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

Week 1 - Introduction[edit]

When looking at motivation there are two questions that are asked (1) What causes behaviour and (2) why does motivation vary in intensity.

What causes behaviour or why does he/she do that? are questions that are at the heart of the study of motivation. To better understand this and to find our why, there are other questions that need to be asked

  1. Why does behaviour start?
  2. why is behaviour sustained over time?
  3. Why is behaviour directed toward some goals yet away from others?
  4. Why does behaviour change its direction?
  5. Why does behaviour stop?

This can be thought of as the study of how motivation affects behaviour's initiation, persistence, change, goal directednes and eventual termination. It is investigating how motivation participates in, influences, and helps explain a person's ongoing stream of behaviour, along with emotion also influence our thoughts, our feelings, and our dreams and aspirations.

Why Does behaviour vary in it's intensity, can be asking Why is desire strong and resilient at one time yet weak and fragile at another time?. Motivation can vary in an individua and groups. This means that, even in the same situation, some people can be actively engaged while others are passive and listless and and individual can on one day be engaged and another be passive. Why this happens in an important question to try to answer when studying motivation.

Motivation: The study of motivation concerns those processes that give behaviour its energy and direction. Energy implies that behaviour has strength - it is relatively strong, intense and persistent. Direction implies that behaviour has purpose - that it is aimed or guided toward achieving some particular goal or outcome. The processes that energise and direct behaviour emanate from forces in the individual and the environment. Internal motives come from the individual and external events come from the environment.

A motive is an internal process that energises and directs behaviour, it is therefore a general term to identify the common ground shared by needs, cognitions and emotions.
Needs are conditions within the individual that are essential and necessary for the maintenance of life and for the nurturance of growth and well-being. There are biological needs, such as hunger, thirst and psychological needs such as competence and belongingness.
Cognitions refer to mental events, such as thoughts, beliefs, expectations, and the self-concept. Cognitive sources of motivation revolve around the person's ways of thinking.
Emotions are short-lived subjective-physiological-functional-expressive phenomena that orcherstrate how we react adaptively to the important events in our lives. They can include feelings, physiological preparedness, function and expression. By using these four aspects of experience into coherent pattern, emotions allow us to anticipate and to react to the important events in our lives.
An external event are environmental, social and cultural sources of motivation that have the capacity to energise and direct behaviour. environmental sources of motivation exist as specific stimuli or events.

Expressions of Motivation: How motivation expresses itself - how can you tell when someone is motivated. We can observe a person and/or we can infer motivation in a person. Motivation can be infered from its expressions via a person's

  1. Numbered list item Behaviour - such as attention, effort, facial expressions, choice, persistence.
  2. Numbered list item Engagement - the intensity, emotional quality and personal investment.
  3. Numbered list item Brain activiations and pyhsiology - brain sites become active.
  4. Numbered list item Self-report - simply by asking the person.

Key Themes:
The study of Motivation has a number of unifying themes that inegrate assumptions, hypotheses, theories, findings and applications related to motivation, including; Motivation benefits adaptation, motives direct attention and prepare action, motives vary over time and influence the ongoing stream of behaviour, types of motivations exist, motivations includes both approach and avoidance tendences and motivation study reveals what people want, to flourish motivation needs supportive conditions and there is nothing so practical as a good theory. There is a summary model which illustrates (see figure below) that motivation psychologists use to answer the questions set out at the beginning of the introduction. The essential purpose of each of the theories is to explain how the summary model works in relation to a particular motive.

Motivation has a whole variety of key themes and theories that try to explain what causes motivation as well as how perhaps to predict how and why someone in motivated. For myself motivation is a very personal thing, as mentioned in the text book, what motivates you one day, might not motivate you the next. These things are important considerations when studying how and why athletes, business people and students (high achievers) become motivated, what motivates them and how researchers can use these types to develop strategies to motive lower achievers, especially in school.

Tutorial One - introducton[edit]

Tutorial One was an introduction to the unit. There were a number of different activites that students completed, as well as being allocated to a group of 5-6 people.

Each group was asked to define motivation - I defined motivation as what makes people do things - reasons for actions, behaviour. The group defined it as the internal drive ore knowledge that pushes an individual to performance a specific action. We were also asked to define emotion - I defined it as feelings, thoughts, reaction to an event or situation also an unconscious response. The group defined it as feelings, energy, unconscious reactions to internal and external stimuli. The group was also asked to come up with some questions that we wanted answered about motivation - ours included - What makes some people high achievers? and what motivates someone to be aggressive/violent/selfish.

