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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
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Epiphany-bookmarks.svg This user is contributing to the Motivation and overeating chapter for the textbook.


General reflections following Lecture 1[edit]

Yes it's week 3 and I'm just a bit late in starting my readings and modified textbook (electronic format so I can use my screen magnification and reading software to access it) has yet to arrive. I cannot wait any longer as I will not cope with having so much to catch up on ... I have been waiting so I can read chapters, listen to lectures and reflect on them as I go. But I can't wait any longer...

Using motivational theories to solve practical problems[edit]

(Insert slide 41 from lecture 1 or make representation) As I sit scanning each page of the textbook one at a time, before magnifying each page to a readable font size under a great huge machine I have borrowed from work, I wonder about what is it that motivates me to persist (an aspect of behavioural engagement)with the goal of completing the Grad Dip in Psych Science despite the barriers I face ... I oscillate between wanting to quit (aroused motive is to avoid pain) when feeling angry and frustrated (emotional engagement) and wanting to continue because of interest (also an aspect of emotional engagement). On a very personal level this struggle is very illustrative of one of the big themes in motivation study - that motivation includes both approach (pulling me toward my goal of study) and avoidance (pushing me away from it in order to avoid feelings of incompetence).

The textbook challenges me to think and answer these and other such questions around the topic of motivation.

Motivation to study[edit]

I think what motivates me to sudy Psych. is easy to answer ... I find it incredibly interesting and often think I would be happy to come to lectures, tutes ,and do some of readings but just skip the assessment part...costly exercise though! Does that mean I am internally motivated and not entirely motivated by the extrinsic motivator of a job or degree (although that would be a bonus).

The more personal question of what motivates me to persist despite the barriers I face, is more complex. Over the last three weeks as my motivation has been pushed and pulled in both directions, I have often been pulled toward a more simple life where I am back in control of my world (autonomous) instead of relying on others to provide modified texts and special services that enable me to be able to study. Looking back at the words just written, I feel the need to acknowledge how fortunate I am to be able to access these services that would not have existed two decades ago and in fact do not exist for the majority of people with disabilities in the world.

Reflections on Text Chapter 1[edit]

Motivation to Exercise[edit]

The text also asks us to reflect on why people exercise and what makes some more motivated to do so... I exercise to stay healthy and I also love it - the feeling of using my muscles and being strong and capable. Over the years, especially before having children, I've been accused of over-exercising - being a gym junkie - an exercise freak. Interestingly enough the topic I have chosen for my textbook chapter is overeating ... overexercising, overeating, overweight, are all these overs connected?

For some people, me included (if I am being honest), the motivation to exercise is in part, driven by vanity - controlling weight, looking healthy, etc. Maybe those who aren't driven by these desires, aren't so motivated to exercise ...? When I was able to overexercise, it enabled me to overeat and get away with it. When time did not allow for this anymore, it became more obvious.

Oh dear, getting even more personal now, need to use a pseudonym.

Motivation to Read text[edit]

Q. What motivated me to start reading the text today? A. Fear of leaving it any longer and my kids soccer games got cancelled because of the rain so I have some unexpected time. Q. Will I read till the end of the chapter? A. Doubt it, it's taken me hours to read a couple of pages because of many interruptions and other such banal practicalities

However, I am very pleased to have begun the Wikki learning curve and also the barrier to reading the text. The longer I left starting the harder it was to motivate myself to actually start. Although, not being able to read the text easily and spontaneously is quite a de-motivater in itself!

The fundamental questions of motivation[edit]

Q What's the driver for behaviour and emotion?

A If I reflect on this 'big picture' question and relate it to my 'big picture' motivations in life -my family is the most important motivator for my behaviours

Q Why does the intensity vary between people and between time frames within the same individual?

A As my kids have become less dependent (now 10 and 13) it has allowed me to spend more of my time doing things that are just for me ...exercising, studying, cultivating new friendships, traveling ... all things that have been important to me all my life but were put on hold whilst I was in the bubble of the intense parenting stage.

Q Why this particular behaviour as opposed to another?

