From Wikiversity
Jump to navigation Jump to search
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 & Emotion.png


Motivation and emotion
Piano practice 2.jpg
Motivation and emotion are subjects I believe to be core to psychology. I have always been fascinated by human behaviour, my personal motivation for studying psychology. I believe motivation and emotion to be core aspects in driving human behaviour and so am looking forward to this unit.

Like many of us, I am a ‘naive’ scientist of life with some unsupported theories and alot of unanswered questions, particularly on emotions. I am fascinated by the internal influences on emotions. I have a friend who has bi-polar and was struck by a comment he once made that every morning he wakes up, he asks himself – ‘how am I feeling today and is this normal’. This sentiment floored me because I cannot imagine what it must be like to have emotions (i.e. moods that I associate with positive and negative emotions) that have such an influence on your wellbeing and state of mind, that there is a conscious need to be so acutely aware of these and separate them from a “normal” state in order to navigate your day.

Strong emotion.jpg

I am also struck when an individual is so sad that they are motivated to end their life. I find this profoundly sad and wish to understand how emotion and motivation combine and lead to such devastating consequences. I find the use of the word motivation paradoxical in this sense as I associate motivation as the drive and will to achieve positive things. The definition is also misleading in that it talks about achieving goals and outcomes. I understand this is a failing on my part to encompass all that motivation is, and on this note the themes in the study of, and the many voices of motivation covered in this lecture resonated for me. They are starting to provide the perspective and framework I have been lacking in terms of thinking and understanding motivation in its entirety.

On a personal level I am interested in determining what motivates me in a number of aspects of my life. I would say that inspiration and pressure are big motivators for me, though these are two extremes and do not account for the in between. I am also interested in the practical application of motivational theories and how these can be used to solve problems.

Brain and physiological needs[edit]

In tutorials this week, we looked at the definitions of motivation and emotion. My personal definition for motivation was anything that drives and directs behaviour, and for emotion; feelings, a psychological and physical state – although the last part sounds wrong as it implies a physical state is an emotion which does not sound right.
Gehirn, medial - beschriftet lat.svg
I meant it in terms of physiological processes that contribute to emotions such as serotonin produced in the brain and intestines is associated with greater wellbeing and happiness. It was interesting to see the various group contributions with some well thought out definitions. The exercised raised my interest and understanding into the various elements that make up these two phenomena.

We were also asked to share our personal interest in motivation and emotion, further to my interests outline earlier, I am particularly interested in the constructs or mood and emotion. The quick research I have done on the area of emotion and mood indicates that they are two distinct occurrences leading me to question if the origins of mood are in emotion or vice versa. The lecture on the brain and physiological needs covered the three areas for the motivated and emotional brain, they being thinking, motivatated and emotional. This led me to question, if mood isn’t emotion, then where does it fit in the grand scheme of things? Our tutorial definition of emotion indicates that it is a psychological state of mind related to thoughts and that not what moods are?

My second interest is in how can psychological needs be greater than biological needs. This question is driven by the paradoxical nature of anorexia and other psychological acts that go against the will to survive. This week’s lecture touched on three reasons why physiologically people fail to self regulate. Finally, related to my text chapter, I am interested in this notion that culture can influence emotion. I find this extraordinary, can society really direct how we feel so much that it becomes part of our psyche?

Psychological and social needs[edit]

Thirst, hunger, sex, breathing, and sleep are all physiological motivating needs, however what of the psychological and social needs? I found the aspect of motivation driven by needs interesting in today’s lecture, particularly in relation to psychological needs.

It makes sense that physiological needs are inherent and come first in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Thirst and hunger are drive mechanisms that alert the body of a need. Physiological needs ensure survival...but can not the same be said for of psychological needs? On a basic level psychological needs that are not nurtured and satisfied may cause psychological distress. Does this motivate the individual to behave in ways that reduce the associated anxiety? Further, what happens if psychological needs are not met at certain stages does this result in psychological in-balance or dysfunctionality. Considered another way, are there psychological mechanisms that act as motivational drivers to ensure survival? For example bonding and attachment are psychological constructs that assist parents nursing their young – this is most evident in animals. In human females the hormone oxytocin is released after birth to assist in the bonding process ultimately conducive to greater chance of survival...but what are consequences of this not occurring.

