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Chapter 1

Motivation and Emotion - Chapter 1

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Camie Condon

Motivation and Emotion Chapter 1  What causes behaviour? o For every behaviour, there is a cause o Theorists want to know what instigates behaviour o Learning is central to understanding action but is not the only cause  Biology and cognition are also key players  Approach and avoidant causes o Approach behaviour  People do things because of something they want, desire or need o Avoidant behaviour  People do things to avoid something  Compelling because they involve threats to our survival  Biological perspective  To survive and reproduce  If anything poses a threat to our survival, we need to deal with it immediately o Biological basis for approach and avoidant behaviour o Temperaments  Concept of temperament is meant to capture idea that we approach life with a particular orientation that can affect everything we do and say  Basic themes of contemporary motivation theories o Behaviour represents an attempt to adapt  Central theme of contemporary motivation theory is that all behaviour represents an attempt to adapt to the environment o Importance of determining what arouses and energizes behaviour  In addressing needs  Do they put survival needs first or do they put their mastery needs first?  Sensory input into brain simultaneously travels along two routes  Takes message to part of the brain that deals with threats  Takes message to part of brain that deals with rational analysis  Part of the brain that deals with survival gets messages first and is presumably why reaction is often emotional  Psychologists have discovered that our nervous system often reacts as though our survival is being threatened in our daily lives o Understanding what governs the direction of behaviour  Need theory suggested that needs are what give direction to behaviour  When a need is aroused, more or less automatically pushed into the right direction  Past learning and cognitions play an important role  Example:  Eating o Hungry o Bored  Goal theory  Goals create tension  Individuals want to reduce that tension to meet homeostasis  Both direction and energy for behaviour are results for the goal o Understanding persistence  Persistence is one of the main predictors of success  Traditional reward theory suggests that we’re 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 (aversive or noxious stimuli) will be avoided Motivation and Emotion Chapter 1  Intrinsic theories of motivation, people come to believe that engaging in a certain behaviour will result in a certain outcome o Understanding the role of emotions  Central assumption of affect theories is that people approach things to experience positive affect and avoid things to guard against experience negative effect  Emotions are real and caused by chemical reactions and it is not imagined  Feelings are thought to represent a more primitive part of the brain o Accounting for individual differences  Motivation theorists are interested in why individuals behave the way they do  According to motivation theorists, other forces modify certain underlying biological tendencies  Learned and cognitive factors can modify the way people behave  We are social beings who form relationships, create cultures, and not just individuals who look after ourselves o Self regulation of behaviour  People who self-regulate have learned to do things such as:  Set attainable goals  Manage negative emotions  Focus attention so they do not become distracted  Central characteristic is they have tendency to engage in planning  Self-regulation is something that can be learned by everything  Lifetime endeavor  Evidence that practicing self-regulation stimulate maturation of part of brain that makes it possible for humans to self-regulate o Motivation and positive psychology  Interest has always focused on why someone of average talent unexpectedly succeeds or why someone of exceptional talent unexpectedly fails  If underlying reasons for motivation can be identified, people can be taught to alter course of their lives  Happiness can be achieved through self-regulation o Do humans have a will  Most controversial ideas in psychology is that humans have a will (volition)  Implies that people can create their own destiny  Humans can dream about possible selves  Can adopt one of these possible selves as their goal o Can be achieved by coupling goal with knowledge of how to achieve goals and then make the dreams a reality  Limited by our biology, our ability to learn and ability to think and solve problems  According to concept of self-regulation  We can learn to do things that will enable us to make certain changes in our lives  We can learn to maximize skills and abilities that we already possess or we can learn to develop new skills through careful thought and practice  Theories of Motivation: a historical survey o Different motivation theories have been advanced  Grown out of similar concern  Account for the arousal, direction and persistence of behaviour o Three things define focus of motivation o Six major lines of inquiry  Instinct theories  Need/personality theories  Drive/learning theories Motivation and Emotion Chapter 1  Growth and mastery motivation theories  Humanistic theories  Cognitive theories o Instinct theories  Instincts were conceptualized as “purposive activities implanted in the animal by nature or the creator for the guidance of the creature in the attainment of ends useful to it in its own preservation or the preservation of the species, and the avoidance of the contrary”  Aquinas believed that animals had instincts, but did not accept that humans had instincts  Argued that humans had dual nature – physical and non-physical or body and mind  Offered two distinct theories of motivation o One for animals o One for humans  Descartes believed  Behaviour of body could be explained mechanically (instincts) while behaviours that had to do with moral conducts under control of will  Humans could be held responsible for their moral actions  How do biological and cognitive sides of a person interact?  Is it true that our cognitive side has ultimate control? o Evolution theory  Aroused wrath of catholic church by suggesting that human motivation was caused by the same processes that give rise to animal behaviour  Darwin argued that physical features and behaviour were caused by biological structure  Underlying biological structures of all species constantly undergoing change as a result of natural selection  Certain biological characteristics passed on because it was important for survival  Darwin did not discover evolution, but rather than natural selection was how evolution worked o Instincts and motivation  Biologists began to look at motivation in terms of instincts  Early theories o Behaviours were regarded as predetermined or fixed by biological structures o Thought to account not only for arousal of behaviour but for direction and persistence of behaviour as well  Now known as neuroscience  Study of brain and nervous system  Evolutionary psychology marked return of the study of the biological side of behaviour from evolutionary perspective  Biologists and psychologists recognize that:  Beyond inherited factors, learning and cognition play important role in behaviour o Freud’s instinct theory  Freud viewed biological side of humans as providing energy or impulse for behaviour  Suggested that energy was drawn from general source  Libido  Freud viewed instincts as energy source with direction of behaviour subject to some of the principles of learning and cognition  When energy associated with one of the instincts built up, would become source of tension for person  To reduce tension, person would be inclined to seek out appropriate goal object  Two things can happen when goal objects are blocked  Person can learn to make alternative plans for attaining goal objects o Leads to development of ego Motivation and Emotion Chapter 1  If ego has not fully developed or prohibitions associated with the goal object are excessively rigid or strong o May redirect energy along routes that will reduce tension but do not lead to the appropriate goal object  Argued that ever redirection of the energy may work for a
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