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Chapter 1

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David J White

Motivation and EmotionChapter 1Concept of motivation is best understood not as an onagain offagain mechanism but rather as a constant flow of behaviour that can be directed in many ways Many motives appear to result from a combo of biology learning and cognition Motivation forces acting on or within an organism to initiate and direct behaviour o Use concept of motivation to explain differences in the intensity and persistence of behaviour More intense behaviourhigher levels of motivation Highly motivated behaviour will be persistent even though the intensity may be low We almost never measure motivation directlyo Instead we manipulate stimulus S condition and then measure some behaviour in response R Intervening variable a concept developed by a researcher that serves to link a stimulus and a response and helps to relate the twoo One reason why motivation is difficult to studyo We can only infer the existence of motivation by observing changes in the relationships between stimulus conditions and responses Psychologists describe the temporary nature of motivation by pointing out that motivation is a performance variableo When enough motivation is present behaviour is performed when its too low behaviour is absentActivation most easily seen in the production of behaviouro If the observed animal is behaving in some way we know that there is at least a minimal amount of motivation presento If no behaviour is observed the motivational level may be insufficient to trigger behaviour Doesnt mean that there is no motivation is presento Changes in motivation leads to changes in overt behaviour Second characteristic in regards to the activating properties of motivation is persistenceo Persist in behaving in particular ways even when chances of success are smallo Index of motivationo How persistent a behaviour is depends in part on what alternative behaviours are availableo In multipleresponse situations nature continued persistence probably accurately reflects motivational strengthMotivational research hasnt examined persistence in situation where more than 1 response is possibleOther factors also contribute to the persistence of behaviour Energetic behaviour is more motivated than hesitant behaviour Vigor of responding is another characteristic associated with motivationo Doesnt always mean high motivation Overt response persistence and vigor are characteristics of the activation properties of motivation o Activation is a major component of motivationShouldnt be a major concern of motivational analysis because organisms are continually active Directionality of behaviour is what is important Directionality considered an index of motivational stateo Direction that a particular behaviour takes is usually obvious o Direction with several choices isnt clear sometimes Preference test organism is given the opportunity to test the experimental objects eg water from 2 glasses and we measure the amount that they consumedto see which one they prefero Sometimes the best way to determine which of several alternatives is most motivating because indexes like persistence or vigor might not indicate differenceso Beckmost basic motivational index 4 different points of viewo Nomothetic vs IdiographicNomothetic approach involves development of generaluniversal laws Typically studies groups of peopleanimals Determines how they are similar Eg identifying brain structures hypothalamus that are involved in motivation is nomothetic because research has shown that the hypothalamus is involved in motivation in more than 1 organism Attempts to discover general laws applicable to the widest range of situations Study of motivationnomothetic predominates Idiographic approach we can understand behaviour by looking at how people differ from each other Examining those properties that make each person uniqueMost clearly seen in the humanist and actualization theorists o Innate vs AcquiredEarly theorists McDougall James saw motivation as primarily controlled by innate motives called instincts Modern research on the innate components of motivation is being pursued by behaviourists ethologists and evolutionary psychologists th During mid 20 century psych was dominated by research on the factors involved in learning Most important motivational notion is to develop from this work was the concept of incentive motivationo Internal vs External
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