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Chapter 1

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PSYC 2230
Pauline Charlton

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION o Why study motivation? learning about motivation is an interesting thing to do (b/c it tells us who we are, why we want what we want, and how we can improve our lives) few topics are more useful to our lives (b/c it helps foreshadow life outcomes like quality of our performances and our well being) MOTIVATIONAL SCIENCE o the study of motivation and emotion is a behavioural science which means answers to motivational questions require objective, data-based. empirical evidence gained from well-conducted and peer-reviewed research findings instead of relying on personal insights, research on motivation and emotion seeks to construct theories about how motivational processes work from these theories hypothesis are generated and put forth to objective empirical tests inadequate concepts are best tossed aside, useful concepts need to be made better, and new concepts need to be discovered theories help motivation researchers understand complex phenomena they study, such as exercise motivation and behaviour, and theories allow for generation of testable hypotheses TWO PERENNICAL QUESTIONS o study of motivation revolves on answering these fundamental questions: 1) What causes behaviour? 2) Why does behaviour vary in intensity? What Causes Behaviour? o We see people behave, but we cannot see the underlying cause that generated their behaviour o the question what causes behaviour? needs to be expanded to 5 specific questions 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? Why does behaviour stop? o what causes behaviour? can, therefore, be elaborated into the study of how motivation affects behaviours initiation, persistence, change, goal directedness, and eventual termination o in addition to behaviour, motivation also influences our thoughts, feelings, dreams and aspirations perhaps the question should be what causes activity not only behaviour, but also our thoughts, feelings and dreams? Why Does Behaviour Vary in its Intensity? o Within the individual motivation varies when motivation varies, so does behaviour, as people show high or low effort and their persistence is strong or fragile a motivational analysis of behaviour is to understand why a persons behaviour varies in its intensity from one moment to the next, from one day to the next, and from one year to the next o Between different people, motivation varies we all share many basic motivations and emotions (ie. hunger, anger), but people do clearly differ in what motivates them so another motivational problem to solve is to recognize that individuals differ in what motivates them and to explain why one person shows intense behavioural engagement in a given situation while another does not SUBJECT MATTER o the point of a motivation theory is to explain what gives behaviour its energy and its direction o the study of motivation concerns those processes that give behaviour its energy and direction energy implies that behaviour has strength (intense and persistent) direction implies behaviour has purpose (aimed at achieving a goal) o the point of the theory is to explain what those motivational processes are and also how they work to energize and direct a persons behaviour o the processes that energize and direct behaviour emanate from forces in the individual and in the environment Motives are internal processes (needs, cognitions and emotions) that energize the individuals approach and avoidance tendencies External events are environmental, social and cultural offerings that attract or repel the individual to engage or not in a particular course of action Internal Motives o a motive is an internal process that energizes and directs behaviour needs, cognitions, and emotions are just three specific types of motives o needs are conditions within the individual that are essential and necessary for the maintenance of life and for the nurturance of growth and well
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