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



Week One[edit]


Motivational Science

Reeve describes 14 types of motivational sources.

  1. Intrinsic motivation: I read a book in one day because i enjoy reading.
  2. Flow: When i swim against people who are equally as fast as me, i become personally challenged and focus my energy on one outcome.
  3. External regulation: I study because my parent tell me I have to.
  4. Goal: I want to get a HD mark so I work hard and put effort into these reflections.
  5. Value: I go to university so I can get a degree and a job I am passionate about.
  6. Possible self: I took up drawing because I saw a my mum do a sketch and it inspired me to try it.
  7. Achievement strivings:I try and swim 50m in 28s to beat my previous personal best of 29s.
  8. Perceived confidence: As I practice my drawing more often I get better at it
  9. opponent process: After exercising I feel like I am buzzing and more relaxed and happy.
  10. Positive affect: Good marks for an assignment put me in a good mood for the rest of the day
  11. Introjection: I exercise because then I feel less guilty about being lazy and that I am not keeping my body healthy.
  12. Personal Control: After studying all day for an exam, I like to exercise to alleviate stress and to create a sense of control.
  13. Relatedness: I play team sports for the socialising, as I enjoy interacting with others.

What causes behaviour?

  • Motivation and emotion play a big role in causing behaviour
  • Intensity in behaviour may be a result of high or low motivation. I am more intense about exercising behaviour than sitting down and studying behaviour, because i have higher motivation and interest in exercise.
  • I have a drive and energy to partake in exercise activities, as it is attractive to me in many ways.

Exercise addresses three important internal motives: needs, emotions and cognitions I need it because it helps me to maintain a healthy life style (perhaps i don't need it to survive, so for this i would say i need food, which in a round about way i need for exercise otherwise i have no energy). Cognitively, it challenges me through mental strength by addressing challenges, formulating a plan and achieving my goal. Trying to improve personal best times in swimming addresses cognitive internal motivations. Finally, exercise emotionally motivates me because i am left in a better mood after performing it.

Motivations can help individuals adapt to environmental changes. Motivation provides a means for coping. When coping is achieved after experiencing stress, there is a sense of mastery and competence is felt.

Measuring motivation

  1. Behaviour
  2. Engagement: Internal investment, focus and drive to that particular behaviour.
  3. Brain and physiological activations: Blood pressure and increased heart rate are indicators of motivation or emotion
  4. Self-report

Motivation is never stable, it is constantly fluctuating overtime. Long-term goals that motivate us eventually decrease overtime. So we need the short term goals that constantly refills our motivation levels.

Why theories help us to understand motivation

If we understand motivation we can propose solutions to problems. For example, why someone with anorexia doesn't eat? Could be a result of hormones or social pressure. Can this behaviour be shaped or is it set in stone? What is the motivational agent predicting this behaviour?

There are twenty-four theories of motivation addressed in Reeve (2009)

Historical motivation

Origins of motivation are thought to come from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Plato believed that three areas of the soul motivated (tripartite soul) and explained types of behaviour. This reflected to some degree Freud's id, superego and ego. Later motivation went on to be understood as being part of two themes, The will and bodily desires. This all turned out to be false as it did not really explain motivation well enough.

Physiological analysis of motivation put forth the idea of instinctual drive like goal directed biological impulses. Unfortunately this also proved to be a dead end.

The third Grand Theory: Hull's Drive theory

This was believed to predict motivation before antecedent conditions appeared. Will, instinct and drive. The overall theory was actually very limited. Mini-theories then surfaced, which helped to explain some but not all motivations. For example, motivational phenomenons, specific circumstances that affect motivation, groups of people, theoretical questions.

The 21st century for motivation believed that a wide variety of perspectives would be needed to address motivation at its best. These include behavioral, neurological, physiological, cognitive, social-cognitive, cultural, evolutionary, humanistic, psychoanalytical.

In regards to the assigned readings this week, i was quite surprised by the different levels of motivation. It was something i always saw in much simpler terms, being motivated by a goal which in turn helps us to accomplish that goal. So it was interesting to learn that motivation had more depth to it, for example, the type of instinctive motivation that allows humans to survive each day. The hierarchy of the four sources of motivation was also intriguing and insightful in showing the depth motivation can have. The Grand Theories in chapter two was another point of interest for me, the will, instinct and drive. Furthermore, the changes in perspective of these theories through time.

SCARY! The lecture definitely awoke certain emotions that should not be displayed in public. Felt very overwhelmed with assessment items.


Attempting to use wiki for the first time

For me, the thought of completing the three assessment items through Wikiversity is very scary and overwhelming. I am not a big computer user, so i know this will be a very challenging and possibly frustrating journey. However, with motivations such as, getting good marks, i am quite keen and excited to overcome the challenges within this new area.

Week Two[edit]

Lecture/online: How to use wiki[edit]

This lecture was good at settling the nerves as it help me to understand editing in wikiversity. Something that i tried to do previous to the lecture and failed.

This lecture also made it very clear what was wanted and needed for the three assessment pieces.

  • Integrating theories and current research seem to be an important aspect in this unit.

Textbook Need to sign up for a topic. Have not decided what i want to do as yet. Just quickly skimming over intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, it looked interesting. I liked that James gave us a timeline for where we should be up to in our assessments each week. Hopefully i will use this and stick to it.

Editing on Wikiversity

  • I found out that if you put two brackets around something it will create a link.
  • Use wikimedia commons for pictures to avoid copy right issue
  • I learned how to sign my name on wiki
  • How to make headings and subheadings
  • Using bulletpoints (which i seemed to have mastered)


  • Do it on
  • Need to create an account first
  • Pressing alt-D will pause video
  • May need to buy equipment to record through computer.
  • Must add link to wiki chapter page


  • Use APA referencing or create a link on your page to where you found your source of information
  • It is not a copy of the notes but more of a reflection on what i have learned through the lectures, text and tutorials.
  • Consistency brings marks

Week Three[edit]

Lecture/textbook:Brain and Physiological Needs[edit]

Our motivational states within the mind are quite strong. All motivational state involve the brain. Specific structures in the brain create different motivational states. Three types of brains

  1. Thinking brain: Thoughts, what task person is currently doing.
  2. Motivated brain: How we chose to behave.
  3. Emotional brain: What our mood is like.

Looking inside the brain

  • Environmental events
  • Biochemical agents
  • Brain structure
  • Aroused emotions

FMRIs have helped surgeons understand the brain and how it functions in relation to motivation.

  • Cerebral cortex is associated with motivational and emotional functioning

Approach-oriented and avoidance-oriented

Three structures that play an approach-oriented role

  1. Hypothalamus: Het pleasurable feelings from mating, eating and drinking.
  2. Medial forebrain bundles: Reinforcement center, pleasure.
  3. Orbitofrontal cortex: Make choices, learning value of events.