There was discussion on the textbook chapter as well as information provided on how to use wikiversity.

Below is some of definitons our tutorial group came up with:

Motivation Our internal individual drive that influences our behaviour, needs and desire to set goals. An internal drive which directs action. Internal drive or knowledge that pushes an individual to perform an action.

A personal disposition towards, and subjective interpretation of past, present and future life events. A short-lived psychological state and expression of internal feelings. Feelings, energy, unconscious reactions to internal and external stimuli.

Week 3 - Brain and Physiological needs[edit]

The motivated and emotional brain[edit]

Specific brain structures generate specific motivational states
Biochemical agents stimulate these brain structures
Day-to-day events stir biochemical agents into action.
There is a chain of events that stire these agents - There is an environmental event which leads to a biochemical agent being activated (i.e. a hormone being produced) which in turn will activate a part of the brain structure and finally will stimulate a part of the brain. One example is a good event activates the Dopamine release that stimulates positive effect.

The Brain
(insert picture of the brain)
Motivational and emotional states associated with brain structure
1. Approach-oriented:
Hypothalamus - Pleasurable feelings associated with feeding, drinking and mating.
Medial forebrain bundle - pleasure, reinforcement.
Orbitofrontal cortex - Learning the incentive value of events, making choices.
Septal area - Pleasure centre associated with sociability, sexuality.
Nucleus accumbens - Pleasurable experience of reward, hotspot for linking.
Anterior cingulate cortex - Mood, volition, making choices.
Cerebal cortex (frontal lobes) - Making plans, setting goals, formulating intentions.
Left prefrontal cerebal cortex - Approach motivational and emotional tendencies.
Medial prefrontal cerebral cortex - learning response - outcome contingencies that underline perceived control beliefs and mastery motivation.

2. Avoidance-oriented:
Right prefrontal cerebal cortex - withdraw motivational and emotional tendencies.
Amygdala - detecting and responding to threat and danger.
Hippocampaus - Behavioural inhibition system during unexpected events.

3. Arousal-oriented:
Reticular formation - arousal

Pathways in the brain - a neurotransmitter pathway is a cluster of neurons that communicate with other neurons by using one particular neurotransmitter. There are four motivationally relevant neurotransmitter pathways. They are; Dopamine, Serotonin, Norepinephrine and Endorphin. Dopamine is releases and relates to emotional positivity and enhances function, such as creativity and insightful problem solving. Within Dopamine there are five main relationships, they include; dopamine release and incentives, dopamine release and reward, dopamine release and motivated action, addictions and liking and wanting. These are all inter-related and some can't function without the others happening, such as for the full experience ofreward, wanting and liking need to occur together.
The essential hormones in teh body underlying motivation, emotion and behaviour are:
Cortisol- the stress hormone, associated with poor intelectual functioning, negative effect and poor health outcomes.
Testosterone - associated with high sexual motivation and underlies the mating effect.
oxytocin - motivates seeking the counsel, support and nurturance of others during times of stress, bonding hormone.

Physiological needs[edit]

Need - any condition within an organism that is essential and necessary for life, growth and well-being. When needs are nurtured and satisfied, well-being is maintained and enhanced. If neglected or frustrated, the need's thwarting will produce damage that disrupts biological or psychological well being.

Need structure - type of needs.

  • Bulleted list item Physiological needs - thirst, hunger, sex.
  • Bulleted list item Psychological needs - Autonomy, competence, relatedness.
  • Bulleted list item Social needs - achievement, affiliation, intimacy, power.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs (see figure below)

Thirst - is the consciously experienced motivational state that readies the person to perform behaviours necessary to replenish a water deficit.
Hunger - hunger and eating involve a complex regulatory system of both short-term and long-term regulation.
Sex - sexual motivation rises and falls in response to a host of factors, including hormones, external stiumlation, external signs, congitive scripts, sexual schemas and evolutionary process.

Drive - as an intervening variable: drive has multiple inuts or means of activation as well as multiple outputs. different inputs/conditions can product different behavioural outputs or consequences to different inputs. These can be effected by the type of input and the condition.

This week's textbook reading and lecture has showed how important the brain is in motivation and emotion. It demonstrates that the brain plays an intergral part in how we react to different situation and how these situations can motivate/demotivate us or effect our emotions. These reactions are dependant on the hormones and how they interact with different parts of the brain, an example in thirst,which has an activation point and regulates our physiological needs, stimulates the hypothalamus and liver, to activate the need for thirst. This need can also be effected by environmental influences. Again another important aspect to consider when studying motivation.

