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Week one[edit]

Introduction to Motivation and Emotion[edit]

Motivation and emotion is a topic I was keen to dive into this semester, hoping to decipher big questions such as 'why do people do what they do'? and 'why do people want what they want?’ These questions may be simple for the individual participating in the acts to understand, yet how do we funnel the strengths and weaknesses of motivation to benefit individuals on a larger scale? In discovering these questions, in the future, I hope to not only motivate myself towards beneficial goals such as, healthy eating and exercise but also share my discoveries with others.

Flickr cc runner wisconsin u.jpg

Motivation = Energy + Direction

What does this equation mean? Firstly to begin to explain motivation we must recognise the functioning components of energy and direction, and apply them to behaviour. The lecture this week identified motivation to be processes that give behaviour energy and direction. Energy is created through strong, intense and persistent behaviours and forms motivation by combining with direction, behaviours aimed toward achieving a particular purpose or goal. The four sources for motivation (where it gains its energy and direction, strength and purpose) are needs, cognitions, emotions and external events. We can measure motivation and its level of robustness through how it is expressed. These being measurements of behaviour, engagement, brain and physiology activations and self-report.

The true depth of a person's behaviour cannot be explained without the questions addressing the core problems of motivation. Such core problems present themselves through the following questions:

  • Whats starts behaviour?
  • How is behaviour sustained over time?
  • Why is behaviour directed towards some ends but away from others?
  • Why does behaviour change its direction?
  • Why does behaviour stop?

These questions can be addressed through behavioural expressions of motivation known as behavioural engagement which consists of; attention, effort, latency, persistence, choice, probability of response, facial expressions and bodily gestures. Behavioural engagement is just one of the four inter-related aspects of engagement, with the three others being emotional engagement, cognitive engagement and voice.

Framing the practical problem: Understanding the motivational agent
  • What is the phenomena?
  • What is its opposite?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Is it malleable or fixed?
  • What does it relate to, or predict?
(Reeve,2009, Ch1)
Theoretical understanding of the problem to be solved
  • Why does it work?
  • How does it work?
  • How does it change and what causes it to change?
  • Under what conditions does it change?
  • Where do high and low levels come from?
(Reeve,2009, Ch1)

Motivation can come in waves and is not always directed towards a positive goal, so what keeps us motivated? What motivates the individual towards activities which result in a negative outcomes, such as self-sabotage? I hope to take what i know about human motivation and emotion and apply it to practical problems to propose solutions and/or interventions. Hopefully throughout the semester some of these questions can be addressed and possibly answers found. I am looking forward to completing my own textbook chapter as well being able to read other participants textbooks chapters and e-portfolios. I am keen to experience the learning benefits of each of us addressing different aspects of motivation and emotion with our inputs being available to everyone online, making it possible to gain a wider perspective of the subject and be active in our own learning.

Week two[edit]

How to use Wikiversity[edit]

Starting my Wikiversity adventure was a daunting thought, I have never used any form of online bloging system nor attempted to navigate or java script any webpage or social site. Looking at the unit outline for Motivation and Emotion before the start of semester was stress provoking, yet i was excited to jump into the assignment tasks being the first participant to sign up as Wikiversity user for this unit. The tasks show creative thought about extending student learning past lectures and tutorials through utilizing the internet, allowing online interaction between ourselves as participants and all fellow Wikiversity users. Lecture two could not have come sooner, as I was already underway with formatting the beginning of my E-portfolio and in desperate need of any help that could be offered. Since the lecture I have been practicing my Wikiversity editing skills such as editing and saving, watching pages, fiddling with settings and attempting tasks such as headings and tables. I have even gone as far as searching how to edit wiki sites through the internet and encourage others to utilize pages such within Wikiversity such as How to edit a page which offers a great Cheat sheet. Since the start of this adventure I have been grateful for the easy editing buttons found at the top of editing boxes which allow me to use Bold, italics and underline. If all attempts made by me to edit freely fail I shall revert back to using these simple yet extremely helpful methods of beautifying my page.

Tutorial one - Introduction
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The first tutorial of Motivation and Emotion was, in simple terms, fun. There is nothing more daunting than walking into the first tutorial of the semester and not really knowing others in the class. I never would have thought that arranging the class in order of thumb-size would be a great ice-breaker and set the mood for a positive environment for learning and participation. Showing that everyone in the tutorial was similar in the following categories allowed participants to identify with one another whilst creating new friends;

  • how long they have been studying at the University of Canberra,
  • favourite fast food,
  • voting preference this past election, and
  • how they were feeling emotionally that day.
Symbol merge discussion.svg

Small groups were formed for future collaborative peer review, which would see peers contributing to one another's textbook chapters and E-portfolio. Forming groups allowed for discussion sounding the definitions of Motivation and Emotion, the two concepts which we will be exploring with great detail this semester. A word which was commonly used in definitions put forward for motivation was driving force, as everyone showed belief that motivation is a internal or external driving force which encourages an individual or group to act which enforced text book definitions learnt from earlier lectures;

Motivation is a "process that give behaviour energy and direction", (Reeve, 2009).

It is "needs or desires that energise and direct behaviour", (Gerrig et al., 2008).

Emotion was a harder concept for the tutorial group to put into words, everyone can describe an emotion but when it comes to defining the overall meaning of the word it becomes difficult. A commonality between group definitions was the term state of mind, as groups flagged emotion as being a state of mind which is determined by our thoughts and feelings.

After discussion of what we as a group believed defined these words, we explored areas which fell under their umbrellas such as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the workplace, self-control, adultery and the art of hiding/masking emotions. I am mostly interested in the drive to partake in regular/daily exercise, and methods in which to increase people's motivation to exercise. How do we tunnel the energy of those who love and participate in exercise regularly to those who don't?

