CHPT 7: MOTIVES AND GOALS: What do we want in life?
why do ppl do what they do?
a. Motivation: refers to movement. (people do what they want to do). PPl have inside them wants,
desires, aims and intentions. And ppl act on these wants to produce behaviour. This can include acts to
avoid what they don’t want to. Motivations are heavily influenced from needs as well.
- Eric klinger: expands the basic motivation theory to include Darwin so that it applies to animals as well-
motivation in a larger sense are integral facets of life as an animal. All organisms have in common: we
almost all have to go out and get the things we need in order to survive and procreate.
- Characteristic adaptations: specific and particular aspects of psychological individuality that are
contextualized in time, place or social role. These make up level 2 of personality. Motives and goals are
one class of characteristic adaptations.
-Sigmund Freud: (1856-1939). Most influential in the 20 century. Invented psychoanalysis
- main view is Freuds theory of motivation: 4 main principles/propositions:
1. Drive: powerful forces exist within us and they can typically be traced back to primitive drives or
instincts. Most important ones are sexuality and aggression. He says ppl want sexual satisfaction and
suitable outlets for our aggression. Theses two are primal energy sources for psychological life.
2. Determinism: forces over which we have little control determine all human behaviour and
experience. Were not masters of our fate but rather pawns in a chess game played by someone else.
3. Conflict: the forces that determine all behaviour and experiences are in perpetual conflict with one
another which causes anxiety. There is no avoiding conflict between both (primitive urges and societal
constraints) and (conflicts deep within us). We want too much that we can never have so we are
destined to be miserable.
4. Unconscious: we don’t even know those forces that determine our behaviour and those conflicts that
precipitate our anxiety. Thus we have no control over our lives and are conflicted/anxious and don’t
-the mind is like a machine that uses energy that was drawn from biological instincts.
- Freud said that they were 2 sets of instincts/drives:
a. Sexuality and all other life instincts (aka Eros)
b. Aggression and death instincts (aka thanatos)
** these are usually expressed in indirect and complex ways
- however in the real world there are too many constraints, too many tasks to attend to in everyday life,
and too much complexity/restraint built into the human mind to permit direct translation of drive into
behaviour. So these instincts played in our dreams and expressed in subtle and subliminal ways in
everyday behaviour that we don’t even notice.
A/ The unconscious: Dostoyevsky said the fearsome things that stored away by every decent man
constitute this. Much of what we know and feel is outside our every conscious awareness. We typically
don’t know the real reasons for what we do because conscious everyday experience is split from prime
determinants of behaviour. Conscious experience is the tip of the iceberg, and the rest of it is
underwater so what is really important in human lies beneath the surface of consciousness. Really
negative or some sexual/aggressive personal conflicts/fanatizes are pushed into the unconsciousness
and plays themselves our in conscious experiences thru delibating symptoms, anxiety, and dread.
-Freud never proposed unconsciousness first it was Schopehauer and Nietzsche that did: they said
typically emotional and irrational urges are antagonist to conscious reason. - hypnotism was used to gain access to the unconscious mind as early as 1784, and Charcot employed
this method effectively.
-Baumeister and Gay said middle class adults in the 19 century accepted the idea of a inner world
unknowable to the conscious self and they were sceptical about revealing this part of self to others.
-Romanticism: a European intellectual movement that rejected classical teachings emphasizing reason,
order, and the common good and celebrated instead the vigorous and passionate life of an individual.
-hysteria: Charcot investigated the symptoms/causes of this. Its a common psychological disturbance of
the 19 century in which patients suffered from bizarre bodily symptoms (ex/ paralysis of limbs, visual
disorders) that had no apparent physical cause.
