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e-portfolio for motivation and emotion

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 One:[edit]

Lecture one covered an introduction to the course Motivation and emotion. At first I was unsure I was going to enjoy this unit but after understanding what the motivational science is all about I am looking forward to it.

Motivational science[edit]

Motivational science focused on two main questions ‘what causes behaviour?’ and ‘why does behaviour vary in its intensity?’ In studying motivation we seek to understand:

  • What starts behaviour?
  • How is this 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?

Four motivational sources[edit]

  1. Needs: for example the need for food will motivate you to find food
  2. Cognitions: for example religious beliefs such as the ‘need’ to pray at a certain time of the day will motivate you to pray at those times
  3. Emotions: for example if you are excited about an event you are more likely to be motivated about getting organised for that event
  4. External events: for example you are offered money to do a job you are more likely to have the motivation to do that job

Expressions of motivation[edit]

  • Behaviour: there are eight aspects of behaviour that express the presence, intensity and quality of motivation. For example right now my attention is occasionally off task, shows a medium amount of effort with high latency periods, continued persistence, low probability of response with bored facial expressions and fidgeting bodily gestures. These behaviours demonstrate a relatively weak motivation.
  • Engagement: observations of attention and effort, interest and enjoyment, processing and contribution are ways of measuring the engagement of someone’s motivation.
  • Brain and physiology activations: measurements of brain, hormonal, cardiovascular, ocular, electrodermal and skeletal activity provide a view into the biological states of motivation.
  • Self-report: use of introspection can help with the understanding of what a person is thinking about their motivations.
There are many motivational reasons to go to the gym


After seeing the table of the motivational reasons to exercise it made me think of all the reasons I have been going to the gym. Some of those reasons are:

  • to get fit
  • to lose weight
  • to get out of the house more
  • to alleviate depression
  • to overcome anxiety

This begs the question of how do I know which is my main motivation for going to the gym? Or can it involve all of these motivations?

Week Two:[edit]

In week two we covered how to use wikiversity, namely how to edit pages on wikiversity. The lecture covered how to:

  • create headings,
  • insert links,
  • embed images,
  • format images,
  • format text,
  • insert dot points and
  • insert numbered lists.
Flamingos on a lawn

For example, the image above found on wikimedia commons and had no licensing attached to it. The image was:

  1. embedded,
  2. centred,
  3. captioned and
  4. framed.

Hopefully this section demonstrates what I have learnt this week.

Week Three:[edit]

Lecture three covered the brain and physiological needs. Part one of the lecture covered the motivated and emotional brain and part two of the lecture covered physiological needs.

The motivated and emotional brain[edit]

  • We learnt that without a physiological change you can’t get to the psychological experience of hunger. For example, an environmental event (such as food deprivation) triggers the release of a biochemical agent (release of hormone) which leads to the stimulation of a brain structure (stimulation of hypothalamus) finally resulting in aroused motivation (psychological experience of hunger).
  • Motivation is either approach oriented (such as the motivation to study to get a good grade) or avoidance oriented (such as the motivation to avoid a threat).

Physiological needs[edit]

A need refers to 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, however if needs are neglected or frustrated, the need's thwarting will produce damage that disrupts biological or psychological well being. Therefore, motivational states provide the impetus to act before damage occurs to psychological and bodily well being.

Types of Needs[edit]

Maslow's hierarchy of needs
  • Physiological needs: thirst, hunger, sex and sleep
  • Psychological needs: autonomy, competence and relatedness
  • Social needs: achievement, power and intimacy

Maslow's hierarchy of needs[edit]

  • Physiological: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep and excretion.
  • Safety: security of the body, employment, health, family, resources.
  • Love/Belonging: friendship, family and sexual intimacy.
  • Esteem: self-esteem, confidence, respect of others and respect by others.
  • Self-actualization: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts.


I don't really support Maslow's hierarchy of needs as I do not think that they are needed to be fulfilled in order. For example:

  • I have physiological needs fulfilled
  • I have some safety needs fulfilled (I do not have a job)
  • I have some love/belonging needs fulfilled (I am still developing friendships and relationships)
  • I have some esteem needs fulfilled (I still feel I am developing these needs)
  • I would like to think that I have some of the self-actualisation needs fulfilled but this is probably not the case most of the time.

Therefore I have not fulfilled my needs in a hierarchy although the needs at the top of the hierarchy are still being developed. Perhaps it would be better to say that the needs are developed in that type of order however you can have needs from certain levels fulfilled while others lower in the hierarchy not fulfilled.

Failures to self-regulate physiological needs[edit]

There are three reasons that people fail to self-regulate. These include:

  1. People routinely underestimate how powerful a motivational force biological urges can be when they are not currently experiencing them. For example, when we do not need to use the toilet we tend to forget how motivated we can be when we actually need to go.
  2. People can lack standards, or they have inconsistent, conflicting, unrealistic, or inappropriate standards. For example, it would be unrealistic of me to want to weigh 45 kilograms like many of the celebrities we see.
  3. People fail to monitor what they are doing as they become distracted preoccupied, overwhelmed, or intoxicated. For example, when drunk we lower our inhibitions and therefore do things we normally wouldn't do.

I found it really interesting that anxiety disorders develop due to an inability to self-regulate levels of anxiety. But what if someone has an anxiety disorder but seeks treatment to learn to cope with the anxiety, however they still feel the anxiety. Would it still be classified as an anxiety disorder? Or is it that once the person has learnt to cope with the anxiety does that mean that the person does not have the disorder anymore?

Tutorial One[edit]

The first tutorial was just an introductory tutorial. We were asked to write up our definitions of 'motivation' and 'emotion' and to discuss the areas of motivation and emotion that interest us.

My Definitions

  • Motivation: the processes that gives behaviour energy and direction.
  • Emotion: the feelings you experience.
Research demonstrates that antidepressants can have a 'blunting' effect on emotions

Group Definitions

  • Motivation: the processes that gives behaviour energy and direction.
  • Emotion: cognitive thoughts and feelings that are descriptive in nature.


  • What effects do antidepressants have on emotions?

I found this topic the most interesting because I am on antidepressants and feel that my emotions are quite 'flat'. This observation was supported by a study conducted by Opbroek et al (2002). The study found that 80% of patients on SSRI antidepressants experienced sexual dysfunction and a significant blunting of a number of different emotions.

  • Why do some people commit crime?

I have always been interested in why some people commit crime while others do not. I did some research and found an article by Wood, Gove and Cochran (1994) suggests that people who commit crimes find the risky behaviour intrinsically rewarding.