Two structures that play an avoidance-oriented role

  1. Amygdala: Detecting threats or danger and responding appropriately.
  2. Hippocampus: Also detecting threats or danger and responding appropriately

(prefrontal cerebral cortex is associated with both the approach and avoidance orientations: can withdraw or use motivation and emotional behaviours) An arousal oriented structure

  1. reticular formation


Dopamine: Get emotional positivity from dopamine release. I can achieve this feeling from exercising. Motivates me to want to exercise in the future so i can receive that positive feeling again.


Hormones in our body effect our motivation and emotions to an extent. Cortisol: The stress hormone, high levels of cortisol are associated with decreased intellectual functioning. Testosterone: High sexual motivation, creates the need to mate. Oxytocin: Motivates us to seek others for help in times of stress, this is the bonding hormone for mother and baby when they first meet.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Physiological Needs

  • Physiological needs: Basic needs for food, drink, sex
  • Social needs: Sense of belonging, intimacy
  • Psychological needs: Autonomy, relatedness and competence

Tutorial One[edit]

My definition of motivation: the drive or goal that pushes us to survive or complete task that are significant within our lives. My definition of emotion: the chemical reactions within our bodies that occurs as a result of a significant event and is reflected externally through our behaviours and feelings. (this was a very biological take on emotions compare to my other group members. Also i later discover the debate of whether it is congitions that cause emotions or our biology)

Textbook chapter Brain storming ideas Structure

  • using focus questions for broad topics
  • definitions (key terms or jargon)
  • use of glossary
  • integrate theories and research
  • need to reference
  • break up sections by using learning features. These could include stop and review questions, quiz, crossword, fill in the blanks, case studies, summary.
  • allocate an estimated word count for each section
  • external links, videos


  • does not matter, just needs to be consistent

Starting Point: Indigenous Australian Motivation

Australian indigenous culture

After careful consideration and hours of researching, i picked my chapter:Indigenous Australians and motivation. There are lots of aspects to this topic i would like to dive into and learn about. This is something i am currently in the process of determining, as i feel the topic is too vague otherwise.

The tutorial was very informative in terms of what i needed to know. It helped to consolidating previously learned information e.g. wiki. Furthermore, I don't feel so bogged down in regards to starting my chapter due to the brain storming we did together. Lastly, I really liked that we formed groups and that we can keep them.

Week Four[edit]

Lecture/textbook: Psychological & Social Needs[edit]

picture showing the need humans have to be social rather than alone

As humans we are inherently active. Our actions are driven my interests and by what satisfies our psychological needs. We use the environment to seek what we need from it in order to sufficiently satisfy ourselves mentally.

The person-environment dialect

  • This is a reciprocal relationship, where the environment uses the person and the person uses the environment.

The environment presents opportunities, external events, feedback, relationship development, culture and community. We act on the environment due to our curiosity, intrinsic drive and needs. The environment can be a positive force, as it can provide resources that facilitate development. It can also have an negative effect, as it can interfere with inner resources which results in decreasing optimal development. Self-determination theory

  1. Autonomy: connecting behaviours to our interests, freedom to construct own goals and know what is important without external influence. For example, i went to university because i was interested in learning about psychology, my parents did not pressure me, i wanted to do it for me alone. I had the choice and because of this my intrinsic motivation was stronger than if someone had made that choice for me.
  2. Competence: To have a goal and master that goal. Effectively interacting in environment, using skills to overcome challenges. For example, before i went overseas for a year in 2007, i had not been away from my family longer then 2 weeks. I had an internal battle whether to go overseas or stay because i thought i would miss my family too much. I went and stayed for a year, missed my family, but ultimately survived the year without them which, increased my sense of self competence.
  3. Relatedness: The need to belong and establish emotional bonds with other individuals. When i went overseas i did not know anyone. I felt lonely and had a deep seeded need to fit in and emotionally connect with someone. I gravitated towards my host mum because i sensed i could trust her. However, at the beginning of my trip, my Belgium class mates and i could not communicate as i had little french and they little English. I could not communicate and get to know them so i could not trust them. As a result i initially drifted away from them.

Social Needs


Situational influenced intense wants and desires. The intense feelings generate behaviour in a direction that will ultimately reduce the original intense energy. For example, a quasi-need for me, in the past, has been when i have seen a item of clothing in a store that i really loved and "needed" but i did not have enough money to buy. So i found my parents and put forward the proposition that if they make up the difference of mone, so i could buy the dress, i will do the ironing. This usually worked. My intense desire of wanting the dress directed my behavior to get money through ironing later on, so i could afford the dress and sooth my intense energt.

Social needs

We can obtain our social needs through experiences, development and socialization. This can include, power, affiliation, intimacy and achievement. These four social needs can act as incentives that activate emotional and behavioral potential.

Achievement: Doing something successfully, which highlights your personal competency. My athleticism has been an incentive that has partly satisfied my social needs. It is stereotypical to say but i was "popular" within my social group partly because of my athletic ability. My success in sport showed my competence was high in this area, which was something they obviously valued as well.

This brings me to the origins of the need for achievement

  • Socialisation influences: Strong achievement strivings can be achieved when parents provide the the correct environment
  • Independent training: I would practice kicking the soccer ball after school while waiting for my parents to finish work.
  • High level of aspirations: I wanted to make the state team
  • Self-concept of ability is high: I believed i was good enough as a result of past experience.
  • Are realistic about child's ability and the level of excellence they can achieve: I was informed that i have potential but i would have to train hard and be very committed to get to "the top". I was realistic about my natural ability not getting me there on it's own.
  • Home environment rich in stimulation: Had a paddock made into a soccer field with a soccer goal so i could practice at home anytime. I would often versus my dog, who was also very good at soccer (She taught me a lot over the years).
  • Positive valuing of achievement related pursuits: i saw worth and value in what i did, so did my parents and friends. It was an opportunity for personal growth in learning team building skills, meaning of commitment and sacrifice.

Cognitive influence

  • Involves perception of my own ability
  • My level of mastery
  • My expectations for success
  • Strong valuing of achievement
  • Optimistic attributional style

Developmental influences

  • The process of believing as a child your high ability despite failures, and others opinions. Then developing into middle childhood where we pay more attention to peer performance comparisons and feedback. Late childhood, we rely on all aspects of information so a realistic belief on ability can be constructed, self-evaluation and peer, parental and teachers feedback on performance are taken into account.

Atkinson's model

Tendency to approach success and avoid failure. This is an equation based on the probability of success or failure and the incentives for success or failure. Equation for success Ta= (Ms (motive for success) x Ps(probability of success) x Is (incentive of success)) Equation for failure Ta= (Maf (motive to avoid failure) x Pf (Probability of failure) x If (Negative incentive for failure))

Achievement Goals

Two types

  1. Mastery goal: Trying to achieve the goal by developing the means and skills they assist in this process. For example, at the moment i am learning how to do pastel drawings. To develop my skills in this area i read books on pastel drawings, practice drawing by mimicking easy already drawn pictures and taking classes where i learn skills from people who have mastered this task already.
  2. Performance goal: Success with little effort, show high competence and ability in area, outperform others. For example, an area in my life were i had performance goals was sport.