The best motivation is self-motivation. The guy says, “I wish someone would come by and turn me on.” What if they don’t show up? You’ve got to have a better plan for your life.' – [Jim Rohn]


Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Gerrig, R. J., Zimbardo, P. G., Campbell, A. J., Cumming, S. R., & Wilkes, F. J. (2008). Psychology and Life (Australian edition). Sydney: Pearson Education Australia

Week three[edit]

Brain & Physiological needs[edit]

In week three I found out the motived emotional brain consists of three parts; the thinking brain which focuses on the intellectual and cognitive functions, the motivated brain and the emotional brain. These three brain functions break down behaviours by asking; what is the task the individual is completing? Do they want to take part in the task and what is their mood while preforming the task? Such insights allow critical thinking into the motivation behind behaviours thus creating tools to pinpoint sources of motivation.

A few of the brain structure's which are associated with motivational and emotional states are;

  • Hypothalamus: Deals with positive feelings surrounding drinking, eating and mating
  • Medial Forebrain Bundle: pleasure and reinforcement
  • Orbitofrontal Cortext: Making choices and learning the value of those choices
  • Septal area: Deals with positive feelings surrounding sociability and sexuality

Four motivationally relevant neurotransmitter pathways which allow these parts of the brain to communicate are dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and endorphins.

Physiological needs of an individual provide the motivation to gain the essentials to sustain life and well-being. Motivation provides the kick start to fulfill basic psychological needs before any damage is done, pushing the individual to act. These physiological needs have been broken up into three main areas, physiological needs, psychological needs and social needs. Abraham Maslow provides a model showing these areas in order of importance to survival, breaking down each motivational need into sections of most important to least important.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs[edit]

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.svg

Maslow's hierarchy of needs (1943,1954) is psychological theory developed by Abraham Maslow which lists human physiological and psychological needs within a hierarchy that consists of five levels. Labeled the most important to the least is physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization. Physiological needs are placed at the bottom of the pyramid and are inherent within the workings of human biological systems, these are the most basic physical requirements such as the need for sleep, food, water and warmth. As the pyramid progresses the motivational needs become less physiological and more psychological and social. Showing an individual's motivation for love, friendship and intimacy being more important than those found higher up on the scale such as the need for self-esteem and feelings of confidence and achievement.

Henry Murray (1893 - 1988) was another to look at needs in regards to motivation. Breaking up needs into two groups, viscerogenic needs and psychogenic needs, Murray looked at needs in a more modest structure to Maslow's. Viscerogenic needs were recognised by Murray as being things that were biologically based and psychogenic needs were derived from our biological needs or inherit of our psychological nature. Murray looked into needs from a personality approach, stating the secondary needs drive our personality (Interactive and Digital Media Institute, 2008).

Viscerogenic needs:
food, water, air, sex avoidance of pain
Psychogenic needs:
achievement, recognition, acquisition
dominance, aggression, autonomy
affiliation, rejection
nurturance, play, cognizance
Further Investigation

Further investigation into Maslow's hierarchy of needs led me to discover the above pyramid reflects Maslow's early thought with no amendments made for his later beliefs, for in 1969 he amended the model to include self-transcendence. Placing self-transcendence beyond the motivational needs of self-actualization. Maslow expressed this thought in an article published in the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology (Maslow, 1969) and presented it in a lecture titled the "Further reaches" (Koltko-Rivera, 2006).

(Koltko-Rivera, 2006)


Interactive and Digital Media Institute. (2008). Player Motivations: A Psychological Perspective. "National University of Singapore", Accessed September 25, 2010 from Google Scholar.

Koltko-Rivera, M. (2006). Rediscovering the later version of Maslow's hierarchy of needs: Self-transcendence and opportunities for theory, research, and unification. Review of General Psychology, 10(4), 302-317, Accessed September 9, 2010 from PsycARTICLES, EBSCOhost.

Maslow, A. H. (1969). The farther reaches of human nature. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, 1(1), 1–9.

Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Week four[edit]

Psychological & Social needs[edit]

This week the readings included chapter 6 and 7 of Reeve (2009), covering psychological needs and social needs.
Psychological needs, as described in the lecture this week, are an inherent source of motivation that generates the desire to interact with the environment so as to advance personal growth, social development, and psychological well-being.

Self-determination Theory[edit]

The self-determination theory, as described by Reeve, approaches different types of motivation focusing on all intensities of self-determination from amotivation to intrinsic motivation. Edward Deci and Richard Ryan the initiators of this theory describe the base of this theory to be one surrounding human motivation, development and wellness with focus on the type of motivation rather than the level. Behaviour is self-determined (antonomous) when our interests play apart in our decision-making process.

Self-determination theory examines people's life goals or aspirations, showing differential relations of intrinsic versus extrinsic life goals to performance and psychological health, (Deci and Ryan, 2008).

Four essential ways of supporting autonomy (self-determination)[edit]

1. Nurtures inner motivational resources
Antonomy-supportive motivators include finding ways to allow others to express interests, preferences, and competences.
Controlling motivators include relying on extrinsic motivators.
2. Relies on Informational Language
Autonomy-supportive motivators include treating poor performance and inappropriate behaviour as motivational problems.
Controlling motivators include using a communication style that is rigid and pressuring.
3. Promotes valuing
Autonomy-supportive motivators involves communicating the value of engaging in uninteresting tasks.
Controlling motivators involves not communicating the importance "Do it because i told you too!"
4. Acknowledges and accepts negative feedback
'Autonomy-supportive motivators includes working with others to solve underlying causes of negative affects and resistance. Controlling motivators includes ignoring other peoples expressions of negative affect and resistance.

