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Chapter 1-4

PS264 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1-4: Addiction, Substance P, Opponent Process

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Camie Condon

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Motivation and Emotion – Midterm 1 (Chapter 1-4)
The ability to delay short-term gratification is an important element of achievement and
E.g., Children who can delay immediate gratification are better academically and can
deal with stress when they reach adolescence
To delay gratification is related to personality impulsivity. People who are high in
impulsivity engage in activities that have an immediate short-term appeal. Difficulty in
delaying short-term gratification. Some people are attracted to novelty – anything new or
different captures their attention. Both elements are inherited. Therefore, the ability to delay
gratification involves more than just self-control.
Our environment we were raised in also shapes our ability to delay gratification.
However, people can learn to self-regulate, which involves altering patterns of thinking. It
starts with self-monitoring – helps us to correct faulty thinking.
Hot and Cool Theory of Delay of Gratification
2 underlying systems control behaviour.
The hot emotional system is designed for quick emotional responding to triggers. Tells us to
go when we think of doing something we like, such as hanging out with friends. System is
based on feelings and is largely under stimulus control. Thus, this system is readily activated
should we encounter a stimulus promises us a reward.
The cool system is designed for complex representation and thought. It is devoid of emotion.
This system develops later in life and needs to be strengthened and practiced.
Key aspect is to develop our cool system. Using the cool system more may cause it to
become the main system and dominate behaviour. However, we often fail to exert willpower
because we yield to temptation. How to deal with these tempatations?
When the stimulus is hidden from view it is easier to delay gratification, but when it is
present it is harder. Distance ourselves from temptation, mentally and physically.
The hot takes charge if there is faulty thinking (failure to develop contingency plans).
Identify all triggers and have a plan to deal with those situations. We need to learn how to
create plans that will help us overcome temptations this is called willpower.
Stress tends to shift control to the hot system. When we are stressed we tend to give into
temptations. Don’t try to implement a behaviour such as quitting smoking unless stress is
What Causes Behaviour?

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For every behaviour there is a cause. Motivational theorists want to know what instigates
behaviour. What causes action?
Multiple causes of action biological, cognitive, learning, etc.
Approach and Avoidant Causes
Approach behaviour people do things because of something they want, desire, or need.
Specific goal object. Ex. I eat a sandwich because I am hungry. Want and desire does not
always immediately give rise to a specific goal object- ex. Independence is a variety of
Avoidant behaviour people do things to avoid something. Can also be a specific goal
object. Ex. Fear of snakes. Anxiety in contrast may not immediately elicit a specific goal
object. May not be able to specify the source of anxiety. Tend to be difficult to ignore. Afraid
of snakes distance themselves from goal objects. Involve threats to our survival.
Biological perspective goals are to 1. Survive and 2. reproduce
Some people are born as more anxious meanwhile Sensation seekers spend more time in
approach behaviours. There is a biological component to whether a person is more motivated
to approach (seek rewards) while others are more motivated to avoid (avoid punishment).
It has been suggested that people have different temperaments that fall along a continuum
ranging from an approach temperament to having an avoidant temperament. Temperament
we approach life with a particular orientation that can affect everything we do and say.
Basic Themes of Contemporary Motivation Theories
Behaviour Represents an Attempt to Adapt
Behaviour represents an attempt to adapt to the environment
Evolutionary psychology roots in Darwinian theory. Why certain behaviours evolved in
the first place.
The Importance of Determining What Arouses and Energizes Behaviour
Humans interact with the environment in 2 ways: 1) master the environment 2) survival.
Conflict do we put survival needs first or put mastery needs first? Survival needs will take
precedence, especially when I am threatened.
Sensory input into the brain travels along 2 routes: 1)takes message to the part of the brain
that deals with threats. 2) takes message to part of brain that deals with rational analysis.
Route 1 gets message first. Sometimes the survival route is wrong and the rational will
analyze the situation to shut down the emotional system.

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Understanding What Governs the Direction of Behaviour
Need theory suggests that needs are what give direction to behaviour. When need is aroused
we are more or less automatically pushed in the right direction. But past learning and how we
think about things also play a role.
Goal theory suggets that goals give rise to actions. Goals create tension and we move
toward goals to reduce that tension. Both direction and energy for behaviour are the result of
the goals. Contains biology, our learning, and our thinking actions.
Understanding Persistence
Persistance more than anything else distinguishes motivation from other branches of
Persistance is one of the main predictors of success.
Traditional reward theory we are inclined to repeat behaviours that make us feel good
(positive reinforcement) and discontinue behaviours that make us feel bad (negative
reinforcement). Events that make us feel bad will be avoided.
“No pain, no gain” frustration cues that arise when we reach a goal actually become
conditioned to the approach response. Negative feelings come to act as a signal that reward is
Cognitive explanation persistence grows out of intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic theory –
reward comes from mastering or developing competence that sustains the goal-directed
behaviour. Progressing toward the goal provides motivation for the behaviour.
Optomistic and hope learned to dismiss or manage adversity and failure. Ego involvement
and extrinsic reward as well contribute to why people persist even when they show no
Understanding the Role of Emotions
Affect theories people approach things to experience positive affect and avoid things to
guard against experiencing a negative affect.
Approach and avoidant behaviour feelings are important for determining behaviour.
Feelings are real and not imagined as they are chemical reactions in body/brain
Feelings linked to survival?
Negative feelings undermine goal-directed behaviour. Positive feelings sustain goal-
directed behaviour
Accounting for Individual Differences
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