Opbroek, A., Delgado P. L., Laukes, C., McGahuey C., Katsanis, J., Moreno, F. A., & Manber, R. (2002). Emotional blunting associated with SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction. Do SSRIs inhibit emotional responses? The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology , 5 (2), 147-151.

Wood, P. B., Gove, W. R., & Cochran, J. K. (1994). Motivations For Violent Crime Among Incarcerated Adults: A Consideration of Reinforcement Processes. Retrieved September 2, 2010, from

Week Four:[edit]

Week four examined psychological and social needs. Firstly we examined two assumptions of the organismic approach to motivation. These are:

  • People are inherently active (meaning people are always doing something that is goal directed, whether the goal is obvious or not)
    • So does that mean procrastination has a main goal of avoiding a task?
  • Person-environment dialectic (meaning the relationship between the person and the environment is a two way one; the environment affects the person and the person affects the environment).

Psychological needs[edit]

Once biological needs are satisfied we can focus on satisfying our psychological needs; innate sources of motivation that generates the desire to interact with the environment so as to advance personal growth, social development, and psychological well-being. These needs include:

  • Autonomy: put simply the need for personal control.
  • Competence: put simply to be confident and capable in the environment.
  • Relatedness: a psychological need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people. The desire to be emotionally connected to and interpersonally involved in warm relationships.

Relevance to me:

  • Autonomy: in my treatment for an anxiety disorder I began to regain control of my actions and no longer allowed my anxiety to control me.
  • Competence: my confidence and effectiveness increase noticeably during my treatment. I went from being overcome by anxiety in certain situations to handling them with ease, which in effect raised my confidence levels allowing me to effectively function in my environment.
  • Relatedness: when dealing with my anxiety disorder I had a hard time connecting with people however I am continually working on new and old friendships in order to fulfil my need for relatedness.

In slowly satisfying these psychological needs I am becoming more and more psychologically healthy.

The 'need' for an umbrella in the rain is a quasi-need

Social needs[edit]

Social needs are defined as being acquired psychological process that grows out of one's socialisation history that activates emotional responses to a particular need-relevant incentive.

  • Quasi-needs: a want based on a situation. For example the want for an umbrella when it is raining, however if it is not raining the want for the umbrella disappears.
  • Social needs: an acquired psychological process that grows out of one's socialisation history that activates emotional responses to a particular need-relevant incentive.
  • Achievement: desire to do well relative to a standard of excellence.
  • Affiliation: to desire for social connections.
  • Intimacy: the desires for deep relationships.
  • Power: the desire for control over the self and others.

Week Five:[edit]

Week five examined intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and goal setting.

Intrinsic motivation[edit]

Intrinsic motivations refers to the inherent desire to engage one’s interests and to exercise and develop one’s capacities.

  • What you feel inside you
  • To pursue your own interests
  • You want to do it
  • No physical reward

Benefits of intrinsic motivation:

  • Persistence: increased intrinsic motivation causes increased persistence.
  • Creativity: increased intrinsic motivation increases the level of creativity.
  • Conceptual understanding/high quality learning: intrinsic motivation can help a person to learn and to think about things in a different way.
  • Optimal functioning and well being: higher intrinsic motivation increases self-esteem and can decrease depression and anxiety.


  • Is it intrinsic motivation to do something to feel better about yourself? Like going to the gym?
  • I think the song 'Time and Confusion' by Anberlin involves a great reference to intrinsic motivation. The lyrics are:
Its not about the money we make

Its about the passions that we ache for
What makes your heart beat faster

Tell me now what does your body long after

The song can be heard here.

Extrinsic motivation[edit]

Extrinsic motivation refers to the environmentally created reason (incentive or consequence) to engage in an action or activity

  • Do something to get something in return, for example, children will often do homework to be able to watch TV.

External regulation of motivation:

  • Incentives: An environmental event that attracts or repels a person toward or away from initiating a particular course of action.
  • similar to operant conditioning
  • Consequences: Positive reinforcers vs. negative reinforcers
  • Rewards:
  • Any offering from one person given to another person in exchange for his or her service or achievement

Cost of rewards:

Crying is one of the negative effects of punishment
  • Intended primary effect: promotes compliance
  • Unintended secondary effect: undermines intrinsic motivation, interferes with the quality and process of learning and interferes with the capacity for autonomous self-regulation

Effects of punishers:

  • Research shows that punishment is an ineffective motivational strategy
  • Effects include:
  • Negative Emotionality e.g., crying, screaming, feeling afraid
  • Impaired relationship between punisher and punishee.
  • Negative modelling of how to cope with undesirable behaviour in others.

Reasons not to use extrinsic motivation:

  • 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.
  • Extrinsic motivators still undermine the individual’s long-term capacity for autonomous self-regulation.

Types of extrinsic motivation:

  • External Regulation: to receive incentives and consequences.
  • Introjected Regulation: to avoid guilt and boost self-esteem
  • Identified Regulation: because of a sense of importance
  • Integrated Regulation: to reflect values

Goal Setting[edit]


  • Present state represents the person's current state of how life is going.
  • Ideal state represents how the person wishes life was going (often used to motivate people in therapy)
  • The tension between the present state and the ideal state is a main motivating factor.
  • Discrepancy reduction: involves ...
  • Discrepancy creation: involves intentionally setting a difficult goal to motivate ourselves to do better. For example, if a uni student aims for a pass and gets to that level then aims for a credit and gets one then aims for a distinction etc.

Goal mechanisms:

  • Energising behaviour: increases effort and persistence
  • Directing behaviour: increases attention and planning
  • Clarifying performance expectations
  • Counteract boredom
  • Make feedback important: the number one ranked influence of achievement is feedback (Hattie & Timperley, 2007).
  • Increase self efficacy

Long-term and short-term goals:

Issues with long term goals:

  • Long-term goals are unreinforced for long periods of time causing commitment to the goal to decrease
  • Long-term goals don't provide immediate performance feedback

Long-term goals verses short-term goals:

  • It is best to translate a long-term goal into a series of short term goals


Examples of my goals:

Translation of long-term goals into short-term goals:

  • For example: my long term goal is to pass motivation and emotion. Short-term goals for this may include:
    • Enrolling into the course
    • Attending lectures and tutorials
    • Completing and passing the textbook chapter, the e-portfolio and the multimedia.

Tutorial Two[edit]

Issues with Maslow's hierarchy of needs[edit]

  • Not necessarily cross cultural
  • For example, many critics have argued that Maslow's hierarchy is very individualistic and therefore cannot be applied to more collectivist societies (see Gambrel & Cianci, 2003).
  • You could go backwards after meeting a certain need.
  • For example, you may have worked up to the need for esteem and suddenly break up with your partner, therefore not completely meeting the need for love and belonging.
  • You do not need to meet one need in order to move onto the next.
  • For example, if you are 'saving yourself for marriage' (i.e. forgoing sex), or if you have a life threatening illness (i.e. without security of health) you can still have close friendships and family, you can still be confident and have respect for and by others and you can still be creative and spontaneous.

