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Crystal Clear app kfm home.png This user is a participant in the Motivation and emotion unit, 2010.
See also: Textbook
Writer1.gif This page is an e-portfolio. Also see other participants' pages.


Motivation and Emotion Text Book Chapter[edit]

I have also authored a text book chapter on Self-actualisation

For a visual overview of this chapter see this video available on Screenr. Enjoy!


Hello and welcome to my e-portfolio, an ongoing record of my learning experiences throughout the unit Motivation and Emotion. I'm Dan, I study a double degree in Management/ Psychology and I look forward to finishing my undergraduate studies mid next year. Motivation and Emotion is one unit I have looked forward to studying ever since laying eyes on my degree structure some 3 and a half years ago. I simply cannot wait to learn more about these two amazing constructs. Throughout my E-portfolio I hope to write about a selection of the most interesting topics I encounter this semester. I will also enjoy using an organisational lense where possible, to consider how some of this course content can relate to people and organisations. Please feel free to interact with me on any of the topics i present here.

Week One[edit]



(chapters 1 and 2)

Easing into the Unit[edit]

This week i have bought the unit textbook. I have already started reading ahead and I look forward to learning about some of these facinating topics. The assesment for this unit seems pretty intense at first glance. During this lecture we were given an overview of the assesment for the semester and it seems a little daunting at this stage. I haven't used Wikiversity before and I'm not as technologically advanced as I might like. Fingers crossed they go smoothly!!

Course Content[edit]

1. Introduction

2. Assessment task skills

3. Brain & physiological needs

4. Personal & social needs

5. I-E motivation and goal setting

6. Personal control & the self

7. Nature of emotion

8. Aspects of emotion

9. Personality, motivation & emotion

10. Unconscious motivation

11. Growth psychology

12. Summary and conclusion

Core Concepts[edit]

“Man is a perpetually wanting animal” (Maslow, 1943. p.22)

Wiktionary-logo.svg Look up Motivation in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

The word motivation comes from the Latin verb movere, which means “to move.” Motivation is thereby concerned with our movements, or actions, and what the determining factors are behind them. More specifically it refers to the processes involved in initiating, maintaining and ceasing goal-oriented behaviours (Maslow, 1970 p. 16). Similarly Reeve (2009) describes motivation as the processes that give behaviour energy and direction. These factors may be internal (which can include drives such as thirst or being hungry or in pain) or external (such as the presence of an attractive person, tasty food or beverages or signs indicating imminent danger). By this definition motivation is the psychological drive that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal. This concept is also used to explain differences in intensity of behaviour. More intense behaviours are thought to result from higher levels of motivation. Furthermore, motivation can also be used to indicate the persistence of behaviours. For example a highly motivated behaviour will most often be persistent even though the intensity of the behaviour could be low (Franken, 2007 p. 4).

For more information, see What is motivation?

Mini-Theories Related to Motivation: Achievement motivation theory (Atkinson, 1964)

Attributional theory of achievement motivation (Weiner, 1972)

Cognitive dissonance theory (Festinger, 1957)

Effectance motivation (White, 1959; Harter, 1978)

Expectancy x value theory (Vroom, 1964)

Goal-setting theory (Locke, 1968)

Intrinsic motivation (Deci, 1975)

Learned helplessness theory (Seligman, 1975)

Reactance theory (Brehm, 1966)

Self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1977)

Self-schemas (Markus, 1977)

A few of these I'm familiar with and some I am not. This looks like a really interesting list of material that i hope to cover. To me these seem like interesting theories that will have a lot of practical application.

Week Two[edit]

How to Use Wikiversity[edit]


Assesment Items[edit]

It was good to get an idea about the assesment and using Wikipedia early on in the semester. The help functions and cheatsheet make using Wikipedia seem a little bit easier. It has also got me thinking about my textbbok chapter. I would love to write on something I find interesting, and I think I should have another scan through our textbook to start thinking about a suitable chapter topic. At this stage I'm considering:


-social motivation

-positive psychology

Although something with an organisational application would be great.