A If I reflect on this and the question of 'why study when there are so many other interesting and competing demands and possibilities for the little spare time I have" ...I realise it has to do with having a disability and the need to turn this unfortunate life event into something positive ... the need to prove that I can still be competent and capable ... not being able to competently do what my first two qualification trained me for (teaching, teacher-librarianship) and attempting and not finishing other Post Grad courses because of sight related issues(Grad Dip in Outdoor Ed (1985, Masters In Special Ed(1996), Grad Cert in TESOL, 2007/8) has energised me into studying something I have always been interested in and that would be possible to do with partial sight. This reflection seems to be consistent with a combination of what the text refers to as avoidance orientation and approach orientation. ' the greater the irritation the greater the change'.

I can certainly relate to the avoidance motivation as I was happily in denial for many years about my eyesight and would never in a million years have come out about it... unfortunately the deterioration accelerated to a point at which avoidance/denial was no longer an option so I was forced to come out.

Q What gives behaviour its energy, direction, and intensity variations?

A The answer to this is quite pragmatic ...Depending on the demands place on my life like kids, aging parents, work, health ...this dictates the intensity and focus of the time and energy left over to devote to other things

Chapter 2 Reflections[edit]

Interesting how things change ... I like the idea that the study of motivation comprises multiple mini theories - it seems much more democratic and dynamic. I feel excited about learning some of the mini theories I've not heard of. It has such a practical application to life. Also excited about having learnt a new technology to enable me to read the text - very motivating - glad I persisted and didn't give up. Also glad it was a rainy and windy weekend which provided the right environmental factors.

Chapter 3 reflections[edit]

I was very motivated to keep reading once I got onto chapter 3... the reading of the text becoming easier as I master the new equipment. As I read this chapter, I once again realised how little I know about the very important workings of my own body and brain. There is a lot of relevant info in this chapter for my topic of overeating. I wonder where you can buy the hormone Leptin from (appetite brake) ... if it was that simple someone would be marketing it I am sure. Wonder if I am lacking in this hormone and have too much Ghrelin?

I feel more motivated and knowledgable about how to tackle my text book chapter - there are many areas to cover in a study of overeating- physiological, environmental, cultural, biological, emotional, social, evolutionary, etc.

Lecture 2 and 3 Reflection[edit]

I became aware of another accessibility barrier (once again pushing me away from goal of study). This time I decided to give up especially when i realised I could still withdraw withour finanacial loss. I took some time out went for a long wolk with a friend but something pulled me back to study after a day out. I listened to Lecture 3 and found a lot of the content personally very interesting and also very relevant to my topic. I am either a masacist or am genuinely very motivated to persist with this unit. I am sure if it was a Stats course, the pull back would not be strong! However, here I am back at it...

Reflections on Sources of Motivation[edit]

as it ralates to my turbulent start to this unit...

Avoidant Motives

  • Needs-- to avoid painful situation
  • Cognitions - 'I want to be free of this angst and frustration'
  • Emotions- frustration, anger,
  • External events- accessibility bariers to study

Approach Motives

  • Needs- to be competent, achieve
  • Cognition- I should be able to do this
  • Emotions- excitement , interest
  • External Events- supportive friends and family

Processes involved in motivation[edit]

Reflection on personal behaviour...choice to drink wine after stressful event (avoidant)

Environamental event (barrier to learning).........biochemical agent (cortisol)........ brain structure (lots of them stimulated, both those associated with avoidance -orientated states and those associated with approach- oriented states -amygdala hippocampus, .... aroused motivation - hypothalmus, Nucleus accumbens, Nedial forebrain bundle....... arousal motivation(have a glass or two of wine to releave stress and negative feelings)


Both my parents have Parkinson's Disease which is characterised by decreased dopamine activity. In their mid seventies they are now in a Residential Aged Care facility with other people who are at least a decade older then themselves. Only a few years ago they were living the high life -holidaying on their luxury boat, travelling overseas, and eating out with friends regularly. Now it is often hard to get them excited about anything and they display the characteristic expressionless face. It is all too clear to me how significant a function this nuerotransmitter plays. My mother's most common phrases these days are "don't care" and "can't be bothered"