Week 4 - Psychological needs[edit]

Psychological need: An inherent source of motivation that generates the desire to interact with the environment so as to advnace personal growth, social development, and psychological well-being. One theory is Self-determination theory that makes two assumptions:

  • People are inherently active,
  • there is a person-evnironment dialectic. (this is relationship between person and environment is reciprocal, the environment acts on the person and the person acts on the environment)

Self-determination theory: there are three basic pscyhological needs:

  1. Autonomy - is the pscyhological need to experience self-direction and personal endorsement in the initiation and regulation of one's behaviour. There are three subjective qualities within autonomy, there are; internal perceived focus of casuality, Volition (feeling free) and Perceived choice over one's actions.

There are four essential ways of supporting autonomy, which all have supportive and controlling motivators:

Nutures inner motivational resources - encourage initiative, forgo inner motivational resources.
Relies on informational language - treats poor performance, etc - use a pressuring, rigid communicating style.
Promotes valuing - communicate value, worth or engaging in tasks - do not take time to explain importance.
Acknowledges and accepts negative feedback - accepts valid negative effect - try to change negative affect.

Benefits from autonomy support -
Motivation - conceptual understanding, deep processing, active information processing
Engagement - positive emotion, persistence, engagement.
Development - self-worth, creativity, preference for optimal challenge.
learning - autonomy, competence.
Performance - better test scores and school retention.
pscyhological well-being - vitality, schol/life satisfaction.

A psychological need to be effective in interactions with the enviornment. There are four key environmental conditions:-

  1. optimal challenge and flow
  2. Interdependency between challenge and feedback
  3. Structure
  4. failure tolerance

Supporting competence: requires positive feedback which comes from sources, such as the task itself, comparisons of one's current perfroamcne with past performance. Comparisons of one's performance with others and evaluations of others.

A psychological need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people. The desire to be emotionally connected be and interpersonally involved in warm relationships.

  • involing relatedness: interaction with others - emotionally positive interactions
  • Supporting relatedness:Perception of a social bond - intimate and high-quality relationships.
  • Communal and exchange relationships: people care the needs of others.
  • Internalisation: rich supply of relatedness.

The engagement model (see figure) - putting it all together.

Social Needs:An acquired psychological process that grows out of one's socialisation history that activates emotional responses to a particular need-relevant incentive. The primary need-activating incentives are:
Social need - incentive that activates each need
Achievement - doing something well to show personal competence
Affiliation - Opportunity to please others and gain their relationship
Intimacy - warm, secure relationship
Power - having impact on others

Need for achievement - desire to do well relative to a standard of excellence
Standard of excellence - any change to a person's sens of competence that ends with an objective outcome of success vs failure.
High vs low-need achievers - approach-oriented emotions vs avoidance-oriented emotions, differences in choice, latency, effort.

There are two main achievement goals:
Mastery goals - develop competence, make progress and improve self.
Performance goals - display high ability, outperform others, succeed with little effort.

Summary: What these two topics show is how important brain function is to emotion and motivation. It highlights how our basic needs for example can impact on our behaviour. ie stealing food, when we know it is wrong. Hormones can also play a big role in determining how we behaviour. It shows that like most emotions, feelings, thoughts and motivations are effected by a number of different things, including hormones, brain function and something the interaction between the two. All of these isses need to be taken into consideration when studying the emotions and motiation

Week 5 - Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations[edit]

Intrinsic motivation
The inherentdesire to engage in interests and to exercise and develop capabilities. Intrinsic motivation was developed out of psychological need satisfaction and relates to autonomy, competence and relatedness.The benefits of intrinsic motivation are: persistence, creativity, conceptual understanding/high-quality learning and optimal functioning and well-being.

Extrinsic motivation
An environmentally created reason to engage in an action or activity. There are three parts; incentives (an environmental event that attracts or repels a person toward or away from intiating a particular course of action); Consequences (positive reinforcers vs negative reinforcers and punishers) and rewards (any offering from one person given to another person in exchange for his or her service or achievement).

Goal setting and goal striving
Plans - The TOTE unit
Test - compare present state with ideal state
Operate - Act on environment to realise internal state
Test - compare present state with total ideal state
Exit - Present state is conguity with ideal state

Week 6 - personal control beliefs and the self[edit]

Personal control beliefs
Motivation to exercise personal control:

People desire control over their environment so as to be able to make positive outcomes more likely and negative outcomes less likely.
Exercising personal control is predicted upon a person's belief that they have the power to influence results favourably.
The strength with which people try to exercise personal control can be traced to their expectancies of being able to do so.