So far I have just been keeping my journal notes on my netbook computer. I find that if I bring my computer to the lectures and tutorials I can just get my thoughts down immediately while they are fresh in my head and this also saves doing as much work on it out side of class. Todays lecture on Wikiversity suggests that I should probably have a look at starting my e-portfolio online soon, as the whole formatting and java script thing is still a little intimidating for me!

Week Three[edit]

The Brain and Physiological Needs[edit]

(Chapters 3 and 4)

Figure 1: Maslows Heirachy of Needs

Physiological Needs[edit]

I think this is a great place to start our studies on motivation. Physiological needs include our most primitive drives and are located at the bottom of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. This will set a good context for future study on motivation.

As the name suggests, physiological needs are the literal requirements for human survival. These are the requirements for the human body to simply continue functioning. This primitive level of motivation includes breathing, nutrition and homeostasis. Physiological needs also include metabolic requirements such as water and food; as well as clothing and shelter which are necessary to provide protection from the elements. These are thought to be the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the person's search for satisfaction (Maslow, 1943 p.26).

Figure 1: The Brain!!

The Brain[edit]

I found it interesting to note that there are specific brain structures that elicit certain motivational states (typically in the core brain region). Within the brain biochemical agents (nuerotransmitters) stimulate these brain structures, as do hormones (which have a more long lasting effect).

  • Neurotransmitters:

One of the most enjoyable neurotransmitters is dopamine which is used for emotional reward. It make people feel good, work more productively, have more productive thoughts etc. Dopamine is said to also play a role in cognition, voluntary movement, motivation, punishment and reward, inhibition of prolactin production (involved in lactation and sexual gratification), sleep, mood, attention, working memory, and learning. It is produced in a few areas of the brain and released from the hypothalamus. Eg. Experiment with the rat pressing the lever which stimulates dopamine release and effects learning.

This reminded me about a documentary I watched last semester about the physiology of drug addiction. This documentary looked at what was happenning in the brains of drug addicts and used electrodes to measure activity in the brains of these individuals. Interestingly it revealled that the areas of the brain activated when these people used their drug of choice, was nearly identical to the areas activated when the person described the drug in interview and when they thought about obtaining their drug. To some extent it seemed they were getting a small high out of just thinking about it. This is confirmed by Reeve (2009) who notes that people also get the dopamine in anticipation of the desired stimuli.

  • Hormones: on the other hand dont actually make you do anything, they are just a precurser that increase your drives towards certain behaviours.

Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and is an interesting example. It is good for short term alertness, but in the long term it interferes with cognitive functioning and health. It seems that our bodies may have once bennefited from a quick boose in cortisol, but the modern human lives in such a high intensity and constantly stressful environment that cortisol exposure becomes detrimental to some people's health.

For the most part it seems that hormones serve a productive/ adaptive purpose. Testosterone for example is associated with high sexual motivation; and oxytocin is releaseed in high does after women gives birth. This drives her to seeking the counsel, support and nurturance of others during times of stress.

Week Four[edit]

Psychological and Social Needs[edit]

(chapters 6 and 7 tutorial- needs)

Motivation and emotion: Psychological and social needs: Week 4:

This week I have been thinking about swapping my textbook chapter. I have been trying to come up with a topic with an organisational focus; something along the lines of Motivational forces in the workplace??

This weeks lecture is on psychological and social needs. Moving on from physiological needs, this material seems more juicy and interesting to me.

Psychological Needs[edit]

I am facinated by the concept of psychological needs. This was described as an inherent source of motivation that generates the desire to interact with the environment so as to advance personal growth and social development. I look farward to reading more about this topic. This definition made me think about when we get something- this might not make the motivation or drive go away, instead it might wet your appetite and make the drive even stronger.

Self determination theory[edit]

This theory suggests that there are 3 fundamental psychological needs: autonomy, competence, relatedness, and when these are satisfied a person should be getting the nutrients towards happiness and psychological health.

  • Autonomy: perceiving that you have personal control over your behaviour and decisions and what goes on in your environment.

