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Chapter 11

CHAPTER 11 NOTES - Motivation

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York University
PSYC 2230
Frank Marchese

CHAPTER 11: COGNITIVE MOTIVATION: COMPETENCE AND CONTROL •Humanistic Psychology: researchers study the persistent motive within individuals to become competent in dealing with the environment •Successful completion of a task, however, seems to cause the task to lose some of its value, and new, more difficult challenges are undertaken Persistent motive state described by: •Rogers - an attempt to grow and reach fulfillment, that is, to become a fully functioning individual • Maslow - a movement toward self-actualization, an attempt to become all that one can possibly become •White - a motive for competence exists in each of us •DeCharms - the idea that people strive toward personal causation •Bandura - we are guided by core processes of human agency •Deci and Ryan - the innate psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness CARL ROGERS AND POSITIVE REGARD •Carl Rogers is best known for the development of client-centered therapy and it is based on humanistic ideas of motive •He states that life is an active, ongoing process and that the most basic characteristic of human behaviour is a striving for wholeness •Actual Tendency: the process of achieving wholeness is never complete; we change as we grow; it is innate in all living organisms •There is only one motive - the basic motive toward growth •Experiences learned early in infancy influence our psychological growth •Actualizing tendency is a need for both positive regard and positive self-regard •Unconditional positive regard: our feelings of positive regard from others, as well as our parents, come from interactions with our parents •The basic idea is that a person is accepted and loved regardless of the behaviour •Under these circumstances, the actualizing tendency works toward growth because the person's own concept (the self) is consistent with the feedback received from others; the person is nondefensive, so the self can change and grow - this person is a "fully functioning individual" •Conditional positive regard: leads to maladaptive behaviours because it creates anxiety •We feel loved only to the extent that our behaviour is correct •Anxiety triggers defenses, so that the individual begins denying or distorting cognitions because they are inconsistent with the self-concept •When the positive regard is made conditional, much energy of the self-actualizing tendency is channeled into the defenses used to protect the self MOTIVATION CHAPTER 11 page 1 • Because the self is threatened, it is not free to grow and change in an atmosphere of acceptance, and so becomes static • Lack of self-growth is maladjusted and limits the individual's attempt to become fully functioning • To be fully functioning individuals we must have unconditional positive regard so that we can "let down" our defenses and allow the self to change and grow THE FULLY FUNCTIONING INDIVIDUAL FIVE basic characteristics define Roger's concept of full functioning: 1. Openness to experience: individuals do not have to defend themselves against certain experiences; and thus their perceptions of events are less distorted o More emotional than others; experiencing wider ranges of emotions and more intensely o More aware of their own characteristics and more flexible about changing them 2. Existential living: individual lives each moment to the fullest and does not concentrate on either the past or the future o Have general interest in life, and all aspects of life are experienced as new and rich 3. Trust in one's own organism: individuals are more intuitive because they are open and in touch with their innermost feelings o The trust in one's "gut reactions" may lead to spontaneous and sometimes impulsive behaviour, but in the expense of others o Intellectual decisions may be downgraded in importance, but they are not fully ignored 4. Sense of freedom: individuals experience a sense of personal freedom in choosing what happens to them o They see themselves as having the personal power to determine what their future will be o They regard themselves as in control of their lives rather than at the mercy of chance events 5. Creativity: individuals are highly creative o They have an increased ability to adapt to change and to survive even drastic changes • Fully functioning persons have the power to control their lives because they are free from the denial and distortions that produce rigid behaviours CRITICISMS OF ROGER'S APPROACH • Roger's view of motivation is much more optimistic than most Roger's theory has been criticized on a number of counts: 1. Many of the terms Rogers used are not operationally defined o Lack of operational definition for terms is a common problem in psychology MOTIVATION CHAPTER 11 page 2 2. The environment is regarded as an important source of motivational change; yet it is unclear which environmental conditions will enhance