-topographical model of human functioning: Freud proposed this
a.) Conscious: contains want a person is currently aware of. Ppl can typically verbalize their conscious
experience and can think about it in a logical way.
b.) Preconscious: contain material about which the person is not currently conscious aware but which
could readily enter awareness should the person decide to retrieve the material. Ordinary memory. It
contains a vast storehouse of important as well as trival info that is reliably at out disposal.
c.) unconscious: cant be readily retrieved, rather the unconscious contains elements of experience that
have been actively repressed. Ideas, images, urges and feelings that are associated with conflict, pain,
fear, guilt and so on. This profoundly affects our behaviour and experience without us knowing. This
repressed material is expressed in disguised or symbolic forms as in neurotic symptoms or when
unconscious instinctual urges are indirectly satisfied in dreams/ fantasy/ play/ art/ work/ other
meaningful human intercourse.
B/ Repression and repressors:
- ppl learn, perceive, and remember many things without being consciously aware of doing so these are
known as implicit information processing in humans.
- scientific research supports the fact that the human mind operates in an implicit, automatic, and
nonconscious manner consequently supporting Freud.
- Nonconscious thinking may sometimes be superior to conscious thought in reaching correct solutions
to complex problems. Supported by Dijksterhuis experiment (asked students to make a decision about
an apartment where some pp had time to think about while other were distracted) found: the distracted
group made a better decision.
-Repression: thought, feelings, desires, and memories that may be stored away in an inaccessible,
unconscious realm because they threaten the persons well-being. These thoughts etc are actively
rejected or repressed. Do some ppl repress more than others?
-Repressors: a person who experience little anxiety on a conscious level and who adopt a highly
defensive approach to life. Research has found that repressors report low levels of subjective distress
compared with low-anxious (low anxiety and defensiveness) and high-anxious individuals (high anxiety
and defensiveness), however physiological measures indicated that the repressors experienced
significantly higher levels of internal arousal than low and high anxiety individuals. Suggesting that
consciously repressor don’t perceive the drive-related stimuli as threatening while the physiological
indicators shows that unconsciously they do perceive it as threatening.
-Penevlope Davis: found that repressors tend to recall significantly fewer negative and fewer positive
memories than low/high anxious individuals. Thus repression involves a more general failure to retrieve
emotionalndemories of various kinds.
-In her 2 study: found repressors tended to report fewer childhood emotional experiences compared with other individuals but it was especially pronounced for fear and self-consciousness experiences.
However when they had to recall memories in which someone else felt happy, sad, fear or angry, they
recalled alot more experiences. Suggesting repression is not a memory deficit.
- Repression operates most powerfully in the domain of self-evaluation which is why most fear and self-
conscious experiences are the most repressed since they can cause they can threaten the self with
- What makes repressors different from other ppl? Hansen and Hansen explored the “the architecture of
repression” which is a mechanism whereby emotionally tagged memories (especially unpleasant
memories) are left inaccessible. They said repressors have an “associate network” for negative
emotional experiences that is less complex and more discrete than that found in other ppl. Repressors
negative recollections have a simple structure and these memories are split off from other memories,
isolated outside the main network of interrelated autobiographical recollections- they simplify their
negative memories to a single dominant feeling which keeps these memories from connecting in their
minds to other autobiographical memories. Thus they organize their episodic memories differently from
others. They found evidence for this by asking pp to recall, describe and evaluate either embarrassing,
anger, sad and fearful past events. Found each negative memory elicits a montage of different
emotional reactions- each category of a emotional memory specified a corresponding dominant
emotion and a set of non-dominant emotions. Ex/ sad memories elicits high rating of sadness but also
depression, anger and fear.
- Repressors and non-repressors reported dominant emotions around the same level of intensity
however repressors reported less intensity for non dominant emotions compared to normal ppl. Hansen
said: repression is fundamentally a phenomenon of the relatively impoverished structure of the
repressors memory linked to the less elaborate, more discrete emotional tags with which the repressors
memorial representations are associated. To protect the self from threat repression works to keep
negative memories from connecting to each other.
- Myner and Brewin: repressors report fewer negative memories from childhood and tend to recall their
parents as being especially indifferent or neglecting. So negativity is still in there lives but its perceived
as less threatening. They also experience less intense negative emotions in daily life. They can shift their
attention away more easily from material they wish to ignore. However this has a cost and is associated
with a variety of health problems (asthma, cancer, hypertension, and suppressed immune function).
