So this is my E-portfolio for Motivation and Emotion. I used this as simply a way of writing down the thoughts I had during the lectures and tuts. I thought it would be boring to simply restate what was said in the lectures and tuts so instead I expanded on thoughts about the topic that I had during them. All the lectures made me think of some very interesting things I had never thought of before, so I simply wrote them down. I hope you enjoy it.
The intro lecture was very helpful and insightful. It explained quiet clearly the assignment items we are going to have do and in a way that seem not to freak everyone out. The historical background to the unit was also very well done and discussed so many things I had no idea about. The evolution of the topic was something I had never heard or talked about so it was a very good start to the unit.
This week’s lecture was extremely helpful in gaining a better understanding of wiki and the things u can do with it and that’s all that can really be said about that. The tut for this week though was very fun, exciting and helpful. Starting the tut with the exercises of getting in to all those different groups according to different things has always been one of my favourite things about most of the first psychology tuts I have been in. It really breaks the ice and just gets people moving and interacting with each other and gives them a chance to find some common ground. Also breaking everyone into groups has always been a thing I like to do in tuts, its just more personal sometimes and it makes it much easier to work together and if you happen to have friends from past tuts in this tuts it allows you to continue that friendship. The discussion we had during this tut was very interesting. We discussed our group member’s interests and their ideas of the textbook chapter, which allowed me to expand on my own interests and ideas too. I really did like the activity of defining motivation and emotion; I really liked how it brought together so many units and subjects being done to come up with these very clever definitions for such hard topics. I really did enjoy this first tut and I hope the rest are exactly like this one.
This week’s discussion about what motivation actually is was intriguing to me. What actually drives us, what makes us do the things we do? There must be a reason for our behaviour; everything has a reason in my opinion. So what I think is that the list of these reasons is endless and it would be impossible to name them all because whenever you think you have finally listed them all someone else will come along with a new one. However what drives us to these reasons, what has made us arrive at a point in time where we act or behave a certain way. It is our past and the experiences we have that make us who we are, they shape what our personality will be. For example, in very general terms, a person who has had a hard life and is angry at the world may be motivated to only look after themselves and no one else. To this person they have a very good reason to look out for only number one, however on the other side a person who has had a good and easy live may be very nice and polite to the people around them. Of course there are major exceptions to these kinds of example, sometimes it can be completely the other way round and that is why the list of reasons is endless, because everyone has a slightly different past. There are of course behaviours that are driven by physiological needs like that discussed in the lecture. Every organism has them but the thing to note is that there are different motivations behind different ways to get what you need; some people’s motivation is so strong they steal and some aren’t so strong. Again it comes to the fact the list of motivations is endless, at least in my opinion.
Last week was about physiological needs but this week we went into psychological needs. I’d never heard the psychological need that people have broken down into those categories before. It was interesting to release during the lectures about how much of what we do is actually kind of subconscious. We have all these psychological need that on some conscious level we are probably aware of but still we act sometimes totally because of these need and we may not even know it. These needs can include feeling like we have a place in the world or we have a place within a group of friends. Of course we know we like it once we have it but the question is, subconsciously, did we know we would like it before we even had it. Are these needs built into us from birth and as we grow more of them come out and we subconsciously or consciously begin to want them and are we totally motivated by them at least in the area that they focus on. Of course we all know that having friends is a nice thing, however most people would not think of the idea of having friends as a psychological need. So although some of these needs may be conscious thoughts we still might not even know they can be classified as a psychological need.
This week’s lecture really spoke to me. I am the type of person that only really works hard at something if I am enjoying it, like this course. So the whole part of the lecture about being motivated to expand and work on ones interests and desires made sense to me cause everyone has something they are interested in and they are sometimes drawn to it and to do something with it, be it to make another model or develop skills in a sport. However our interests do certainly change over time, we might just lose interest or over time it may develop into something else. Although not all our interest change, some people know from a very early age exactly what they want to do with there life’s and some people just never lose interest of a topic they know and love. So it is very different for everyone. The other question in the lecture that really interested me was does punishment work? If we were to look at a dog for example, it may live in a very happy home where it is loved and well taken care of, but it may do something wrong and it is punished by being put outside or smacked. Now usually in this kind of situation is treatment works, the dog slowly learns that that behaviour is unacceptable and starts not longer do it. So what about with a child, in my opinion it completely depends on their age. For example, there is probably no point trying to teach an 5 months year old baby they have done something wrong cause they probably wont understand you. But if a 5 year old does something it is very important to teach them tat it is wrong to make sure they are learning right from wrong. The method of punishment however is a big question mark, I do not believe in smacking but sending them to their room or giving them a time out are examples of punishments that may work. But also this also depends on the home and family environment they have.