Further Investigation

For a better understanding I searched for articles on Self-determination Theory. The article which i found to be the most helpful in adding to the knowledge I'd already obtained from the lecture and text book was written by Deci & Ryan (2008). Self-determination theory centers on types of motivation (instead of the level of motivation) and focuses on three types as being predictors of performance, relational, and well-being outcomes. The three main types of performance predictors identified by Deci and Ryan (2008) are utonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and amotivation. The theory has also been helpful in the examination of life goals through being able to approach the relationship between the type of life goals (intrinsic or extrinsic) and performance and psychological health.
The theory has been applied to past research in areas of work, relationships, parenting, education, virtual environments, sport, sustainability, health care, and psychotherapy.

Deci, E. L. & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Self-Determination Theory: A Macrotheory of Human Motivation, Development, and Health, Canadian Psychology, 49, 182-185. doi: 10.1037/a0012801

Tutorial two - Needs

Tutorial two allowed its participants to share and discuss the topics and plans of their assessment for Motivation and Emotion. Group work led to class discussion in relation to what was needed within a text book chapter contents page and how many sub-topics would be appropriate. It was established that contents pages are helpful in planning, researching and overall structure of the finished product but are not necessarily apart of the first stages of planning. Participants in the tutorial group are scattered through all different stages of planning, as some have completed their contents pages and begun heavy research and others are still stumped on which topic to choose. My approach to this task has begun as i have chosen my topic from the text book table of contents and started the research process. The topic i have chosen is Arousal. I have decided the best method for me is to begin researching before i make any decisions on sub-topics.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs was a starting point in this tutorial for looking at conceptualisations of needs. I have discussed the hierarchy within week 3 of my e-portfolio and have further investigated the five conceptualisations of needs making reference to Maslow's later beliefs of an added conceptualisation, totaling six. In order of most important needs the conceptualisations are: physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, self-actualization and self-transcendence.

Brain structure and its functions in motivation were approached in this tutorial, allowing participants to identify specific neural structures and their motivational function. Looking at the physiological aspects of motivation not only facilitated our learning but allowed us to look at the topics we had chosen to approach in the text book chapter assessment item, thus showing us further ways to research and approach our topics from a physiological perspective. These specific neural structures were identified through a cross section of the brain showing the anatomic position of the key brain structures involved in motivation and emotion. The Hypothalamus was identified as being associated with pleasurable feelings surrounding feeding, drinking and mating. The Medial Forebrain Bundle has part in pleasure and reinforcement, with the Orbitofronal Cortex allows learning the incentive value of events and making choices. Another area which is also known for its role in making choices is the Anterior Cingulate Cortex, it is also responsible for mood and volition. The Septal area is known as the pleasure centre associated with sociability and sexuality and the Cerebral Cortex (frontal lobes) have a role in making plans, setting goals and formulating intentions.

Neurotransmitters like neural structures. play an important role motivation through the form of key hormones.

  • Dopamine generates the good feelings associated with rewards,
  • Serotonin has an influence over mood and emotion,
  • Norepinephrin is responsible for regulating arousal and alertness - an interesting piece of information i found, that will help me in the research process of my text book chapter, and
  • Endorphins allow the generations of good feelings which counter negative feelings such as pain, anxiety and fear.

Close attention was paid to the physiological and social needs attributed to motivation and emotion in the tutorial this week with notes on revision of previous lectures given in the form of a contents page. Specific key points were autonomy, competence, relatedness, acquired needs, achievement, power, affiliation and intimacy. The two topics, physiological and social needs, were discussed looking at the social contexts that support psychological needs and methods to integrate classic and contemporary approaches to achieve motivation.



Deci, E. L. & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Self-Determination Theory: A Macrotheory of Human Motivation, Development, and Health, Canadian Psychology, 49, 182-185. doi: 10.1037/a0012801

Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Week five[edit]

Intrinsic & Extrinsic Motivation & Goal settting[edit]

Intrinsic motivation, in my understanding is an inherent desire towards something that you are interested in with no influence from an external force. Intrinsic motivation causes you to do things because the reward is something within yourself. The origins of intrinsic motivation are looked at within our unit textbook and this weeks lecture. The origins come from our psychological need satisfaction and its three components, autonomy, competence and relatedness. These three components approach to need for support from environment and relationships. There are specific performance and psychological benefits to be found within intrinsic motivation these being;

  • Persistence – The amount of persistence a person has with a task can be attributed to the their level on intrinsic motivation. The higher the level of their intrinsic motivation the greater their persistence.
  • Creativity – Great levels of creativity come from how the individual approaches the task, if they are intrinsically motivated (experience interest, enjoyment and satisfaction from the work itself) they tend to show a higher level of creativeness.
  • Conceptual Understanding/ High-Quality Learning – Allows in a conceptual way with flexible thinking and active information processing.
  • Optimal Functioning and Well-Being – People who experience intrinsic motivation are said to benefit from greater self-actualization, subjective vitality and self-esteem. Experiencing less anxiety and depression.

Learning the difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation is important, I believe it will give people the tools to swap extrinsic motivation with intrinsic motivation and move towards a greater feeling of self, subjective vitality and self-esteem. Through my understanding from lectures and the textbook I define extrinsic motivation through behaviours that you undertake because of some external event, behaviour that is contingent upon the external response you’ll get back such as money. Three things that are recognised by Reeve (2009) that externally regulate motivation are incentives, consequences and rewards.

