Motivation and emotion/Tutorials/Functionalist theory and self-tracking

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Tutorial 05: Functionalist theory and self-tracking

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This is the fifth tutorial for the motivation and emotion unit of study.

Overview[edit | edit source]

This tutorial:

  1. explores applied motivation topics which extend on content covered in Chapters 07 and 08 of Reeve (2018):
    1. functionalist theory of motivation using university student motivations as an example
    2. self-tracking
  2. discusses how to use Google Scholar to identify the top references on a topic

Functionalist theory[edit | edit source]

  1. Models of motivation considered so far don't really reflect two issues:
    1. People may perform the same behaviour but with different motivations.
    2. There is often more than one motivation (reason) why someone performs a behaviour.
  2. The functionalist perspective on motivation (Clary & Snyder, 1999) suggests that behaviour serves a variety of different functions (or goals) for different people and that the degree of match between a person's motivations and outcomes determines the person's level of satisfaction and continuance of the behaviour.
  3. For example, consider:
    1. "Why are you at university?" - or, more generally,
    2. “Why do students go to uni?”
  4. Develop a class mind-map of the main underlying motivation for attending university. Try to think and respond really honestly - why are students really at university? Answers are likely to cover a wide range of human motives, but as the mind-map develops, look for underlying themes and group similar motivations together. Past experience with this exercise and previous research with UC students has suggested that the motivations are likely to fall within these six categories:
    1. Career/Qualifications - for the degree, so I can get a better job etc.
    2. Self-Exploration/Learning - for the learning, curiousity, knowledge-seeking etc.
    3. Social Opportunities - to meet people, make and explore friendships, enjoy social environment
    4. Altruism - to become better able to help people, help society, help the planet etc.
    5. Social Pressure - expectations of family, friends, society etc.
    6. Rejection of Alternatives - better option than doing nothing, working etc. (Note: Factor analytic research by Neill (2008) has not found psychometric support for this factor, but it has for the other five factors).
  5. Complete the University Student Motivation survey (or hard copy)
  6. Plot your motivation responses against the average results for University of Canberra students (as collected by the third year Survey research and design in psychology in 2008) - see handout (this also includes an overall satisfaction item).
  7. Note and discuss:
    1. Where do you differ notably in your motivational profile from the university average? Who has a notable discrepancy that they would like to share?
  8. According to a functionalist perspective (Clary & Snyder, 1999) on motivation (e.g., see volunteer motivation), a good match between motivations and outcomes leads to satisfaction and retention (or intention to continue), whereas motivations which are not matched by corresponding outcomes leads to low satisfaction and risk of drop-out:
    1. If a motivation factor was rated higher than its corresponding outcome, this is likely to contribute to dissatisfaction and risk of drop-out.
    2. If any outcome is rated higher than corresponding motivations, the experience of university is "over-delivering" in this area (i.e., you are getting more than expected) which may or may not contribute to satisfaction (depending on how valuable that outcome is to you).
  9. The take-home messages from the functional perspective on motivation is that:
    1. Motivations are multiple, complex, and motivational profiles differ between people
    2. The match between our motivations and outcomes predicts satisfaction which predicts our likelihood to continue.

Self-tracking[edit | edit source]

A mechanical pedometer.
A mood ring.
A personal biofeedback device.
A fitbit.
  1. This topic relates to goal setting, feedback, and self-regulation.
  2. What is self-tracking? (Define and provide examples) (see Quantified Self)
  3. Watch and discuss:
    1. The quantified self (Gary Wolf, TED@Cannes, 2010, 4:52 mins)
    2. The quantified self: Data gone wild? (PBS NewsHour, 2013, 5:45 mins)
  4. 21st century mobile applications are on the cusp of deploying a bewildering array of self-monitoring life data recording streams and analysis tools.
  5. What are the potential benefits? (e.g., for trackable goals we can obtain a steady, relevant, valid data stream as feedback and thereby have access to powerful tool for facilitating change and growth)
  6. What are the potential problems? (e.g., does ST externalise the motivation?)
  7. What forms of self-tracking are you (or is someone you know) currently using?
  8. What have you discovered about yourself using self-tracking?
  9. What forms of self-tracking are you curious to try?

Project work[edit | edit source]

Class discussion and demonstration of journal article and citation database searching using Google Scholar

  1. Google Scholar e.g., self-tracking motivation (search)
  2. Add institutional library
    1. Go to Google Scholar
    2. Login using Google Account
    3. Settings: Three bars (top-left) - Cog symbol
    4. Library links
    5. Search for institution name ("UC Library" is the main one, but also "University of Canberra" for Proquest)
    6. Select target libraries
    7. Save
    8. From now on, when logged in to Google Scholar, search results will also show links to full-text resources held in the institutional library
    9. More info
  3. Citation rates
  4. Filtering by year
  5. Author search
  6. Related articles
  7. Citation searching (with Google Scholar or Scopus)
  8. Storing citations
  9. Setting up alerts
  10. More Google Scholar info:
    1. About
    2. Search tips

Other possibly useful search strategies:

  1. Identify key journals
    1. Topic-specific - e.g., Motivation and Emotion
    2. Major review journals and review articles - e.g., Annual Review of Psychology and 'review in title'
  2. Work from textbook content and citations - get these articles and follow their citations

References[edit | edit source]

Clary, E. G., & Snyder, M. (1991). A functional analysis of altruism and prosocial behavior: The case of volunteerism. In M. Clark (Ed.), Review of personality and social psychology: Vol 12. Pro-social behavior (pp. 119-148). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Clary, E. G., Snyder, M., Ridge, R. D., Copeland, J., Stukas, A. A., Haugen, J., Miene, P. (1998). Understanding and assessing the motivations of volunteers: A functional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 516-530.

Clary, E. G., & Snyder, M. (1999). The motivations to volunteer: Theoretical and practical considerations. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 8, 156-159.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54-67.

Recording[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Lectures and tutorials

External links[edit | edit source]