Integrating classical and contemporary approaches to achieve motivation Atkinson's model + achievement goals = integrated model

Avoidance motivation and well-being We tend to avoid things we fear or fail at because it can result in low self-esteem, low personal control and well-being.

Implicit theories

The debate between Incremental and Entity theorist Entity theorist believe things such as our personal qualities are fixed, whereas, incremental theorist believe it is possible to change our personal qualities. I agree with being able to change, because when we learn something new or experience new things we are improving the qualities about ourselves. As long as we are willing to learn and be open to new things we can always improve our qualities. This ties in with mastery of a goal, being intrinsically motivated to learn and develop skills. We do have to put in higher effort to achieve this, but i believe higher effort gives something more significance and higher satisfaction is received when the task is finally achieved. However, Entity theorist believe that when high effort is needed in a task it is a sign of low ability.

Donald Trump is a man who satisfied his need for power by creating an empire

Affiliation and Intimacy

  • The need for affiliation comes from lack of social interaction
  • We feel lonely and rejected without social interaction

The definition of affiliation here is directed more at the deficiency of social interaction. Whereas, intimacy refers to the needs that arise from interpersonal caring, emotional connectedness, love, reciprocal dialogue and warmth. An example of when i experienced affiliation was when i went overseas and had to live with a new family, go to school and make new friends. I had no one that could speak English. For the first few months of my trip i felt very alone and rejected at times. When i started to learn french i began to satisfy conditions of social acceptance, approval and reassurance within myself and from others. This enabled me to moved towards growth-oriented motives, where i developed a relationship with my host family and Belgium friends.


We satisfy our need for power by taking on leadership roles, being aggressive, being influential and having possession that show prestige. The need for power gives use the motives to increase our approach tendencies. We are more willing to take risks. As a result, goals are achieved easily.

Week Five[edit]

Lecture/Textbook : Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and goal setting[edit]

What is intrinsic motivation?

Well the textbook definition is ‘ones inherent desire to engage in an activity that is of interest and is satisfying’. Example: “I am doing this reflection because it is adding to my knowledge and that is exciting and mentally stimulating”. Where does intrinsic motivation come from? This is a question i often ask myself when i play sport. What does it take to be mentally fit or have intrinsic drive to be successful in competitions? Can you train your self to develop or strengthen intrinsic drive? The textbook and lecture material states that the origins of intrinsic motivations come from the psychological need for satisfaction based on three components.

  1. Autonomy: a sense of independency, that you CAN do it, freely and by yourself. This in itself motivates. People are less likely to attempt something they can not do themselves. For example, when I broke my arm, I lost a lot of intrinsic motivation to do things, such as playing the piano. I could not do it self sufficiently with only one hand, so I lost my motivation to keep practicing.
  2. Competence: If you are good at something you are more likely to be intrinsically motivated due to the knowledge that success is possible. An example for me is that i never was strong at maths and therefore did not enjoy doing it. I felt less competent at maths so i would never be intrinsically motivated to study for it.
  3. Relatedness: in terms of relatedness i guess the more something is important to you the greater the drive or motivation is to achieve it. For example, wanting to go to the Olympics, a person trains hard, dedicates a large portion of their time to training and preparing. The end result is important. There is a high relatedness to success at the Olympics and training in preparation so the intrinsic drive to go train everyday would be higher than sitting at home and relaxing.

The benefits of intrinsic motivation can be enormous (depending on the level of motivation). Higher levels of motivation seem to result in greater persistency. When a task is interesting and satisfying then creativity is enhanced. Intrinsic motivation improves conceptual understanding, processing information more flexibly and less rigidly. Finally having the ability to use intrinsic motivation throughout life improves wellbeing, and a higher level of self actualisation occurs. This decreases chances of depression and anxiety.

Extrinsic Motivation

Definition: An environmentally influenced incentive to participate in an activity. (Reeve, 2009) I do my e-portfolio in order to get good marks in Motivation and Emotion. So I am requesting the behaviour of sitting down and completing weekly reflections for the extrinsic reward of good marks.

External regulation of motivation:

Here the textbook introduces the concept of operant conditioning (OC) (something that has been drilled into us from the Learning unit this semester). Basically OC is learning how certain behaviours can produce positive consequences. A situation can produce a response that causes a consequence. Example, in a lecture (situation) I ask a question, as a reaction (response) the lecturer answers, as a (consequence) of this positive experience I ask more questions. The incentive precedes the behaviour (to know the answer to a question) and the consequence follows the behaviour (getting the answer and then asking further questions).

Usually after the consequence there is a reward that can be either positive or negative depending on the positive or negative reinforcer or punishment. Positive reinforcer: when something is given as a reward for behaviour that is desirable, strengthening the future probability of that behavioural response. For example, giving a lolly to a child when they share their toys.

Negative reinforcer: removal of a stimulus that is unpleasant, strengthening the future probability of that behavioural response. For example, when a person takes some aspirin to eliminate a headache.

Positive punishment: when something is given as a punishment for undesirable behaviour, to decrease the future strength of the response. For example, an alcoholic takes pills that cause vomiting when alcohol is consumed.

Negative punishment: when something is taken away as punishment for undesirable behaviour, decreasing the future strength of the response. For example, when you don’t eat your vegetables you don’t receive dessert. Reinforcement learning is known to be a stronger predictor for changing behaviour than punishments (Miltenberger, 2008)

Benefits of incentives, consequences and rewards

Rewards can be beneficial in getting uninteresting tasks completed. Usually the more desirable the reward the greater the incentive is to do it. For example, my dad used to give me $20 for washing his cars. If he only gave me $5 I properly would not have done it for him (or would have done a quick job of it). Rewards work by arousing positive emotions, especially if there is knowledge that a reward is going to be received. When we receive a reward dopamine is believed to be released, as discussed in week threes topic ‘The motivated and emotional brain’. Basically dopamine, when released, gives off a good feeling, which in a way can be seen as reinforcement (reward) for completing undesirable tasks. Unexpected rewards are believed to release the most amount of dopamine, not the frequency of receiving a reward.

However, the literature does state that the hidden cost of using a reward as an incentive is that it can undermine intrinsic motivation. So the criticisms of using extrinsic motivation include:

  • By offering a reward, attention is taken away from why the task needs to be completed in the first place
  • The quality of performance can be undermined and interfere with learning.
  • Longer term capacity for autonomous self-regulation is compromised

For example: children learning to read, receive a reward when they read a sentence correctly. The focus of the task is drawn to the reward and less attention is taken in the learning process needed to sound out words to reading a sentence correctly. The long term effect is that it takes the child longer to learn to read and is therefore less independent in completing academic tasks.

While punishment is known to decrease undesirable behaviour it also has negative side effects:

  • Can create a bad relationship between the individual inflicting the punishment and the individual receiving the punishment.
  • In regard to coping mechanism, punishment can be seen as a negative model.
  • It is believed to be a negative motivational strategy, and less effective then other models such as reinforcement strategies
  • There is the long standing debate of corporate, such as smacking a child when they are naughty. Research has shown that there are far more unintended consequences then intended consequences, so perhaps the risks of the unintended consequences outweigh the intended.