- Repression can be a good thing such that in periods of extreme stress repressive coping styles can lead
to resilience (ability to overcome difficult obstacles in life and to thrive amidst adversity). When recalling
experience of losing a lost one repressors felt relatively little conscious distress in the conversation but
high physiological arousal indicating a strong stress response beneath the conscious surface. 18 months
later they did a follow up of those bereaved and showed a repressive coping style and found they had
better physical/psychological health.
- Freud argued that repression is a universal fact of physic life, however research on repressors suggests
that ppl differ rather substantially with the respect to how extensively they employ repression as a way
of dealing with anxiety and stress.
C/ The ego’s defenses:
- Freud proposed an integrative model of how the mind is organized. The mind can be broken down into
3 independent structures which all exists for a different purpose. Anxiety is produced from conflicts
i.) The id: most primitive structure. Completely submerged in the unconscious, it contains instinctual impulses of sex and aggression and their derivate wishes, fantasies, and inclinations. Its chaotic and the
instinctual energy for mental life. Known no inhibitions, obeys no logical/moral constraints. Works by
the pleasure principle: pleasure derives from the reduction of tension in the immediate gratification of
impulses. Its the driving force behind primary process thinking (loose, fluid, and irrational kind of
thinking that we associate with dreaming). This type of thought is motivated by the sexual/aggressive
ii.) the ego: develops in infancy and emerges out of the id. Borrows energy from the id and exists as the
handymaiden to the id. Works to mediate between the id and the constraints of logic and the external
world. Works thru the reality principle: conducts affairs using rational thought. It enables the person to
suspend immediate instinctual gratification until either an appropriate object or environmental
condition arises that will satisfy the instinct. Its second process thinking (conscious, deliberate, and
geared toward solving problems in a rational and realistic manner).
- manifest itself partly in certain conscious and unconscious ways. Uses defence mechanisms (an
unconscious strategy of the ego that distorts reality in order to lessen anxiety) to solve conflicts
between the ego and superego.
Ex/ a. Projection: attributing ones own unacceptable and disturbing thoughts and impulses to someone
else. Ex/ a man confused about their sexual orientation call others homosexual.
iii.) superego: internalized representations of the norms/values of society as acquired thru identification
with parents. Tells the persons what they should and shouldn’t do. Its strict and inflexible agent who
insists on the renunciation or repression of the ids instinctual demands.
- superego and id similarities:
a.) demanding and inflexible
b.) blind to the constraints and demands of the outside world
-- sources of conflict for the ego:
1. The reality of the outside world poses objective danger that produce realistic anxiety
2.) the id threatens the ego with neurotic anxiety its the ever-present possibility of an uncontrollable
release of instinctual energy
3.) superego adds the problem of moral anxiety, may take the form of feelings of guilt over moral
transgressions or regret in failing to live up to perfect ideals.
** if the ego breaks down it results in neurotic symptoms.
-ego psychologists: believe the ego promotes healthy adaptions to life thru the functions of learning,
memory, perception, and synthesis. The ego is a master intergrator. It organizes experiences so that the
organism can become an effective and competent member of society. The ego employs effective
defence strategies in dealing w/anxiety and stress.
- some defence mechanisms are relatively immature and primitive (denial) whereas others as mature
and complex (sublimation). Phebe Cramer: immature defence mechanisms should arise early in life and
then taper off while mature mechanisms should develop later. She focused on 3 defence mechanisms:
1. Denial: person refuses to acknowledge an anxiety provoking event. Most primitive. Most young
children tend to use this while adults use it in the most upsetting and threatening situations.
2. Projection: the person attributes unacceptable internal states and qualities to external others. More
mature. It requires standards of good and bad be internalized so it can be projected outward. Needs
consciousness so develops in middle childhood
3. Identification: most mature. The person forms an enduring mental representation of significant
others. The person replicates the behavioural traits of others as a way of coping. Requires a clear understanding and ability to differentiate between self and others. Becomes effective in adolescence
and continues throughout life.