General Causality Orientation Scale[edit]

The GCOS scale examines the strength of three different motivational orientations within an individual. These motivation orientations are autonomy (based on intrinsic motivation), control (based on extrinsic motivation)and impersonal (based on outcomes as a result of luck or fate) (University of Rochester, 2008). After completing the scale in tutorial two my scores were as follows:

  • Autonomy: 55
  • Control: 46
  • Impersonal: 56

Impersonal is my highest scoring which indicates that I believe that achievements are about luck and outcomes are out of my hands. However, autonomy is my second highest with one point difference between the two. Autonomy indicates that I am more intrinsically more motivated and hold a greater responsibility for my own behaviour. I find it quite funny that those two are my highest rating when they are basically the opposite to one another.

After taking the 17 question version my scores were:

  • Autonomy: 78
  • Control: 60
  • Impersonal: 73

This seems only slightly different however it is probably not statistically significant. In explaining these results I would suggest that the situation in which I am presented significantly affects the way I am orientated. However, in reading the descriptions of each scale item I am leaning towards believing I am more 'impersonally orientated'. This is because I am just recently overcoming an anxiety disorder and I absolutely hate change.

This leads me into thinking:

  • Do I have the anxiety because of this way of thinking? OR
  • Is this way of thinking caused by the anxiety? OR
  • Are these two things related in some other way?


Gambrel, P. A., & Cianci, R. (2003). Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Does It Apply In A Collectivist Culture. Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship 8(2), 143-161.

University of Rochester (2008) The General Causality Orientations Scale (GCOS) Retrieved from

Week Six:[edit]

Week six focused on personal control beliefs, the self and its strivings.

Personal Control Beliefs[edit]


  • A subjective prediction of how likely it is that an event will occur.
  • Efficacy expectancy: an ability expectation. For example, 'Can I work up the courage to ask the cute guy out?'
  • Outcome expectancy: an outcome expectation. For example, 'He will say yes and we will go out and have fun.'
  • These add up to a perceived control.

Mastery and Helplessness:

  • Mastery beliefs: the extent of perceived control one has over attaining desirable outcomes and preventing aversive ones.
  • Mastery motivational orientation: a hardy, resistant portrayal of the self during encounters of failure.
  • Failure feedback can be helpful and constructive information.
  • Learned helplessness: the psychological state that results when an individual expects that life's outcomes are uncontrollable (Like the impersonal orientation?)
  • Helpless motivational orientation: a fragile view of the self during encounters of failure.'
  • Failure feedback is a sign of personal inadequacy.
  • Components of learned helplessness:
  • Contingency: 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 versus assertive active energetic coping.
  • Effects of helplessness:
  • Motivational deficits: Decreases willingness. For example, I hate not being able to do something or not being able to do something well, which makes me lose morale quickly.
  • Learning deficits: Acquired pessimistic set that interferes with one's ability to learn new response-outcome contingencies. For example, the belief that you shouldn't bother trying to learn something because the behaviour won't have an effect.
  • Emotional deficits: Energy depleting emotions (e.g.- depression and apathy).

The Self[edit]


  • Self-esteem: general feelings of self-worth or self-value.
  • Self-efficacy: beliefs about one's ability to perform specific tasks.
  • Self-confidence: belief in one's personal worth and likelihood of succeeding (a combination of self-esteem and self-efficacy).
  • Self-concept/schema: nature and organisation of beliefs about one's self.
Motivational processes underlying cognitive dissonance


  • Benefits:
  • Process information about the self with relative ease.
  • Confidently predict their own future behaviour in the domain.
  • Quickly retrieve self-related behavioural evidence from the domain.
  • Resist counter-schematic information about themselves.
  • Motivational properties:
  • Consistent self: self-schema direct behaviour to confirm the self-view and to prevent episodes that generate feedback that might disconfirm the self-view. We are motivated to confirm our self-concept and to avoid situations that disconfirm our beliefs.
  • Possible self: self-schemas generate motivation to move the present self towards a desired future self. Ideal self is treated as a motivator.

Cognitive dissonance:

  • A state of tension that occurs whenever an individual simultaneously holds two cognitions that are psychologically inconsistent with one another. For example, if someone hates liars yet they lie all the time or if you believe you are an outgoing person but you have a tendency to act very shy and quiet.
  • Coping with cognitive dissonance:
  • Remove the dissonant belief.
  • Reduce the importance of the dissonant beliefs.
  • Add a new consonant belief.
  • Increase the importance of the consonant belief.

My Questions:

  • Can cognitive dissonance be a good thing? For example, if someone is trying to overcome social anxiety and have a belief that they are very shy and quiet but act in a way that is more outgoing as a way to help them overcome this anxiety.
  • Can ideal selves cause depression and anxiety? For example, if someone has a very unrealistic ideal self that causes anxiety or depression when that ideal self cannot actually be reached.
  • Could emotional deficits in learned helplessness lead to the feelings of anxiety due to a loss of feeling of control?

Week Seven:[edit]

No lecture was held in week seven however the tutorial covered self and goals.

Tutorial Three[edit]

University Student Motivation:[edit]

Graduating students who were continually motivated during their time at university
  • Career- can be both intrinsic and extrinsic
  • Learning- can be both intrinsic and extrinsic
  • Avoiding other options- intrinsic or extrinsic?
  • Social opportunities- can be both intrinsic and extrinsic
  • Social pressure- extrinsic
  • Parent/family expectations- extrinsic?
  • Self exploration- intrinsic?
  • Helping others- intrinsic?

University Student Motivation/Outcomes Survey:[edit]

  • Career:
  • 8 for motivation
  • 7 for outcomes
  • Learning and self exploration:
  • 8 for motivation
  • 5 for outcomes

This is one of biggest differences between motivation and outcomes. I think this has happened because I prefer learning and understanding concepts and ideas rather than learning about myself (which is what was assessed in the outcomes survey).

  • Social opportunities:
  • 5 for motivations
  • 6 for outcomes
  • Altruism:
  • 6 for motivations
  • 6 for outcomes
  • Social pressure:
  • 3 for motivation
  • 7 for outcomes

There was another large difference between motivation and outcomes for social pressure. I believe this is because my parents and family are very happy that I am studying at university however I have not really felt the pressure to go as a big motivation; I wanted to go for myself rather than because I felt they pressured me to attend.

Why am I at university?

