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Chapter 3

PSY 3109 Chapter 3: Motivation Ch 3 Notes

Course Code
PSY 3109
Erin Maloney

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Motivation Ch 3 Notes
Psychological Origins of Motivation
Will/freewill/willpower: ability for agents to make choices free of constraint
E.g. will to not give into temptation/sin
Internal control: keeping righteous via yourself rather than relying on external deity; the
energy inside yourself to achieve this
Resisting temptation: temperance movement to control self, movement behind
prohibition, hiding your body, etc.
Wundt (founding father of experimental psychology): actions start off as voluntary and
willed, and then they can become involuntary habits
Conscious subjective feeling that your are exerting willpower voluntarily in the
beginning = sensation of innervations
Many of his students did experiments on will (e.g. Lange)
W. James (founding father of modern psychology), most contributed to will:
Deliberate VS Decisive: disagreed with Wundt that all actions start off
voluntarily; believed some actions are automatic, called ideo-motor actions (e.g.
Fiat = actions that are indeed conscious responses, comes after the
ideo-motor action/intention
1: deliberate between the options of repose (ideo-motor instinct, or
fiat conscious decision)
2: decide to exert behaviour in favour of the fiat to stick to your
Will VS Effort distinction: will is your intention and commitment, but it takes you
nowhere without effort/actions > thus, will exists in the mind and effort is in real
Volition VS Nolition: wills come from impulses (volition, getting what you want,
a particular desired outcome) versus inhibitions (nolition, stopping ourselves from
doing something to avoid a bad outcome, e.g. cheating due to sexual urges)
Explosive will: suffer from this when you have too much volition, not
enough nolition, very impulsive people, low inhibitions
Obstructed will: too much nolition, can’t concentrate or be productive,
Experiments on will
Lange, late 1800s: first official study on motivation, control hammer measured reaction
time, attending to a stimulus made you react slower than if you attended to anticipating
responding to the stimulus (require will to focus attention)
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