Things that contribute to perception of autonomy: internal perceived locus of control, volition (feeling unpressured and as having perceived choice) one important notion here is that it is the perception of autonomy that is important, not the real state.

Benefits of supporting autonomy: obviously a large array of benefits associated with this (learning, performance and psychological well being. It also appears that these benefits may be interrelated and help cause each other). Made me think about how this could be used in a workplace setting in order to harness this phenomenon and benefit from these advantages.

Interesting to hear that this theory is considered by learning/ teaching academics who are concerned with creating nurturing styled environments to get the best learning outcomes.

  • Competence: the psychological need to be effective in interactions with our environment. This eems to be similar to the esteem needs identified on Maslow's Hierarchy of needs. The other
  • Relatedness: the social motivation to relate and bond. This needs draws a parrallel with the love and belongingness needs identified on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (Although the language used in the self determination definition doesnt seem to put as much emphasis on intimate relationships.

I feel like looking at these theories of motivation and needs (self determination theory and Maslow's hierarchy) really helps us to understand our own motives at any given time. They define our motivations and have an uncanny way of explaining how a deficiency in one category can see your behaviours change completely within a given period of time in order to satisfy a different need.

Week Five[edit]

Internal and External Motivation & Goal Setting[edit]

(chapters 5 and 8)

Effects of Punishment[edit]

I find it very interesting where Reeves argues that punishment is ineffective: saying that the side effects of punishing isn't actually worth the stopping of the undesirable behaviour. Eg. Impairing the relationship between punisher and punishee. Also involves modelling where these behaviours are reproduced by the punishee and that is why the bullied become bulliers and bad family practices might translate to further generations. Instead using rewards to direct behaviour away from the undesirable behaviours and towards the desired responses or behaviours is a much more positive and effective means. I think this is an important realisation for managers, who not only have to manage tasks, but also relationships with people around them. In this case the missuse of punishment could be seriously detrimental to a work relationship and therefore detrimental to a range of other outcomes.

Intrinsic Motivation and Reward[edit]

Rewarding for behaviours you already do and are intrinsically motivated to do: rewarding these behaviours (through extrinsic means) actually detracts from the intrinsic motivation previously driving the behaviour. Cognitive evaluation theory says that not all extrinsic reward undermines intrinsic reward. Eg. Using intangible rewards (as described bellow) eg praise and feedeback- these actually feed and increase the intrinsic motivation without ruining the foundation from which the activity is enjoyed.

Extrinsic Motivation and Reward[edit]

When there is no intrinsic motivations to be undermined: eg. Boring tasks: extrinsic rewards can be most effective. By this notion Reeves suggests that extrinsic rewards dont result in deeper learning of behaviours- instead we are just acting in a way to receive the reward. In a bid to avoid this/ extrinsic bribery- we can look to restructure the task or offer the tasks to a person who is more genuinely interested in them- therefore there wont be as much need for extrinsic motivation and as a result the individual should be more deeply engaged with the task. I think this is an interesting notion to apply to the workplace. When hiring staff this could mean paying someone less but getting the right person can indeed result in better performance!!! This also invites us to find more creative ways of directing behaviour rather than using punishment or extrinsic rewards.

Another interesting example that was considered in tutorial this week is why we come to university. Motivations identified for this include knowledge/ skills/ learning, career, reject alternatives, social pressure, social opportunities and altruism. Another noteworthy fact is that rejection of other alternatives is an avoidance motivation whilst all of the others are approach motivations.

Motivation towards career advancement proved to be a tricky one when it comes to identifying intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. At first glance it appear to be extrinsic, but really if the motivation comes from wanting a better career of which you are more engaged with and intrinsically driven towards- then this is best thought of a an intrinsic motivation.

Motivating People to do Uninteresting Things[edit]

So how do we motivate people to do uninteresting things??: Eg brushing your teeth. Can be done by providing a rationale where people understand the reason they have to do something. In this case there is a much higher chance that they will internalise this process. Another method of motivation could be presenting learning opportunities where someone shows an spontaneous interesting in a facet of something (even any small part of a task) where you can expose them to more of this, relate the rest of the task to the interesting part and use this thing as a scaffold to build interest. Adjust environment to enhance the interest. This creates a newness, some surprising aspects and can be directed towards individuals own goals etc. These methods are thought to then achieve actualised experience of interest where this increases: attention, learning, knowledge and achievement. All very healthy goals from an organisational perspective.