Conducive to attachment?
Attachment theory argues that infants need to bond with at least one primary caregiver for sound emotional and social development (Bowlby 1969, cited in Strongman, 2003). Bowlby stressed a link between emotion expression and feeling (i.e. appraisal) and in interpreting the emotions of others (cited in Strongman). This is an interesting concept not so far touched on in the unit, with what appears to be a large focus in the literature on self appraisal of emotions, despite individuals being social beings.

Research lending to attachment theory has found that failure to form secure attachments in infancy and childhood can have negative impacts on behaviour and psychological wellbeing throughout life (Thompson 1999, cited in Strongman). For example, children with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder display attachment difficulties. Research suggests that early attachments can have detrimental impacts on later relationships. Thompson suggested that securely attached individuals are more receptive to the influence of socialisation, facilitating the development of consciousness, positive emotion regulation and control (cited in Strongman).

Further, in extreme case such as research in Romanian orphans who had no opportunity to form secure attachments displayed profound disabilities. While these are extremes, they illustrate psychological needs are primary needs, possibly influencing socialisation. For example, those who are securely attached in childhood tend to have good self-esteem, strong romantic relationships, and the ability to self-disclose to others.

Intrinsic-extrinsic motivation and goal setting[edit]

This week’s lecture covered intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and goal setting and goal striving. I find this interesting on a number of levels in that I am curious to determine what intrinsically motivates me. Extrinsically, I’m open to persuasion of all sorts that until now I have not consciously thought about in terms of rewards.

Altruistic [[1]] motivation fascinates me – motivation to assistance others or do a good deed for no personal gain. I would have thought that it is related to intrinsic motivation and look forward to reading the text chapter on it on wikiversity.

I was interested to learn that extrinsic motivators are not conducive to sustaining motivation. I related this to a current assignment I am completing in Learning, where I am looking at developing a behaviour management program using the principle of operant conditioning in an effort to reduce excessive alcohol use. I have focused the program on using positive reinforcers in the form of external rewards for abstaining from alcohol consumption. In light of this, I will try to incorporate some sort of reward that will attempt to reinforce intrinsic motivation to reduce excessive alcohol consumption.

I am also interested in the use of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in child rearing, particularly in encouraging positive behaviours through intrinsic motivators versus external motivators such as rewards or physical discipline. I acknowledge that rewarding children with overt extrinsic motivators (what I term bribes) is not conducive and attempts to create or instil intrinsic motivators to encourage positive behaviour is hard work, however it amazes me that many parents and caregivers will use physical discipline to manage a child’s behaviour in attempts to modify a child’s behaviour. Further to this, physical punishment can encourage violence and can cause psychological damage (Saunders & Goddard, 1999; Tucci et. al, 2006). The intentions of the parents may have little bearing on the outcome of the injury or emotional harm. Mostly, the use of physical punishment by parents is done when they are not calm and in control, suggesting that it is more about the parent’s anger than an effective means of discipline (Saunders & Goddard, 1999).

Gershoff (2002) conducted a meta-analysis into 88 studies from over 62 years examining the correlation between the use of physical punishment and number of children outcomes. While the use of physical punishment was found to achieve short term compliance (mostly through fear), it was also associated with 10 short and long term negative related outcomes that included increased fear, anxiety, aggression, anger, mental health problems and antisocial behaviour (Gershoff). Possible other incentives that may increase intrinsic motivators in shaping positive children behaviour are social reinforcers such as praise and smiling. Though a study by Kohls et al (2009) suggest that social incentives do not have a strong reinforcing value when compared to extrinsic motivators such as money. Interestingly, the study suggests that different personality traits may moderate the extent to which different type of reward motivates a child (Kohls). This raises the question for me, how does personality influence motivation and goal setting behaviour?

