CHAPTER 11 – Motivation & Emotion
- Motivation is a process that influences the direction, vigour, and
persistence of behaviour. Evolutionary psychologists propose that in our
ancestral past, motivational tendencies that had adaptive significance
were more likely to be passed from one generation to the next, eventually
involving into genetically based predispositions to act in certain ways.
- Homeostatic models view motivation as an attempt to maintain
equilibrium in bodily systems. Drive theories propose that tissue deficits
create drives, such as hunger, that motivate or ―push‖ an organism from
within to reduce the deficit and restore homeostasis.
- Incentive theories emphasize the role of environmental factors that ―pull‖
people toward a goal. The cognitive Expectancy x Value Theory explains
why the same incentive may motivate some people but not others.
- Psychodynamic theories emphasize that unconscious motives and mental
processes guide much of our behaviour. Humanist Abraham Maslow
proposed that needs exist in a hierarchy, from basic biological needs to
the ultimate need for self-actualization.
- Self-determination theory focuses on three psychological needs:
competence, autonomy, and relatedness.
- The body monitors several chemicals involved in energy utilization.
Changing patterns of glucose usage provide one signal that helps to
initiate hunger. Upon eating, hormones such as CCK are released into the
bloodstream and signal the brain to stop eating. Fat cells release leptin,
which acts as a long-term signal that helps to regulate appetite. The
hypothalamus and other brain regions play a role in hunger regulation.
- The expected good taste of food motivates eating, and the thought of
food can trigger hunger. Our memory, attitudes, habits, and
psychological needs affect our food intake.
- The availability, taste, and variety of food powerfully regulate eating.
Through classical conditioning, neutral stimuli can acquire the capacity to
trigger hunger. Cultural norms affect our food preferences and eating
habits.- Heredity and the environment affect our susceptibility to becoming
obese. Homeostatic mechanisms make it difficult to lose substantial
- The last half-century has witnessed changing patterns of sexual activity,
such as an increase in premarital sex.
- During sexual intercourse, people often experience a 4-stage
physiological response pattern consisting of excitement, plateau, orgasm,
- Sex hormones have organizational effects that guide the prenatal
development of internal and external organs along either a male or
female pattern. Sex hormones also have activational effects that influence
- Sexual fantasy can trigger arousal, whereas stress and psychological
difficulties can interfere with sexual arousal. Cultural norms determine
the sexual practices and beliefs that are considered moral, proper, and
- Environmental stimuli affect sexual desire. Viewing sexual violence
reinforces men’s belief in ―rape myths‖ and increases men’s aggression
toward women, at least temporarily.
- Sexual orientation involves dimensions of self-identity, sexual attraction,
and actual sexual behaviour. No single biological, social, or psychological
factor—and no specific combination of causes—has been clearly
identified as the cause of sexual orientation.
- People who have high motivation for success are attracted to the thrill of
victory. They value mastery and social comparison. People who have a
high fear of failure experience anxiety in achievement settings. They are
motivated by social comparison and a fear of performing poorly.
- High-need achievers seek moderately difficult tasks that are challenging
but attainable. Low-need achievers are more likely to choose easy tasks
in which success is assured or very difficult tasks in which success is not
expected. Child-rearing and cultural factors influence our level and
expression of achievement motivation.
- Motivational goals may conflict with one another. Approach-approach
conflicts occur when a person has to select between two attractive alternatives. Avoidance-avoidance goals involve choosing between two
- Approach-avoidance conflicts occur when we are attracted to, and
repelled by, the same goal. As we approach the goal, the avoidance
tendency usually increases in strength more rapidly than the approach
- An emotion is a positive or negative feeling (or affective state) consisting
of a pattern of cognitive, physiological, and behavioural reactions to
events that have relevance to important goals or motives. Negative
emotional responses are a central feature of the stress response.
- Emotions further our well being in several ways: by rousing us to action,
by helping us communicate with others, and by eliciting empathy and
help. Negative emotions narrow attention and behaviours, whereas
positive thoughts tend to broaden our thinking and behaviour.
- The primary components of emotion are the eliciting stimuli, cognitive
appraisals, physiological arousal, and expressive and instrumental
behaviours. Individual differences in personality and motivation affect the
experience and expression of emotion, as do cultural factors.
- Although innate factors can affect the eliciting properties of certain
stimuli, learning can also play an important role in determining the
arousal properties of stimuli.
- The cognitive component of emotional experience involves the evaluative
and personal appraisal of the eliciting stimuli. The ability of thoughts to
elicit emotional arousal has been demonstrated clinically and in
experimental research. Cross-cultural research indicates considerable
agreement across cultures in the appraisals that evoke basic emotions
but also some degree of variation in more complex appraisals.
- Our physiological responses in emotion are produced by the
hypothalamus, the limbic system, and the cortex, and by the autonomic
and endocrine systems. There appear to be two systems for emotional
behaviour, one involving conscious processing by the cortex, the other
unconscious processing by the amygdala.
- Recent studies suggest that negative emotions reflect greater relative
activation of the right hemisphere, whereas positive emotions are related
to relatively greater activation in the left hemisphere. - The validity of the polygraph as a ―lie detector‖ has been questioned
largely because o