As a child I was smacked if I did something extremely naughty. It was effective, and I do remember fearing my parents whenever I knew I had done something bad. I don’t believed however, that I was an aggressive child or adult now, I have a solid relationship with my parents, and I don’t believe I have mental health issues. So I think it depends on the child and how they associate with the behaviour. I do remember that when I did something naughty, my parents pointed out that my behaviour was naughty, not me. Perhaps that makes a difference?

The Cognitive Evaluation Theory

Is believed to predict the effects of extrinsic events of motivation This theory basically states that external motivations can be seen as beneficial or detrimental. This depends on whether the external events are controlling (need for autonomy) or informational (need for competence). (Deci & Ryan, 1985b cited by Reeve, 2009).

Controlling functions: If you do this task then you will get a reward

  • If an external event is used to control behaviour then extrinsic motivation is increased and autonomy and intrinsic motivation is decreased. E.g. parents give $100 for every HD mark received.
  • If an external event is not used with the intention to control behaviour then intrinsic motivation, autonomy and extrinsic motivation remain the same.

Informational function: Because you were able to complete the task, this means you are effectively competent.

  • Increases intrinsic motivation, quality of learning and self-regulation
  • External events communicating a good effort on job will enhance competence and intrinsic motivation. E.g. getting a good grade may motivate students to study consistently for the next assessment.
  • External events communicating a poor effort will decrease motivation, competence and intrinsic motivation. E.g. getting a poor grade with harsh feedback, can cause lack of motivation for future academic assessments.

Types of Extrinsic Motivation

  • According to Reeve (2009) there are three types of motivation: Intrinsic, extrinsic and amotivation.
  • Under extrinsic motivation falls four types :
  1. External regulation: incentives and consequences. E.g. start an essay only when the deadline nears.
  2. Introjected regulation: being motivated out of guilt, doing a task demanded by others but not truly accepting it. E.g. recycling
  3. Indentified regulation: is internalised and autonomous, voluntarily accepts worth of behaviour because it is seen as personally important. E.g. exercising for health and social purposes.
  4. Integrated regulation: most autonomous of all external motivation. Behaviour is a reflection of identity and values. E.g. I recycle, not because it is fun but because it is important for sustaining the environment and I highly value the environment.
Aspects of motivations within the Self-determination theory

Motivating others to do uninteresting activities

This can be achieved by two possible ways.

  1. Building interest
  2. Providing a rational
  1. Building interest

There are two forms: Situational: short term interest in task, something in the environment creates an interest. Individual: long term or stable interest in task, related to the characteristic of the person.

  1. Providing a rationale

This can help an individual to realise the value and importance of a task, for example, when I was studying for my year 12 exams, I would always have trouble starting, because studying is uninteresting to me. But when my parent explained that yeah if you fail the exams it is not the end of the world, but if you do well it is like a shortcut in life for getting a job. By putting the value of a future career on the importance of the exams, it increased my interest in wanting to do well and so I studied. This rationale was convincing enough for me that I was able to put more effort into the task. This links to indentified regulation, where it is partially internal and has worth and personal importance to me. Perceived importance is believed to be the greatest contributor to identification regulation as it feed intrinsic motivation the most.

Goal Setting and Striving

Cognitive Perspective on Motivation

  • Mental events that revolve around a person’s way of thinking and believing.


  • Knowledge of the present state and ideal state incongruities can cause an individual to feel uncomfortable. As a result, a plan is formulated. Ideal state is how a person wishes there life was going. Present state is how a person’s life is actually going. E.g. Ideal state for me is to get to 27s in swimming 50m freestyle. Present state is I cannot get faster then 29s. So I formulate a plan to train harder and more effectively so that there is less incongruity between the two states.

Four steps involved in corrective motivations The plan:

  1. Identifying present and ideal state inconsistencies
  2. Formulating a plan to bridge gap between inconsistent states
  3. Enacting plan
  4. Monitoring feedback for any remaining inconsistencies in states.

Plans are a means of organising toward the goal of an ideal state. Discrepancies arise when the present state does not reach or match the ideal state. Discrepancies create this feeling for a greater need to close the gap between the two states.

Two Types of Discrepancies

  1. Discrepancy reduction: feedback provided on how well or badly a person’s current performance matches with their ideal performance.
  2. Discrepancy creation: feed forward, looking forward into the future and setting higher goals. The ideal state is only known by the individual setting the goal, so no feedback can be given as no actual ideal state is verbalised. E.g. can’t get feedback off boss.

Goal setting

Something an individual is attempting to accomplish. Goals create motivations to decrease discrepancies on present level accomplishments and ideal level accomplishments. (This is actually termed in research settings ‘goal-performance discrepancies).

Goals help us to increase our performance drive. Short-term goals are needed to keep motivation. When a goal is difficult then effort to achieve it increases and so behaviour is energized. When there is a specific goal then more attention, planning and direction is channeled into behaviour.

Feedback: Helps to make goal setting effective. Feedback allows individuals to keep track of the progress they have taken towards achieving their goal. Without feedback, direction and emotional importance can be lost. When feedback is given and the individual has achieved this performance or well above the expected performance then competence is achieved. A bigger goal can be made in its place. Feedback can be detrimental if it is communicated the wrong way.

Goal acceptance: revolves around an interpersonal relationship where a person tries to give a goal to another person. This is classic behaviour between a coach and athlete. I remember whenever I was training for a swim meet; my coach would set a goal for me to beat each training session. Small achievable goals were used to build my confidence. However, whenever a goal was set for me that I couldn’t achieve straight away, I would not accept it and would quite often give up. I found that when I set the goal myself it held more meaning and significance. In saying this, I would also be motivated to impress my coach when he set a goal for me, as I would thrive off getting his approval.

There are believed to be four predictors of goal choice.

  1. Ability: skill level
  2. Past performance: history of performance is a good indicator of what goals can be achieved and not achieved
  3. Self-efficacy: belief in own capabilities
  4. Incentive: the rewards or consequences involved

Short-term vs Long-term goal setting

Long-term goal: because the nature of the goal is long term, then there is non continual reinforcement, as a result, motivation can decrease. That is why the long-term goal should be broken into small short goals to keep reinforcing the performance. Also long term goals don’t allow situations for feedback as short term goals do, which can also lead to a decrease in commitment and motivation. E.g. To become a trained psychologist (which is the long-term goal) there are many short-term goals that need to be achieved first. These include, keeping a high GPA in undergraduate psychology courses, getting into honours and keeping that GPA still, then getting accepted into masters and passing all the courses and practical training. Some thing Reeves wrote on angers and pitfalls in goal settings I found very interesting. It was based on using cheating as a reaction to when goals are made public, there is an increased pressure to do well. Some people turn to cheating rather than developing the skills. I know of people that have lied about year 12 marks in their HSC because at school there is an unintentional increase in the pressure to do well and go to uni.

