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Chapter 1

Motivation Chapter 1.docx

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York University
PSYC 2230
Serban Dinca- Panaitescu

Motivation Chapter 1: Introduction - the study of motivation and emotion is a behavioural science - answers to motivational questions require objective, data based, empirical evidence gained from well conducted and peer-reviewed research o seek to construct theories about how motivational processes work - motivational concepts need to be continually evaluated against new findings - theory: an intellectual framework that can be used to identify and explain the relationships that exist among naturally occurring, observable phenomena o theories help researchers understand complex stuff and allow for the generation of testable hypothesis o through the collection of hypothesis confirming data, theory can gain support o once valid, theories can improve peoples lives (practical applications) - it is from research findings that motivation researchers develop a deep understanding of motivation and emotion (theoretical knowledge) + develop workable solutions to motivational problems - intrinsic motivation: motivation driven by an interest or enjoyment in the task itself - motivation revolves around providing the best possible answers to 2 questions: 1) what causes behaviour? 2) why does behaviour vary in its intensity? What Causes Behaviour? - to really explain behaviour, need to expand question into a series of 5 specific questions: o why does behaviour start? Once begun, why is behaviour sustained over time? Why is behaviour directed toward some goals yet away from others? Why does behaviour change its direction? And why does behaviour stop? o questions help gain a sophistical understanding of why people do what they do - motivation’s 1 question can be elaborated into the study of how motivation affects behaviour’s initiation, persistence, change, goal directedness, and eventual termination - first problem in a motivational analysis of behaviour is to understand how motivation participates in, influences, and helps explain a person’s ongoing stream of behaviour - motivation and emotion can also influence our thoughts, feelings, dreams and aspirations Why Does Behaviour Vary in its Intensity? - idea that motivation can vary in someone means that a person can be actively engaged at one time, yet can be passive at another time - motivation can vary between individuals, in the same situation some can be actively engaged and others are passive - within the individual, motivation varies = behaviour also varies (strong and persistent motivation one time, but weak and unenthusiastic motivation another time) - another motivational problem to solve is to recognize that people differ in what motivates them (to explain why one shows intense behavioural engagement in a given situation while someone else does not) Why people do what they do - popular theories: self-esteem, incentives, rewards, praise - theory of motivation is it increases self-esteem but this is wrong  no empirical evidence to support it (not a causal variable, but instead a reflection of how our lives are going) - there are proper theories that empirical evidence shows that changes the way people think, feel and behave - a motivation theory explains what gives behaviour its energy and direction - the study of motivation concerns those processes that give behaviour its energy and direction o energy implies that behaviour have strength (it is strong, intense, and persistent) o direction implies behaviour has purpose (aimed toward achieving a goal or outcome) - the processes that energize and direct behaviour come from forces in the person and in the environment (internal motives branch into needs, cognitions, and emotions: energize the persons approach and avoidance tendencies) - external events (environmental, social, cultural) attract or repel someone to engage or not engage in a particular course of action Internal Motives - a motive is an internal process that energizes and directs behaviour - needs, cognitions and emotions are 2 specific types of motives - needs: conditions in the person that are essential for the maintenance of life and for the nurturance of growth and well-being o hunger and thirst 2 biological needs o competence and belongingness 2 physiological needs - needs generate wants and desires that motivate whatever behaviours necessary for the maintenance of life - cognitions: mental events (thoughts, beliefs, expectations, self-concept) o cognitive sources of motivation = person’s ways of thinking - emotions: short-lived, subjective, expressive phenomena that orchestrate how we react to important events in our lives - they organize and orchestrate 4 interrelated aspects of experience: o feelings: subjective, verbal descriptions of emotional experience o physiological preparedness: how our body physically mobilizes itself to meet situational demands (fight or flight) o function: what specifically we want to accomplish at that moment o expression: how we communicate our emotional experience to others External Events - environmental, social, and cultural sources of motivation that have the capacity to energize and direct behaviour o environmental sources: specific stimuli (money), events, or climates (classroom) - environmental incentive can cause energized approach behaviour (money) or energized avoidance behaviour (odor) Expressions of Motivation - all people are motivated but how can you tell the quality (type) or quantity of another person’s motivation? (motivation is private, unobservable experience so need to infer based on behaviour/actions) - 2 ways to infer motivation: observe behaviour and pay attention to antecedents (which can predict people’s motivational states) - so motivation must be inferred from its expressions via behaviour, engagement, physiology, and self-report Behaviour - 8 aspects of behaviour express the presence, intensity, and quality of motivation: o attention, effort, latency, persistence, choice, probability of response, facial expressions, and bodily gestures Engagement - the behavioural intensity, emotional quality, and personal investment in another person’s involvement during an activity - to monitor engagement, need to keep track of behaviour, emotion, cognition and voice - behavioural engagement represents the extent to which the person displays on-task attention, effort, and enduring persistence - emotional engagement expresses the extent to which the person’s activity is characterized by positive emotion (interest) rather than negative emotion (sadness, anger) - cognitive engagement expresses the extent to which person actively monitors how well things are going and uses sophisticated learning/problem solving strategies - voice expresses the extent to which person expresses needs, preferences, and desires and seeks to change one’s environmental circum
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