Group work

Through discussion with my tutorial group, I was able to refocus the direction of my text chapter, culture and emotion. Preliminary research I had done that I was hoping to guide the chapter was limiting me too specific topics on emotions and particular cultures. Suggestions assisted me to consider facial emotion recognition across cultures, what is it about cultures that influences emotion and how does this occur. Not only was it a useful process to focus on my own chapter, in considering other chapters topics in the group and the questions they were forming to guide their chapters.

Personal control and the self[edit]

Things happen for a reason; If it’s meant to be - it’s meant to be; Horoscopes!

I have often subscribed to the above sentiments and now in considering this topic, I wonder what value I place on them and how they assist in motivational processes. Or do I use or refer to them when there is a dissonance between an outcome I was or was not expecting or one that I simply cannot answer.

Wassermelone, Böhringer.JPG
For example, have you ever been at a loss to understand an incomprehensible event such as an untimely death or had a knock back on a job interview (even though you were aware you didn’t perform that well) or felt you needed some direction? Perhaps this is self preservation an attempt to understand or rationalise these inconsistency in thoughts and outcomes.

Self-efficacy or the psychological need for competence?[edit]

Reeve (2009) argued that self-efficacy and the psychological need for competence are two different motivational concepts, however further research suggests they are inter-related. Research into self determination theory has extended on White’s (1959, cited in Poulsen, Rodger & Ziviani, 2006) model of motivation that asserts children’s primary motivation is the need for competence, and suggests a further two major psychological needs in this area (Poulsen et al.). These are autonomy or ownership of one’s behaviour and relatedness. Fulfilment in these three areas is correlated with vital self efficacy behaviour that is intrinsically motivated, self-regulated, curious, proactive and intentional (Poulsen et al.).

Self determination theory asserts that goal directed need fulfilment of children requires supportive environments that enhance goal engagement and leads to personal growth (Poulsen et al.). Researchers have found that need fulfilment encourages activities that are intrinsically motivated, rather than just externally motivated activities (i.e. reward).

Key self-efficacy terms
Relatedness Connections strengthened by support, warmth and affection that underpin an individual’s willingness to engage and explore in a range of activities.
Autonomy Individual pursuits motivated by curiosity, meaningfulness, importance, interest, enjoyment and challenge. Autonomous individuals are intrinsically motivated.
Competence Belief in the self that one can effectively interact with their environment. Competence is core to positive self perception and confidence.
Intrinsic motivation Motivation derived from authentic, self promoted and endorsed activities. Intrinsically motivated individuals have higher levels of excitement, confidence, persistence, creativity and spontaneous interest.
Extrinsic motivation Motivation from external sources such as rules, avoidance of punishment or rewards, which assist in engaging in activities.

Taken from Reeve (2009).

Helplessness and depression[edit]

I am intrigued by findings reported in Reeve (2009) that depressed [[2]] individuals could accurately judge the amount of control they had over a random condition, over non-depressed individuals who overstated the amount. It makes me question whether over stating your abilities acts as a motivator. Or, stated another way, does perceived competence in yourself have a self-serving benefit if it is not accurate?

Explanatory style[edit]

Glass half empty or glass half full? encapsulates the sentiment of this theory, with optimistic and pessimistic styles. These cognitive explanatory styles appear related to temperament as much as self-efficacy. Though not discussed in Reeve’s (2009) text, these styles appear to be linked to approaches taken by the individual to various aspects in their life. This is supported by the research presented relating to optimistic individuals who have better achievement and coping outcomes than negative individuals (Reeve, 2009)....which leads me to question which is greater - hope, or a belief in the self?