growth and which will hinder it 3. It implies a "me first" psychology 4. Does not emphasize to any great extent the goals toward which an individual may be striving 5. The theory is weak empirically ABRAHAM MASLOW AND SELF-ACTUALIZATION • Abraham Maslow also developed a homeostatic motivational theory that emphasizes the striving to reach one's full potential as basic to human motivation but also includes additional motives besides self-actualization • He argued that any comprehensive theory of human motivation must take into account the individual as a whole • The wholeness of behaviour can also serve several motive states at once • Maslow argued that we must seek to understand the ultimate goals of behaviour rather than the superficial or apparent goals, because the apparent goal for any observed behaviour may be quite different from the ultimate goal o Similar to Freudian theory - motivations for behaviour may occur at an unconscious level o Maslow saw the unconscious in much more positive terms • Maslow, like Rogers, also regarded the striving for perfection or self-actualization as the ultimate purpose of behaviour • Hierarchy of needs: needs lower in the hierarchy are prepotent (stronger) and must be satisfied before needs higher on the hierarchy will be triggered • Maslow did not regard hierarchy as totally rigid • If a lower need is being satisfied most of the time (ex. 85%) that need will have little influence on the behaviour, while other higher needs that are less satisfied will have a larger influence on behaviour HIERARCHY OF NEEDS 1. PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS o If needs such as hunger or thirst are not adequately being met, the needs above them on the hierarchy are pushed into the background in terms of controlling the behaviour o The individual is in an emergency situation and the whole being is dominated by these basic needs 2. SAFETY NEEDS o Safety needs are triggered primarily in emergency situations o Higher needs become unimportant when life is endangered, and then behaviour reflects attempts to remain secure o Safety needs can also be seen in people's preference for familiar surroundings, secure jobs, savings accounts, and insurance MOTIVATION CHAPTER 11 page 3 o Safety needs are most evident in young children o Safety needs of most adults in western society are adequately met 3. BELONGINGNESS NEEDS o When safety needs have been adequately met, they become unimportant in the direction of behaviour, and the love or belongingness needs emerge o These needs involve a hunger for affectionate relationships with others, a need to feel part of a group, or a feeling that we "belong" o The love needs are not equivalent to sexual needs, though sexual intimacy can serve to satisfy our need to belong o Thwarting of the love needs leads to behavioural maladjustment and pathology and is the most common basis for behavioural problems in our society 4. ESTEEM NEEDS o These are needs for a positive, high evaluation of the self o This evaluation can be broken down into two subcategories: • Need for self-esteem  This need motivates the individual to strive for achievement, strength, confidence, independence, and freedom  Has its core the desire to feel worthwhile and appears highly similar to Roger's concept of positive regard • Need for esteem from others  This need involves a desire for reputation, status, recognition, appreciation by others of our abilities, and a feeling of importance 5. SELF-ACTUALIZATION o When we have satisfied the first four levels of need, the final level of development of self-actualization can be reached o The person's behaviour is motivated by different conditions than at our lower levels o The behaviour of a self-actualized person is, as a result, motivated by a new set of needs, termed being needs (B-motivation or metamotivation) • B-motives are values such as truth, honesty, beauty, and goodness, and they provide meaning to the life of self-actualized individual o Self-actualized persons are no longer motivated by deficiencies but are motivated to grow and become all they are capable of becoming o The process of growth leading to self-actualization takes considerable time and that most self-actualizing persons are 60 or more years old o Fewer than 1% of the population could be considered self-actualized o A self-actualized person is a person apart, he/she has mastered the deficiency needs and is motivated by what Maslow called growth motivation o There are two types of self-actualizing people: • Transcenders/Peakers: a peak experience is a short but intense feeling of awe or ecstasy often accompanied by a sense of fulfillment, insight, and oneness with something larger than one's self  More self-actualized than nonpeakers  They see more sacredness of all things and are more likely to be profoundly religious  They may be less happy than nonpeakers  This may be because of their ability to see the stupidity of people more clearly and to experience a kind of cosmic sadness for the failings of