=Physiological needs and overeating[edit]

  • Genetic effects

It appears that genetics plays a role in weight regulation. There can be a predisposition for carrying excess weight

Set-point theory

  • Environmental effects
    • the abundance of food in the developing world
    • the variety of food in the developed world
    • the over sweetened food in the developed world
  • Cognitive

body image scripts

  • Cultural
    • developed world's precoccupation with dieting and thiness
    • the super -size cultural practices around food portions

Tutorial 1[edit]

As I am behind in my text reading I was unable to come up with much of a definition beyond the word "drive" for motivation and "feelings" for emotion. However, I like the definiton... motivation = push/drive energy that directs action/behaviour and can fluctuate in its intensity and be interanl or external emotion = fluid, persoanl, psychological state that is an expression of internal disposition One of the students' definitons of emoiton included 'short lived' but I think that this is not necessarily the case someone can have depression that affects them for some time - or is this a disposition rather than an emotion? I also like ... emotion = unconscious/conscious reactions to internal and external stimuli and emoiion = cognitive interpretation of physiological state expressed or not expressed The latter definition brings to light the fact that the labels we put on our emotions are personal interpretation we make based on many cultural and environmental factors. eg the rise in dispensing of anti-depression medication in the last decade or it becuase of the interpretations we make? Some commentators remark that today's society has over pathologised unhppiness which they argue is a normal state of affairs in everyone's life. Unhappiness is not depression but rather a part of the normal fluctuations and reations to the events that occur in all lifves. How to Write the textbook Chapter Set of key questions should gain a good level of knowledge of knowledge form the topic covered in the chapter - however not all aspects can be covered Include:

  • illustrations
  • case studies
  • overview
  • summary
  • quizes
  • u tube clips
  • focus questions

In the overview, Se what is being covered in the chapter include deefinitions and scope eg overeating but not bullima A glossary coulc be included in a text box Clear headins should be a feature Assume audience is 3rd year Psych students so not everything needs an explanation

??????????????????Questions that bug me????????????????????????????????????[edit]

  • Is overeating a slf sabotaging behaviour - under some circumstances it must be?
  • Is overeating an example of anti motivation, anti -goal directed behaviour?
  • Why does the motivation to eat just enough get overridden by the motivation to overeat?

Tutorial two[edit]

Chapter Plan (as at 15/09/10)[edit]

Hints for Plan[edit]

  • Use sub headings and include word count for each ...these can be questions yet to be answere????
  • In the main body focus on a few theories not comprehensive and integrate with researh, include a critique of these theories
  • Summary needs to be rich
  • References APA journal articles
  • Resources websites, u-tube, selctive, choose just 6 of the best....these can be linke within text
  • Quiz questions to test knowledgeas reader goes along

Chapter Plan - Overeating[edit]

Definition of overeating- what it is and what it is not (eg is binge eating and overeating the same or different)

Scope of what will be covered - bullima

Historical perspective Accounts of overeating have been documented in history

Current trends - when it become an official psychiatric condition - the current explosion of interest or diagnosis - the global trends - socio-economic trends, is it the disease only of the affluent

Cognitive underpinnings- overriding of the physiological controls -goal pursuit and the goal conflict theory - boundary theory

Physiological / biological underpinnings-Connection to dieting - set point theory / 7settling theory - genetics

Psychological underpinnings- self regulation and restraint release model - compulsion - impulsiveness - obsession - cravings - self determination – extrinsic and intrinsic motivations -stress related eating – comfort food

Cultural Underpinnings-supersize me and the era of consumption - over- abundance of food - super sweet foods - fast food in a busy world

Social Underpinnings- Disapproval of fat and the cultural of continual dieting - motivation to conform to societal standards of physical attractiveness


Feebback - too many headings, refine major headings to match the usual way a topic like this is broken up

Textbook Chapter Main Headings

  • Intro
  • Biological- genetics etc
  • Evolutionary - feast or famine
  • Psychological- cult of thiness
  • Summary