Hope is a phenomena involving a belief, which an individual is uncertain about that involves an expectancy (Clarke, 2003). Hope, along with optimism, are associated with positive health outcomes (Clarke, 2003). Reeve (2009) suggest that hope facilitates energy and direction for the individual’s coping efforts. Hope in this sense is derived from two beliefs. Firstly, that the individual can achieve their goals, and secondly, that they have determined a clear pathway. I do not dispute that optimistic people are hopeful, however is not their achievement a result from their belief in the self and the individual’s competence to complete the desired goal and not their reliance or value placed on hope? I question the direction of this relationship.

For example, if I had a low belief in my competency to complete this assignment, would having high hopes to get it done actually assist in the process of completing it, or would some other motivational force play a more active role. In contrast, if I had a high belief in my competency to complete this assignment, would not my self-efficacy motivate me to complete it...and perhaps I might hope to do well?

Nature of emotion[edit]

In this week’s lecture I was hoping to find answers to questions I posed in week three- what are the differences between mood and emotion. While I think I have a strong grasp on what emotions are, I’m not really clear on what moods are. I’ve considered the antecedents and differences of emotion and moods and understand there are differences. Differences lie in their antecedents, duration and influence (i.e. how they impact on us). Emotions arise from life events and our perception and appraisal of their significance to us (Reeves, 2009).

In contrast, or maybe on the same spectrum of emotions, moods arise from frequently unknown causes and are more ill-defined than emotions (Reeves, 2009). I am surprised that research is not closer to defining the construct of mood. Fox (2008) suggests that moods may be promoted by emotions and their function is to offer a general indication of how we are doing, though this is not conclusive. Lending some support to this theory is Rolls’s (2005, cited in Fox) evaluation of literature in the neurobiology of emotion. Rolls suggests that emotions consist of cognitive processing resulting in a decoded signal that an event (environmental) is reinforcing, a mood state is also produced in this process. However if a mood state is produced without external input (i.e. the environmental event) and the decoding, then the latter is only described as the mood state.

Helping the homeless.jpg
A mood can be drawn out by a reinforcer but does not involve the cognitive processing appraisal of a reinforcer of an event (Fox). Emotions can be thought of being related to specific stimulus, where as mood is related to general stimulus (Fox). This makes sense when you think about particular emotions such as love, which cannot be quantified as a mood, however can result in a good or happy mood...though, I am still interested to learn what elicits mood in situations where there is no event that produces an emotion!

Moods make sense from an evolutionary perspective in that there are benefits of feeling good (Reeve, 2009), which makes me wonder whether altruism is a bi-product of feeling good? i.e. can you perform altruistic acts if you were in a negative or flat mood state? Research has found that altruistic acts significantly leads to positive mood (Harris, 1977), however there is little research of the reverse, with research providing non-conclusive results (Driver, 1987). Though Isen and Levin’s (1972, cited in Reeve) research suggests that positive mood does facilitate altruistic behaviour, with nearly all participants who found a dime placed in the coin dispenser of the phone by the researchers, mostly assisted a stranger who dropped their belongings after the event, compared to only one helping participant from the control group who did not find dimes. Later research by Hertel and Fiedler (1994) suggested that altruism (pro-social) behaviour is a secondary effect mostly guided by personality factors. They suggest that positive mood promotes pro-social behaviour.

Aspects of emotion[edit]

In tutorials this week, having to determine what category, out of six basic emotion types (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and disgust) 211 emotions belong to, made me think that perhaps there are more than six basic types of emotion. Noting, as a group we decided to use the six broad emotions identified through basic emotion theory, which asserts that emotions are universal and innate (Ekman, 1970, 1972, 1992, 1993, cited in Ellsworth et al., 1998).

Emotion Q-Sort - you can see our additional emotional categoty between anger and sadness
We found emotions that encapsulated stress did not fall under six of the broad and created our own emotion heading, Stressed. Further, emotions such as rattled, cussed, annoyed, thunderstruck and combative, to name a few, were difficult to place. We felt that these characterised another emotion factor separate to anger, interest and disgust. This led us to question whether there should be other core factors to encapsulate these...On a side – 211 emotions!! Who would have thought there are so many, that said some, such as nirvana, calm and energetic really describe states than actual emotions.