  • to learn
  • to get a degree
  • for better career opportunities
  • to avoid full time work

Learned Optimism Test:[edit]

  • Permanence Bad: 4 (average)
  • Permanence Good: 2 (pessimistic)
  • Pervasiveness Bad: 5 (pessimistic)
  • Pervasiveness Good: 2 (pessimistic)
  • Personalisation Bad: 5 (low self esteem)
  • Personalisation Good: 1 (pessimistic)
  • Hope: 9 (average)
  • Total Bad: 14 (moderately pessimistic)
  • Total Good: 5 (greatly pessimistic)
  • Overall Optimism: -9 (very pessimistic)

Criticisms of the Learned Optimism Test:

  • Skewed towards pessimism?
  • Too centred on the American culture
  • Out of date

Week Eight:[edit]

Week eight is a class free period where students were given time off to catch up on readings and assessment.

Week Nine:[edit]

Week nine marked the start of our study into emotion. We examined key questions regarding the nature of emotion.

What is emotion?[edit]

Emotions are short lived feeling-arousal-purpose-expressive phenomena that arise from a life event (even if it is just an anticipated event or a memory of a previous event).

  • subjective experience
  • phenomenological awareness
  • cognition
  • Bodily arousal:
  • physiological activation
  • bodily preparation for action
  • motor responses
  • Sense of purpose:
  • goal-directed motivational state
  • functional aspect
  • Social-expressive:
  • social communication
  • facial expression
  • vocal expression

What causes emotions?[edit]

Significant life events trigger our emotions. Cognitive and biological systems interact to activate the critical components of emotion.

  • Biological perspective: biology lies at the causal core of emotion.
  • Cognitive perspective: cognitive activity is prerequisite of emotion.

Some researchers believe that some emotions are from one system while some emotions are from the other system.

How many emotions are there?[edit]

There is no definitive answer to this question, the answer depends on whether you follow the biological or cognitive perspective.

  • Biological perspective: approximately 2-10 primary emotions.
  • Cognitive perspective: possibly limitless number of emotions due to complex secondary emotions.

However both perspectives support the view of 'basic emotions', including fear, anger, disgust, sadness, joy and interest. The criteria for these basic emotions are:

  • innate (we do not learn these emotions)
  • arise from the same circumstances from all people (for example, sadness will occur after the loss of a loved one)
  • are expressed uniquely (not one person will demonstrate their emotions in the exact same way as another person)
  • evoke a distinctive and highly predictable physiological response (for example, the feeling of joy will cause the same physiological response in every person who experiences it).

What good are the emotions?[edit]

Emotions can serve several purposes for example, emotions have a functional benefit, emotions facilitate quick and effective responses to fundamental life tasks. Therefore all emotions are seen to be beneficial in one way or another.

Coping functions of emotion:

  • Fear - protection.
  • Anger - destruction.
  • Joy - reproduction.
  • Sadness - reunion.
  • Acceptance - affiliation
  • Disgust - rejection
  • Anticipation - exploration
  • Surprise - orientation

Social functions of emotion:

  1. Communication our feelings with others
  2. Influencing how others interact with us
  3. Inviting and facilitating social interactions
  4. Creating, maintaining and dissolving relationships.

What is the difference between emotions & mood?[edit]


  • Antecedents: emerge from significant life situations and appraisals of their significance to our well-being.
  • Action-specificity: influence behaviour and direct specific courses of action
  • Time course: emanate from short-lived events


  • Antecedents: emerge from ill-defined processes
  • Action-specificity: influence cognition and direct what the person thinks about
  • Time course: emanate from long-lived mental events

My Questions:

  • Do emotions and mood influence each other? For example, if you are in a bad mood does this mean you experience very little positive emotions? and if you are experiencing a negative emotion does that in turn lower your mood?
  • Do antidepressants inhibit the physiological experiences of emotions and therefore the cognitive experience of emotions?
  • Why are some people more prone to certain emotions? For example, some people get angry at things that others would just dismiss and some people experience sadness a lot more often than others.

Week Ten:[edit]

Week ten focused on the different aspects of emotion.

Biological Aspects:[edit]

Specific neural circuits:

  • Emotion-specific patterns in brain activity.
  • Neural activation: Different emotions activated by different rates of cortical neural firing: activity increases, stays the same, or decreases.
  • Different emotions are activated by changes in the pace of neural firing.

Differential emotions theory:

Ten emotions constitute the principal motivation system for human beings. These emotions are: interest, joy, surprise, fear, anger, disgust, distress, contempt, shame and guilt.

  • Unique feeling: Each emotion has its own unique subjective, phenomenological quality.
  • Unique expression: Each emotion has its own unique facial-expressive pattern.
  • Unique neural activity: Each emotion has its own specific rate of neural firing that activates it.
  • Unique purpose/motivation: Each emotion generates distinctive motivational properties & serves adaptive functions.
  • Ekman proposes seven reasons why biological theories focus on a small number of basic emotions:
    Smiling can increase your mood
  1. Non-basic emotions are experience-based
  2. Many terms better describe moods (e.g., irritation).
  3. Many terms better describe attitudes (e.g., hatred).
  4. Many terms better describe personality (e.g., hostile).
  5. Many terms better describe disorders (e.g., depression).
  6. Some terms are blends of emotions (e.g. love).
  7. Many terms refer to specific aspects of an emotion (e.g., homesickness)

Facial Feedback Hypothesis:

Emotion stems from feelings aroused by movements of the facial structure, changes in facial temperature and changes in glandular activity in the facial skin.

  • Does smiling make you happy?

Research has demonstrated that smiling can increase your mood and mimicking a scared expression can have physiological effects on your body (Kleinke, Peterson, & Rutledge 1998).

Cognitive Aspects:[edit]

Appraisal theory of emotion:

  • An appraisal is an estimate of the personal significance of an event.
  • You can't have emotion until you have the cognitive appraisal of an event.
  • Arnold's appraisal theory of emotion
  • Situation (life event) -> Appraisal (good or bad) -> Emotions (liking or disliking) -> Action (approach or withdrawal).

Attribution theory of emotion:

  • An attribution is the reason individuals use to explain an important life outcome.
  • Stages of the attribution theory of emotion:
  1. Outcome
  2. Primary appraisal of the outcome either happiness (leading to pride, gratitude or hope) or sadness or frustration (leading to anger, pity, guilt or shame)
  3. Secondary appraisal of the outcome:
  • Pride: internal cause
  • Gratitude: external cause
  • Hope: stable cause
  • Anger: external, controllable cause
  • Pity: external, uncontrollable cause
  • Guilt: internal, controllable cause
  • Shame: internal, uncontrollable cause.