-Cramer analyzed the creative stories written/told by children of 4 ages group. The youngest (4-7)
children had denial themes while children 7-gr12th showed little use of denial while
projection/identification was low in the young but increased with age. This consistent with longitudinal
- defence mechanisms is most apparent during time of great stress.
-lightening study: Children who witnessed a traumatic event (death of a soccer co-player), children who
had scored high on the emotional upset tended to avoid soccer in the subsequent 2-year interval. They
also found that denial was used a lot more than usual for the age group since the trauma was so severe.
Those who showed the lowest levels of emotional upset tended to display the highest level of
projection. This study underscores the psychoanalytic-development hypothesis that age appropriate
defence mechanisms may be most effective in warding off anxiety and helping ppl cope.
-Valliant: found that mens consistent use of mature defences was positively associated with an overall
index of adjustment (includes physical health, career advancement, and marital enjoyment). The use of
mature defence predicted greater levels of interpersonal intimacy and meaningful/productive wrk.
Primitive defence mechanisms is associated with higher levels of anxiety. Young adults who used denial
showed multiple signs of behavioural immaturity. While in men projection was associated with a
suspicious and hyperalert style of interacting with other ppl.
--Summary of the psychoanalytic view: human motivation suggests that our behaviour, thought, and
feelings are energized/directed by unconscious desires that ultimately stem from sexual/aggressive
instincts. The desires that we have conflict with each other, with our internalized moral standards, and
with the constraints of the outside world. These conflicts lead to anxiety. Characteristic adaptations in
personality refer to specific ways in which individuals express sexual/aggressive drives and cope with
- defence mechanisms may be arranged in a developmental hierarchy in which young children use
primitive defences while adults use mature ones. Defences that are age-appropriate may be the most
effective in dealing with stress. With adults the use of mature defence mechanisms is associated with
greater social adjustment and occupied achievement.
The humanistic view:
- psychoanalytic and behaviourism thought human behaviour is motivated by forces which an individual
has little control over. Psychoanalysts: unconscious drives for sexuality/aggression. Behaviorist:
biological drive for hunger/thrist and environmental contingencies of reinforcement.
-Humanistic: more optimistic and self-determining view. Argued that human beings are motivated by
higher purposed that distinguish them from the rest of the animal kingdom. The supreme motivator is
the striving to actualize and perfect the self.
A/ Carl Rogers theory: he developed client-centred therapy: emphasis on the therapists warmth and
sincerity, empathy, acceptance, role playing and the dignity of the client. He says that a person must be
understood from the perspective of their phenomenal field: the entire panorama of a persons
experience, the person subjective apprehension of reality- the individuals overall frame of reference.
The roots of behaviour are in this field and to learn about another person phenomenal field you need to
listen to a person subjective report of experience. He said humans have one basic tendency and striving-
to actualize, maintain, and enhance the experiencing organism. There is an inherent tendency of the
organism to develop all its capacities in ways which serve to maintain or enhance the person. Unconscious conflicts, biological needs, environmental influences and all other forces on a person are
rendered meaningful or irrevelant ONLY thru the phenomenal field
- organismic enhancement: all urges, desires, wants, goals, values, and motives
- a person is always striving to move toward full actualization (ones full inner potential), in order to
reach this choices must be clearly perceived as moving forward.
- full functioning person: a person who has achieved their full potential. Ones here a person is
consciously aware of the many facets in their life and is able to integrate seemingly inconsistent aspects
into a coherent whole. Their lives are emotional and full of self-discovery. They are reflective,
spontaneous, flexible, adaptive, confident, trusting, creative and self-reliant. They operate according to
the organismic valuing process: expierences that are in part of the organismic-actualizing tendency are
viewed as satisfying so are approached and maintained. While those experiences that don’t promote
growth and fulfillment are avoided.