There are three approaches to considering the construction or event of emotions and they are through biological, cognitive and soci-cultural contexts. In the process of researching my wiki text chapter on Emotion and Culture, I have ascertained that all three factors have an influence on emotion regardless of what culture an individual belongs.

The facial feedback hypothesis is fascinating and although findings indicate that it produces a small effect on emotional experience, the potential role it can play in alleviating depression could be great. Research by Austad, Gendron, Fallahi (2007, cited in Andrasik, 2007) found that induced anger expressions and anger dissipation and positive facial expressions all produced significant changes in heart and breathing rates, with participants reporting correlating emotional states. The research implies that emotional states can be manipulated and has potential for therapeutic interventions focused on changing affective states.

Also in the tutorials we completed the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). The PANAS measures current positive and negative affect as apposed to well-being or happiness as a trait. The scale includes two 10 item mood scales (positive and negative) where participants rate the responses (i.e. the extent they have experienced the specified emotion within a specific time frame) on a likert scale. The PANAS has demonstrated internal consistency and has found the two mood scales to be largely uncorrelated (Watson et al. 1988, cited in Rogatko, 2009).

Again this brings me back between differentiating between emotion and mood. If emotions in total equal certain affects, i.e. positive affect is more likely to result in flow, then are the two not interrelated? (Andrasik, 2007). Does it not follow that a depressed person (i.e. negative/flat mood) is more likely to feel negative emotions i.e. sadness than positive ones such as happiness?

I am left questioning what are the central aspects of mood?

Personality, motivation and emotion[edit]

Are you a sensation seeker? Do you thrive on thrill and adventure; experience; disinhibition; and are easily bored? If you answered yes to most, it is likely you are, and it is also likely you have extravert traits. The Sensation Seeking Scale[[3]] measures the trait, sensation seeking, based on the four constructs just highlighted...(no - I am not sensation seeker!).

So does it suck to be an introvert? Judging by arguments asserting that extraverts have a greater capacity to experience positive emotions and are more eager to approach potentially rewarding and stimulating situations it would appear so (Reeve, 2009).

Children dancing, Geneva.jpg
Reeve (2009) proposes that extraverts are more happy than introverts because they are more sensitive to seeking rewards in social situation, and are more disposed to positive feelings and are more likely to approach rewarding situations. Though not all research in the area supports these assertions. Tamir (2009) found that preferences for happiness differed as a function of trait and situational demands when participants expected an effortful task. Tamir (2009) proposed that when individuals anticipate a challenging task requiring increased motivation, individuals demonstrated emotional preferences consistent with personality traits. Extraverts were more likely to favour feeling happy while completing effortful tasks than introverts. The findings suggest that extravert individuals are more likely to be motivated to increase their happiness in effortful situations.

However, no difference was found in happiness preferences in social versus private situation, only in the context of effortful situations. Research asserting that social implications account for higher preference for happiness in extraverts is not supported by this research. Emotional set-point theory accounting for the lower levels of happiness sought by introverts is also not supported by this study as the findings relating to higher happiness preferences only pertained to effortful situations and not effortless situations among both traits. Private effortful situations included taking a test, solving a personal problem, and being creative. Social effortful situations included giving a speech, solving a conflict and participating in group discussions. Tamir (2009) suggests that the difference may be in motivational orientations consistent with the extravert and introvert traits. For example extraverts are more inclined to approach reward-seeking activity compared to introverts who may be low in approach though are more engaged in rewarding activity, and who may benefit more from emotional neutral states, i.e. be more engaged in the activity rather than its pursuit.