Socio-cultural Aspects:[edit]

Emotion across cultures:

  • Emotional knowledge: other people and cultures in general instruct us about the causes of our emotions
  • Expression management: how we should express our emotions
    • For example in some cultures sobbing loudly at funerals is the norm however in other cultures this behaviour may be seen as offensive.
  • Emotion management: when to control our emotions


  • Love is experienced and thought of differently in different cultures. For example in western societies the emotion of love is seen to be a positive thing that makes you happy, however in countries such as China, romantic love is seen to be a threat to arranged marriage.

Tutorial Four[edit]


Emotional Q-sort:

  • We were asked to sort through a list of emotions/cognitions and pick out the core emotions.
  • I found this to be a lot harder than expected.
  • We first sorted the words into either 'positive' or 'negative' we then went through our lists and eliminated those we felt were definitely not emotions, we continued to narrow down the emotions and then grouped the left over emotions together and labelled these to get the core emotions.
  • We named out list 'Verklempt' which means 'choked with emotion' and we thought this fit nicely. Our core emotions were:
  • Happy
  • Loving
  • Surprise
  • Awed
  • Sad
  • Fearful
  • Anxious
  • Angry

Positive and Negative Affect Schedule:

  • Positive affect = 30
  • Negative affect = 16
  • This demonstrates that I have more of a positive affect.
  • I found this surprising as I usually get more negative results, I believe this is probably due to the effects of the CBT I was receiving, it seems to have changed my way of thinking, my behaviour and my moods.


Kleinke, C. L., & Walton, J. H. (1982). Influence of reinforced smiling on affective responses in an interview. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 42, 557-565.

Week Eleven:[edit]

Personality motivation[edit]

  • 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

  • 5 superordinate traits well supported by wide variety of research.
  • Not everyone agrees on the naming of these traits.
  • The Big 5 according to the “NEO”:
    • Neuroticism- emotional stability
    • Extraversion
    • Openness to Experience
    • Agreeableness
    • Conscientiousness
  • Each measured by 6 facets (traits)


  • Neuroticism and extraversion greatly predict happiness for example if you are unhappy you tend to be high on neuroticism low on extraversion and vice versa.
  • Happiness and unhappiness set point: stay around the same happiness level

Extraversion and happiness

  • Greater capacity than introverts to experience positive emotions; stronger and more sensitive Behavioral Activating Systems (BAS)
    • Eagerness to approach potentially rewarding situations
      • Greater Sociability (than introverts)
      • Greater Social Dominance (than introverts): be centre of attention
      • Greater Venturesomeness (than introverts): take risks
    • More attracted to getting involved

Neuroticism and happiness

  • Greater capacity than emotionally stable individuals to experience negative emotions; stronger and more sensitive Behavioral Inhibition Systems (BIS)
    • Eagerness to avoid potentially punishing situations
    • Greater Avoidance behaviour and Emotional Distress (than emotionally stable individuals)
  • Negative event is much more highly distressing for a neurotic than someone who is emotionally stable


  • I found that when I was unhappy I was quite neurotic and not very extraverted but now that I am happy I am less neurotic and more extraverted.
  • I think I will always be an introvert but I am more extraverted than before.
  • I have found that negative events when I was more neurotic were much more distressing than now when I am less neurotic.


  • A function of the environment
    • Under aroused: Bored
    • Over aroused: Excited? Stressed?
  • You are either trying to increase or decrease arousal
  • Performance is highest when you are moderately aroused
  • Hanin (2000) emphasised the role of individual differences, claiming that athletes perform best when in their own zone of optimal arousal. Research supports this model demonstrating that athletes perform better when they are close to or within their optimal zones of arousal when compared to those athletes who performed outside their optimal zones (Gould et al. 1993; Krane 1993; Turner & Raglin 1996).

Insufficient stimulation & under-arousal

  • Sensory deprivation:
    • An individual’s sensory and emotional experience in a rigidly unchanging environment
    • Human beings harbor motives for counteracting insufficient stimulation and underarousal.

Heron’s sensory deprivation study

  • Heron studied the brain and nervous system prefer a continual and moderate level of arousal generated by environmental stimulation.
  • People were paid to come in and do nothing (literally)
    • Cant see
    • Cant hear
    • Cant touch properly
    • Very bland food
  • Longest person lasted 6 days
  • Average time was 2-3 days
  • Reported seeing and hearing things
  • Demonstrated impaired cognitive ability after they came out
  • Even the most introverted brains need stimulation

Excessive stimulation & overarousal

  • Overstimulating, stressful environments:
    • Emotional disruption: Anxiety, Irritability, Anger.
    • Cognitive disruption: Confusion, Forgetfulness, Impaired Concentration.
    • Physiological disruption: Sympathetic, Nervous system, Hyperactivity.

The stress caused by university assessment is a great example of the overstimulating environments. I know that when it is exam time people should avoid me because I have a short temper and am overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety. I also reach a point where I cannot concentrate on anything anymore and I start to forget what I had spent so long learning. I also have a tendency to get really sick when I am stressed (like right now I am overcoming a sinus infection) and I have issues with getting to sleep because my mind is going 100 miles a minute.

  • Human beings harbor motives for counteracting excessive stimulation and overarousal.

To overcome this stress I experience from university assessment I tend to procrastinate, take lots of little breaks in between working, eat and play with my dogs. I use these as a way to reduce my anxiety and they tend to work in getting me through really stressful university times.

Detainees at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay, being subjected to sensory deprivation torture


  • After deciding to look for images of sensory deprivation for this learning journal I realised that I would be a horrible method of torture. As I thought when I typed 'sensory deprivation' into wikicommons it came up with the above image of detainees at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay, being subjected to sensory deprivation torture. Detainees were required to wear ear muffs, visors, breathing masks and mittens as a form of torture. The camp was later shut down due to abuse of prisoners.
  • The show 'Total Isolation' was an experiment on sensory deprivation. Six participants agree to be shut inside a cell alone and in the dark for two days and two nights. Before this isolation the participants underwent tests on visual memory, information processing, verbal fluency and suggestibility. After the experiment the same tests were completed and the results demonstrated a complete deterioration of the participants ability to comple simple tasks (such as naming things that started with the letter 'F').

Sensation Seeking[edit]

  • Personality characteristic related to arousal and reactivity
  • Related to the extent to which a person’s central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) requires change and variability
  • Defined as “the seeking of varied, novel, complex, and intense sensations and experiences, and the willingness to take physical, social, legal, and financial risks for the sake of such experiences” (Zuckerman, 1994)
    • Personality dimension related to extraversion
    • Explain risk taking behaviours
  • Sensation seeking determines how a person reacts to a situation or event
  • Sensation seeking determines the situations and activities a person chooses
  • Sensation seekers need a higher level of stimulation to maintain mood.
  • Simulation falls → mood slumps.
  • They push to keep stimulation levels as high as possible.

