology individuality that are contextualized in time place or social roleLevel 2 of personalityMotives and goals are one class of characteristic adaptationsThe Psychoanalytic View Freud was the prime inventor of psychoanalysisPsychoanalysis was drawn on extensive cases studies of therapy patientsAt the heart of the psychoanalytic view of personality is Freuds theory of motivationThe theory consists of four different principles areDeterminismForces over which we have little control determine all human behaviourexperiences We are more like pawns in lifes chess gameDriveThese powerful forces exist within uscan be traced back to primitive drives or instincts The most important drives are for sexuality and aggression o Provide the motive force the drive the thrust for all of our behaviour o Serve as the primal energy sources for psychological life ConflictThe forces and determine our behaviourexperience are in conflict with one another which causes anxietyConflict exists between our primitive urges and societal constraints and deep within ourselves We want too much that we can never have thus we are destined to be miserableUnconsciousWe are unaware that the forces and conflicts cause anxiety We have virtually no control over our livesWe are conflicted and anxious but do not know whyFreud regarded the human mind as a machine that uses energy This psychic energy was drawn from biological instinctsTwo sets of instincts o Eros sexuality and all other life instincts o Thanatos aggression and all other death instincts Life and death instincts are expressed in indirect and complex ways o There are too many constraints in the real world thus our instincts get played out in fantasiesdreams o They get expressed in subtle and sublimated ways ineveryday behaviourThe Unconscious What Dostoyevsky said were stored away by every decent man is what Freud called the unconscious Much of what we know and feel is outside our conscious awarenessOur lives are driven by intrapsychic mysteries that transpire at an unconscious levelNeurotic symptoms stemmed from personal conflicts and fantasies often sexual and aggressive that had been pushed out of consciousnessPatients are usually clueless about the causes of suffering since the original event cannot be recalledConscious experience is everything but the top of the icebergThe notion that behaviour is shaped by unconscious determinants were theorized prior to FreudArthur SchopenhauerFriedrich Nietzsche emphasized emotionalirrational urges of human functioning that are outside of the consciousnessWilliam WordsworthJohn Keats placed ones heroiccreative powers in an unconscious but sometimes accessible realmHypnotism was used to gain access to the unconscious mind Jean Martin Charcot was employed this method effectively th Baumeister and Gaymiddleclass adults in the 19century Europe accepted the idea of an inner world unknowable to the conscious self Victorian s were preoccupied with the involuntary revelation of the inner self to othersVictorians believed that were danger in disclosing the nature of your own unconscious to others who might come to know you better than you know yourselfTopographical modelFreud distinguished between conscious preconscious and unconscious regions of the mind Consciouscontains what a person is currently aware ofPreconscious contains material about which the person is not currently aware but which could readily enter awareness when a person tries to retrieve the material Corresponding to original memoryStores importanttrivial information that is at our disposalUnconscious contains material that cannot be readily retrieved Contains elements of experiences that are repressedRepository for ideas images urges and feelings that are associated with conflict What resides in the unconscious profoundly affects our behaviourexperience Unconscious material is expressed in disguised or symbolic form such as in neurotic symptoms or in dreams Repression and Repressors Mental life is largely outside conscious awareness We perceive learn and remember numerous things without being consciously awareThese types of unconscious cognitive operations are manifestations of implicit information processing Human mind operates in an implicit automatic and nonconscious manner Experimentunconscious thought is often better able than consciousness to process large amounts of information in an efficient and effective mannerRepression is an inescapable fact of daily lifeTo protect oneself from psychological harm one represses certain mental processesthe threatening content associated with themIndividual differences in repressiveness constitute an important feature of personality Repressors those who experience little anxiety on a conscious leveladopt a highly defensive approach to life Weinberger SchwartzDavidsonrepressors reported low levels of subjective distress compared with low anxious and defensivehighanxious But repressors experienced significantly higher levels of internal arousal than counterpartsFrom a psychoanalytic perspective the repressors did not consciously perceive the driverelated stimuli as threateningTheir heightened physiological arousal indicated that the threat may have been perceived at an unconscious level Davis Experiment 1females were asked to recall six kinds of personal experiences from childhood Repressors recalled significantly fewer negative memories than did counterpartsRepressors tended to report somewhat fewer positive memories as well o Repression may involve a general failure to retrieve emotional memories of various kindsDavis Experiment 2repressors recalled fewer childhood experiences in which they felt happy sad angry fearful guiltyselfconscious compared with counterpartsInhibition was especially pronounced for fear and selfconsciousness experiences Repressors report a greater number of memories involving emotional experiences of other peopleBut when it comes to recalling events in which the strong emotions experienced are their own they have a hard time summoning such memories into awarenessRepression is not a general memory deficit but rather repression operates powerfully in the domain of selfevaluation We are prone to repress experiences in which the self is judged in a negative manner Hansen and HansenThe architecture of repressionthe mechanism where emotionally tagged memories especially unpleasant memories are left inaccessibleRepressors have an associative network for negative emotional responses that is less complex and discrete than nonrepressors Negative recollections have a simple structure and these memories are split off from other memories isolated outside the main network of interrelated autobiographical recollections Repressors and nonrepressors organized their episodic memories in different ways Repressorssimplify negative memories to emphasize a single dominant feeling as a way of keeping these memories from connecting in their minds to other autobiographical memories containing other feelings Nonrepressorsdescribe negative memories in more complex ways emphasizing a number of different emotional states in the same memoryintegrating the negative memory with the main lines of their autobiographical selfExperimenteach category of emotional memory angering embarrassing sadfearful specified a corresponding dominant emotion and a set of nondominant emotionsDifferences between repressors and other individuals were revealed in the nondominant emotions onlyEmbarrassing memories were rated just as emotionally embarrassing by both individualsBut repressors rated the nondominant emotions associated with the given memory at less intense levels Embarrassing memories produced less shame for repressors than for nonrepressorsRepressors cordon off the negativity associated with any given memory by purifying their particular memories to underscore a dominant emotional reaction rather than a host of related nondominant emotions
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