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Chapter 6

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3100
Hank Davis

Chapter 6 – Motivation and Emotion ⁃ Focus on why we find pleasure in certain activities (sex, a good meal, holding ones offspring) ⁃ One would have less offspring if they found these activities unpleasant ⁃ Aka improves fitness ⁃ Things that threaten fitness (pain, fear and dread) are unpleasant ⁃ Motivation is generally the study of the directable and energizing aspects of behaviour ⁃ Animals work to satisfy motives which often change with changes in the internal environment ⁃ Emotion is commonly defined by its affective tone (pleasantness vs, unpleasantness), there are no neutral emotions Emotion cannot be separated by motivation ⁃ Emotion is our affective response to information that our goals are either being advanced or harmed ⁃ This is an adaptive role in the environment ⁃ Ex. sight of the enemy (stimulus) causes us to interpret a dangerous situation (cognition), which causes fear(emotion) which in turn causes us to run (behaviour) ⁃ Motivation is the study of how we meet our goals it is clear emotion and motivation are inseparable ⁃ Emotion is the affective component of motivation *** ⁃ All emotions are part of a motivational system but not all motivation needs emotion (ex. Breathing, we are usually not aware of it) Why do we avoid the term instinct? • Instinct is defined as the faculty of acting such a way as to produce certain ends, without reason and without previous education in the performance • Ex. The Baltimore Oriole builds a nest out of specific materials in a very complex manor without any previous learning • We avoid using instincts for 3 reasons • 1. It merely assigns a label rather then providing an explanation ◦ Nominal fallacy: thinking one has explained something by giving it a name (ex. Thumb twiddling instinct and if they do not there is a thumb-not -twiddling instinct) • 1. Behaviours once believed to be innate actually requires particular kinds of experience • Ex. cowbell have an innate birdsong but males alter the songs by dropping out the parts that don’t catch the females attention • We have to consider how a trait responds to particular features of the environment and why 1. There is no way of deciding how many instincts humans have ****Use of the term instinct is defendable but also causes confusion The evolutionary approach to motivation ⁃ 1. All motives and emotions are equally biological ⁃ In the past psychologists separated motivation and emotion into nature vs nurture categories ⁃ Motives are attempted to be set to a small amount (hunger, thirst, sex) because others can be built off of this($= food and sex) ⁃ Harlow s monkeys proved this wrong: ⁃ A baby money has two mothers, one wrapped in a terry cloth with no food and one wire with food, learning theory would say the baby would prefer the wire mom but in fact it spent most of its time on the terry cloth mother, ⁃ This showed that contact comfort was more important then food for the baby monkey ⁃ There are clearly many motives that have come from evolution: attachment (keeps the baby safe) and curiosity (gaining new opportunities) *** All motives are mechanisms that evolved to solve problems that existed in the EEA, thus are equally biological** 1. All motives differ in their importance • When animals are fed and out of immediate danger then other motives can be satisfied • Harlow's monkey's hunger overrode attachment at a certain point 1. Motives are not merely socially constructed • “Socially constructed: refers to that there is no biological basis for the motive and it is only due to social learning • Reasons why this is wrong ◦ Case of disgust: this is a universal motive/emotion that is constant among all humans ▪ There is differences in what each one of us find disgusting ▪ This has evolved as a way to prevent disease and body pollutants ▪ Disgust has 2 aspects • 1. It is a universal emotion ◦ 1. To which we disgust depends on our environment- we learn from our elders what to eat and what not to eat and monitor disgust in others The question of basic emotions ⁃ Before psychologists believed that there are only a few biological emotions (rage, fear and love) and the rest are socially constructed ⁃ Cross culturally humans have the same emotions for happiness, disgust, fear, surprise, sadness and anger. ⁃ Researchers told subjects to form a certain face by guiding their muscles, one they made the specific face they were asked how they felt, it was shown that most of the time people felt the expression that their face was in. How many emotions are there? ⁃ To be a basic emotion it must follow these rules ⁃ Distinct facial expression ⁃ Persistence in other primates (*although we experience different evolutionary history, which may be problematic) ⁃ Distinct physiology (*there are measurement issues, it has to ⁃ Distinct causes ⁃ Facial expressions that are not separable from physiological response ⁃ Quick onset (distinction from moods) ⁃ Brief duration (distinction from moods) ⁃ Automatic appraisal (cognitive evaluation of the situation that causes the emotion to take place without awareness) ⁃ Unbidden occurrence (distinguishes emotions from other non emotional cognition
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