High sensation seekers

  • High sensation seekers enjoy more intense sensations and experiences
  • High sensations are more likely to:
    • Choose to engage in risky sports and activities
    • Prefer unusual stimuli and situations
    • Choose things that are out of the ordinary
    • Be more susceptible to boredom
  • Ben cousins is a perfect example of a sensation seeker

Sensation Seeking Scale

  • Thrill and adventure seeking (for example action gamblers).
  • Seek experiences outside the conventional lifestyle (for example travel, friends and art).
  • Disinhibition: release of inhibitions, escape the pressures of daily life (for example escape gamblers).
  • Low tolerance for boredom, repetition and sameness.
  • Perhaps common in all addictions.

Affect Intensity[edit]

Affect-stable individuals:

  • Low affect
  • Experience bad events less intensely but also experience good events less intensely

Affect-intense individuals:

  • High affect
  • Experience things more intensely
  • Bad events have 5 times as much impact as good events


  • Related to locus of control/causality

Perceived control:

  • Differences in people's pre-performance expectancies of possessing the needed capacity to produce positive outcomes
  • In order to perceive that one has control over a given situation:
  1. The self must be capable of obtaining the available desired outcome
  2. The situation in which one attempts to exercise control needs to be at least somewhat predictable and responsive.

Desire for control:

  • The extent to which individuals are motivated to establish control over the events in their lives.
  • High desire for control benefits:
    • Higher goals are achieved
    • Difficult tasks are completed
    • Motivation level remains high
  • High desire for control liability:
    • May attempt goals too difficult
    • May develop performance inhibiting reactions
    • May invest too much effort
    • May develop an illusion of control

My Questions:

  • Is severe sensation seeking behaviour more common in people with lower IQs? – drug taking and crime?
  • Drug addicts can they change?
  • Do affect intense individuals have more mood disorders when compared to affect stable individuals?
  • Is affect stability similar to the 'dulling' effect of some antidepressants?
  • Can you reduce sensation seeking behaviour? Or do you simply lead it in a more positive direction?
  • The happiness and unhappiness set point claim that individuals' stay around the same happiness level. But, what about people who overcome mental illnesses? Or people who develop mental illnesses?


Hanin, Y. L. (2000). Individual zones of optimal functioning (IZOF) model: Emotions-performance relationships in sport. In Y. L. Hanin (Ed.), Emotions in sport (pp. 157-187). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Week Twelve:[edit]

The lecture in week twelve was on unconscious motivation. This is mostly a discussion of psychodynamic theory which was greatly influenced by Freud but has been updated.

Views on the Unconscious[edit]


Traditional Freudian approach to unconscious.

Sigmund Freud

Freud's Dual-Instinct Theory

  • This theory is a very biological view of motivation, which encompasses psychological responses to the biological drives.
  • EROS (Instinct for Life) e.g., instincts for sex, nurturance and affiliation
  • THANATOS (Instincts for Death) e.g., instincts for aggression toward self, (self-criticism, depression) aggression toward others (anger, prejudice)

Drive → wish

  • Unlike hunger and thirst, neither sex nor aggression conform to a physiological model of drive
    • For example, once you express aggression the 'drive' for it does not necessarily decrease but is more likely to increase.
  • Drive theory evolved into a “wish model” - a discrepancy theory - i.e., motivation arises from a mismatch between “present state” and “ideal state”
  • Contemporary psychoanalysts
    • propose that psychological wishes, not instinctual drives, regulate and direct behaviour
    • Focus on helping people recognise, improve upon, or avoid problematic interpersonal relationships

More generally, study of unconscious psychological processes (e.g., prejudice, depression, though suppression, defense mechanisms), without necessarily subscribing to Freudian tradition

Contemporary psychodynamic perspective

  1. The Unconscious: Much of mental life is unconscious.
  2. Psychodynamics: Mental processes operate in parallel with one another.
  3. Ego Development: Healthy development involves moving from an immature socially dependent personality to one that is more mature and interdependent with others.
  4. Object Relations Theory: Mental representations of self and other form in childhood that guide the person’s later social motivations and relationships.
Contemporary views on the unconscious[edit]
  1. Freudian unconscious: A passive and automatic appraisal of the environment (related to implicit learning).
  2. Adaptive unconscious: Have unconscious goals that we are unaware of.
  3. Implicit motivation: Automatically attend to emotionally linked environmental events. When a past emotional experience is re-triggered it causes strong motivation.
  4. Subliminal motivation: You do not know that you are perceiving a stimulus and information is processed at an unconscious level which has emotional effects. However, research demonstrates that individuals do not necessarily act on the subliminal stimuli.



  • The process of forgetting information and an experience by ways that are unconscious, unintentional and automatic.
  • The ego's way of coping with the id's demanding and distressing wishes, desires, ideas and/or memories.


  • The process of removing a thought from attention by ways that are conscious, intentional and deliberate.

Ego Psychology[edit]

Ego Development

A developmental progression toward what is possible in terms of psychological growth, maturity, adjustment, pro-social interdependence, competence and autonomous functioning.

Stages of development:

  • Symbiotic: ego is extremely immature and constantly overwhelmed by impulses
  • Impulsive: consequences and rules curb one's id
  • Self-protective: the ego internalises consequences and rules in guiding defence capabilities
  • Conformist: the ego internalises societal norms and the anxiety of group disapproval moderates one's impulses
  • Conscientious: the ego has an internalised set of rules and a pro-social sense of responsibility
  • Autonomous: thoughts, plans, goals and behaviours originate from within the ego rather than the id or societal pressures
The Id, ego and superego

Ego Defence

The ego is always in a state of vulnerability; through its defence mechanisms the ego buffers consciousness against potentially overwhelming levels of anxiety originating from conflict with the id impulses, the superego demands and external factors. Changes in Internal or External Reality (such as conflict with environment, conflict with impulses and conflict with conscience) lead to the use of defence mechanisms to buffer and reduce anxiety which (hopefully) reduce anxiety, distress and depression.

Defence mechanisms examples:

  • Denial: Focusing all of my attention on university work so I don't pay attention to the fact that I keep getting rejected for jobs and I'm running out of money (this doesn't work too well).
  • Fantasy: Imagining I am a character in my favourite book or movie and I am a hero (for example, "Fuck This...I'm Going To Hogwarts" is a facebook group created for people who have ever wanted to escape the real world and head to Hogwarts).
  • Projection: The reason I didn't understand complex mathematics in school was because my teacher was bad.
  • Displacement: I once threw my phone at a wall when I was really angry at someone.
  • Identification: For example, wearing a necklace of a deceased loved one to overcome the anxiety of their loss.
  • Regression: My step sister throws huge temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way (although I personally think she is just an immature cow).
  • Reaction formation: Thinking "She'll be ok" when I was told my grandmother didn't have long to live.
  • Rationalisation: Stating that I failed a subject because the teacher didn't give me enough guidance, when really I didn't study hard enough.
  • Anticipation: Starting this learning journal at the beginning of the semester rather than right before it is due because I know that would cause me more anxiety.
  • Humour: I always pay myself out for being uncoordinated which allows others to join in yet still feel affection for me.