Goal setting!


The second topic of this week was goal setting. I found this a really interesting section of the lecture, as I too like to set a lot of goals for myself. Setting goals often allows us to get from our present state (which represents the person's current status of how life is going) to an ideal state (which is the idealised, prefered state of how the person wishes life was going).

Difficult goals: Energises behaviour:

  • Increases effort- person works harder
  • Increases persistence- person works longer

Specific Goals: Direct behaviour:

  • Increases attention- person works with focus
  • Increases planning- person works smarter

Why Goals work[edit]

Goals definately increase performance. This occurs because:

  • Goals clarify performance expectations.
  • Goals counteract apathy, boredom.
  • Goals make feedback important.
  • Without goals, performance can be emotionally unimportant.
  • Goal attainment can generate feeling of pride, satisfaction, or competence that the task itself cannot generate.
  • For me goals make me accountable to my own desires. If I set a goal and write it down or tell someone then there is no uncertain terms when it comes to applying myself to this challenge.

Week Six[edit]

Control Beliefs and The Self[edit]

(chapters 9 and 10 tutorial- self and goals)

Self efficacy[edit]

Self efficacy is described as a sense of agency or the percieved level of control over outcomes in a certain situation.

Sources of self efficacy include: personal behaviour history, vicarious experience (modelling), Verbal persuasion (pep talk), physiological activity.

Interestingly the more self efficacy you have the more likely you are to try to do something, the more likely to be creative and find effective solutions and not be discouraged by failures (instead viewing this as a chance to learn, not as a failure). This high self efficay also results in also have more positive emotions. despite these factors, having positive self efficacy alone may not be enough to reach success. This means that you cant just think your way into success. Conversely high self efficacy will facilitate the gaining of the necessary skills to achieve at a task because your more likely to have a try and learn by experience.

I was thinking that one real life example of this phenomenon is meeting members of the opposite sex. I believe that if you have the self belief that you will succeed in this context then you are in fact much more likely to succeed. This self belief may be displayed in the form of a confident demeanor etc. and I think this confidence alone would increase your chances of succeeding in this instance. In further similarity to the self efficacy definition above, being confident alone may not be enough to succeed in this context. The individual may need to have other complimentary skills or attributes such as being a good communicator, having comfortable body language and social calibration and awareness etc. In continuing to apply the definition above, simply having the confidence to attempt picking up girls increases the opportunity for an individual to learn from previous experiences and perceive failed attempts as learning opportunities.

Learned Helplesness[edit]

Learned helplessness describes a condition of a human being or an animal in which it has learned to behave helplessly, even when the opportunity is restored for it to help itself by avoiding an unpleasant or harmful circumstance. I was thinking this definition could also apply to the example given above. If a person is lonely and really wants a girl friend for instance, they could very well become distressed about this. If this person has a framework of expectation built on memories of failed previous attempts to meet women, they may fail to innitiate interactions with members of the opposite sex, even when a member of the opposite sex has expressed interest in the individual. I feel like i have seen examples where this becomes a longer term residue and forms a more prevailing negative framework effecting all interactions of this nature.

The Relationship Between Learned Helplessness and Depression[edit]

Slide on helplessness and depression shows that less depresses individuals have similar perceptions of control in most situations until points of low control where the less depressed perceived themselves as having slightly more control than the depressed. Then in situations where individuals have no control the less depressed perceived themselves as having significantly more control than the depressed individuals. This represents an artificially enhanced sense of personal control. This also suggests that thinking that we are slightly more capable and influential than we might be is healthy. Although the depressed individuals may have a slightly more accurate perception, this results in worse life outcomes including work performance (so should we not hire depressed people??!!). For the larger part these functions are said to operate in a similar ways with optimism. One exceptions where overly optimistic people face disadvantages is problem gambling!

