Psyc 2230- Reading- Ch.1,2,3
-the concept of motivation is a constant flow of behaviour that can be directed in many different ways.
-Anxiety, learned factors also play an important role in the development of many motives. Moreover the
way in which we interpret events around us will also influence our motives.
Concept of motivation
-Motivation is the concept we use when we describe the forces acting on or within an organism to
initiate and direct behaviour.
-We also use the concept to explain differences in the intensity of behaviour.
-More intense behaviour result in higher levels of motivation
also this concept is used to indicate the persistence of behaviour. A motivated individual will often be
persistent even though the intensity of the behaviour may be low.
-manipulate Stimulus (S) and then measure Behaviour ® which is the response.
-IV intervening variable is a concept developed by a researcher that serves to link stimulus and a
response and helps to relate the two.
-Motivation is hard to observe and study bc it is temporary, Motivation is a PV (performance Variable)
-When enough motivation is present and behaviour is performed, when motivation is too low behaviour
-one commonly held characterstic of motivation is its activating properties.
Activation: -the activating property of activation is seen in the production of behaviour.
-The moral is clear that motivation is considered to be behaviourally activating, the behaviour activated
though in all cases must not be overt (ex. The rabbit freezing when it sees someone).
2 characterstic often mentioned in regard to the activating properties of motivation is persistence.
Hungry animals persist in their attempts to get food.
-In multiple response situations continued persistence probably does accurately reflect motivational
strength, but beck states, motivational research has not typically examined persistence in situations
where more than one response is possible.
-research suggest that energetic behaviour is more motivated than hesistant behaviour. Vigor of responding is another characteristic typically associated with the presence of motivation.
Direction – directionality of behaviour is more important to analyze than activation. Directionality is
often considered an index of motivational state.
-go to the refrigerator when hungry. A preference test helps determine which option is more
motivitating when there or a few options.
Preference testing is the best way to determine which of several alternatives is most motivating because
indexes such as persistence or vigor may not indicate differences.
Study of Motivation: Categories of Analysis
-nomothetic vs Idiographic – Nomothetic approach involves the development of general or universal
laws. Typically this research studies human or animals in an attempt to determine how they are similar.
-in opposition is idiographic approach, which proposes that we can understand behaviour by looking at
how people differ from each other, that is by examining those properties that make each person unique.
Innate vs Acquired: -McDougall and James saw motivation as primarily controlled by innate motives
they termed instincts.
Internal vs External
-One approach states that motives can be conteptualized as needs. Needs are usually viewed as internal
sources of motivation that activate and direct behaviour to items in the environment that alleviate some
state of deprivation.
-external sources of motivation are provided by goals.
Mechanic vs Cognitive:
-some theorists say that motives such as hunger, thirst, and sex are triggered automatically by changes
in factors such as blood sugar level, fluid balance and hormonal concentrations.
-externally motivated states researcher are interested in motivation that arises from cognitive nature.
The cognitive approach assumes that the manner in which information is interpreted influences motive
states. Ex. Attributing failure to a task due to its difficulty is likely to have an influence on future
motivation than attributing failure due to lack of ability.
Levels of Analysis:
-Typically this level of analysis is concerned with the brain’s control of motivated states. Studies neurons
and nervous system ect. -Direct manipulation of the brain by electrical stimulation has shown us that brain circuits exist that may
be active when reward occurs. Circuits that appear to have a punishing effect on behaviour have also
-other ways to study the brain is by chemically stimulating the brain after inserting a canula and injecting
solution and seeing how motivation changes as a result.
-Sometimes a Lesion is created and surgically remove a part of the brain to see how motivation is
-Brain activity can also be observed via EEG (electroencephalograph) , also PET scans )Positron-emission
tomography and MRI or FMRI .
-this involves research aimed at understanding motivational changes that occur to a person as a result of
internal or external conditions.
-study on the children and aggression, concludes that is our parents or peers behave aggressively, we
will learn to behave this way also. If on the other hand the models we observe show us that they are
motivated to work hard, pursue excellence, and be successful, we are likely to be motivated in a similar
-psychologists in this field of study believe that our behaviours are considerably influenced by both
situational factors (such as whether we are in the classroom or at a party) and by the presence of others.
-Groups can influence our motives and in conjunction with situational variables, alter the ways in which
-some theorists view motivation as a negative thing, in which case they see the presence of motivation
as an aversive state* that behaviour seeks to overcome.
-According the Freud motivation creates a period of tension in which case the subject then tries to
-Humanist psychologists unlike Freud Rogers and Maslow have proposed that our behaviour is directed
toward self-actualization. From this point of view it is a positive