Researching emotion and culture for my chapter, and learning that collective cultures when perceiving emotional expression or internal states of emotion referred to the surrounding social context makes me question the impact culture has on extravert and introvert traits. A study by Sheldon and Hoon (2007) into factors influencing subjective wellbeing (including personality) among US and Singaporean (representing both individualist and collective cultures) participants found that the negative association of neuroticism was smaller in the Singaporean group – this could suggest that culture does mediate trait factors. While not directly related to extraverts, culture appears have a ‘top down effect on its members’, effects that Sheldon and Hoon argue cannot be accounted for by personality constructs. Further, extraversion may be a trait that is encouraged and emphasised in individualist cultures such as the US, that could account for greater discrepancies between extravert and neurotic traits in these two participant samples.

Unconscious motivation[edit]

Tenth card from Rorschach's Inkblock Test - a projective test associated with psychoanalysis
The chapter opening in Reeve (2009) on unconscious motivation demonstrates how thoughts, emotion, behaviour and motivation can be derived from external suggestions without the individual’s conscious knowledge.

I am struck by the reliance on limited psychoanalytic theories in attempts to understand unconscious motivation. While I understand that unconscious motivation is not tangible such as behaviour, I am surprised that there has not been more research. Does limited theories in the area suggest that contemporary psychodynamic theory is sufficient and widely accepted in explaining unconscious motivation. Given the criticisms levied at the theories it would not appear so.

Contemporary psychodynamic theory proposes four elements that influence unconscious development. They are:

  1. The unconscious
  2. Psychodynamics
  3. Ego development
  4. Object relations theory

In keeping with research that also aligns with my text chapter, emotion and culture, I focused on research that asserts if culture has any influence on unconscious motivation. Research by Pysczczynski, Greenberg, and Solomon (2000) focused on terror management theory (TMT), which purports that individuals require self-esteem and faith in their cultural world views as they provide protection in a fundamental fear of death. TMT suggest that individuals avoid this fear by focussing on cultural views that provide explanations for existence ( Pysczczynski et al.). When individuals are conscious of death they defend against this by inflating their mortality and health and attempt to avoid and suppress such thoughts. However, Pysczczynski et al argue that in doing so, they have not adequately deal with the inevitably of death, only pushing it in the future. They suggest that individuals solve this issue by believing in a cultural world view and acquiring self esteem. They further suggest that unconscious thoughts of death increase this need. These assertions are based on studies that have found that when thoughts of death enter consciousness, proximal defences that serve to push these thoughts out of consciousness are activated. Individuals respond to this situation by dismissing the relevance of a threat to themselves but after a delay they do not. Once these thoughts are out of conscious, though still accessible and thus a continued threat, the proximal defence function is not needed as boosts in cultural world view and esteem occur. That is, they found that individuals defended the cultural world view only after a delay in exposure to death related thoughts, termed as distal defence because they report no conscious thoughts of death.

Sound a bit far fetched? Possibly. There could be a multitude of reasons why individuals felt more national pride or defended cultural views after a delay in death related thoughts. However, the research does support that conscious and unconscious threats activate two different defence mechanisms. Given this study was mostly based on an individualist culture (the US), further research would be of value to determine if collective cultures yeild different outcomes in TMT.

Growth psychology[edit]

Reeve (2009) purports that most people believe they are better than average in most domains. This tendency is suggested to be related to positive well-being and enhanced performance (Reeve). Peterson (2000, cited in Reeve) suggests that optimism is related to these processes of positivity. This positivity is associated with expectations for the self and hope (as opposed to wishful thinking).

This tendency is interesting when you compare it to findings that depressed individuals more accurately assessed their performance in a task over non-depressed individuals (see personal control and the self entry). This tendency to assess the self as better than average is fascinating, and leads me to question why reality (i.e. accurate assessments) does not always contribute positively to wellbeing.

A study by Svanum and Bigatti (2006) contributes to the reported findings on optimism that looked at optimistic grade expectations in 258 university students. They looked at optimism as uniformed wishfulness and aspiration judgement. They found grade optimism in 70% of participants, that is 70% of participants overestimated their grade by one full grade. Further, students that achieved lower grade were relatively more optimistic.