others • Nontranscenders/Nonpeakers MOTIVATION CHAPTER 11 page 4 Deprivation Motivation •The first FOUR steps on Maslow's hierarchy constitute the needs that must be satisfied before reaching the final level, the self-actualization •Behaviours generated in attempts to fill these needs are therefore said to be activated by deprivation motivation (D-motivation) •Maslow believed that for some individuals chronically deprived at the physiological level, the higher needs might never emerge •People who have always had their basic needs satisfied will be less influenced by these needs later if the needs are suddenly no longer being met •This can explain the behaviour of martyrs who suffer deprivation because of lofty ideals •Each level of the hierarchy does not have to be perfectly satisfied •Most people are unaware of the need hierarchy, their needs are mostly unconscious Failure to Self-Actualize 1. The tendency toward growth is weaker than the deficiency motives and can easily be stunted by poor environment or poor education 2. The western culture, with its emphasis on the negative nature of human motivation, has worked against out trusting of our inner nature o Our culture has emphasized that inner nature is bad (ex. Freudian Theory) and has been concerned with mechanisms of control o This has led many people to reject their inner experiences altogether 3. Growth requires the taking of chances, a stepping away from the secure and comfortable o It's not easy to take that step, which we must do again and again to grow, and many people choose security over growth 4. People are afraid of their own abilities o To become all that one is capable of becoming is frightening to many, and so people reject opportunities for growth o This phenomenon is known as the Jonah Complex (a story of Jonah, who tried to run away from the purpose that God had planned for him) Criticisms of Self-Actualization Cofer & Appley's Criticisms : 1. The major problem is one of replicability o We are asked to take Maslow's word that the people he studied had the characteristics he described 2. The theory may not describe people in general o The theory has sometimes been criticized as elitist; the elite seem to have a distinct advantage in obtaining self-actualization 3. A motivation toward growth may not be as general as Maslow proposed o The need to become all that one can become is idiosyncratic to some persons rather than present in all of us 4. The vagueness in language and concepts and its general lack of evidence MOTIVATION CHAPTER 11 page 5 Research on Self-Actualization • Everett Shostrom developed an inventory designed to discriminate between self- actualized individuals and non-self-actualized individuals • 150 two choice value and behaviour judgements; items were scored on two major scales plus 10 subscales • His results indicate that self-actualized individuals appear to be less restricted by social pressures or conformity; they live in the present but can meaningfully tie past or future events to the present • One aspect of this time competence is that the self-actualized individual's aspirations are tied to the goals toward which he/she is striving in the present • Privette compared the construct of peak experience with the constructs of peak performance and flow • Peak performance has been defined as an episode of superior functioning, while flow has been defined as an intrinsically enjoyable experience • Peak experiences are largely passive - one does not create a peak experience but rather senses them when they occur • Flow, like peak experiences, is active, it is intrinsically enjoyable and leads to a fusion with the experience and subsequent loss of self • One common quality to all three concepts (peak experience, peak performance, flow) is absorption - and individual intensely focuses attention to the exclusion of other perceptual events • In all three situation the individual spontaneously and effortlessly experiences events as they occur without trying to influence them in any way • Study by Davis, Lockwood, and Wright examined why people are reluctant to report peak experiences • They found that 79% of the 2446 people they studied reported having had a peak experience, however, there was a reluctance to tell other people about those experiences • 50% had told no more than 2 people • 20% had told no one • Experiences were not easy to describe to someone else in words • Sheldon, Elliot, Kim and Kasser asked participants to recall the "single most personally satisfying event" that they experienced • After doing so, participants rated their level of agreement with a series of statements designed to measure self-actualization, self-esteem, and several other constructs • Self-actualization was not among the concepts that were most strongly related to the salience of the most satisfying events • These results were consistent across different time periods • Self-esteem was found associated with "most satisfying" A REVISED H
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