  • Incentives - environmental events that attract or repel a person toward or away from initiating a particular course of action
  • Consequences – recognised through positive and negative reinforcers of behaviour and punishments.
  • Rewards – An offering from one person given to another person in exchange from his or her service or achievement.

An extrinsic reward can service positive emotions within individuals and facilitate certain behaviours because of its ability to give individuals an opportunity for personal gain. Yet rewards may or may not act as a reinforcer as some people may not value the reward being offered, the reward will only serve as a motivator to someone who wants it. Individuals who chase awards for their behaviour can experience experience unexpected, unintended, and adverse effects on their intrinsic motivation, high-quality learning and autonomous self-regulation. Sometimes rewards that motivate engagement behaviour within and activity can cause unexpected primary effects such as interferer with the quality and processes of learning, undermining the person’s intrinsic motivation, and interferers with the capacity for autonomous self-regulation. Adding to a person's motivation reduces the intrinsic motivation, therefore having the opposite affect from the desired. Using a reward to engage someone in activity is a popular method and seems tempting to use but when you take into account the side effects, such as affects on psychological emotions and traumatic baggage it just is not worth it. Overuse of external motivators leads to just a behaviour, not a cognition or emotion which becomes reliant on external contingencies for motivation. Like rewards punishments are also popular to use yet also supporting undesirable side effects such as;

  • Negative emotionality such as crying, screaming and feeling afraid,
  • Impaired relationship between the punisher and punishee, and
  • Negative modeling for the punishee showing them how to cope with undesirable behaviour in others.

There does appear to be a lot of negatives associated with extrinsic motivation yet for small tasks it can be extremely useful making otherwise boring and uninteresting tasks seem suddenly worth pursuing. Reeve (2009) shares four reasons not to use extrinsic motivation even in the most un-motivating circumstances

Extrinsic motivators still undermine the quality of performance and interfere with the process of learning,
Using rewards distracts attention away from asking the hard question of why another person is being asked to do an uninteresting task in the first place,
There are better ways to encourage participation than extrinsic bribery, and
Extrinsic motivators still undermine the individual’s long-term capacity for autonomous self-regualtion.

Cognitive evaluation theory[edit]

The cognitive evaluation theory predicts the effects of an extrinsic event on motivation. The theory takes the two of the psychological needs I wrote about earlier in this week’s refection, autonomy and competence and looks at how they might be effected. External events have two functions being control behaviour and inform competence, the cognitive evaluation theory states that which ever function is more salient determines how the external event will affect intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Not all extrinsic motivation is understanding of intrinsic motivation and example of this being if it were an informational function. Events that promote greater perceived competence will enhance intrinsic motivation.

The cognitive evaluation theory gives the three types of motivation, amotivation, extrinsic motivation, and intrinsic motivation their own regulatory styles.

Amotivation: Non-Regulation
Extrinsic motivation: External Regulation, Introjected Regulation, Identified Regulation and Integrated Regulation
Intrinsic motivation: Intrinsic Regulation
Further Investigation

It normally takes me awhile to let information from lectures and tutorial sink in but I felt that I fully understood the terms intrinsic and extrinsic motivation during the lecture as they were verbally explained really well, yet I found that the slides weren't so clear. Therefore I found that i really wanted to clarify their exact meaning.

Intrinsic motivation is defined as the doing of an activity for its inherent satisfaction rather than for some separable consequence. When intrinsically motivated, a person is moved to act for the fun or challenge entailed rather than because of external products, pressures or reward (Decci & Ryan, 2000, pp.56)

Interesting side note: A study conducted by Patall, Cooper & Robinson (2008) has recognised intrinsic motivation, effort, task performance, and perceived competence is enhanced when choice is provided.

Extrinsic motivation is a construct that pertains whenever an activity is done in order to attain some separable outcome. Extrinsic motivation thus contrasts with intrinsic motivation, which refers to doing an activity simply for the enjoyment of the activity itself, rather than its instrumental value (Deci & Ryan, 2000, pp.56)


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

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Robinson, J. C. (2008). The Effects of Choice on Intrinsic Motivation and Related Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis of Research Findings. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 270-300. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.134.2.270

Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion (5th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Week six[edit]

Control beliefs & The self[edit]

Motivation to exercise personal control comes from initial assumptions and understandings such as the desire to control the environment in order to make positive outcomes more likely than negative outcomes, and exercising personal control regularly strengthens a person’s belief that they have the power to influence outcomes. The extent to which a person’s will exercise personal control depends on their own beliefs and expectations of being able to do so.

Types of expectancy:

Efficacy Expectations: The expectation of being able to perform behaviours needed to cope effectively with the situation. Asking “Can I do it?”
Outcome Expectation: The expectation that behaviour will produce positive outcomes, or prevent negative ones. Asking “Will what I do work?”

Self-efficacy is a belief by an individual in their ability to succeed in particular situations. Such beliefs control how and individual approaches tasks, challenges, and their own goals. People who have high self-efficacy are more likely to see a hard task as something to be mastered, whereas someone with low self-efficacy will look at the same task and think it is something to be avoided. Sources of self-efficacy which contribute towards self-efficacy include their personal behaviour history, vicarious experience (modelling), verbal persuasion (pep talk), and physiological activity. Sources of self-efficacy combined with effects of self-efficacy are responsible for the extent of self-efficacy experienced by an individual. Effects of self-efficacy include choice, effort and persistence, thinking and decision making, and emotional reactions such as stress and anxiety.

Empowerment If an individual possess the knowledge, skills and beliefs that allow them to exert control over their lives they are believed to be empowered. Positive self-efficacy encompasses personal empowerment which can be taught through master modelling programs.