Implementation Intentions

This is when an individual creates a plan to achieve a goal. It used when, where and how long goal directed action plans. This is a two step process where the firstly the goal is set E.g. swimming 50m in 27s. Secondly, the planning is created on how to achieve the goal set. E.g. train in pool doing sprint sessions and weight sessions to build strength and speed, three out of the four training days. In the second part of the two step process there are some challenges that will be encountered. These can include distractions, setbacks or interruptions. A plan helps to get back on track when these hiccups occur.

Tutorial Two[edit]

The class put together definitions of what needs are? Much of which related to ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs’. The basic principle behind the Hierarchy of needs is that an individual must first accomplish lower needs before the higher needs can be accomplished. What was discussed in the tutorial was that ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs’ is not cross culturally viable and in actual fact an individual does not have to accomplish every need before moving up (Gandhi, is proof of this, his hierarchy of needs would show more of an inverted pyramid). In addition, there are third world countries where people don’t fulfil the safety level as they have no home, employment, security and poor health, however, they do have love and belonging through family and friendship ties.

The Structure of the Brain in relation to motivation

The hypothalamus Neurotransmitters and Motivation

In the tutorial we discussed the effects of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, endorphins.


  • Know for its ability to create good feelings.
  • Is present within the brain.
  • Released when a reward is presented or in the anticipation of pleasure.
  • Dopamine releases into the synapses.
  • The benefits of dopamine include increases in creativity, insightfulness and better problem solving ability.
  • Regulated by the ventral tegmental area.
  • Released into the prefrontal cortex.


  • Influence on mood and emotion.
  • Believed that low levels of serotonin are linked to aggressive behaviour and depression (Kalat, 2009)


  • Regulates arousal and alertness
  • Helps in survival situations where one may need to fight or flight.

Personal experiences has taught me that when it comes to flight, there is a sudden electrical jolt that runs throughout your muscles, as if it is getting them ready to be used. This occurs every time someone hides in the dark and jumps out to scare me. I am yet to experience what it feels like to stay and fight though.


  • Counters negative feelings like anxiety and fear and inhibits them by creating positive feelings.

Whenever I am feeling stressed due to uni or life, I activate endorphins to counter these negative feelings by exercising and sleeping. When I do any one of these two things I feel revitalised and see things from a new perspective. This has been my savior throughout the last three years.

Week Six[edit]

Lecture/text: Control Beliefs and The self[edit]

A person’s belief in their capability to produce positive outcomes such as, have what it takes to influence their environment and the environment will be responsive to their attempts to make things occur for the best will give them motivation to use personal control over their life outcomes. Past personal experience is what individuals use to predict how they might cope with future events.

Two kinds of expectancies

  • Efficacy Expectations: This has to do with my ability to perform a particular act. The typically question everyone asks themselves in efficacy expectations is “can I do it?”
  • Outcome Expectations: This is when an action has been previously performed and the outcome is predicted to be the same when it is tried the next time. For example, one day I thought I had a really corny joke and I didn’t want to tell it, but I did and everyone laughed. The next time an opportunity came to tell a joke I didn’t hesitate because past experience told me that people would find it funny and laugh.

Model of perceived control- Self, action and control This model is based around the idea that the self (known as the agent) can take control (known as the ends) and what action is taken to get control (the means) E.g. Can I as a student studying generate effective coping strategies so I don’t feel overwhelmed? Will my coping then improve the way I use my time effectively when studying. ?

Self efficacy

This involves my ability to use certain resources, skills and improvisations in such a way as to cope with demands and circumstances I am facing. It is how much I belief I can cope in certain situations. It is the balance beam between anxiety of getting it wrong compared to wanting to give it a go.

Source of self-efficacy

  1. Personal history of particular behaviours: competent behaviour increases self efficacy and incompetent behaviour decreases efficacy. E.g. when I started playing soccer I was “a natural” so I continued to play and try out for elite teams. When I tried tennis, I was terrible and embarrassed myself so I never tried it again.
  2. Watching others who are similar and copying behaviour: My big sister has always been a role model; if she could do something then it always gave me the confidence to try it as well.
  3. Being verbally persuaded by peers or others: E.g. Typical peer pressure to do something naughty at school. My friends once convinced me to skip a class; I of course crumbled under the peer pressure and did it. Despite the fact I was a teacher’s daughter, whose dad worked at the same school.
  4. Physiological state E.g. heart rate, blood pressure, sweating: E.g. giving speeches, always increased my heart rate and I would sweat and shake. But when I was finished and nothing went to badly, all physiological states would return to normal.

Effects of self-efficacy

  1. Choice to approach or avoid situations: usually choosing those situations where they feel competent rather than unfamiliar
  2. Effort and persistence: how much effort they out in for the long run is dependent on the strength of their self efficacy
  3. Thinking and making decisions: in stressful situation, people with high self-efficacy will solve problems efficiently, while those who doubt themselves tend to think erratically. E.g. when I feel pressure due to time constraints or difficulty in the problem in maths tests I can not think clearly, when I have no constraints I can do it with no problems.
  4. Emotional reaction: High self-efficacy individuals are up for the challenge and face the demanding situations they are dealt.


When a person has the skill set, knowledge and belief in self to take control of their life, they are empowering themselves. In the text book there is a mastery modeling program, were an expert walks the a novice through the steps it takes to empower themselves. I can see how these seven steps can be useful in schools, psychology clinics and hospitals.

Ways of coping

There are eight ways explained in the textbook

  1. Approach vs avoidance
  2. Social vs solitary: this is one way I have coped, as I have been able to ask class peers for assistance in areas I have struggled with. The solitary option freaks me out as I dwell on issues too much. Peer help to direct me out of the rut and refocus.
  3. Proactive vs reactive:
  4. Direct vs indirect
  5. Control vs escape
  6. Alloplastic vs autoplastic
  7. Problem focused vs emotion focused


When life events and outcomes seen uncontrollable. A Human experiment found that when a group of people were locked into a room with noise blaring, they sat their passively and did not attempt to find an escape. The people locked in a room with an escape and quickly found the lever to escape the noise. The first group display typical learned helplessness behaviour.

Features three components

  1. Contingency: relationship between behaviour vs environmental outcomes
  2. Cognition: subjective understanding of environment and the objective environmental contingencies. There is the illusion of control, reasons in why we think we have or haven’t got control and expectancies
  3. Behaviour

Effects of learned helplessness

  1. Motivation deficits: decrease I willingness to give it a go, not willing to voluntary cope with situation. E.g. when an athlete life is just training and one day they wake up and ask themselves what is this all for.
  2. Learning deficits: negative way of thinking that interferes with learning
  3. Emotional deficits: when in situations that need assertive and active emotional response but instead are more depressive and ineffective in the situation. This is linked to helplessness and depression in individuals.

Optimistic and pessimistic

Do you see the glass half full or half empty?