Another interesting activity from tutorial was predicting people's satisfaction. One way to look at someone's satisfaction profile was to have a person list things that might motivate them and have them rate the level of motivation they personally receive from this source. This person should then rate again how much they actually get each of these things satisfied in their current position. With this exercise, someone's satisfaction is a calculation of how well these two lists match up. Eg. If a strong motivation is met then this will increase satisfaction, whilst if there is a lot of another motivation being met that wasn't a big priority- then this will do little to satisfy the individual. Further more, strong motivations that are not met detract from an individual's satisfaction. This is a good measure for studying volunteer workers satisfaction and I can see quite a functional application for this in many organisational settings. This is similar to the way Maslow's hierarchy of needs is sometimes applied to the workplace. In this instance many lower level workers seem to be more motivated by money (which is required for food and shelter) and often lack any motivation to be creative in their jobs. Workers at higher levels generally have income sufficient to satisfy many of their lower order needs, and in this instance self actualisation is often more important (Beck, 2004 p. 401).

Week Nine[edit]

Nature of Emotion[edit]

(chapters 11 tutorial- emotion)

Five perennial questions[edit]

1. What is an emotion?

2. What causes an emotion?

3. How many emotions are there?

4. What good are the emotions?

5. What is the difference between emotion & mood?

Based on Reeve (2009, p. 299)

Five more questions?

1. How can emotion be measured?

2. What are the consequences of emotions?

3. How can emotion be changed?

4. How and why did emotions evolve?

5. How do emotions of animals & humans vary?

Adapted from Lecture by James Neil (2010).

For me its funny to think about emotion as a term that we use so freely and a construct that I think most people feel thay understand reasonably well. But... when you start asking all of these questions it becomes clear just how complex emotion really is and how much more there is to know!

We all experience a range of emotions.

What are Emotions[edit]

Emotions are a construct made up of:


•Subjective experience

•Phenomenological awareness


Bodily Arousal

•Physiological activation

•Bodily preparation for action

•Motor responses

Sense of Purpose

•Goal-directed motivational state

•Functional aspect


•Social communication

•Facial expression

•Vocal expression

I look forward to learning more about emotion and applying this knowledge to gain further understanding about my self. Specifically I am interested about how we change emotions. I understand changing emotions and reframing is a component of CBT therapy, where the therapist stresses that (with the exception of physical contact) no one can make you feel anything. People get caught up on negative feelings and thoughts resulting from other people or situations. The patient is often liberated when they realise that they control what they feel. They can reframe any information or situation within their circle of concern and think about it in more productive ways in order to feel more positive emotions.

Week Ten[edit]

Aspects of Emotion[edit]

(chapter 12)

Aspects of Emotion include biological, cognitive and social and cultural components.

Biological Aspects

● Autonomic nervous system

● Endocrine system

● Neural brain circuits

● Rate of neural firing

● Facial feedback

Cognitive Aspects

● Appraisals

● Knowledge

● Attributions

● Socialisation history

● Cultural identities

Social & Cultural Aspects ● Socialisation history

● Cultural identities

We all experience a range of emotions.

Basic Emotions[edit]

  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Sadness
  • Joy
  • Interest

Differential emotions theory[edit]

There seem to be a range of theories on emotion seeking to describe this construct and how it comes about (as a result of stimuli, before or after a physiological response) and i can nearly alway confuse my self thinking of examples and exceptions to the rule!

I prefer to think about emotion in light of the differential emotions theory which has 5 main components:

  • This theory identifies ten emotions that constitute our principal motivation system.
  • Each emotion is thought to have its own unique feeling/ subjective, phenomenological quality.
  • Each emotion has its own unique facial-expressive pattern.
  • Each emotion is characterised by unique nueral activity/ has its own specific rate of neural firing that activates it.
  • Each emotion generates distinctive motivational properties & serves adaptive functions/ purposes.

I view this theory as a very physiological approach to understanding the aspects of emotion; and think it provides a good framework from which we can ask more complex questions about the emotions we experience.