Mastery beliefs are the perceived control one has over attaining desirable outcome and preventing aversive ones. The extent to which they perceive control will determine the strength of the positive outcomes. “To what extent do you believe your actions control the environment?”

War protest.jpg
Ways of coping

Approach vs. Avoidance (Take action or avoid the problem)
Social vs. Solitary (Act in a team or act alone)
Proactive vs. Reactive (Taking action before or after the problem occurs)
Direct vs. Indirect (Take action yourself or get someone else to take action)
Control vs. Escape (Take charge or avoid)
Alloplastic vs. Autoplastic (Change the problem or change yourself)
Problem focused vs. Emotion focused (Manage the problem or regulate your emotions)

Learned helplessness

When person beliefs the outcomes in their life are uncontrollable they develop learned helplessness – outcomes that happen to me are uncontrollable and cannot be changed through my behaviour. Three components of learned helplessness are;
Contingency – the objective relationship between a person’s behaviour and the environment’s outcomes
Cognition – subjective personal control beliefs, biases, attributions, and expectancies
Behaviour – listless, demoralised coping behaviour

Further Investigation

Looking at the ways in which people cope got me thinking about how I cope within certain situations. Do I really cope as well as I think I do? I started looking on the internet for coping tests, not really knowing what I would find, or how scientific the results of the tests might be. I turned to health site to increase my chances of gaining an accurate score. The first coping survey I did was made up of 10 questions and took 3 minutes to complete. The survey took my results, gave me a meaning and seemed to describe me in a nut shell. I scored 70/100 and was labelled a person with average coping skills.

To try the same short 10 question survey I did follow this link

Even though I was content with my results from the first survey i wanted to see if there were further tests online which approached stress. I found a survey complied of 64 questions, which is much more in depth than the first survey I completed. I scored a 45/100. I'm shocked, yet I believe this survey asked more appropriate questions in order to make the final judgement.

If your keen to try an extended coping survey I recommend you follow this link

Tutorial three - Self & Goal

Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is a topic this semester which I have found really interesting. In this week tutorial we were asked to look out our own motivations for going to university. The answers my group and I came up with were popular across the board, with the four groups within the tutorial expressing the same motivations.

The question which were asked were, Why are you at University? Why do students go to university?
My group responded with:
To expand knowledge/ learning/ skills
To further our careers/ gain skills for a career
Rejected the alternative of getting a job straight after school
Social influences

Two popular motivators which we didn't discuss were:
Social opportunities - to meet people, make and explore friendships, enjoy social environment
Altrism - to become better able to help people, help society, help the planet

These responses made me ask the questions; are popular motivations the result of social pressures or modeling? Do we do it because it is expected of us? Do we don't know any different? I believe it is really interesting to acknowledge what motivates people and compare it to your own motivations.

Functionalist perspective to motivation:
A good match between motivations and outcomes leads to satisfaction and retention (or intention to continue), whereas a poor match between motivations and outcomes leads to low satisfaction and risk of drop-out.

1. Our motivations can be multiple and complex.
2. The match between our motivations and outcomes is theorised to predict satisfaction adn satisfaction is theorised to predict our likelihood to continue.

Group brainstorm on self-constructs!
What is a self construct?? Our group definition was: Positive or negative dimensions to how you see yourself.
Esteem - Worth
Confidence - Relates to belief in your ability to successfully do a task efficiently.
Identity - What kind of identity do you have in society, groups and memberships
Efficacy - Link to how much effort you'll put into a task
Concept - set of descriptors
Belief - Relates to many self-constructs

During the tute we also did a few surveys; L.E.Q. - I and another testing our optimism. The optimism survey was extremely difficult to work out the results, it was kinda frustrating. Yet I love to know the results to my surveys, especially if they are psychology surveys as they are very very interesting. So i persevered to find out I am moderately pessimistic. Overall it was a great tute.

Week seven[edit]

There was no lecture this week, and it was not my week to attend tutorials.

Week eight[edit]

There were no lectures or tutorials this week due to the University of Canberra's mid semester break.

Week nine[edit]

Nature of emotion[edit]

The five perennial questions surrounding the nature of emotion, according to Reeve (2009) are,

1. What is emotion? (definition needs to be established and the relationship between emotion and motivation worked out)
2. What causes emotion? (Involves discussing the affects of biology vs. cognition)
3. How many emotions are there? (Biological perspective, cognitive perspective, and basic emotions)
4. What good are the emotions? (Coping functions, social functions)
5. What is the difference between emotion and mood? (Everyday mood, positive affect)

Question 1.
What is an emotion? An emotion is made up of,
Feelings - Subjective experience, Phenomenological awareness, and cognition
Bodily Arousal - Physiological activation, Bodily preparation for action, and Motor responses
Sense of purpose - Goal-directed motivational state, and Function aspect
Social-Expressive - Social communication, facial expression, and vocal expresion

Emotions are one type of motive which energises and directs behaviour.
Emotions serve as an ongoing "readout" to indicate how well poor how poorly personal adaptation is going.

Question 2.
What causes emotions?
Significant situational events -> Cognitive process / Biological process -> which turn into feelings, sense or purpose, bodily arousal, or social-expressive.

Biology perspective - Biology lies at the causal core of emotion.
Cognitive perspective - Cognitive activity is a necessary prerequisite to emotion.

Question 3.
How many emotions are there?

Biology perspective - Places an emphasises on the primary emotions such as anger, and fear.
Cognitive perspective - Acknowledges the importance of the primary emotions, but stresses the complex emotions. .