Positive explanatory style: feel in control and can explain bad events. Negative explanatory style: explain negative events with stable but uncontrollable attributions

For myself, my explanatory style of thinking is based on how I feel at the time. I have felt pessimistic at times but have had the family and friend support to pull me out of that style of thinking and to look at things more positively. What is interesting is that I am good at reminding others and being optimistic towards others situations but less so for myself.

Reactance Theory

Doing the opposite of what we are told to do. This is when an individual uses psychological and behavioural attempts to reform freedom that has been threatened. Classic example for myself if when my parents use to tell me to study and my first intention was originally to study but because they said it to me, for some reason I wanted to be stubborn and not study just because they told me too. Hope is experienced through two cognitive motivational systems. Agent thinking and pathway thinking.

The self and its strivings

The statements in the textbook that represent facets in psychological wellbeing are thought to be an indicator of how well or poorly the self-concept is doing. When I looked at these questions and answered most with “disagree” I was slightly relieved and pleased “the self” was doing its job for me.

  • Well-being- when reading the six dimensions of psychological well-being, I found that in certain aspects of my life I score very high, such as when I feel comfortable in a situation and can take control, however, when I feel uncomfortable or unknowledgeable in a situation I score lower.
  • Self-esteem- self-esteem is believed to be related to levels of motivation. So, to become motivated an individual must first work on their self-esteem. This is the direction coaches and teachers take with their teams or classes.
  • The number of achievements is believed to be one of the courses for developing self-esteem. This explains why I feel more confident when I swim competitively, as I have done well at this sport over the years however; I have no confidence and feel anxious when I play tennis because it was something I’ve failed at.
  • There is a level of self-esteem that can go too high. This I term ‘cocky’. When a person has too much self-esteem things tend to go badly when another individual threatens their positive view of themselves.

Self-concept and self schema

The textbook states that self-concept is a person’s mental representation of themselves. While a self-schema is based around the cognitive generalizations of the self in domain specific areas that are learned from past experiences. When I think of my own self-concept or schema I think:

  • Sporty
  • Generous
  • Tall
  • Blonde
  • serious
  • Studious

When I asked others how they perceived me, the general consensus concluded:

  • Polite
  • Shy
  • Sporty
  • Responsible

It is interesting to see how others perceive you and how those perceptions comparing against your own perceptions. In my own experience, the two perspectives have never matched. How the self-schema helps us to use motivation is believed to the result of:

  1. When the self schema is first made, it directs behaviour in such a ways as to get feedback that is parallel with the already formed self schema. Because I see myself as sport I direct my future behaviour in such as way that gives the opportunity for feedback that might confirm that I am sporty. Self-schemas therefore direct behaviour to confirm established view.
  2. The self schema also encourages through motivation the movement of present self schemas to more desired future self schemas. There is motivation to begin goal setting behaviour. For example, students who want to get into honours will initiate behaviour that focuses attention on doing well in assessments so to move from an undergraduate program to an honours program.

Cognitive Dissonance

This is thought to be when an individual’s view of themselves (cognition) does not match their actions (behaviour) and psychological discomfort arises. E.g. this has happened to me when I’ve told people that I believe saving our forests is important due to the animals that live there etc, but then I have gone and wasted paper that has possibly came from a forest at some point. I have tried to decrease this uncomfortable feeling by justifying that it is only that once that I will waste it. Here I used the technique of “reducing the importance if the dissonant belief”. However, other ways individuals eliminate the effects of cognitive dissonance is by removing the dissonant belief, adding a new consonant belief and increasing the importance if the consonant belief.

Explaining situations of dissonance-arousing situation:

  • Choice
  • Insufficient justification
  • Effort justification
  • New information

The motivational processes underlying dissonance

  • Dissonance has been known to help change attitudes and behaviour in a positive sense. For example, the use of condoms during sex or reducing prejudices. Researchers have been able to use dissonance to address social issues and work towards a goal.
  • Self-perception Theory: We come to believe everything we do and say.


  • This is the second major aspect of self
  • Is in part our relatedness to our culture and society and the expectations from them
  • Our identity, directs our behaviour and attitudes

Week Seven[edit]

Tutorial Three[edit]

Intrinsic-extrinsic motivation

My external motivation for being at university:

  1. To gain a career from my degree as a benefit for life later on.
  2. To earn a decent income.
  3. To meet new people.
  4. Try something new.
  5. Pressure from parents as they both went to university and so did my elder siblings.
  6. To challenge myself academically.

We then did the University Student Motivation Survey. When I completed this and compared it to the average university student response in 2008, I found that I had greater motivation for career and qualifications, greater in self exploration, much higher in social opportunities, higher in altruism and finally just higher in social pressure. I am not surprised by these answers. Next was the University Student Outcomes Survey, my score was average in the tutorial group, others were higher and lower.

Testing my Optimism

I don’t see, myself as overly optimistic, despite the fact I can help others see optimism in their life experiences. But my scores on this quiz was average on the optimistic scale, which I was pleased about (I’ll take what I can get). We did discuss that this quiz is not cross-culturally viable. I did notice that some people scored on the pessimistic side of the scale, which according to them was incorrect. Perhaps people interpreted the questions differently. The quiz did state at the beginning that we had to choose the most likely response that relates to you, however, the quiz seemed very American, as questions like number 14 talked about the stock market. This is something I find hard to relate to as it doesn’t apply to me at all. The exploring misfortunes questionnaire sparked a heated debate. Students in the tutorial argued that this questionnaire doesn’t apply or is not specific to own situations, which made it hard to answer some of the questions.

Self (Life Effectiveness)

How well an individual is able to handle the demands of their life. There are eight dimensions. My lowest score was for emotional control, which is correct for me, when I feel stressed or overwhelmed I find it hard to stay calm and I see things out of perspective. My highest was intellectual flexibility. I do try my best to adapt my thinking so i am able to take on new information and differing perspectives.

We then related this to outdoor education programs enhancing life effectiveness, this study showed that people started and finished the program with not much change to how they handled life demands. There was a drop on the first day compared to baseline levels, but this could possibly be the result of situational threat. Also there was a slight rise on the second day, which could be attributed to the euphoria of completing the outdoor tasks (Neill, 2008).

We then talked about the textbook chapter and I learned some new things about Google. I was told that on Google scholar you can click on the cited by, which links you to relevant articles. Also Google scholar can sometimes link you to the University of Canberra catalogue, and other university catalogues as I discovered.

Week Eight[edit]

This was the class free period week, so I used this time to do some of my chapter research. I discovered there was not much psychological research done on indigenous Australian motivation. (FREAK OUT). There was lots of different aspects about this culture that could be interpreted into motives, but not much solid evidence to suggest this. It seem like the dreaming and spirituality has a lot to do with their motivations for living the way they do. These beliefs and values are reflected in stories. Also I came across a book that talks about European impact on the culture and how they used self-determination to survive. For the research I have done so far I think I have developed a few focus questions that I can split my chapter into. These include:

  • Indigenous beliefs and values influence on motivation
  • Impact of European settlement in Indigenous motivations.

