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PSYC 2740 (173)
Chapter 11

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2740
Stephen Lewis

Chapter 11 Basic Concepts - motives are internal states that arouse and direct behaviour toward specific objects or goals; a motive is often caused by a deficit, a lack of something - motives are based on needs, states of tension within a person - motive psychologists stress that people differ from one another in the type and strength of their motives, that these differences are measurable, that these difference cause or are associated with important life outcomes, that these differences between people in the relative amounts of various motives are stable over time and that motives may provide one answer to the question ‘why do people do what they do’ - Murray believed that each person had a unique hierarchy of needs; an individuals 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 refers to the mutual influence of forces within a person - Press refers to need-relevant aspects of the environment; a persons need for affiliation wont affect that persons behaviour without an appropriate environmental press - There is a so-called real environment (alpha press) and a perceived environment (beta press) - The act of interpreting the environment and perceiving the meaning of what is going on in a situation is term apperception; because our needs and motives influence apperception, if we want to know about a persons primary motives, we might ask that individual to interpret what is going on in a variety of situations - The thematic apperception test consist sof a set of black and white images which are ambigious and then the person is asked to make up a story about what is happening in the picture - The essential features of the TAT and similar projective techniques are that the subject is given an ambiguous stimulus and they are asked to describe and interpret what is going on - State levels of need refer to a persons momentary amount of a specific need, which can fluctuate with specific circumstances - The assessment of trait levels of a need refer to measuring a persons average tendency, or their set point, on the specific trait—the idea is that people differ from each other in their typical or average amount of specific needs - The Multi-Motive Grid combines features of the TAT with features of self- report questionnaires—14 pictures are selected to arouse one of the big three motives (achievement, power or intimacy) and the idea is that the photo will arouse the motive, which then will influence how the person will answer the questions - The TAT remains a popular personality assessment technique today, even though some researchers argue that it how low test-retest reliability The Big Three Motives: Achievement, Power and Intimacy - the need for achievement is defined as the desire to do better, to be successful and to feel competent - high nAch individuals prefer moderate levels of challenge, neither too high nor too lower - to summarize the characteristics of persons high in nAch, they prefer activities that provide some challenge, they enjoy tasks in which they are personally responsible for the outcome and they prefer tasks for which feedback on their performance is available - one parenting practice places an emphasis on independence training - the need for power is readiness or preference for having an impact on other people; the need for power is assumed to energize and direct behaviour when the person is in opportune situations for exerting power - an individual high in nPow is interested in control of situations and other people - there are no sex differences in average levels of nPow or in the kinds of situations that arouse the power motive - the largest difference is that high nPow men perform a wide variety of impulsve and aggressive behaviours and are more likely to have dissatisfying dating relationships, arguments with others and higher divorce rates and exploit women sexually and abuse alcohol - profligate impulsive behaviours are less likely to occur if an individual has had responsibility training; taking care of younger siblings is an example of responsibility training - obstacles to power are power stress and people that were high in nPow were vulnerable to
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