Question 4.
What good are the emotions?
Emotions have both coping and social functions.
Coping functions include destruction, reproduction, reunion, affiliation, rejection, and exploration.
Social functions of emotions can be, communicating our feeling to others, influencing how others interact with us, invite and facilitate social interaction, and create, maintain, and dissolve relationships.

Question 5.
What is the difference between emotion and mood?
Emotions emerge from significant life situations and appraisals of their significance to our well-being. Whereas moods emerge from ill-defined processes.

Further Investigation

Emotions are always being experienced by an individual at all points in time, as one particular emotion eventually fades a fresh emotion will arise and take its place. No emotions are permanent. I popped a search through the internet search engine Google, searching 'Nature of emotion.' Clicked on images and beautiful pictures of nature appeared. The search didn't exactly pick up the types of things I was looking for yet I felt emotions of amazement and awe for some of the incredible images. I feel emotions are the human response to external and internal stimuli. Anything has the power to change your emotions, and sometimes the smallest things can make you feel the most intense emotions.

Nature (133848833).jpg Vanadiumoxid-nature.jpg Yellowlegs - natures pics.jpg Antarctic Iceberg 18.jpg

Tutorial four - Emotion

This week's tutorial was based on emotion. Because I got mixed up with what weeks the tutorials would be held after the break I missed my tutorial (Tutorial one), and instead attended the following weeks tutorial on the same topic (Tutorial 3). This fault on my part turned out quite well as it allowed me to meet others within the unit and work with groups of different people.
This weeks tutorial had alot less content involved than previous weeks, but the tasks were more focused and reliant on critical thinking. I think this tutorial was one of the best as it got groups thinking and collaborating ideas, instead of thinking like textbook robots.
The first task surrounded specific emotional words, and deciding wether or not each word was an emotion. We discussed, agreed and organised the emotional words into an organised model of emotions (into underlying clusters). There were four groups within our tutorial that completed the task, with each group having similar clusters, yet differing in the number of emotional words which they believed were true emotions.

A photo was taken of my groups organised model of emotions. Click on the image below for a larger image.

Emotion Q-sort Group 6 (Large).jpg

After, we completed and scored the 20-item PANAS-Trait. A mood survey (mood tool), which assesses the degree of positive and negative affect. The scale consists of a number of words that describe different feelings and emotions, we were asked to look at the emotions and respond by indicating to what extent we feel these emotional in general (how we feel on average). My own positive affect was 33, and negative affect, 17.
We finished the tutorial by discussing wikiversity, and how to upload and embed images. Which is a task that I always find helpful, as others ask questions that I would have never thought of, which in turn helps me to improve my own wikiversity pages.

Week ten[edit]

Aspects of emotion[edit]

Biological aspects of emotion[edit]

Includes autonomic nervous system, endocrine system, neural brain circuits, rate of neural feedback, and facial feedback.

James-Lange theory The James-Lange theory recognises that emotional experience is a way of making sense of bodily changes. The theory has two hypothesis, these being;

1. The body reacts uniquely to different emotion-stimulating events, and
2. The body does not react to non- emotion-stimulating events.

Stimulus → Emotion → Bodily reaction
Stimulus → Bodily reaction → Emotion

It is important to understand that each theory has criticisms, for one theory rarely explains every aspect of the issue. Three criticisms which have been identified are:

1. The body reactions were part of a general fight-flight response that did not vary between emotions

2. Emotions are experienced more quickly than physiological reactions

3. Physiological arousal augments rather than causes emotion. Its role is small, supplemental and relatively unimportant.

Contemporary perspective recognises emotions recruit biological and physiological support to enable adapative behaviours such as fighting, fleeing, and nurturing. The contemporary perspective also acknowledges distinct physiological differences (e.g., Heart rate and Skin temperature) are evident for some emotions (e.g., anger, fear, sadness, and disgust).

Cognitive aspects of emotion[edit]

Includes appraisals, knowledge, attributions, socialisation history, and cultural identities.

Cognitive aspects of emotion help to recognise that without an antecedent cognitive appraisal of the event, emotions do not occur, and that the appraisal, not the event itself, causes the emotion.

Emotion knowledge
1. We learn to distinguish finer shades of emotion as we develop (distinctions are stored cognitively).
2. An individual's emotion knowledge is the number of emotions s/he can distinguish.
3. Emotion knowledge partially underlies the rationale for teaching emotional intelligence.

Socio-cultural aspects of emotion[edit]

Includes socialisation history and cultural identities.

1. Appraisal contributes to a cognitive understanding of emotion

2. The sociocultural context one lives in contributes to a cultural understanding of emotion.

3. Social interaction contributes to a social understanding of emotion

The socio-cultural aspects of emotion in include mimicry, feedback, contagion, emotional socialisation, and managing emotions.


Week eleven[edit]

Personality, motivation and emotion[edit]

Three motivational principals

  • Happiness
  • Arousal
  • Control

Personality traits as causes of behaviour and motivation

  • Traits cause people to react differently to different situations
  • Traits also cause people to approach and avoid different situations
  • Traits determine how people react to situations, e.g., positively or negatively
  • Traits determine the choice of situations and the altering of situations, e.g., approach, avoid, or modify situation

The big 5 personality traits[edit]

  • Neuroticism
  • Extraversion
  • Openness to Experience
  • Agreeableness
  • Conscientiousness

Each of these is measured using 6 facets (traits), these traits are shown in the table below.

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
Further Investigation

I have been doing my textbook chapter on arousal and now, as the semester draws to a close I feel I am quite the expert on the topic.
There are three mechanisms of arousal, electrocortical arousal that arouses the brain, behavioural arousal, and autonomic arousal that arouses the body. Often functioning independently these three systems are only activated by the body when needed, this ensures conservation of energy and helps to limit adverse affects which come from over use (Pfaff, 2006, p. 77).