I also came across an awesome website that shows one interpretation of some Indigenous stories. These reflect the law and cultural belief system. [here to see some stories from the dreamtime]

It is an interesting topic and a big shame that not much research has been directed in this area yet.


Week Nine[edit]

Lecture/textbook: Nature of Emotion[edit]

statues showing some common human emotions

When I think about the definition of emotions I get confused and realise it is actually quite complex. Every definition I come up with misses at least one dimension of what emotions are. So I came to the conclusion that emotions are multidimensional. Emotions are biological, social, have purpose and are individualistic to every person. Again, this does not explain what they are, just how they come about. Reeves (2009) uses a diagram to explain emotions. I think this diagram of the four components of emotions define it well.

The four components include

  1. Feeling: personal experience, how we perceive situations, think and our beliefs (cognitions)
  2. Bodily arousal: the chemical reaction, physiological activation and defensive mechanism that prepares us for action.
  3. Sense of purpose: this is the motivation that guides us towards our goal.
  4. Social-expressive: how we communicate, our facial and vocal expression.

Emotions are short-lived and are the result of daily experiences. So how do our emotions link into the topic of motivation? Well emotions are thought to direct and drive our behaviour. Anger is an overwhelming emotion that is influenced by hormones, physiological and muscular resources. Emotions also act as a monitoring system of how we are going, feelings of joy are strong indicators of social inclusion and success towards achieving a goal. Distress is a good indicator of social exclusion and failure.

Causes of emotion

There is debate between biological causes and cognitive causes and which is the primary source. Cognitive perspective argues the question of how we respond emotionally to an event if we don’t have understanding of what has just occurred. Izard counters this argument by stating babies can still be emotional to things that occur around them and not have any understanding of the situation (Izard, 1993). For more information on Izard's take on emotions, look up the article Four systems for emotion activation: Cognitive and noncognitive processes.

Then there is the two system view: one system reacts involuntarily, spontaneously and physiologically to emotional stimuli, this biological system is thought to be primitive. The cognitive system is a more contemporary, and encompasses social and cultural history learned throughout life. The two combined are highly adaptive. It isn’t known which comes first, so it is seen as a chain of events or a complex feedback system. Plutchik (1985) made a feedback loop as a solution to the chicken and egg debate of emotions.

This debate effects other important questions such as “how many emotions are there?” Again, this depends on whether you take a cognitive or biological perspective. If it is the biological perspective you agree with then:

  • It emphasises primary emotions, emotions are universal and that emotions are the result of biology and evolution.
  • Behavioural approach system (BAS), flight or fight system and behavioural inhibition system (BIS). Basic emotions of joy, fear/anger, anxiety.
  • Others believe there is six distinct emotions (fear, anger sadness, disgust, enjoyment and contempt) (Reeve, 2009) Ekman cited by Reeve (2009, pp. 342) believes these emotions can be represented cross-culturally.
  • These are just some of the perspectives. There are eight research perspectives on the biological view of the number of emotions.

The cognitive perspective:

  • This involves many emotions
  • Believes several emotions can come from the same biological response, e.g. increased blood pressure can be a reaction to anger, frustration, envy.
  • Because situations are interpreted so differently between individuals many emotions have to exist.

I am more persuaded by the cognitive perspective, despite the fact that I find some of the biological arguments to be spot on (that basic emotions are the result of evolution, biology and the basic emotions are universal to all humans). However, i don’t agree that there is a small number of basic emotions. Also I believe that emotions are innate. As children we might not understand what we are feeling but we still feel it. It is through social experience and cultural expectations that we learn to recognise what the emotions we feel are and what is causing us to feel that way. However, social rules predict and influence how we might feel in certain situations. For example, contemporary society has developed so that we would feel embarrassment if we were caught walking around others in no clothes. However, within tribes around the world and indigenous Australians, everyday life and ceremonial rituals involve the behavior of women and men being naked or partly naked in front of others. They don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed because this is considered ‘the norm’ it that culture. So society and culture does in that aspect have control over how we respond emotionally in certain situations. Reeve makes a good point that despite the social influence of gender, age and culture, when we experience the loss of some one significant in our lives we have emotions of sadness, this is universal. Ekman and Friesen (1971) back up Reeve, as study on facial expressions and emotions was conducted across cultures. Results of the study revealed that most of the cultures studied had similar facial expressions for sadness and fear.

How do emotions help us?

They can act as coping mechanisms and facilitate us socially. These are some of the reasons why emotions have helped me cope:

  • Protection: Emotions have helped me at various stages through my life, but one instance that comes to mind was when I growing up, I would always help my dad with the sheep work. One day dad bought a ram home that was really aggressive. I happen to be in the paddock with it the day it decided to be overly aggressive, as a result it charged at me. My instantaneous reaction was to run and jump the fence. My emotion of fear directed my behaviour to run and allowed me to do it quickly as a survival mechanism. (Classic case of flight not fight situation).
  • Reproduction: Again, as a survival mechanism for the human species, emotions help us to experience love, intimacy, or the need to carry our genes on to the next generation.
  • Affiliation: Feeling of belongingness. As humans we are social beings and emotions are a big part of why we have the need for people and dislike being alone.
  • Exploration: Good for discovering new things in our environment that help us grow. E.g. I went overseas to explore the world as I came from a small country town. I felt the need to know more about different cultures. In that process I discovered strengths in myself that I would not have found if I had stayed. One of the strengths was my ability to live with a family and communicate problems and pressing issues despite the language barrier between us.

The social functionality of emotions has also helped me if life. For example, when I feel strongly about something that is important to me, emotions give me the strength to communicate my feelings about the situation to others. For example, I heard my friends talking about another close friend of mine behind his back. Straight away I asked them how they would feel if we were all talking about them behind their backs. They all thought about that situation and agreed it would not be nice so, from then on, they never talked about my close friend behind his back while I was around. Here my emotions were of hurt and distress for my friend and they helped me to confront those who were the cause of those emotions. This also influenced how they interacted with me in the future, as the never talked badly about people in front of me again. Some of my ‘friends’ at that time did grow away from me and I from them, in this case it caused relationships to dissolve.

Difference in mood and emotion

Mood is thought to be more a positive or negative affect state. Mood is not as defined or significant as emotion. Mood is more cognitively related, whereas, emotions direct our course of action in regard to behaviour. Finally, mood is based on more long-term life events. I get negative affect when I see that I have not done as well as I wanted on an assessment. For the rest of the day I feel like crap, have little patience and motivation, feel the need to be alone and get frustrated easier. Unfortunately when this happens my mood does not dissipate till I have had a good nights rest.

I get positive affect when I receive great marks that I didn’t expect to be so high. I can’t stop smiling, am more motivated and refreshed for the rest of the day and can cope with other areas of my life that are no so great at that time. Unfortunately by the next day my mood stabilises. I have come to realise that this is the time I need to start other assessments because I feel more confident and creative in what I can do.

