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Chapter 13

Chapter 13 Notes

Course Code
Oren Amitay

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Chapter 13 Motivation and Emotion
Motivationa general term for a group of phenomena that affect the nature, strength,
and persistence of an individuals behaviour
-proactive (reinforcement) , reactive
-biological needs can be very potent motivators
Biological Needs
regulatory behavioura behaviour that tends to bring physiological conditions back
to normal, thus restoring the condition of homeostasis
homeostasisthe process by which important physiological characteristics are
regulated so that they remain at their optimum level
-deficits or imbalances motivate us because they cause us to perform the
appropriate regulatory behaviours
system variablethe variable controlled by a regulatory mechanism; for example,
temperature in a heating system (the characteristic to be regulated)
set point – the optimum value of the system variable in a regulatory mechanism/ the
set point for human body temperature, recorded orally, is approximately 37 degree
detectorin a regulatory process, a mechanism that signals when the system variable
deviates from its set point (monitors the value of the system variable)
correctional mechanism – in a regulatory process, the mechanism that is capable of
restoring the system variable to the set point
negative feedbacka process whereby the effect produced by an action serves to
diminish or terminate that action. Regulatory systems are characterized by negative
feedback loops
drive reduction hypothesisthe hypothesis that a drive (resulting from physiological
need or deprivation) produces an unpleasant state that causes an organism to engage in
motivated behaviours. Reduction of drive is assumed to be reinforcing
-nature of motivation and reinforcement
-eating reduces hunger this drive reduction is reinforcing
2 primary reasons for reinforcement fallen into disfavour
1) drive is almost always impossible to measure

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e.g. you obtain pleasure from looking at photographs taken by a friend while on
vacation, according to the hypothesis, your “exploratory drive” or “curiosity drive” is
high, and looking at vacation photos reduces it, providing reinforcement
- there is no way to measuredrive” in either of these examples and confirm that it
actually exists
- the hypothesis cannot be experimentally tested
2) reinforcing conversation is one that is also exciting, not one that puts you to sleep
The experiences we really want to repeat (that is, the ones we find reinforcing) are
those that increase our level of arousal
drivea condition, often caused by physiological changes or homeostatic
disequilibrium, that energizes on organisms behaviour i.e. hunger
Physiology of Reinforcement
Olds and Milnershowed that electrical stimulation of the brain could be
reinforcing to rats
-it activates the same system that is activated by natural reinforces (drugs)
Stimulus (e.g. sight of lever) Neural circuit that detects a particular stimulus
neural circuit that controls a particular behaviour behaviour (e.g. lever press)
reinforcing stimulus(e.g. food) reinforcement system(strengthens the connection
between perceptual system and motor system)
-an essential component of the reinforcement system consists of neurons that
release dopamine
- ( ) as their transmitter substance
-all reinforcing stimuli appear to trigger the release of dopamine in the brain
Optimum-Level Theory
Optimum-level hypothesisthe hypothesis that organisms will perform behaviour
that restores the level of arousal to an optimum level
Berlyne – 2 forms of exploration related to arousal
Diversive explorationa response to understimulation (boredom) that increases the
diversity of the stimuli the organism tries to come in contact with
Specific explorationa response to overstimulation (usually because of a specific
need, such as lack of food or water) that leads to the needed item, thereby decreasing

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the organisms drive level
Hebb focused on how arousal affects the effectiveness of behaviour
-mid-range behaviour is organized and effective
Perseverancethe tendency to continue to perform a behaviour even when it is not
being reinforced
-understanding the effects of reinforcement helps us explain why some people
persevere and others do not
Effects of Intermittent Reinforcement
-behaviour acquired with intermittent reinforcement was more resistant to
extinction than behaviour acquired with continuous reinforcement
-a reinforced response occurs only after a series of unreinforced responses,
resistance to extinction is greatly enhanced
-same number of unreinforced responses, but in which the reinforcers do not
occur even after long series of unreinforced responses, does not produce
behaviour that is nearly as resistant to extinction
-succeeding after several failures causes the learner to resist the effects of
subsequent failure
-experiencing tough times can lead us to give up unless we sometimes experience
Environmental stimuli that are present during extinction become aversive
1) it has long been known that laboratory animals acquire responses if they allow
them to escape environments in which extinction is scheduled frustration
2) if another animal is present when the learners responses undergo extinction, the
other animal may be attacked (a finding that has been observed in humans)
extinction-induced aggression
e.g. quiet office worker pounds on the candy machine when it fails to dispense a
e.g. groups within society who are not prospering blame other groups for their
- extinction causes other members of the species to become eliciting stimuli for
aggressive behaviour and thereby establishes the opportunity to aggress as a
reinforcing stimulus
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