- 1 About Me
- 2 Motivation and Emotion - Semester 2, 2010. E-Portfolio
- 2.1 Introduction
- 2.2 How to use Wiki
- 2.3 Brain and Physiological Needs
- 2.4 Psychological and Social Needs
- 2.5 Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation and Goal Setting
- 2.6 Personal Control Beliefs and the Self
- 2.7 Nature of Emotion
- 2.8 Aspects of Emotion
- 2.9 Personality, motivation and Emotion
- 2.10 Unconscious Motivation
- 2.11 Growth motivation and Positive Psychology
- 2.12 Conclusions and Final Thoughts
I am currently studying Psychology and Management at the University of Canberra. This e-portfolio is an assessment task for the Psychology Unit - Motivation and Emotion. I'll attempt to offer some insightful, relevant reflection on what I'm learning, how I'm learning it and probably the personal motivations and emotions that I'm going through as the semester progresses.
Motivation and Emotion - Semester 2, 2010. E-Portfolio
I hadn't ever thought about studying motivation this until this semester, but now that I am I'm intrigued to learn more. What gets me out of bed on a Canberra winter morning to go for a run? What motivated me to move house in the middle of this semester and start a new job and study full time?
Interesting assessment schedule, it will good to be finally moving into more online driven tasks and stretching ourselves with respect to formats. The assessment tasks are a Textbook Chapter, a Multimedia Presentation and an e-journal, which takes the form of me doing this reflection. I’ll attempt to pursue some research into motivation and gambling with my textbook chapter, particularly electronic gaming and Electronic Gaming Machines (EGM’s).
Motivation is defined in the text (Understanding Motivation and Emotion by Johnmarshall Reeve) as the processes that give behaviour its energy and direction. More discussion of this definition in week 3.
This week offered an information overload of historical perspectives and theories, based originally on philosophical teachings which have now largely been abandoned in the pursuit of a more scientific school of thought. The grand theories, which are the original theories of motivation are attractive because of their simplicity and basis in pure thought, especially true of Freud’s Drive Theory, based on the idea that there is a biological desire to achieve homeostasis – this is the basis for all motivations and all behaviour. These theories were fairly limited in their ability to explain behaviour, especially irrational behaviour it seems, so fell out of favour. Current theories are more focused on particular areas, aiming to offer detailed insight e.g. Self Efficacy Theory (Bandura, 1977) and Intrinsic Motivation (Deci, 1975). Interstingly, I had always thought of motivation as the driving force, never really focusing on the drivers of motivation. This lecture provided four areas that create emotion - Needs, Cognitions, Emotions and External Events.
How to use Wiki
This weeks lecture focused on trying to give the Motivation and Emotion class a grasp of how to operate Wikiversity (sister project to Wikipedia). The lecture was quite simple until James (James Neill, Course Convenor) mentioned coding. Coding involves using words and symbols in a draft document that come out differently in a final document e.g. two square brackets at the beginning and end of a word turn it into a link ( [[ ]]). I, and judging by other comments, quite a few others aren’t particularly familiar with coding or publishing online, so I expect the process will involve some trial and error and learning. Hopefully the learning curve is not too steep.
Tutorials start next week for me, looking forward to having more discussions and interaction with the content.
Having discussed text chapter subjects with James, I’ve tentatively settled on a focus on the Emotional Motivators of Gambling, probably with a feature section on Electronic Gaming. It differs a bit from my original direction, however, ill be covering more research material and content which I'm sure will be more interesting.
Brain and Physiological Needs
Hey point for this week is that the brain is key to motivation and emotion. Specific brain structures create specific motivational outcomes. Biolchemical agents stimulate these bain structures and day to day events create the need for the these bolchemical agents to interact. The interplay between these systems create and trigger emotion, motivation and behaviour.
A large part of the brain anatomy/biochemical triggers for motivation and emotion was information I was already familiar with. The interplay between the endocrine system and our behaviour is particulalrly fascinating to me despite this. What I found really interesting was James's comment about self regulation of needs. James said basically that individuals self regulate poorly because of underestimating strength of needs, failing to monitor what they're doing, or a lack of standards. This was interesting from a point of view of my gambling research. I can remember seeing gamblers who seemed unable to stop, one woman asked the staff not to let her gamble anymore after spending thousands, but didnt exclude herself so there was nothing the staff could do. She was failing to self regulate because her motivations were so distorted and so strong.
Tutorial 1, hooray!
Lots of introduction, clarification, etc. After some novel ways of getting to know each other better (by arranging ourselves based on length of thumb and length of stay at uni) we formed groups and defined the key terms of the unit in groups, coming up with fairly similar answers [[ ]].