Two kinds of expentencies: (expectency is a subjective prediction of how lilkely it is that an event will occur)

  1. Efficacy expectations
  2. Outcome expectations

A person's judgement of how well they will cope with a situation, given the skills they possess andthe circumstances they are in. Capacity to improvise ways to translate personal abilities into effecitve performance. The opposite of self-efficacy is self-doubt. Self-efficacy predicts thae motivational balance between wanting to give it a try vs. anxiety, doubt and avoidance.

Mastery beliefs and helplessness:
Learning helplessness is a pscyhological state that results when an individual expects that life's outcomes are uncontrollable (seligman and Maier experiment on learned helplessness).
Three components of learned helplessness:
Contingency - objective relationship between a person's behaviour and the enviornment's outcomes.
Cognition - subjective personal control beliefs.
Behaviour - listless, demoralised and no coping behaviour.

The effects of helplessness include; motivational deficits, which is decreased willingness to try; learning deficits, which is acquired pessimistic set that interferes with the ability to learn new response outcomes; and emotional deficits, wich are energy depleting emotions.

The self and it's striving

The self -four topics are central: defining or creating the self, relating the self to society, discovering and developing personal potential and managing or regulating the self.

Self-contructs are: self-esteem, self-efficacy, self-confidence and self-concept. Self-concept is the self-schemas people have, and are a reflection of the invariance people have discovered in their own social behaviour. There are two types of self-schemas, the consisten-self, which direct behaviour to confirm that self-view and to prevent episodes that generate feedback that might disconfirm that slef-view, and possible self, which generate motivation to move the present self toward a desired future self. Possible selves(see figure)

Different theories:<br /> Affect control theory - people behave in ways that minimise afective deflection.
Agency - self as action and development from within, as innate processes and motivations
Self-concordance - People deciding to pursue goals that are congruent or concordant with their core self.

Week 9 - nature of emotion[edit]

Nature of Emotion

There are a number of different questions that can be asked about emotion:
What is an emotion (tutorial discussion)
What causes an emotion
How many emotions are there
What good are the emotions
What is the difference betwen emotions and mood?

What is an emotion:
Arousal (usually from the body)
Social purpose and expression

Emotion can be a motive - it is a type of motive which energises and directs behaviour. They can serve as an ongoing "readout" to indicate how well or how poorly personal adaptation is going. They can be caused by a significant events and are effected by two major areas, congitive processes and biological processes.
Biological processes lie at the core of emotions relating to cause, whereas congitive processes is almost a prerequisie to emotion, such as pathways and already set structures in the brain.

How many emotions are there:
thousands, however there are some basic emotions that some agree on:
Fear, Anger, Disgust, sadness, Joy and Interest: Most of the large number of emotions will usually fit under the banner of these basic emotions.

There are two functions related to emotions,
Coping functions: they include direction, rejection, exploration, affiliation. Meaning functions that lead people to do things.
Social functions: the way of communication our feelings, influence others, social interaction and create, mainain and dissolve relationships.

Positive and Negative effect
Positive effect - pleasurable engagement, reward-driven, approach behaviour,
Negative effect - Unpleasant engagement, punishment-driven and withdrawal of behaviour.

=== Tutorial 4: Emotion ===
During the tutorial we were given an envelope filled with words that people have identified as different emotions. We were asked in teams to identify which were emotions and which of the basic emotions these sat under. It was a very interesting excerise and showed how people think about emotions. While we all had a number of similar groupings, there were differences, as well as a number of words they did not even classify as emotions. It also highlighted the differences between emotions, feelings, moods and responses.

Bold text

Week 10 - Aspects of emotion[edit]

Utility of Emotions:
There are three central asects to emotion:
Biological - autononmic nervous system, endocrine system, rate of neural firing and facial feedback
Cognitive - Appraisals, knowledge, attributions and socialisation history
social-cultural - socialisation history and cultural identities

The James-Lange theory of emotion:(biological aspect)
1. the body reacts uniquely to different emotion-stimulating events,
2. The body does not react to non-emotion-stimulating events
These were developed further into a more contemporay perspective, incuding:
1. distinct physiological differences are evident for some emotions,but only a few emotions have distinct ANS patterns
2. Emotions recruit biological and physiological support to enable adapative behaviours such as fighting, fleeing and nurturing.

