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32- Basic Motivational Concepts and Hunger.docx

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PSYC 1000
Benjamin Giguere

BASIC MOTIVATIONAL CONCEPTS AND HUNGER Motivational Concepts  Motivation: a need or desire that energizes and directs behaviour  In order to understand motivated behaviours, psychologists used 4 perspectives  Instinct theory focuses on genetically predisposed behaviours.  Drive-reduction theory focuses on how our inner pushes and external pulls interact.  Arousal theory focuses on finding the right level of simulation  Maslow’s hierarchy of needs describes how some our needs take priority over others Instincts and Evolutionary Psychology  Instinct: a complex behaviour that is rigidly patterned throughout a species and is unlearned  Human behaviour exhibits certain unlearned fixed patterns, including infants innate reflexes for rooting and sucking  Instinct theory fails to explain most human motives  The underlying assumption that genes predispose species-typical behaviour remains strong as ever  Psychologists may apply this theory in explanations of our human similarities, animals biological predispositions to learn certain behaviours, and the influence of evolution on our phobias, our helping behaviours, and our romantic attractions Drives and Incentives  Drive reduction theory: the idea that a physiological need creates an aroused tension state (a drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need  With few exceptions, when a physiological need increases, so does a psychological drive- an aroused, motivated state  The physiological aim of drive reduction is homeostasis (a tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the regulation of any aspect of body chemistry, such as blood glucose, around a particular level  Not only are we pushed by are needs to reduce drives, we also are pulled by incentives (positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behaviour)  When there is both an incentive and a need, we feel strongly driven Drive-reducing Need (food, Drive (hunger, behaviours Drive-reduction theory: drive-reduction motivation water) thirst) (eating, arises from homeostasis- an organism’s natural drinking) tendency to maintain a steady internal state. Thus, if we are water deprived, our thirst drives us to drink and to restore the body’s natural state. Optimum Arousal  We are more than homeostatic systems  Well-fed animals will leave their shelter to explore and gain information, seemingly in the absence of any need- based drive  Sensation seekers  those who enjoy high arousal are most likely to seek out intense music, novel foods, and risk behaviours  Human motivation aims not eliminate arousal but to seek optimum levels of arousal  Having all our biological needs satisfied we feed driven to experience stimulation and we hunger for information  Lacking stimulation, we feel bored, and look for a way to increase arousal to some optimum level BASIC MOTIVATIONAL CONCEPTS AND HUNGER  With too much stimulation comes stress, then we look for a way to decrease arousal A Hierarchy of Motives  Some needs take priority over others  Hierarchy of needs: Maslow’s pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with physiological needs that must first be satisfied before higher-level safety needs and then psychological needs become active  Maslow’s hierarchy is somewhat arbitrary; the order of such needs is not universally fixed  Gaining and retaining mates, and parenting offspring are also universal human motives Hunger  When you’re hungry, thirsty, fatigued or sexually aroused, little else may seem to matter  Motives begin to hijack consciousness The Physiology of Hunger  Stomach pangs/contractions when hungry Body Chemistry and the Brain  Automatically regulate their caloric intake to prevent energy deficits and maintain a stable body weight  Suggests body keeps tabs on available resources  Glucose: the form of sugar that circulates in the blood and provides the major source of energy for body tissues.  Increases in the hormone insulin diminish blood glucose, partly by converting it into stored fat  When levels are low we feel hunger  Signals from your stomach, intestines, and liver all signal your brain to motivate eating or not  Brain integrates these messages and sounds the alarm by several neural areas- some housed deep within the hypothalamus  One neural arc (arcuate nucleus) has a center that secretes appetite stimulating hormones, and another center that secretes appetite suppressing hormones.  When an appetite-enhancing center is stimulated electrically, well-fed animals begin to eat.  If area is destroyed starving animals have no interest in eating  Opposite occurs when electrically stimulating an appetite-suppressing area  Blood vessels connect the hypothalamus to the rest of the body  One of the tasks is monitoring levels of appetite hormones such as ghrelin, a hunger-arousing hormone secreted by an empty stomach  Other appetite hormones include leptin and PYY (both decrease hunger), and orexin (triggers hunger) BASIC MOTIVATIONAL CONCEPTS AND HUNGER  When semi-starved rats fall below normal weight, “weight thermostat” (complex interaction of appetite hormones and brain activity) signals body to restore the lost weight: hunger increases and energy expenditure decreases  If body weight rises hunger decreases and energy expenditure increases  The stable weight toward which semi-starved and overstuffed rats return is thei
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