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Chapter 11

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PSYC 2600
Elizabeth Nisbet

Book notes chapter 11 Basic Concepts Motives: - Motives are internal states that arouse and direct behavior towards specific objects or goals. • Motives are often caused by a deficit (lack of something) • Ex: if you haven’t eaten for a while, you are motivated by hunger - Motives are often based on needs, states of tension within a person • As a need is satisfied, the state of tension is reduced - Internal state - arouses and directs behavior toward a specific object or goal (satisfy a need) - Motives propel people to perceive, think, and act in specific ways that satisfy the need - They differ from each other in type and amount - Deficits: having a lack of something (need not fulfilled) drives you to achieve, or eat, etc… - Motives may be unconscious, in the sense that the person does not know explicitly what he or she wants - Motive psychologists stress that: 1. People differ from one another in the type and strength of their motives 2. These differences are measurable 3. These differences cause or are associated with important life outcomes, such as business success or marital satisfaction 4. Differences between people in the relative amounts of various motives are stable over time 5. Motives may provide one answer to the question “why do people do what they do?” - Motive approach is like a halfway between the intrapsychic and the dispositional domain What drives people? Murray and needs - He proposed a list of fundamental human needs. Each need is associated with • Aspecific desire or intention • Aparticular set of emotions • Specific action tendencies - He believed each person had a unique hierarchy of needs - Various needs can be thought of as existing at different levels of strength - Each need interacts with the various other needs within each person, and this interaction is what makes the concept of motive dynamic - Dynamic is used to refer to the mutual influence of forces within a person - Press refers to need-relevant aspects of the environment - Real environment = alpha press - Perceived environment = beta press Assessing Needs - ThematicApperception Technique (TAT):Ambiguous pictures presented to a participant for interpretation • Consists of black and white images, which are ambiguous • Measure people’s underlying/unconscious motives - For example: in the drawing of a person on the windowsill, the person may be going in (to rob the house?) or going out (jumping to commit suicide?) - In the administration, a person is shown each picture and told to be creative and make up a short story, interpreting what is happening in each picture. - Presumption that a person projects current needs into the interpretation of a picture - Different responses to the picture are supposed to indicate different personalities - The essential features are: • The subject is given an ambiguous stimulus, usually a picture • He or she is asked to describe and interpret what is going on - Originally, this test did not have a scoring system, they preferred interpreting the various levels of needs themselves The Big Three Motives (Needs) - Need for Achievement - Need for Power - Need for Intimacy - These are all deficiency motives Need forAchievement - Need for achievement: the desire to do better, to be successful, and to feel competent - Energized by the incentive of challenge and variety, accompanied by feelings of interest and surprise, and it is associated with the subjective state of being curious and exploratory - Obtain satisfaction from accomplishing a task - People who have a high need for achievement: • Prefer activities that offer some, but not too much, challenge  People want a moderate challenge; not something too hard, because you may fail, not something too easy because it won’t feel like an achievement • Enjoy tasks where they are personally responsible for the outcome • Prefer tasks where feedback on their performance is available - Sex differences: Life outcomes and childhood experiences • Genders are equal on this, but do see some differences in cultures: ex. in some places it’s not considered achievement if it came at the expense of someone else • Women had more difficult early childhood whereas men had more supportive parenting • Women who want careers and children have better grades and have children later • Mothers of high achieving school girls are were less nurturing and affectionate towards their daughters - Promoting achievement motivation in children • Emphasis on independence training and setting challenging standards for children • Parents must sent challenging standards for the child, but not exceeding the child’s abilities, or else the child may give up Need for Power - Need for power: Readiness or preference for having an impact on people • Leads to arguments, higher risks in gambling, having status – material things • Men – abusive, exploit women, sex earlier, more sexual partners • People with a high need for power are interested in controlling situations and controlling others - Sex differences: Largest is that men but not women with high need for power perform a variety of impulsive and aggressive behaviors • Profligate impulsive behaviors (drinking, aggression, sexual exploitation) are less likely to occur if a person has responsibility training • Men with strong need for power also abuse alcohol more than those with a low need for power. They will also have more dating relationships and have higher divorce rate - People with a high need for power do not deal well with frustration and conflict—show strong stress responses, including high blood pressure - Linked with greater risk for cardiovascular, heart disease, muscles tension, high blood pressure • If you have the need but it’s inhibited, you can’t let it out - Can be used in good ways; ex. a doctor or a politician who want to make the world a better place Need for Intimacy - Need for intimacy: Recurrent preference for or readiness for warm, close, communicative interactions with others - People with a high (compared to those with low) need for intimacy: • Spend more time during day thinking about relationships • Report more pleasant emotions when around other people • Smile, laugh, make more eye contact • Start up conversations more frequently and write more letters
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