Other theories
1. Differential emotions theory:
There are ten common emotions that form the base of principal motivation systems
Each emotion has its own uique subjective quality (unique feelings)
Each emotion has itsown specific rate of neural firing,
Each emotion generates distinctive motivational properties

2. Izaed's 10 fundamental emotions - they are grouped into three areas:
Positive emotions - interest and Joy
Neural emotions - Surprise
Negative emotions - Fear, anger, disgust, distress, contempt, shame, guilt

3. Facial feedback hypothesis:
Emotion stems from feelings aroused by:
1. Movements of the facial musculative
2. Changers in facial temperature
3. Changes in glandular activity in teh facial skin

Cognitive aspects of Emotion:
The central construct in a cognitive understanding of emotion, is an appraisal and an estimate of the personal significance pf an event. Without an antecedent cognitive appraisal of the event, emotions do not occur. The appraisal, not the event itself, causes the emotion.

Social and cultural aspects of emotion:
Three main areas of focus:
Emotion knowledge - Other people and cultures in general instruct us about the causes of our emotions
Expression management - how we should express out emotions
Emotion management - when to control our emotions

Week 11 - Personality, motivation and emotion[edit]

Personality Characteristics - Individual differences in happiness, arousal and control

There are three main motivational principles, wuch as happiness, arousal and control and six personality chatacteristics, such as extraversion, Neuroticism, sensation seeking, affect intensity, perceived control and desire for control which impact on motivation and emotion. These personality characteristics can be broken up to match the three main motivational principles:
Happiness - extraversion an happiness, neuroticism and suffering, extraverts and neurotics.
Control - perceived control, desire for control.
Performance and emotion - insufficient stimulation and underarousal, excessive stimulation and overarousal, credibility of the inverted-U hypothesis, sensation seekign and affect intensity.

The Questions: Why do different people have different motivational and emotional states even in the same situation?, is a question that can be answered or at the least personality charateristics or traits can help to answer. personality traits can causes of behaviour and motivation, as traits cause people to react differently to different situations, they can cause people to approach and avoid different situations, traits determine how peopoe react in situations (ie positively or negatively) and traits determine the choice of situations and the altering of situations.

There are the "big 5 personality traits"
Neuroticism - Anxiety, emotional control, implusiveness
Extraversion - Warmth, Assetiveness, Social adaptability, positive emotion
Openness to experience - feelings, actions, values, ideas, culture, intellect.
Agreeableness - compliance,trust, likeability,
Conscientiousness - Competence, order, self-discipline, responsibility, will to achieve.

How do these interact with each other to impact on emotion/motivation
If we like at happiness, there can be two main reactions:
Happiness and extraversion - extravers have a greater capacity then introverts to experience positive emtions and stronger and more sensitive BAS (behavioural activating system). They are eager to approach potentially rewarding situations. They are better and more social. The second is

happiness and Neuroticism - Neurotics have a greater capacity than emotionally stable people to experience negative emotions, strong and more sensitive BIS (Behavioural Inhibition systems).  They are more eager to avoid negative and potentially punishing situations, and display greater avoidance behaviour.  

The other main trait or principle that impacts on motivation and emotions is arousal:
Arousal is when a person's level is mostly a function of how stimulating the environment is, people engage in behaviour to increase or decrease their level of arousal. Importantly when unaroused people seek out opportunities to increase their levels and when overaroused, they seek to decrease their levels. Under and over arousal can have a big impact on things. If underaroused there can be sensory deprivation and develop rigid unchangeable emotions. it can lead to sensation seeking and can make people over or under react to situations where they normally wouldn't. Sensation seeking is defined as the seeking of varied, novel, complex and intense sensations and experience, and the willingness to take physical, social, legal and financial risks for the sake of such experiences (Zuckerman, 1994). Wile sensation seeking can be an important part of learning and trying new things, under arousal can lead to needing much higher levels of stimulation and people developing addiction and taking part in high risk taking behaviours.

Zuckerman developed are scale for sensation seeking:
Thrill and adventure seeking (action/gamblers)
Seek experiences outside the conventional lifestyle (travel/art)
Disinhibition, release of inhibitions, escape the pressures of faily life (gamblers/drinkers)
Low tolerance for boredom, repetition (escape)

Control is another important principle that plays and important role in people's emotions. There are two main types, perceived control and desire for control. Perceived control have two main points; 1, the self must be capable of obtaining the available desired outcome, and 2, the situation in which one attempts to exercise control needs to be at least somewhat predictable and responsive. There is high and low perceived control beliefs, including goal setting, task choice, efort, positive emotional states and problem-solving strategies.
Desire for control also has a low and high beliefs, including aspiration leve, response to challange, persistence and atributions for success and failure.
All of these will impact on how a person will behaviour or react in any given situation.

Week 10 - Unconscious motivation[edit]