The key points in defining motivation seemed to be energy, direction and behaviour. As a tutorial group our definitions were -
1. The drive and energy that urges/pushes an individual towards a particular goal through behaviour. 2. Gives energy to direct behaviour. 3. Processes that give behaviour direction and energy. 4. Energy and direction to behave in a goal-directed way. 5. Energy to direct or focus on a task, eliciting a behaviour.
Defining emotion seemed to produce a mixed bag of ideas with feelings and behaviour being key elements in the definitions. The group definitions were -
1. The feelings an individual experiences in response to cognitions, thoughts, physiological influences and external stimuli. 2. Feelings that affect a person's behaviour; emotions are intense and short. 3. Cognitive thoughts and feelings that are descriptive in nature. 4. Psychological and physiological state that influences thoughts, feelings and behaviours. 5. The chemical reactions within our bodies that are reflected through our behaviours and feelings.
A reassuring feature of the tute was the review of our key questions for the unit with a focus on our textbook questions. Really helped to think about them, clarify and ask more questions, and the group/peer review was excellent too, very relevant for those future research psychologists. I'm still reviewing the questions and overall topic that I will focus on, doing some more research will help. I'm beginning to think that the Emotional Motivators of Gambling will be too narrow and that mentioning the emotional motivators as a section in an overarching topic of Motivation to Gamble may be a better option.
Psychological and Social Needs
I think, in reading and listening this week that social and psychological needs are often passed over in terms of attention and importance by biological needs. A holistic understanding and holistic health approach would be beneficial in terms of psychopathology understanding and treatment.
Psychological needs are inherent sources of motivation. They include the desires to enhance personal growth, social development and psychological wellbeing. The major differences between psychological and biological is homeostatic motivation. I.e. biological motivations stem from the desire to achieve homeostasis whereas psychological needs are quite differetnt, as stated above. Major theory related to psychological needs is Self Determination Theory. The theory identifies three needs; those of autonomy, competence and relatedness . In thinking again about my chapter research into gambling you could apply all three of these needs to the motivations that exist. Individuals are motivated to socialise (relatedness), develop new skills and conquer a new game (competence) and sometimes to be alone and make their own decisions (autonomy).
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation and Goal Setting
Goals - Having never really thought about goals in a scientific sense before this semester surprised me. I was confronted with several occasions where lecturers made a point about the importance of goals and explained why we fail to achieve them and how to set personal goals. I was particularly interested in the nature of the goals people set and the liklihood that they will achieve them depending on a couple of key factors. After learning about hte importance of specificity and the level of difficuly we set ourselves I will definitely out some time into re-evaluating and thinking about personal and career goals.
Personal Control Beliefs and the Self
Thanks to James for not having a lecture this week. Wouldn't it be great if all the teaching staff at UC did the same so we could claim back the two week break!! Uni definitely loses a lot of its novelty and fun when you're tired and stressed with too much assessment. Having two weeks of holidays was a welcome break.
Individuals desire to control their environment as much as possible. The motivation behind this is to maximise the chance of positive outcomes and to reduce the possibility of negative outcomes. In a leadership unit which is part of my management degree, a related topic to this came up. It was related to leaders ability to influence their environment. In his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R Covey stated that leaders should focus on influencing their circle of influence which represents those factors which they can have an impact on. Once an individual has control over these immeidate aspects of their life they can braoden their focus to their circle of concern, which is all the factors which they have an interest in.
I think only making an attempt at controlling an aspect of your environment once you have the abilities or resources available is a wise approach. As someone who identifies as very independent and having a strong desire for control at least over my own life, I can identify with Coveys approach and will try to implement some elements of this philosophy in my life.
Another aspect of this weeks content which I found interesting was Mastery/Helplessness. A mastery orientation occurs when an individual feels as if they have a high sense of control over outcomes. Conversely, indivduals who feel as I they have little or no control over outcomes is said to be helplessnes, or to have learned helplessness. I generally feel as though I have at least some sense of control over events, definitely not a mastery situation though. There is only one occasion where I can remember feeling helpless. Getting of a plane in Cairo, aged 18, with no idea what was going on. It was my first overeas holidays without family and I was travelling with someone who had even less of a clue than me. Having no common langauge, having not slept for days and having my bags taken from me from a bunch of men at the gate (it turned out they only wanted a tip, aka baksheesh), I felt fairly helpless! Not pleasant. It all turned out ok though.
Nature of Emotion
Emotion involves internal, cognitive and biological factors. Emotions can motivate, direct and energise behaviour. A current understanding of emotions is that they perform an evolutionary role, e.g. if we find a situation emotionally negative, it is probably somethign we should remove ourselves from. I think of all of the negative bodily feelings, pains and emotions as signals this way - you body giving you signals that something is wrong. Listening to the signals has really worked for me in the past, I recommend it, if it feels bad, it almost certainly is!
