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Chapter 11

PSYB30H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Belongingness, Conditionality, Enculturation

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Lisa Fiksenbaum

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PSYB30: Personality Clara Rebello
PSYB30 Chapter 11: Motives and Personality
Basic Concepts
Motives: Internal states that arouse and direct behaviour toward specific objects or goals
o Often caused by a deficit, a lack of something
o Differ from one another in both type and amount
o Differ in intensity, depending on the person and his/her circumstances
o Often based on needs: States of tension within a person
Motives propel people to perceive, think, and act in specific ways that satisfy
the need
o Belong in the intrapsychic domain for several reasons
Researchers who study motives have stressed the importance of internal
psychological needs and urges that propel people to think, perceive, and act in
certain predictably ways
Moties a e uosious, i the sese that the peso does’t ko
explicitly what he/she wants
Motive psychologists, like psychoanalysts, believe that fantasies, free
associations, and responses to projective techniques reveal the unconscious
motivation behind many thoughts, feelings, and behaviours
o Like dispositional psychologists, motive psychologists stress that
People differ from one another in the type and strength of their motives
These differences are measurable
These differences cause or are associated with important life outcomes (ex.
Business success or marital satisfaction)
Differences among people in the relative amounts of various motives are stable
over time
Motives may provide oe ase to the uestio Wh do people do hat the
Henry Murray
o One of the first researchers to develop a modern theory of motivation
o Need: What Murray viewed as similar to the analytic concept of drive
A need is a potentiality or readiness to respond in a certain way under certain
given circumstance
Needs organize perception, guiding us to see what we want/need to see
Also organize action by compelling a person to do what is necessary to fulfill the
Murray believed that needs referred to states of tension and that satisfying the
need reduces the tension
But it’s the process of eduig tesio that’s satisfig, ot the tesioless
Murray believed that people might actually seek to increase tension (ex. Roller
coaster) in order to experience the pleasure of reducing that tension (ex. End
the roller coaster ride)
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PSYB30: Personality Clara Rebello
Each need is associated with (1) a specific desire/intention, (2) a particular set of
emotions, (3) specific action tendencies
Each need can be described with trait names (ex. Strong need for affiliation
Agreeableness, friendliness)
Each person has a unique hierarchy of needs: A idiidual’s aious eeds a
be thought of as existing at a different level of strength
Each need interacts with the various other needs within each person Makes
the concept of motive dynamic: The mutual influence of forces within a person
o Press Specific way (that Murray created) of thinking about the environment
Alpha press: (objective reality) The real environment
Beta press: Perceived environment
In any given situation, what one person sees may be different from what other
people see
o Mua held that a peso’s eeds iflueed hohe/she perceived the environment,
especially when the environment is ambiguous
Apperception: The act of interpreting the environment and perceiving the
meaning of what is going on in a situation
Our needs and motives influence apperception
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): A test that consists of a set of black-and-
white images that are ambiguous, and the person is then asked to make up a
story about
The psychologist codes the stories for the presence of various types of imagery
associated with particular motives
Newer versions of TAT-type pictures have been developed and found to
function similarly to the original set in terms of soliciting need-relevant themes
Essential features of TAT and similar projective techniques (1) the subject is
given an ambiguous stimulus, usually a picture, (2) he/she is asked to describe
and interpret hat’s goig o
Studies of TAT suggest that people do respond differentially to the themes of
the picture, with, for example, high need for achievement people responding to
the achievement pictures differently than low need for achievement people
Some personality researchers argue that projective tests like TAT are less useful
as measures of personality than other methods (ex. Questionnaires, informant
Distinction between using the TAT to assess state levels of needs and trait levels
of needs
State levels: of eeds a peso’s oeta aout of a speifi eed, hih
can fluctuate with specific circumstances
Trait levels: of eeds easuig a peso’s aeage tede/set point on the
specific trait
The assessment of trait levels is most useful in determining differences among
individuals in their average tendencies toward particular needs
Newer form of assessing motives Multi-Motive Grid: Combines features of
the TAT with features of self-report questionnaires
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