Higher achieving students more accurately predicted their performance. Svanum and Bigatti (2006) suggest this may be due to a mix of self-knowledge and realistic aspirations or informed optimism. Svanum and Bigatti (2006) suggested higher predications in grade by lower achieving students may be due to uniformed wishfulness. This finding supports Oettingen’s (1996, cited in Reeve, 2009) arguement that ‘wishful thinking can do more harm than good’.

I think the tendency relating to optimism to exaggerate estimations may be evident in positive and growth psychology. While these theories for me encapsulate attitudes I believe that clinical psychology should instil in clients, I do share the criticism that these perspectives do not account for the alarming level of hatred, prejudice, crime, war etc that exists. Further, there is a lack of empirical research into therapeutic processes and problem solving applications for clinical settings. Reeve (2009) suggests that evil is derived from enculturation and not human nature, though this is difficult to determine. Adler (1974) suggests that environment can influence the development of evil in children, stating “pampering, suffering and neglect of the child are the roots of a development toward the bad. The child is not good or bad by nature. The circumstances and how he understands them make the child one way or the other”.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Group work

This week’s tutorial raised some thought provoking questions into the nature of evil – is it inherent or a product of culture? I mostly consider evil to be shaped by environment and the associated experiences, and if I consider suggestions put forward by attachment theory (see psychological and social needs entry) that asserts negative attachment experiences can lead to social dysfunction such as oppositional defiant disorder, I can identify a link between experience and outcome. Of course, the definition of evil needs to be considered carefully here, but I question whether acts of extreme evil are shaped by nature or arise from an inherent trait in the individual.

I was fascinated by the different perceptions and rationale on unconscious motivation and positive psychology by the group. Life experience has taught me that there is no single best approach for all people, with individuals with varying personalities and beliefs, suited to different approaches regardless of any criticism toward that approach. Inherently I believe that people are drawn to approaches that resonate with them on a personal levels. There may be valid criticisms for an approach, though personal experience and perceptions that have shaped the individual are likely to guide them to an approach that resonates for them.

Maslow and Rogers while similar in concept in respectively asserting an actualised individual and fully functioning person, appear to differ in key characteristic. Maslow places emphasis on rising above personal individualistic ambitions, where as Roger emphasis the individual’s functioning and associated experiences. Maslow’s theory is broader, while Rogers’ is inwardly focussed – not surprising for an assertive, confident, American male born into a middle class American family. While Maslow was also born in the US, he was born into a Russian Jewish family - perhaps with a collective culture influence, though I am speculating whether these are factors.


The last tutorial really pulled together and encapsulates what I have obtained from this unit in motivation and emotion. While learning the fundamentals of motivation and emotion and the correlation between the two, it is the needs, experience, understanding, and personality of the individual that generally shapes their motivation and emotional behaviour and experience.

Perception: Is a zebra black with white stripes? Or, white with black stripes?
I found it interesting to see how some of the principles in particular areas may relate to each other. For example, findings that depressed people are more likely to accurately make assessment judgements over a ‘normal’ people, compared with a tendency for optimistic individuals to exaggerate their abilities, suggest a correlation of sorts into motivational factors across this dimension.

Moods moody moods...I can’t say I am satisfied with my learning in this area, this exercise has left me wanting to learn more about the nature and construct of them...perhaps motivation for later. Also while there are some interesting theories into unconscious motivation, I also was surprised at the lack of research, an area I find fascinating.

My text chapter on culture and emotion [[4]] led me on journey of learning. Highlights for me included:

  • differentiating between basic emotions and culturally influenced emotions such as happiness and shame had not occurred to me prior;
  • different cultural influences and perspectives of collective and individualist societies that can account for some personal observations I have made in my bicultural family; and
  • learning that some collective cultures such as Japan will appraise emotional facial expression and their own emotions in context to the groups’ emotional expression - I find this both fascinating and foriegn being from an individualist culture.