The two major approaches to classifying emotions both have aspects whic appeal to me. The biological approach is similar to the evolutionary role outlined above, they're universal, limited sets of reactions that serve a purpose. I like the simple nature of it, a small set of emotions that is applicable to everyone, not sure about the validity of it though. The cognitive approach, alternatively, doesnt dictate any number of emotions. It frames emotions as existing on a spectrum, so they aer an almost unlimited number, with combinations, offshoots, culturally specific emotions. In contrast to the biological approach I like the individuality of this approach, it appeals to me and vindicates all the miunderstandings people have based on emotional outbursts and individual intepretations.
Aspects of Emotion
The lecture this week focused on Biological, Cognitive and Socio-Cultural causes of Emotion. These are the core aspects of emotion. An interesting Biological Theory of Emotion is James-Lange Theory. It questions whether each emotion has a unique bodily reaction and to what extent do bodily changes induce emotions. The overarching question is whether emotions cause physical reactions or do physical reactions precede and therefore cause emotions.
Cognitively, emotion is seen as the result of Appraisal and Attribution. Appraisal occurs before an emotional reaction and involves questions of whether it is relevant.
Social interaction helps to shape our understanding and reactions to emotion and cultural backgrounds do the same with respect to cultural understanding.
The tute this week was great. It involved getting into groups and sorting through a list of words related to emotions. The task was to develop our own model of emotions. Being able to visualise our own view/understanding of emotion really helped to gather an overview of the categories. Lots of words were discarded. Most of them weren't emotions but represented moods, obscure words based in Theatre or in German (see - Verklemt and Schadenfreude).
Next everyone performed a PANAS (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule). This measure of prevailing mood involved rating ourselves from 1 (very slightly or not at all) to 5 (extremely) on how a list of emotive words applied to us in general. There was a general trend towards positive affect, in accordance with research. My own scores were below the mean for both positive and negative affect.
Finally we worked through some questions about formatting and referencing in Wiki. James explained how to put in a quiz and embed and change the size of images. Which i will try at some point!
Have totally reformatted my text chapter this week. In the process of writing it in Word and slowly adding it all onto Wiki. Ive changed from a total focus on Emotional Motivators to a broader focus on motivators of Gambling. Emotion will still hopefully play a large part in the Body.
Personality, motivation and Emotion
Key question for this week - Why do different people have different emotional and motivational states, even in the same situation?
There are a lot of questions about what impact personality has on motivation and motivation. I can think of heaps of situations where individuals were raised int eh same situations, same schools etc are completely different in their motivations. I suppose its possible that personality differences could be responsible for the motivational differences. Personality has never been an area that interested me personally and I dont have a lot of knowledge in the area so my reflections were minimal. I almost always go back to the Big 5 and relate personality questions to its becuase of its simplicity. With relation to this unit I think of motivation as being an offshoot of Conscientiousness, the task focused end of the spectrum. Emotionality, i see as a product of Openness and Neuroticism, a combination of that freedom that comes with openness and the varying degrees of prevailing positivity or negativity that come with hig or low neuroticism.
I viewed the unconscious motvation week with scepticism. Have never really been a fan of unseen, untested theories based on a group of rich Viennese women. So, its no surprise the idea of the Freudian uconscious doesnt appeal very much. I view Freud as a stepping stone in Psychology, not the be all and end all that the general populace seem to. The annoying part for me is that the theories of the unconscious seem to make so much sense. Primal urges are explained by the Id, the Ego makes sense of the world and aims to satiate the Id's drives and the Super-Ego contradicts the Id and acts as a conscience ( Id, ego, and super-ego).
Growth motivation and Positive Psychology
The lecture this week centered on growth and positive psychology. The motivation to personally grow and develop our own talents, reach our own potential etc is not something that I think Psychology is traditionally associated with, mroe with interaction, behaviour and solving personal issues. It was surprising to note the number of perspectives and theories in the lecture. The standard Self Actualisation ones were there but in addition there was also information on relationships, validation seeking and growth seeking individuals and evil. Evil is not something i had expected in a positive/growth psychology lecture. It is considered a couple of ways by humanistic psychology. Firstly, it can be framed as non-integral to human nature and alternatively as part of human nature that can be 'awoken' by a negative situations.
Conclusions and Final Thoughts
Quick review lecture today, summary of the summary chapter of Reeve. The chapter focuses on understanding and applying motivation, motivating self and others and designing motivational interventions. The chapter concludes with the wisdom the author has gained though the research and writing of the textbook. Reeve identifies 16 points, one for each chapter. I doubt I can think of 16 pieces of wisdom. I think that the major benefit of me studying motivation and emotion has been to get a broader grasp of the impact that both motivation and emotion can have on individuals. It has helped me to reflect on my own motivations and how to achieve my goals. As I think I mentioned above, I'll definitely write out a set of career goals and be proactive about achieving them.
Matt.Long 21:22, 21 November 2010 (UTC)