Week Eleven[edit]

Personality and Emotion[edit]

(chapter 13 tutorial personality and M and E).

Traits versus types[edit]

Traits allow a person to be situated somewhere along a spectrum. For example a person might register slightly above or bellow average for sensation seeking tendency. Type in the other hand is where we draw a line along this spectrum and say some one is either sensation seeking or sensation avoiding. By this definition a trait approach allows us to give a more detailed and accurate reflection of people's personality.

Big 5 personality traits[edit]

The Big 5 Personality test is one of the most commonly used personality tests. It is used widely in organisational psych testing to identify people's suitability for particular jobs. These traits are displayed in the table bellow.

(where ther are sub-dimensions of each of these traits):

neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness.
Openness to Experience Conscientiousness Extraversion Agreeableness Neuroticism
Fantasy Competence Warmth Trust Anxiety
Aesthetics Order Gregariousness Straightforwardness Angry Hostility
Feelings Dutifulness Assertiveness Altruism Depression
Actions Achievement Striving Activity Compliance Self Consciousness
Ideas Self Discipline Excitement Seeking Modesty Impulsiveness
Values Deliberation Positive Emotion Tender-Mindedness Vulnerability

Adapted from Reeve, 2009.

See also Five Big Personality Traits of Successful Managers.

Traits of Extraverts[edit]

I was interested to find that extraverts generally have a lower level of base line arousal. This explains them seeking additional arousal from external environment to bring their arousal levels up. On the other hand introverts already have a higher level of internal arousal and consequentially do not seek out as much arousal from their external environment.

Extraverts also have a greater capacity to experience positive emotions, stronger and more sensitive behavioural activating systems (BAS). As a result extraverts are more strongly motivated towards seeking out these situations. (extraverts also tend to have greater sociability, greater social dominance and greater venturesomeness/ more likely to take a risk and have an adventure).

People high in neuroticism have stronger and more sensitive behavioural inhibition system. Whilst extraverts are keen to seek out the potential reward gained by new situations, people high in neuroticism are more concerned with avoiding the potential punishment of a situation.

Set Points[edit]

Set point: is an interesting notion that suggests we have a set point of happiness for example and that a persons level of happiness at one point in time is a pretty strong predictor of their happiness in 10 years time. There are of course exceptions to this in terms of good and bad luck, but I find this a very interesting notion. Some people will always seem cheery whilst others never seem happy.

Sensory Deprivation[edit]

Sensory deprivation: an individuals sensory and emotional experience in a rigid unchanging environment. Heron's sensory deprivation study showed the brain and nervous system prefer a continual and moderate level of arousal generated by environmental stimulation. People were impaired in their abilities for a short period of time afterwards. The brain also started to produce its own stimulation and eventually started to hallucinate. This is because it has to keep activating its systems and keeping active and because it requires stimulation to operate properly.

Over stimulation: causes emotional disruption (anxiety, irritability, anger, cognitive disruption (confusion, forgetfulness etc), and a range of negative outcomes in the workplace.

Sensation Seeking[edit]

Sensation seeking- is a personality trait often associated with extraversion and related to arousal and reactivity. Is thought to explain some risk taking behaviours such as sexually risky and behaviourally and drug use. in this case some one is quite attracted by the reward and not concentrating on the potential risks. This also effects how someone will react in certain situations. Sensation seeking tendency is described as the seeking of varied novel, complex and intense sensations and experiences and the willingness to take physical, social, legal and financial risk. The first thing this makes me think of is how this construct could be related to promiscuity and adultery. In light of the sensation associated with the action of seeking out new partners and the intimacy that can be shared with a partner. The may also get a buzz from cheating or secretive behaviours driven by the excitement of potentially getting caught. In this case it is easy to see how some people would be driven towards the percieved rewards associated with finding a lot of new partners or cheating on your existing partner and ignoring the risk of your partner potentially finding out.

Gambling and substance use are also methods of arousal regulation. The more positive/ constructive examples are entreprenuership and creativity as expressions of high sensation seeking behaviours and increasing a persons amount of arousal.

