[PSYC 320] - Midterm Exam Guide - Ultimate 39 pages long Study Guide!

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6 Feb 2017
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PSYC 320
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Introduction to the Psychology of Motivation
I. Motivation: the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented
behaviors.
Three fundamental questions of motivation.
1. Why do people start doing the things they do?
2. Why do people keep doing the things they do?
3. Why do people stop doing the things they do?
II. Why can’t we just ask people why they behave in certain ways?
People are just not trustworthy sources…for a number of reasons.
- - Our memories are infallible.
We do not remember things clearly.
For example: you may remember something you did from your
childhood and recall it to your family, only to be told it was in fact your
sibling who did the event you are recalling and you were only an
observer.
- - Actor/Observer Bias
We have a tendency to explain events different for ourselves verses
other people.
We are more likely to attribute personal events to external factors and
the events experienced by others to internal factors.
For example: If you fail a test, you may justify it by saying it was really
hard or the teacher didn't give you enough information to properly
prepare for it. If your classmate fails a test you will probably assume
they are lazy or stupid.
- - We have a lot of biases we are not even aware of. So we rarely, if ever,
approach a situation from a neutral perspective.
III. Can situations be accurate?
Yes, but mostly when other stimuli or factors are present.
IV. The explanation of Behavior
We tend to explain behavior by forming hypothetical constructs.
Hypothetical Construct: a tool used to facilitate understanding of human behaviour. It
can also be described as a tool to “fill in the gaps”.
For example: If you see another student biting their nails and fidgeting before a test,
you may assume she is experiencing test anxiety. You do not know this for certain but
you have filled in a gap that is unknown to you by making a conclusion based on your
observation and knowledge of the situation.
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We have different ways of explaining behavior.
Triggers - - causes an action
formal models - - how we talk about motive
material mechanism - - underling factors that could drive motive
The 4 (be)causes of action
1. physical
2. biological
3. ecological
4. psychological
***it is important to remember that all of these levels are very different, but very
important in their own way.
V. A couple historical questions regarding to the drive to study of motivation.
Are we different from animals? If so, how? Is it because we are more intelligent?
VI. Do we make choices by desires or by judgements?
Desire and motivation have been the yin and yang of the filed since (notably) the
ancient Greeks.
Do we act when we like something better and it benefits us, or do we act when we know
what is right?
1. Hedonism - - the motivation of desire
Hedonism is the idea that everything we do is governed by how it will benefit us in the
future that will give us maximum pleasure and minimum pain.
2. Rationalism - - motivation of judgement
This is the result of some deliberate cognitive process due to thinking and voluntary free
choice.
3. Motivation is not just driven by one of these things or the other. Both must be taken
into account in a merged view. The idea that these are the things that drive us has
seeped into our culture, especially through religion. In television, you may have seen a
character have a solitary moment where an angel appears on one shoulder and a devil
on the other. This represents the drive to make us feel good and do what we want
versus the drive to do what is right.
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