Change to the frequency of brain waves through speeding up or slowing down is recognised as electrocortical arousal. Electrocortical arousal can be monitored through the use of an electroencephalograph (EEG), which permanently records the activity of various brain structures that are activated by electrical impulses generated by chemical processes (Nagai, Goldstein, Critchley & Fenwick, 2004). Electrocortical arousal can also be recorded through the use of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), which assesses blood flow through the brain to recognise various areas that respond to external stimuli and cognitive demands.

Behavioural arousal is measured through observable behaviours such as restlessness, tension, fidgeting, and muscle twitching (Chaplin, Hong, Bergquist, & Sinha, 2008). Alternatively autonomic arousal is recognised as a biological response, triggered by the nervous system which potentially can lead to sympathetic responses that include increased heart rate, pupil dilation, and changes in breathing (Moodie & Finnigan, 2005; Bradley, Miccoli, Escrig & Lang, 2008).

Inverted ‘U’ Hypothesis

Correlation of arousal and performance based on inverted ‘U’ hypothesis

In 1908 Robert Yerkes and John Dodson conceptualised a relationship between arousal and performance, putting forth the inverted ‘U’ hypothesis (Yerkes & Dodson, 1908). Through recognising the different levels of arousal, ranging from underarousal to overarousal, Yerkes and Dodson were able to demonstrate a curvilinear relationship between arousal and performance within the inverted ‘U’ curve. The curve illustrates that the arousal level matched with a level of perceived task complexity could be an indicator of overall task performance.

The four main influences determining arousals relationship with performance are;

  1. skill level,
  2. personality,
  3. trait anxiety, and
  4. the complexity of the task

(Baechle & Earle, 2008, p. 167).

To learn more on the topic of arousal visit my textbook chapter Motivation and Arousal

Tutorial five - Personality and M&E

The tutorial started out with a chapter review quiz, which include topics happiness and personality, arousal, and control. I did surprisingly well considering I'm not good at any quiz when placed on the spot, which gives credit to how this unit has been run and presented.

The second task we completed was the sensation seeking scale. Sensation Seeking is a construct developed by Marvin Zuckerman in 1971 that has gradually become a personality trait (Roberti, 2004). Through engaging in risky behaviours a sensation seeker’s main objective is to raise levels of internal arousal, with the trait being defined by a willingness of an individual to take risks to fulfil a desire for new stimulation.

Sensation Seeking traits can be measured using a self-report questionnaire developed by Zuckerman, the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS). The scale measures the presence of four dimensions of sensation seeking in the participant, these being, thrill and adventure seeking, experience seeking, disinhibition, and boredom susceptibility (Roberti, 2004; Carducci, 2009, p. 347). The Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale gives a number value to each answer to give an overall accumulative score for each of the four dimensions. The scores then rank the behavioural tendencies of the participant, with low scores indicating low sensation seekers (LSS) and higher scores indicating high sensation seekers (HSS) (Walker & Broughton, 2009, p 54).

Individuals who score high on thrill and adventure (HSS) may participate in behaviours such as fast driving, whereas individuals who score low (LSS) may tend to drive to the speed limit. Experience-seeking individuals may seek arousal in trying unusual foods, such as insects. Disinhibited thrill seekers tend to seek heightened arousal from risking social behaviours like shoplifting, and boredom susceptibility thrill seekers do their best to avoid falling into routines (Carducci, 2009, p. 347; Walker & Broughton, 2009, p 54).

On completing the Sensation Seeking Scale i scored a 3 for boredom susceptibility (BS), 4 for disinhibition (D), 7 for experiencing seeking (ES), and 5 for thrill and adventure seeking (TAS). Most of the results from students in the class were slightly lower or slightly higher than mine. It would be interesting to look at why we were all relatively similar. Does it have something to do with our choice of degree? Do certain sensation seekers seek out different careers? Can differences in sensation seeking traits help predict what university degree people would choose to study?

The tutorial finished with a quick review on assessment items for the unit, as people asked questions and gained knowledge on how to best complete the tasks.


Carducci, B. J. (2009). The Psychology of Personality: Viewpoints, Research, and Applications. Maldon, MA: Wiley-Blackwell

Baechle, T. R., & Earle, R. W. (2008). Essential of Strength Training and Conditioning. Winsor, ON: National Strength and Conditioning Association

Bradley, M. M., Miccoli, L., Escrig, M., & Lang, P. J. (2008). The pupil as a measure of emotional arousal and autonomic activation. Psychophysiology, 45, 602-607. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8986.2008.00654.x

Moodie, C., & Finnigan, F. (2005). A comparison of the autonomic arousal of frequent, infrequent and non-gamblers while playing fruit machines. Addiction, 100, 51-59. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.00942.x.

Nagai, Y., Goldstein, l. H., Critchley, H. D., & Fenwick, P. B. (2004). Influence of sympathetic autonomic arousal on cortical arousal: implications for a therapeutic behavioural intervention in epilepsy. Epilepsy research, 58, 185-193. doi:10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2004.02.004

Pfaff, D. (2006). Brain arousal and information theory: neural and genetic mechanisms. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Roberti, J. W. (2004). A review of behavioural and biological correlates of sensation seeking. Journal of Research in Personality, 38, 256-279. doi:10.1016/S0092-6566(03)00067-9

Walker, L., & Broughton, P. (2009). Motorcycling and leisure: understanding the recreational PTW rider. Surrey, England: Ashgate Publishing Company

Yerkes, R. M., & Dodson, J. D. (1908). The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit formation. Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology, 18, 459-482. doi: 10.1002/cne.920180503

Week twelve[edit]

Unconscious motivation[edit]

As I understand it psychodynamic is the study of unconscious psychological processes, the lecture mentioned examples of these to be defense mechanisms and depression.