Today we started on the topic of emotions. My main thoughts were the main questions of the lecture. What are emotions, can they be defined or measured. I remember in one of the first tuts we tried to define emotion and my group came up with a fairly scientific definition. Something like emotions are chemical and physical states of the brain that cause certain bodily changes and behaviours that people interpret as emotions. They are usually brought on by some stimulus but can also sometimes come about by simply thinking certain thoughts. For example, if you were to think back on something sad that happened to you, like the loss of a family member, you will begin to feel the emotion of sadness again. The other question asked in the lecture were also very interesting, like can they be measured, how many different emotions are there and so on. In my opinion they can only really be measured by the person feeling them, only they can say how they are really feeling, I also think there is not an infinite list of emotions its just that people feel emotions differently or can handle them better then other people but they are still the same emotions.
What good are emotion seemed to be the main topic that stuck in my head this week, what do they actually do for us? Some people who have been hurt emotionally in some way what say that all they do is make us suffer and feel nothing but pain. On the other hand they also add to the enjoyment of situations like Christmas day for example. They give us the feeling of happiness and joy. So you could say that emotions are a gift and a curse, they can make us feel fantastic and happy but they can also make us feel like we are alone and are slowly being crushed by the world. Also like almost everything it depends on our situation, if you are a generally happy person who enjoys life then you may be quite thankful for emotion, but if you’re having a bit of a hard time in life then you may say that you would give anything not to have emotions. The other thing I liked about this week was the facial feedback hypothesis, I have always been a great fan of this kind of work and have always wanted to know more about how its done. The theory that, regardless of race or origin, everyone in the world has the same facial expressions for all the different emotions is fascinating and makes sense. We are all human, and as humans our bodily functions when it comes to emotion would be the same. So if our bodies do the same thing then we probably feel the same thing and therefore it no surprise that we react in the same way.
I really really love this week’s topic; it really rang true for me and was my favourite lecture so far. Personalities have always been one of my favourite topics, just the difference between people and also how easy it is too read someone once you really know what kind of person they are. I believe there are a finite number of personalities in the world and that can be measured and categorised and that is what was said in the lecture. There are measurable parts to personalities and once you have measured them you can start to predict how someone will act in certain situations. The idea of our personalities controlling our motivations is so true. A shy person will have a closed off personality and it may be easy to predict that in a situation where this person is faced with trying something new they may be very relucted to do so and its just the same with every other type of personality. Of course there may be exceptions but usually that just means they may have a bit more of a complicated personality, but once you know every aspect to it you can predict them just the same.
Unconscious motivation is a important topic to talk about, it can give us further insight into ourselves and allow us to gain a little more control over our actions. Although we may not be able to stop from being motivated by an unconscious thought, we may be able to recognise the behaviour and stop ourselves. I have always liked freud’s model of the Id and ego, it makes a lot of sense that we still have those basic wants but we have learned to control them and also some are now not socially acceptable. It can maybe be said that because we have a much larger higher brain function then another animal we have the ability to see these wants but control them instead of them controlling us. But what about the people who just let them come out, why aren’t they in control. I think they are perfectly in control they just don’t care enough to keep them inside and they just think I want that so I’ll take it.
I have personally seen the difference between people who have had nothing but positive growth from positive psychology, feedback and encouragement and negative growth resulting from negative psychology, feedback and encouragement. I have seen the damage of negative psychology and false self actualisation, its terrible and no person should have to go through it. The worst thing is when this is a result of bad parenting. Parents have a big responsibility to support their children and make sure they are happy, but when they fail to do so, it is almost criminal in my opinion and should be stopped. People who do have positive psychology and true self-actualisation on the other hand can do great things. They are usually very happy with themselves and with life and because of this can pass it on to other people and try to improve other people psychology about themselves and life. There are people who may appear to have high positive psychology and seem very happy but in truth they have problems and are choosing to deal with them later or just ignore them all together. It is often very hard to tell true positive psychology from false but it is a very important difference and one that holds so many people back from their true potential.
I took part this course to learn how to motivate other people and I have enhanced my knowledge of how to do so. The combination of unconscious thoughts and wants, out side forces, positive and negative psychology, personality type and so much more are all things that one must take into account before even thinking about changing someone. For example maybe the way to change someone is to remove something else from their lifes and then they will change naturally. What ever they way, it will be a long and hard road because most people don’t want to change naturally, they need a push and sometimes it is made hard by the fact they don’t realise that they need to change.
I have very much enjoyed this course and I hope this journal has been useful to those that read it. A big thank you to James for running the subject and teaching us so much and I hope future students find it as interesting as I did.