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Chapter 13

PSYA02H3 – Chapter 13 Notes.doc

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PSYA02H3 – Chapter Thirteen Notes
What is Motivation?
Inconsistent behaviour is an aspect of motivation, which is derived from the Latin
meaning “to move”
Motivation: a general term for a group of phenomena that affect the nature, strength, and
persistence of an individual’s behaviour
Refers to a driving force that moves us to an action
We behave in particular ways to get something (or to avoid something)
Motivation = proactive (similar concept to reinforcement) and reactive
Biological Needs
Biological needs can be a vey potent motivators
Regulatory behaviour: a behaviour that tends to bring physiological conditions back to
normal, thus restoring the condition of homeostasis
Ex) eating, drinking, shivering, building a fire, putting on warm clothes
Homeostasis: the process by which important physiological characteristics (such as body
temperature and blood pressure) are regulated so that they remain at their optimum level
(stable state)
A regulatory system has 4 essential features:
oSystem variable: the characteristic to be regulated; for example,
temperature in a heating system
oSet point: the optimum value of the system variable in a regulatory
mechanism. The set point for human body temperature is 37 degree
oDetector: a mechanism that signals when the system variable deviates
from its set point
oCorrectional mechanism: the mechanism that is capable of restoring the
system variable to the set point
Negative feedback: a process whereby the effect produced by an action serves to
diminish or terminate that action. Regulatory systems are characterized by negative
feedback loops (ex. The activity of the correctional mechanism feeding back to he
detector and causing it to stop detecting)
Drive reduction hypothesis: the hypothesis that a drive (resulting from physiological
need or deprivation) produces an unpleasant state that causes an organism to engage in
motivated behaviour. Reduction of drive is assumed to be reinforcing
Drive: a condition, often caused by physiological changes or homeostatic
disequilibrium that energizes an organism’s behaviour (ex. Food when in a state
of hunger)
Sexual behaviour is another form of drive. Although an individual can live
without sexual behaviours, the sex drive is motivating and sexual contact is
The hypothesis of drive reduction cannot be tested because drive cannot always

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PSYA02H3 – Chapter Thirteen Notes  What is Motivation?  • Inconsistent behaviour is an aspect of motivation, which is derived from the Latin  meaning “to move” Motivation: a general term for a group of phenomena that affect the nature, strength, and  persistence of an individual’s behaviour  • Refers to a driving force that moves us to an action • We behave in particular ways to get something (or to avoid something) • Motivation = proactive (similar concept to reinforcement) and reactive  Biological Needs  • Biological needs can be a vey potent motivators  Regulatory behaviour: a behaviour that tends to bring physiological conditions back to  normal, thus restoring the condition of homeostasis • Ex) eating, drinking, shivering, building a fire, putting on warm clothes Homeostasis: the process by which important physiological characteristics (such as body  temperature and blood pressure) are regulated so that they remain at their optimum level  (stable state) • A regulatory system has 4 essential features:  o System variable: the characteristic to be regulated; for example,  temperature in a heating system o Set point: the optimum value of the system variable in a regulatory  mechanism. The set point for human body temperature is 37 degree  Celsius  o Detector: a mechanism that signals when the system variable deviates  from its set point  o Correctional mechanism: the mechanism that is capable of restoring the  system variable to the set point  Negative feedback: a process whereby the effect produced by an action serves to  diminish or terminate that action. Regulatory systems are characterized by negative  feedback loops (ex. The activity of the correctional mechanism feeding back to he  detector and causing it to stop detecting) Drive reduction hypothesis: the hypothesis that a drive (resulting from physiological  need or deprivation) produces an unpleasant state that causes an organism to engage in  motivated behaviour. Reduction of drive is assumed to be reinforcing  • Drive: a condition, often caused by physiological changes or homeostatic  disequilibrium that energizes an organism’s behaviour (ex. Food when in a state  of hunger) • Sexual behaviour is another form of drive. Although an individual can live  without sexual behaviours, the sex drive is motivating and sexual contact is  reinforcing  • The hypothesis of drive reduction cannot be tested because drive cannot always  be measured  • Another problem is experiences that we want to repeat (the ones we find  reinforcing) are those that increase, rather than decrease, our level of arousal  Physiology of Reinforcement  • Almost all investigators believe that electrical stimulation of the brain is  reinforcing because it activates the same system that is activated by natural  reinforcers and by drugs that people commonly abuse  • The normal function of this system is to strengthen the connection between the  neurons that detect the discriminative stimulus and the neurons that produce the  operant response. The electrical brain stimulation activates this system directly  • An essential component of the reinforcement system consists of neurons that  release dopamine as their transmitter substance in the brain  Optimum­Level Theory Optimum­Level Theory: the hypothesis that organisms will perform behaviour that  restores the level of arousal to an optimum level  • When arousal level is too high, less stimulation is reinforcing and vice versa • Berylne hypothesized 2 forms of
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