The Unconscious[edit]

Much of mental life is unconcious
There are three contemporary views on the unconscious;

  1. Freudian unconscious (Automatically appraises the environment)
  2. Adaptive unconscious (sets goals, makes judgements, and initiates action)
  3. Implicit motivation (Automatically attend to emotionally linked environmental events)


Mental processes operate in parallel with one another.
Illustration of psychodynamics

  1. Repression - The process of forgetting information and an experience by ways that are unconscious, unintentional, and automatic. Repression is the ego’s counterforce to the id’s demanding desires.
  2. Suppression - The process of removing a thought from attention by ways that are conscious, intentional, and deliberate.
Further Investigation

Within my text book chapter I spoke about Drive theory. Drive theory was introduced into this weeks lecture. I thought I would share with you some independent research I have done on Drive theory.

Drive Theory[edit]

In 1943, Clark Hull proposed a liner relationship between arousal and performance (Movahedi, et. al., 2007) that suggests the more aroused an athlete is the higher quality of his performance (Weinberg & Gould, 2007). The theory surrounds the belief that increased arousal will increase performance of the dominant response, whether it be learned or instinctive (Movahedi, et. al., 2007).

Correlation of arousal and performance based on drive theory

In 1966 Spence and Spence took Hull’s theory and proposed a slightly adapted view, concentrating on the presence of stressors and overarousal. Spence and Spence (1966) referred to a learned response as habit strength, and arousal as drive in their explanatory equation that showed the outcome of a performance as dependent on three variables, incentive value, the strength of arousal, and an individual’s learned responses (McMorris, 2004, p. 246).

Performance = Habit strength x Drive x Incentive value

Drive theory is concentrated on the experience of learning new skills to complete a task, and the tendency to react instinctively when put under pressure (Weinberg & Gould, 2007). The influence of skill level on arousal and performance suggests that in the early cognitive stage of learning whilst completing an unfamiliar task under circumstances of increased arousal, an individual will act instinctively to the situation resulting in a less then moderate performance. If the same task were to be completed in the latter autonomous stage of learning with the same level of increased arousal, the level of performance is likely to be improved. This is because the instinctive response has been replaced with the correct learned response, and actions performed in heightened arousal are more likely to reflect previous experiences of the task. Learnt skills and behaviours, with practice, become habitual (Movahedi, et. al., 2007).

For more information on Drive theory visit my textbook chapter Motivation and Arousal


McMorris, T. (2004). Acquisition and performance of sports skills. England: John Wiley & Sons

Movahedi, A., Sheikh, M., Bagherzadeh, F., Hemayattalab, R., & Ashayeri, H. (2007). A Practice-Specificity-Based Model of Arousal for Achieving Peak Performance. Journal of Motor Behavior, 39, 457–462. doi: 10.3200/JMBR.39.6.457-462

Weinberg, R. S., & Gould, D., (2007). Foundations of sport and exercise psychology. United States: Human Kinetics

Week thirteen[edit]

Growth motivation & positive psychology[edit]

Positive psychology looks at people's mental health and the quality of their laves, and seeks to build people's strength and competencies. Positive psychology asks "What could be?"
Looking towards the future and being optimistic is something everyone would like to do, but sometimes we can catch our selfs doing the complete opposite. I believe mastering the art of positive psychology has a very important role within society as peoples mental health can always use a good, positive boost.
Positive psychology has three illustrative personal strengths, these being:

  1. Optimism
  2. Meaning, and
  3. Eudamonic Well-being


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.
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.
Eudaimonic Well-being - Eudaimonic well-being is self-realisation. Relatedness satisfaction and pursuit of self-endorsed goals forecast Eudaimonic well-being
Criticisms of positive psychology include pollyanna optimism, unscientific concepts, and unknown origins of inner guides.

Growth can be encouraged by making grows choices, being honest, situationally positioning yourself for peak experiences, giving up defensiveness, and being open to experience.
Actualising tendency - Innate, a continual presence that quietly guides the individual toward genetically determined potentials. Motivates the individual to want to undertake new and challenging experiences.
Organismic Valuation Process - Innate capability for judging whether a specific experience promotes or reverses growth. Provides the interpretive information needed for deciding whether the new undertaking is growth-promoting or not.

Further Investigation

Positive psychology sounds very interesting to me so I searched for more information. There were a few good websites available yet the best one I found was a fact sheet. The fact sheet addressed topics such as "What is positive psychology?" "Practical strategies to increase your level of happiness," and "Finding meaning." Click this link to view

More information on positive psychology

  Seligman, M E P (2002) Authentic Happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfilment. Free Press 
  Lyubomirsky, S (2008) The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You  Want. Penguin Putnam. 

Week fourteen[edit]

Summary and conclusion[edit]

As the tutorial rolls around every second week I find myself sitting in class wishing this unit had an exam component. It is not because I have great talent in completing exams (quite the opposite actually) but because I feel that I have learnt and benefited so much from the structure of this unit. Recording in my e-portfolio each week has been a fantastic learning tool and incentive to attend each tutorial and lecture throughout the semester, if only all lecturers could see the benefits of such assessment and replace not so appealing and tedious assessment items (group-assignments and oral presentations to be blunt) with items that facilitate in the task of learning through encouraging attendance and participation.