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PSYC 2230
Pauline Charlton

CHAPTER 2: MOTIVATION IN HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY PERSPECTIVES o first motivation textbook written in 1954 o motivation has changed a lot since the 1950s PHILOSOPHICAL ORGINS OF MOTIVATIONAL CONCEPTS o courses in motivation have been around less than a 100 years o the intellectual roots of motivation study owe their origin to the ancient Greeks Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle o Plato proposed that motivation flowed from a tripartite, hierarchically arranged soul: Appetitive aspect (primitive level): contributed bodily appetites and desires (ex. hunger, sex) Competitive aspect: contributed socially referenced standards (feeling honoured or shamed) Calculating aspect (highest level): contributed decision-making capacities (reason, choosing) o Platos portrayal of motivation similar to Freud (appetite id, competitive superego, calculating ego) o Aristotles proposal endorsed Platos but with different terminology: Nutritive: most impulsive, irrational and animal-like; contributed bodily urges needed for maintenance of life Sensitive: body related but it regulated pleasure and pain Rational: (unique to humans) its idea related, intellectual, and featured the will the will operated as the souls highest level as it utilized intention, choice, and that which is divine and immortal o The Greeks tripartite was reduced to dualism; passion of body vs. reason of the mind the two part soul distinguished irrational, impulsive, and biological (the body) vs. rational, intelligent, and spiritual (the mind) o Ren, Descartes: he distinguished between the passive and active aspect of motivation the body was a mechanical and passive agent vs. the will which was immaterial and motivationally active agent the body was a physical entity that possessed nutritive needs and responded to the environment in mechanistic ways thorough its senses, reflexes, and physiology the mind was spiritual, thinking entity that possess a purposive will the mind could control the body and govern its desires what was needed to understand the reactive motives was a mechanistic analysis of the body the study of physiology what was needed to understand the purposive motives was an intellectual analysis of the will the study of philosophy he reasoned if he could understand the will (ultimate motivational force) he could understand motivation the will initiated and directed action; it chose whether to act and what to do when acting; it chose whether to act and what to do when acting bodily needs, passions, pleasures, and pains created impulses to action, but these impulses only exited in the will the will was a faculty (a power) of the mind that controlled the bodily appetites and passions in the interests of virtue and salvation by exercising its power of choice GRAND THEORIES o used here to mean an all-encompassing theory that seeks to explain the full range of motivated action (why we eat, play, read, fall in love, etc) o history of motivation embraced 3 grand theories: Will, Instinct and Drive Will o Descartes hope was understand the will then can understand motivation the acts of will was identified to be choosing (act or not), striving (creating impulse to act), and resisting (resist temptation) philosophers found out will was as mysterious to explain as motivation o contemporary psychologist recognize the mind (will) does think, plan, and form intentions that precede action but say psychological process (i.e. strategies, goals), not abstract willpower paves the way to explain peoples behaviour and effective functioning Instinct o Darwins biological determinism had two major effects on scientific thinking one, by giving bio its most important theory evolution; turned the mood of scientists away from mentalistic motivational concepts (i.e. will) toward mechanistic and genetic ones two, it ended the man-animal dualism because the will was a uniquely human mental power, and breaking down the distinction between motivation of humans and motivations of animals was another reason to drop the will as a grand explanation of motivation o for Darwin, much of animal behaviour seemed to be unlearned, automated and mechanistic with or without experience animals adapted to their environment the explanation of this apparently pre-wired adaptive behaviour Darwin proposed the Instinct o it explained what the will could not, where the motivational force came from genes genes led the animal to act in a specific way o appropriate stimulus present, instincts expressed themselves through inherited bodily reflexes (i.e. bird built a nest, dog hunted, etc) b/c each had a genetically endowed, biologically aroused impulse to do so o first psychologist to popularize instinct theory was William James he endowed humans with a generous number of physical (ex. locomotion) and mental (ex. sociability) instincts what was needed to translate an instinct into goal-directed behaviour was the presence of an appropriate stimulus (ex. cat chase mouse b/c a mouse brings out the cats impulse to chase) o through the instinct, animals inherited a nature that endowed them with adaptive impulses to act and the reflexes they needed to produce purposive action o William McDougall regarded instincts as irrational and impulsive motivational forces that oriented the person toward one particular goal the instinct determines its possessor to perceive, and to pay attention to, objects of a certain class, to experience an emotional excitement of a particular quality uponperceiving such an object, and to act in regard to it in a particular manner, or at least, to experience an impulse to such action instincts and their associated emotions explained the goal directed quality apparent in human behaviour the diff between James and McDougall, was that McDougall asserted that without instincts human beings would initiate no action, be lumps human motivation owes its origin to collection of genetically endowed instincts (grand theory of motivation) o the problem with instincts, was how many instincts were there, and 2) there was a circular reasoning problem with using naming for explaining (i.e. twiddles his thumbs thumb- twiddling-instinct or reason people aggressive b/c have an instinct to be aggressive) circular explanation is one that attempts to explain an observation in terms of itself o the instinct was abandoned by psychology now along with the will Drive o drive arouse from a functional biology, one that understood that the function of behaviour was to service bodily needs o as biological imbalances occurred (ex. lack of sleep, water) animals psychologically experienced these bodily deficits as drive o drive motivated whatever behaviour was instrumental to servicing the bodys needs (ex.eating) Freuds Drive Theory o all behaviour was motivated and that the purpose of the behaviour was to satisfy needs o biological urges constantly and inevitably recurring conditions that produced energy build-ups in the nervous system energy build-up produced psychological discomfort (anxiety) Drive was a warning system that action needed to be
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