Ego Effectance

Ego effectance deals with the individual's competence in dealing with environmental challenges, demands and opportunities.

Effectance motivation involves:

  1. Willingness to exercise emerging and existing skills and capabilities
  2. Inevitable effects on or changes in the environment
  3. Voluntary attempts to produce intentional, goal-directed changes in the environment
  4. When successful, sense of competence increases

Object Relations Theory[edit]

The quality of any one's mental representation of relationships can be characterised by three chief dimensions:

  1. Unconscious tone (Benevolent vs. malevolent)
  2. Capacity for emotional involvement (selfishness/narcissism vs. mutual concern)
  3. Mutuality of autonomy with others

Criticisms of the Psychodymanic Theory[edit]

  • Many of Freud's concepts are not scientifically testable
  • Motivational concepts arose from case studies of disturbed individuals
  • Many points about human motivation and emotion was simply wrong
  • Methods of data collection
  • Psychoanalytic theory is woeful as a predictive device

My Questions:

  • What are the ages associated with each stage of ego development?
  • I noticed that a number of defence mechanisms are not mentioned in the text (such as repression and dissociation) is there a reason for this?

Tutorial Five[edit]

Chapter Review Quiz[edit]

The first exercise we completed in this weeks tutorial was a test on the topic of personality, motivation and emotion. I got 16/20. The questions I got wrong were:

  • Why are extraverts generally happier than are introverts? It is because extraverts are: less sensitive to negative feelings and to signals of punishment.

I choose 'more sensitive to positive feelings and to signals of reward.' I was tossing up between the two and I settled on this one. When I look at it now it does make sense that extraverts are less sensitive to negative feelings rather than more sensitive to positive feelings.

  • Studies on the effects of sensory deprivation on psychological processes showed that exposure to a rigidly monotonous environment let a participant to report: all of the above (blank periods in which they could think of nothing, having difficulty with even the simplest of mathematical problems and seeing hallucinations).

I choose 'having difficulty with even the simplest of mathematical problems'. I choose this one because I thought that the participants just heard hallucinations rather than seeing hallucinations also I did not know that the participants reported blank periods in which they could think of nothing.

  • Burger gave persons either high or low in the desire for control (DC) insoluble puzzles and observed how long they persisted. As predicted, high DC individual persisted longer than did low DC individuals. Why? High DC individuals were less willing to admit they had encountered a task that was beyond their personal control.

I choose 'Low DC individuals felt a 'learned helplessness' and gave up on the puzzles quicker'. I had to leave early in the lecture so this was a complete guess for me. But we had learnt about learned helplessness previously so I was familiar with it.

  • People are generally motivated to pursue events such as good grades, promotions at work, and successful relationships. When some barrier like high task difficulty separates the person from such attractive outcomes, individual differences in _____________ intervene to explain when and why people put forth the effort necessary to control their fate. ANSWER: illusion of control.

I choose 'desire for control'. I knew the answer had to do with control but I wasn't sure which type of control it was.

Sensation Seeking Scale[edit]

Rock climbing is a type of sensation seeking behaviour

After completing the sensation seeking scale I found:

  • Boredom susceptibility: 1
  • Disinhibition: 8
  • Experience seeking: 6
  • Thrill and adventure seeking: 7

This demonstrates that:

  • I have a low aversion for repetitive experience of any kind, routine work, or even dull or predictable people.

I support this. I am quite fine experiencing repetitive or routine work.

  • I have a need to disinhibit behaviour in the social sphere by drinking, partying and seeking variety in sexual partners.

I do not support this. I am not a big partier and do not sleep around as i suggests.

  • I have a moderate desire to seek new experiences through the mind and senses by living in a nonconforming life style with unconventional friends, and through travel.

I think that I have a strong desire to travel and experience new cultures but I do not really care about nonconformist life.

  • I have a high moderate desire to engage in sports or activities involving some physical danger or risk such as mountain climbing, parachute jumping, scuba diving, speeding in a car, etc.

I do not support this. I would like to experience these things however I tend to be a bit of a 'pussy' and scared.

Possible Issues:

  • Just because you would like to do something does not mean that you would actually do it.
  • It may be affected by age
  • The survey may be out of date
  • Many adults have expressed that their behaviour becomes a lot less risky when they have children
  • There are possible gender differences in the 'thrill and adventure seeking' sub-scale.

Week Thirteen:[edit]

Growth motivation & positive psychology is the topic for the week 13 lecture. This topic is all about how it is important to follow your true nature or 'inner guides', if you follow this you tend to have better outcomes.

Holism and positive psychology[edit]


  • Stresses “top-down” master motives such as the self and its strivings toward fulfillment
  • Focuses on discovering human potential and encouraging its development

Positive Psychology

  • Devotes attention to the proactive building of personal strengths and competencies
  • Seeks to make people stronger and more productive, and to actualize the human potential in all of us


Self-actualisation leads to a fuller realisation of one's talents (such as ballet)

An ever-fuller realisation of one’s talents, capacities, and potentialities

  • inner consciousness/drive

Two fundamental directions

  • Autonomy -> Greater mindfulness, Courage to create, Realistic Appraisals
  • Openness -> Self realisation

Hierarchy of human needs

There are three themes about the nature of human needs. They are:

  1. The lower the need, the stronger and more urgently the need is felt.
  2. The lower the need, the sooner is appears in development
  3. Needs in the hierarchy are fulfilled sequentially from lowest to highest.
  • Although self-actualisation is important those needs often get drowned out by the physiological needs
  • A very number of the population actually reach self-actualisation

Encouraging growth

  • There are 6 behaviours that encourage self-actualisation. They are:
  1. Make growth choices
  2. Be honest
  3. Situationally position yourself for peak experiences
  4. Give up defensiveness
  5. Let the self emerge
  6. Be open to experience
  • Anxiety is an inevitable part of growth

Actualising tendency[edit]

  • 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
  • Allows you to judge what type of experience it is

Fully Functioning Individual

Roger's version of the self-actualised person.