This makes me think that I could be quite high in sensation seeking tendency. I've done internet tests on this before which said this was the case, which isn't really surprising when you look at my love for adventure sports. For the most part though I feel like I raise my internal arousal by seeking out social situations. I go out a lot, spend a lot of time in the company of friends and way to much time in night clubs, parties and festivals. I am currently lauching a clothing label (Perfect Kiss Clothing- 2200 fans on facebook, 140 items sold in the fortnight leading up to Foreshore Music Festival alone!!). This is a bit of hard work and an expression of my entreprenuerial and creative tendencies. Despite this I feel like I am holding back with the clothing label in some respects. As if it doesn't get quite as much of my energy and attention as it could or should. For example I definitely would not stay home on a thursday, friday or saturday night to work on my clothing label or designs and I wouldn't like these pursuits to impact on my social life (maybe I am trying to maintain a sense of autonomy and free will). I feel like this might be because my social life is what currently raises my levels of arousal and that persuing my other ventures might eventually have the same effect on my arousal through entreprenuerial behaviours and expressing my creativity, but it might mean temporarily cutting of some of my current arousal derived through social situations. This realisation might be what I need to motivate me to knuckle down and really work hard on this new project for a while and lay off the partying for a bit in order to find more constructive expressions of my personality and its tendencies.

Ben cousins was another facinating example of a an individual with a high sensation seeking tendency.

Traits of Successful Leaders[edit]

In this same way, there is a lot os research into what makes an effective leader. These people are running all of the biggest organisations in the world, and making all of the biggest saleries. What makes them different from you or I? Traits associated with effective leaders are divided into general personality traits and task related traits. General personality traits associated with effective leaders include:

  • Self confidence
  • High tolerance for frustration
  • Warmth
  • Sense of humour
  • Trustworthiness
  • Extroversion
  • Assertiveness
  • Emotional stability
  • Enthusiasm

task related traits associated with effective leaders include:

  • Passion for the work and the people
  • Emotional Intelligence (including self awareness, self regulation, empathy and social skills)
  • Flexibility and adaptibility
  • Internal locus of control
  • Courage(Dubrin, Dalglish & Miller, 2006, p. 29).

From this list it is easy to see that their are a range of similarities drawn between entrepreneurs and successful leaders. For me this is one example where my two degrees (management/ psychology)come together and provide complimentary/ overlapping material and this is often the stuff that I find most interesting. It is also funny to sit in a management, leadership or entrepreneurship class and watch people struggle to coneptualise things such as locus of control and other constructs that have become so familiar to us through the study of psychology.

Traits of successful Entreprenuers[edit]

There is a growing body of research investigating the traits associated with successful entrepreneurs. Those commonly identified include a high need for achievement (a person’s desire to succeed or achieve excellence in competitive situations), risk taking propensity (tendency to take calculated risks and an internal locus of control (the extent to which people believe they can control events that affect them). Entrepreneurs also successfully manage risk by transferring some of this risk (to others such as investors, bankers, employees and so on). Other characteristics of successful entrepreneurs include self confidence, flexibility, interpersonal skills, independence of mind, energy and diligence, hard work ethic and creativity (Shaper & Volery, 2007, p. 29).

Week Twelve[edit]

Unconscious Motivation[edit]

(chapter 14)

The concept of unconscious motivation is another topic of interest for me. It answers questions such as why we do the things we do, even when we aren't aware we want/ need to do them.

Brief history[edit]

The Psychodynamic perspective of motivation suggests that motivation and behaviour emerge from biologically endowed and socially acquired impulses that determine our desires, thoughts, feelings and behaviours. The psychodynamic approach has emerged as a product of the Freud's Psychoanalytic theory and the dual-instinct theory. Freud’s dual-instinct theory identifies two instincts; eros: the life instinct, and thanatos: the death instinct. Freud claimed that whilst instinctual drivers provide energy for behaviour the ego gives direction to that energy.

