FOUR essential qualities of motivational states:
Energizing, directive, persistence, differ in strength
Need - state of deficiency
People need other people
- needs lead to goal-directed behaviors.
Maslow: need hierarchy - survival needs at the bottom and personal
growth at the top of ultimate priority. Must satisfy all needs from bottom
up. (physiological, safety, belonging and love, esteem, self-actualization)
Maslow’s theory is an example of humanistic psychology, where people are
striving towards personal fulfillment.
Humanists think humans are unique because try to improve themselves.
Self-actualization - when someone achieves their personal dreams and
aspirations. “when a man can be, he must be”.
Not much empirical evidence for this hierarchy however. More at descriptive
Drives - psychological states activated to satisfy needs.
Arousal - created by needs, motivates behavior that satisfies need.
- state of arousal is drive
- basic drives help animals maintain equilibrium (homeostasis)
- deprived of need drive state increases creates arousal
- overtime if a behavior consistently reduces drive it becomes a habit (reinforces)
Incentives - external objects (not internal drives) that motivate behaviours.
Yerkes-Dodson law: performance increases with arousal up to a certain optimal
point, then decreases. Inverted U.
Optimal levels of arousal are desirable on their own.
Pleasure is a very strong motivator... perhaps above all else. As shown with rats.
Also explains behaviours that don’t satisfy basic needs. Freud believed that
drives are satisfied according to the pleasure principle.
- hedonism: human experience of pleasantness and unpleasantness
Sweet means safe to eat, bitter means toxic.
Extrinsic: external goals towards which activity is directed (e.g., paycheck)
Intrinsic: no apparent biological goal, for their own sake - value or pleasure. e.g., children’s curious behaviour is intrinsically motivated (perhaps is adaptive,
learning about environment).
- many intrinsically motivated behaviors allow to express creativity
- many creative pursuits not themselves adaptive solutions, but are modern uses
of mechanisms that evolved for such purposes (e.g. prefer art that captures our
Why do extrinsic rewards sometimes reduce intrinsic values?
- children playing with markers, one group told to expect reward, other group not.
The group given the extrinsic reward spent less time playing with pens.
- Feelings of personal control and competence make people feel good about
themselves and inspire them to do creative work.. doing something to gain
external rewards does not satisfy our need for autonomy.
- OR b/c of self-perception theory (because of the extrinsic reward people do not
attribute the activity to doing it because of their own satisfaction)
Need to belong theory - that need to belong is adaptive - those that lived in
groups survived better. Lack of social contact causes despair and emptiness.
Social exclusion theory - anxiety warns individuals if they may be rejected from
- but doing away with grades not good. If extrinsic reward provides info
about how much personal control we have, will not undermine intrinsic
- Extrinsic rewards undermine only behavior that is intrinsically rewarding
Why are human beings social?
Need to belong theory: the need for interpersonal attachments is a fundamental
motive that has evolved for adaptive purposes
- lack of social contact causes emptiness and despair
social exclusion theory: anxiety warns individuals may be facing rejection from
“physiological effects of electric shock”
- those in low anxiety told that shocks would be painless
- high anxiety told will be painful
10 minute waiting time spent alone or with others? Anxious people chose to spend time with others.
Misery loves miserable company - high anxiety is linked with people wanting to
be around other people with high anxiety. People do this in order to evaluate
whether they are acting appropriately (social comparison theory).
Social dilemma - motivational conflict both to cooperate and to be selfish.
cheat better in short term, cooperate better in long term. People are motivated to
find and reject cheaters as they threaten the stability of group.
- people have specialized cheat detectors (Watson selection task pg 356.
people better at solving social version)
Self-regulation: people initiate, adjust, or stop actions in order to attain personal
types of goals people set influence efforts at self-regulation
most productive: challenging, difficult, and specific goals (but not overwhelming)
Self-efficacy - expectancy that one’s efforts will lead to success.
- this helps motivate you
Achievement motive - desire to do well relative to the standards of excellence.
- need for achievement inversely related to effectiveness among political leaders
TOTE (test operate test exit) model – comparison made between current state
and goal state, self-regulation in which people evaluate progress in achieving
- if test 2 is incongruent, negative feedback looks to operate, if congruent then
Deindividuation (emphasizes self-awareness)- when people have low self-
awareness and lose their personal individuality and fail to attend to personal
standards (e.g., gambling at casinos).
- if perform above standard, have positive affect and stop evaluation. You do not
move backward toward goal (as TOTE suggests..).
- opposite if perform below. Negative affect is sign that you are not
satisfying personal goals. - If perceived probability success is low, give up.
Some people avoid self-awareness with escapism - dugs and alcohol..
- occur because people do things when they have low self-awareness that they
would never do if self-aware.
Some people are better at delaying satisfaction which is predictive of success
later on in life.
- ignore tempting item
- BEST: turning hot cognitions (pleasurable aspects) into cold cognitions
(conceptual symbolic meanings)
- hot system is based in amygdale, cold system is in hippocampus
Self-regulation is an individual strength, means is limited resource that is
renewable over time and can be increased with practice.
- can also be depleted by situational demands
There is a limited self-regulatory strength. Don’t try to achieve too many things at
same time (why New Years resolutions fail!)
If dopamine system revs up engine, frontal lobes act as brakes.
Motivation is linked to prefrontal cortex - people with damage lack self-control,
difficulty making plans, focusing.
- unable to ignore other stimuli in environment
- frontal lobes role in working memory
Frontal lobes critical for living with other people.
-people have the capacity to override biology to some extent
What determines how we eat?
- we eat not because we have deficient energy stores but because it is time to
-an increase in insulin produces glucose utilization and increases short-term
- flavor is important.
- Eat much more when a variety of foods is available then when only one or
- This is because quickly become tired of one flavor
- Sensory-specific satiety: become full relatively quickly with one type of
food to eat, but will eat more when presented with a different food
WHAT we eat is deter