  • Emergence: onset of innate desire, impulse, or motive
  • Acceptance: desire, impulse, or motive is accepted 'as if' into consciousness
  • Expression: unedited communication of desire, impulse or motive

Causality Orientations[edit]

Autonomy Causality Orientation:

  • Relies on internal guides (for example, needs, interests)
  • Pays closer attention to one's own needs and feelings
  • Relates to intrinsic motivation and identified regulation
  • Corralates with positive functioning (for example, self-actualisation, ego development, openness to experience etc.)

Control Causality Orientation:

  • Relies on external guides (for example, social cues)
  • Pays closer attention to behavioural incentives and social expectations
  • Relates to extrinsic regulation and introjected regulation
  • Look to others for guidance for how to behave

Growth-seeking vs. Validation-seeking[edit]


  • Strivings for providing self-worth, competence and likability.
  • Makes people more vulnerable to mental health difficulties.


  • Striving for learning, improving and reaching personal potential.


Evil is intentional acts of harm.

Two Forms of Discussion

  • How much of human nature is inherently evil?
  • Why do some people enjoy inflicting suffering on others?

Humanistic Theorists' Views

  • Evil is not inherent in human nature. Evil arises only when people experience injuries and damages the person.
  • Both benevolence (good) and malevolence (evil) are inherent in everyone. Human nature needs to internalise a benevolent value system before it can avoid evil.

Positive Psychology and Growth[edit]

Positive Psychology:

  • Looks at people's mental health and the quality of their lives to ask, 'What could be?'
  • Seeks to build people's strengths and competencies. This leads to:
    • Fostering personal growth and well being
    • Prevent human sickness from ever taking root within the personality

Three Illustrative Personal Strengths:

  1. Optimism: effort and persistence
  2. Meaning: psychological sickness are symptoms of the lack of meaning
  3. Eudaimonic Well-being: dynamic challenging state


  • Humanistic view emphasises only one part of human nature
  • Humanistic theorists use a number of vague and ill-defined constructs
  • How is one to know what is really wanted or what is really needed by the actualising tendency?

My Questions:

  • Is it considered evil to wish for bad things to happen to bad people? For example, if you hope that a pedophile gets raped in prison, is that evil?

Week Fourteen:[edit]

Week fourteen, the final week, focussed on the summary and conclusion of motivation and emotion.

Understanding and Applying Motivation[edit]

Three objectives of understanding & applying motivation:

  1. EXPLAIN why people do what they do.
    1. Motivation theories are used to explain both our reasons for behaviour and our motivational states.
  2. PREDICT how conditions will affect motivation and emotion.
    1. Studied to understand which antecedent conditions (environmental, interpersonal, intrapsychic and physiological) energise and direct behaviour.
  3. APPLY motivational principles to solve practical problems.
    1. Solving motivational problems by amplifying strengths, improving functioning, repairing weaknesses and overcoming pathology.

Motivating the Self[edit]

Resource for motivating self

  • Life-long development of inner motivational resources
  • Environmental conditions
  • Situational events

Resource for motivating others

  • Quality of interpersonal relationships

Motive status

  • Needs
  • Cognitions
  • Emotions


  • Performance
  • Engagement
  • Approach
  • Well-being

Motivating self

  • Nurturing resources for motivating self: Life-long development of productive Inner motivational resources
  • Growing approach-oriented needs, cognitions, and emotions -> Experiencing strong, resilient, and productive motivational states

Motivating others[edit]

  • Is the social context supporting the person’s personal causation and inner motivational resources?
  • Interpersonal relationship supports/undermine the person’s motivation
  • Primary Goal: Enhancing the other’s capacity for personal causation (NOT producing compliance or a predetermined pattern of desired behavior)
  • Feedback on how the effort to motivate self and others is going
  • Feedback mechanism:
Interpersonal relationships have a significant impact upon a person's motivation


  • Interest
  • Enjoyment
  • Optimism
  • Apathy
  • Anger
  • Pessimism

Overt behaviours

  • Intense effort
  • Long persistence
  • Short latency to begin high probability of occurrence etc.


  • Changes in vitality and
  • Well-being

Tutorial Six[edit]

Problems for Discussion[edit]

As a parent raising a child who expresses a somewhat socially undesirable temperament, would you: a- raise the child in his or her natural temperament, or b- raise the child to conform to the more socially-desirable temperament?

I would choose option b, raise the child to conform to the more socially-desirable temperament. Reason being that the child who is raised in their natural temperament may become a ‘brat’ and may not be able to function in the ‘real world’.

“Learning does not follow from teaching. Rather, learning follows having one’s interests identified, facilitated, and supported.”

I mostly disagree with this statement. I believe that learning occurs through teaching/conditioning however I believe that the passion for learning comes from one’s interests identified, facilitated and supported.


I tried to rate myself on each characteristic from ‘Maslow’s Characteristic of Self-Actualised People’ however I found this very hard to do. I think that this means that I am not very actualised. I think that if I found it easier to rate myself that I would be more actualised than I am.


  1. Do you know someone in whom the actualisation tendency is particularly strong. What gives you this impression?

I do not know anyone who I would consider as having a strong actualisation tendency.

  1. Do you know someone in whom the actualisation tendency is particularly weak? What gives you this impression?

My step sister seems to have a very weak actualisation tendency. She has a large number of very shallow friends, she also has a new best friend every month. She is also quite racist and is not comfortable in silence or on her own.

Fully Functioning Person[edit]

I prefer Roger's fully functioning person rather than Maslow's self-actualised person. Roger's fully functioning person is more of a process of evolving healthily rather than a state. I believe that most people are continually aiming to fulfill their potential and improve upon themselves.

I would like to think that I am on my way to becoming a fully functioning person and I continue to try to better myself regarding:

  1. A growing openness to experience;
  2. An increasing existential lifestyle;
  3. An increasing organismic trust;
  4. A freedom of choice;
  5. Creativity;
  6. Reliability and constructiveness; and
  7. A rich and full life.

Sense of Meaning and Coherence[edit]

After completing the orientation to life questionnaire I found that:

My manageability was 4

My meaningfulness was 4

My comprehensibility was 4.2

This demonstrates that I am mid range in all of these characteristics. However when I was simply answering the questions given on our handout I thought that I would be quite high in my sense of meaning and coherence. I believe this is because I would like to be this way however I am not quite this way just yet.

Practical exercises for positive psychology[edit]

I choose to complete the ‘gratitude visit/letter’. I decided to write a gratitude letter to a couple who took care of me after I was hit by a car when I was 9. They took me into my home called an ambulance and comforted me before my mother could get there. I had always wanted to stop by their house after I had recovered to say thank you however I just never got around to it. So writing this letter made me remember that there are genuinely nice people out there who rarely get thanks for what they do. It also made me feel good about finally thanking these people who were so good to me when I needed them.