On reflection and with distance from each entry, I can see a pattern that emerged in how I approached my learning. My entries were very much motivated by my interests such as mood versus emotion, culture, life experiences, and biases – yes biases...I think I am more of an introvert than an extravert and went to great lengths to prove that extraverts cannot - do not have more happier experiences! And despite wanting to score high on the Sensation Seeking Scale – that is simply not me. In all, the personality and cultural aspects that influence motivation and emotion I found the most fascinating. While not having answered all questions I set out initially, I feel I have a greater understanding into emotions and motivation.


Adler, A. (1974). The child: Neither good nor evil. Journal of Individual Psychology, 30, 191-193.References

Andrasik, F. (2007). Abstracts of papers presented at the 37th annual meeting of the association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 32, 51-72. DOI: 10.1007/s10484-007-9032-z

Clarke, D. (2003). Faith and hope. Australasian Psychiatry, 11, p164-168. DOI: 10.1046/j.1039-8562.2003.00550.x.

Driver, E. D. (1987). Self-evaluation and altruistic behaviour. Journal of Social Psychology, 127, 393-935.

Ellsworth, P. C. (1994). Sense, Culture and Sensibility. Eds. S. Kitayama & H. R. Markus (Eds). Emotion and Culture. (pp 23-46). Washington: American Psychological Association.

Fox, E. (2008). Emotion Science. (pp 26-29). New York. Palgrave MacMillan.

Harris, M. B. (1977). Effects of altruism on mood. Journal of Social Psychology, 102, 197.

Hertel, G. & Fiedler, K. (1994). Affective and cognitive influences in a social dilemma game. European Journal of Social Psychology, 24, 131-145.

Gershoff, E. T. (2002). Corporal punishment by parents and associated child behaviours and experiences: A metaanalytic and theoretical review. Psychological Bulletin, 128, 539-579. Retrieved 18 September 2010

Kohls, G., Peltzer, J., Herpertz-Dahlmann, B., & Konrad, K. (2009). Differential effects of social and non-social reward on response inhibition in children and adolescents. Developmental Science, 12, 614-625. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00816.x.

Poulsen, A., A., Rodger, S. & Ziviani, J. M. (2006). Understanding children's motivation from a self-determination theoretical perspective: Implications for practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 53, 78-86. DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2006.00569.

Pysczczynski, T., Greenberg, J. & Solomon, S. (2000). Proximal and distal defense: A new perspective on unconscious motivation. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9, 156-160.

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

Rogatko, T. (2009). The influence of flow on positive affect in college students. Journal of Happiness Studies, 10, 133-148. DOI: 10.1007/s10902-007-9069-y.

Saunders, B. & Goddard, C. (1999) Why do we condone the physical assault of children by their parents and caregivers? Australian Childhood Foundation & The National Research Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse at Monash University, Melbourne. Retrieved 18 September 2010,

Sheldon, K. M. & Hoon, T. H. (2007). The multiple determination of well-being: Independent effects of positive traits, needs, goals, selves, social supports, and cultural contexts. Journal of Happiness Studies, 8, 565-592. DOI: 10.1007/s10902-006-9031-4.

Strongman, K. T. (2003). The psychology of emotion: From everyday life to theory (5th Ed.) pp 73, 156-157. New Zealand. Wiley. Svanum, S. & Bigatti, S. (2006). Grade expectations: Informed or uninformed optimism, or both? Teaching of Psychology, 33 , 14-18. DOI: 10.1207/s15328023top3301_4.

Tamir, M. (2009). Differential Preferences for Happiness: Extraversion and Trait-Consistent Emotion Regulation. Journal of Personality, 77, 447-470. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00554.x.

Tucci, J., Mitchell, J. & Goddard, C., (2006). Crossing the Line: Making the case for changing Australian laws about the physical punishment of children, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia: Australian Childhood Foundation. Retrieved 18 September 2010