- all ppl desire positive regard (desire to be loved/accepted by others). Fully functioning ppl experience
alot of unconditional positive regard (being loved/accepted by others in an uncritical/noncontingent
manner). Regard from other promotes self-regard. A person needs to be positively regarded by
themselves and others.
- Love and acceptance are usually conditional- conditions of worth: conditional positive regard in which
a person is praised, rewarded, liked, admired, and blessed for particular things that they do, say, think
and feel. Thru this we come to believe which aspects of ourselves is good and not.
-Rogers believed ppl suffer from important conflicts which involve unconscious issues in their lives.
These conflicts are between the self and conditions of worth. He said we can live without conflict once
we become full functioning.
B/ Abraham Maslow’s psychology of being:
- self-actualization: human beings strive to actualize their inner potential. But this need has 4 other
needs competing with it which form a need hierarchy: the base of the hierarchy is the physiological
needs (food/water/sleep), then safety needs (need for structure, security, order, avoidance of pain and
protection), 3 level: belongingness and love needs (desire to be accepted and loved by others to form
affiliative, loving and intimate unions), 4th- esteem needs (need for self-respect, and esteem from
others), top-most- self-actualization (goes beyond the lower needs).
- higher needs cant be met until lower needs are satisfied. Characteristics of a self-actualizer (SA):
1. Liking for peak experiences: wonderful moments of happeniess, ecstacy, transcendence. With peak
experiences ppl perceive and understand the world from being cognition (B-cognition) standpoint-
experience or the objects tends to be seen as a whole, a complete unit detached from relations from
possible usefulness from expediency and from purpose. During these experiences the conscious is
unified at that moment such that time and space is disoriented.
2. Superior perception of reality
3. Increased acceptance of self and others.
C/ Intrinsic motivation and self-determination theory:
- peak experiences are self-reinforcing experiences since especially positive experiences in our lives are
intrinsically motivated as they feel very good.
- research shows that providing rewards/incentives for intrinsic motivational behaviours wont reinforce
the behaviour but undermine it such that it can decrease the occurrence of that once intrinsically
motivated behaviour. Ex/ Deci experiment: paid some pp to do a puzzle and others nothing, found
during the free choice period pp who were paid chose the puzzle less than those who wont paid, and those who were paid tended to say the puzzle was less fun than those who didn’t get paid to do it. Thus
extrinsic motivation ruins intrinsically motivated behaviour.
- rewards don’t always undermine intrinsic motivation:
1.) a task must be intrinsically interesting if the costs of reward are to be seen. Ex/ is a reward is given
after a boring routine task performance/interest for the task could increase.
2.) Not all rewards in all situations are equal. Ex/intrinsic motivation can be decreased with money,
grades and material rewards but social reinforcers such as verbal praise/ encouragement can increase it.
Rewards for effort (trying hard) are perceive differently from rewards for ability (doing well).
-Self-determination theory: Deci and Ryan. Intrinsic motivation is the energizing basis for natural
organismic activity. New challenges promote self-development. Instrinically motivated behaviours are
done with one fulling wanting to do it such that they spontaneously engage in the behaviour, thus this
type of behaviour is self-determined. Behavior that is not self-determined is perceived as controlled
(occurs when a person acts to meet the demands of some internal or external force, they may be
intentional) or amotivated (unintentional and often disorganized since a person often cant regulate their
own actions). Self-determination begins at birth.
-Infants have a nascent self: a vital core of personality that contains the potential for tremendous
expansion- the nature of life is to overtake itself. As the infant masters and synthesizes new experiences,
the self becomes more encompassing (takes more things) and more integrated (organizes the content
into meaningful systems). Self determined behaviour enhances the self and causes more behaviour to
become self determined. An expanded self creates high self-invovlement in behaviour. Behavior
becomes less controlled and amotivated, actions become incorporated within and guided by the self.
- They believed self determined behaviour stems from 3 basic psychological needs:
a. Need for competence: encompasses a person striving to control the outcomes of events and to
experience a sense of mastery and effectiveness in dealing with the environment.
b. Need for autonomy: involves the desire to feel that one is independent of external pressures and