The contemporary psychodynamic theory[edit]

The contemporary psychodynamic theory is based on four principles:

1.The Unconscious: Much of mental life (thoughts, feelings, and desires) is unconscious

2.Psychodynamics: Mental processes operate in parallel to each other (where people often want and fear the same thing simultaneously)

3.Ego Development: Healthy development involves moving from an immature socially dependent personality to one that is more mature and interdependent with others

4.Object Relations Theory: Mental representations of self and others form in childhood that guide the person’s later social motivations and relationships

Learning about unconsious motivation makes me wonder about how much of my own motives I am aware of. It got me questioning myself about what sorts of mental processes of my own might be in conflict with each other. I am also curious to know how I can become more aware of this section of my own motivations represented through subliminal or implicit motives. I have always been facinated by subliminal messages and their use in advertising. How can I use this to make people want clothing from my brand !!??

Week Thirteen[edit]

Growth and Positive Psychology[edit]

I worte about self-actualisation in my text book chapter and feel like Growth and positive psych is best understood in context of Humanistic psychology

Humanistic Psychology[edit]

Growth and positive psych is born from the humanistic perspective in psycholgy. Humanism is a school of thought developed at the turn of the 20th century. It emerged as a result of dissatisfaction with psychoanalytic and behaviourist models that were viewed as insufficient or outdated (Schneider, Bugental & Pierson, 2001). Humanistic Psychology is characterised by the search for human potential and encouraging development. This same view stressed the role of personal choice and the importance of personal growth and self actualisation (Humanistic Psychology, 2009). Holism is a key theoretical component of the humanistic school of thought which rejects the reductionist point of view about the human condition. Instead it believes that the properties of an individual cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone; rather the system as a whole determines in an important way how the parts behave (Pribram, 1979). This is a dominant notion throughout the humanistic perspectives, especially self actualisation (Pribram).

The Three three illustrative strengths of Positive Psychology[edit]

1.Optimism: A positive attitude or a good mood that is associated with what one expects to unfold in his or her immediate and long-term future. Related to better psychological & physical health, more health-promoting behaviors, greater persistence, and more effective problem solving

2.Meaning: Meaning - A sense of purpose, internalised values, and high efficacy are the motivational means to cultivate meaning in life. The act of creating meaning helps prevent future sickness.

3.Eudamonic Well-being: is self-realisation. Relatedness satisfaction and pursuit of self-endorsed goals forecast Eudaimonic well-being

Self Actualisation[edit]

Self Actualisation is most commonly understood in light of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. When an individual has satisfied their physiological, safety, love and belongingness and esteem needs then they have reached self actualisation. This means the individual is now motivated by a new set of needs which are centred on values such as truth, goodness, beauty, honesty and they all seek to provide greater meaning to the life of the self actualised person. Self actualised individuals readily experience peak performances and they are no longer motivated by deficiencies, instead they are motivated towards growth and reaching their full potential.

Growth and positive psych looks not at our detriments and short-fallings, but rather the potential of a person; and asks questions such as- what could be?

I would like to think that at times I reach self actualisation. In considering all of the levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs I do believe that there have been time where all of these needs have been met for me. During these times I strive for personal growth and display a range of more adaptive behaviours. In looking at the characteristic of self actualised people (as identified in my textbook chapter), I think embody a range of these traits, but certainly not all of them. Now I've learnt about how great self-actualisation is I want to get there even more!!

Week Fourteen[edit]

Summary and Conclusion[edit]

At the end of this unit I am glad to say that the assesment was not as bad as I expected! I believe this method of assesment gifts students with a level of autonomy. Whilst you dont have to attend lectures or tutorials, the course material is so interesting that I found my self wanting to attend. This structure also rewards the students who keep up to date with their workload and contribute to their assesment regularly across the semester. It also gives students the chance to engage more with the course content that interest them. This can be in the form of chapter selection, or simply writing more in this e-portfolio on the weeks that interested me the most. I would recommend this format for future classes and urge students to stay on top of their workload and contribute regularly to their assesment items as this is how you will gain the most knowledge and enjoyment from this facinating course content.


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