Week Ten[edit]

Lecture/Textbook : Aspects of emotion[edit]

The biological perspective believes we first have a biological reaction then we feel our emotions and are more readily able to cope with those emotions. The autonomic nervous system is thought to play a big role in this process. I agree with this, in the sense that, we biologically respond first in survival situations, such as, the flight or fight system. With the example I mentioned before about the ram charging at me. I didn’t even think about what I would do I just instantly started to run away. I believe if I had had the choice to think about it, I would have stood there considering how I felt, which was scared and threatened, by which time I would have been trampled. So I do believe the biological aspect helps us to cope better with our emotions when we need to flight. I didn’t realise how frightened I was till I was over the fence, by then my body registered that it was fear. My heart rate increase, muscles prepared for movement, neural firing increased, all to get me off the mark quickly and away from danger. I don’t think I have ever run so fast.

The James-Lange Theory

This theory discusses whether emotions have unique bodily reactions and the extent that bodily changes induce emotions?

When I thought about these questions the TV show Lie to Me came to mind. [more information on this TV show click here] This is a show were the main character has the ability to interpret the truth from micro-expressions which are thought to be the window into their emotions. If this was the case, then our legal system would be better and perhaps criminals would not get away with crimes as often. According to this show emotions do have unique bodily reactions.

The second part of the theory I am unsure about because of the case of the ram again. My memory of the event is that i saw something dangerous, started running and then registered the feeling of fear. This goes with the James-Lange theory which believes that our physiological reaction is followed by our emotional response. However, the criticisms for this theory are that emotions occur first because the body’s reactions to situations are too slow in comparison. And that the case of the ram was simple flight or fight which does not discriminate between emotions felt. However, I distinctively remember running and then feeling of fear. Perhaps not thought, because research does state that in traumatic situations our memory of what actually happened is faulty due to the high level of emotions that run through us. Maybe I did feel fear first and as a result my body reacted. I can see the situation from both perspectives based on my memory I would say the James-Lange Theory but based on research and evidence it seems the new perspective of emotions first seems more probable. Halligam, Clark and Ehlers (2002)explain that some highly traumatic events actually enhance memory recall. However, intentionally trying to recall memories can cause them to be disorganized and fragmented. This might explain my situation with the ram.

Differential Emotional Theory

  • Emotions serve for uniquely motivational purposes
  • Izards 10 fundamental emotions help us to adapt in situations.
  • The coordination of feeling can be described by five postulates.
  1. Ten emotions make up the motivation system in humans.
  2. Each emotion has a unique quality, feeling.
  3. Each emotion had its own unique expression.
  4. There is unique neural activity due to each emotion having a unique quality. Each emotion has a different firing rate and activation.
  5. Each emotion has a unique purpose or motivation.

I don’t know if I fully agree or think this explains emotions very well. It depends on whether you take a biological perspective or a cognitive perspective. But Ekman cited by Reeve (2009, pp.308) offers a good explanation to why this theory may not work. For one, emotion can be categorised into family groups (like anxiety can derive from fear), some emotions fit better under mood (as discussed earlier on) and some emotions are interpreted as attitudes, personality traits or disorders.

Facial Feedback Hypothesis

The hypothesis states that emotions come from feelings provoked by facial movements, temperature and glandular activity. This has happened to me with the emotion of embarrassment. Sometimes when I speak out in class I just automatically go red all over my face, I don’t notice I do it and it is not a big deal. However, sometimes when this happens people point it out to me and I get the feeling of embarrassment because my face is signally that is what I unconsciously felt. Very frustrating to have the world notice your embarrassment. According to the hypothesis, I can choose how I feel and when to feel it. But I can’t stop from going red or stop feeling embarrassed because I have turned red, so I don’t agree with that. This brings me to the testing of the facial feedback hypothesis. Here researchers found that strong versions of emotions can’t be controlled which refuted the statement that we can choose our emotions and when to feel them. But researchers believe that smaller versions of emotions might be controlled (Soussignan, 2002).

Cognitive Aspect of Emotion

Appraisal (central to the cognitive aspect) This theory states:

  1. For emotions to occur they need an antecedent cognitive appraisal.
  2. The appraisal not the event causes the emotion.

How we interpret a situation is going to influence how we feel about that situation. A personal example is that my sister and I have a mutual friend. To me this mutual friend can be quite rude and blunt and when I know I am going to see this mutual friend I start to get anxious that he will say something I don’t like. However, my sister see this mutual friend as trying to be funny not rude and she enjoys their time together. Two different people interpret the situation differently and therefore have different emotional responses to that situation.

The interpretation of the situation causes the emotion not the event itself. A good example of this is when I got third in a swimming race. I nearly didn’t get third so I counted myself lucky and was so ecstatic that I had even gotten a medal and hadn’t missed out. I was more excited then my sister who was the one who had beaten me. So the event of winning was not causing emotions to occur, but how I interpreted it. I saw the race as more important than my sister did, because she wins all the time and I was pleased that I got a medal in the race against her. Also I remember her being more excited for me than for herself. As she also knew that I saw the race as an important challenge.

The emotion differentiation (how we experience the same emotions differently) The level of responsibility, expectancy, certainty, the goal, what’s at stake, pleasantness, coping ability and aversive events These are the dimensions of why people experience emotions differently.

Attribution theory of emotion

This theory believes that we want to explain why we have experienced particular outcomes through life. For example, when I do poorly on an assessment, I explain that outcome as being a result of not putting enough time into it, so I use the attribution of poor time management as being the reason I did poorly. I always use this attribution theory because I need an explanation of why something did not go as I wanted or expected it to.

Social and cultural aspect of emotion

Social and cultural expectations and experiences influence how we socially understand emotions. Back in 2003, I went to china to play soccer. We had to have a big dinner with all of the Chinese soccer teams we played in the tournament. I remember that the Chinese girls were very reserved in expressing themselves emotionally compared to our Australian soccer girls. It was interesting to see and was a great way of highlighting to me at the time that not all cultures have the same emotional perspectives and expectations. Some cultures place the importance of certain emotions differently to Westernised culture. For example, love, in some cultures it is not considered important straight away. This is mostly in cultures with traditions of arranging marriages.

Managing emotions

Professional roles seem to be the time when managing emotions is important. I could not give rectal inspections without making faces of disgust and feeling invasive and embarrassed. However, doctors are able to do it with a straight face and without making the person too embarrassed. This proves to me that it is possible to mange emotions. I know that my dad has had to manage his emotions in a time of panic. He told me when he was 18, his father just dropped to the ground due to a heart attack, now my dad could have freaked out and panicked, but he managed and pushed aside all of his emotions and started to perform CPR on him. I haven’t had to do anything so dramatic, however, I remember one day at work my boss yelled at me for something ridiculous and insignificant while I was serving costumers. I went to burst into tears but I couldn’t at the time because it would have been unprofessional, so, I managed those feelings and released them when it was appropriate. I know it is possible to do especially now reading the five strategies of internalising emotions that medical students use.

Tutorial Four[edit]

This Tutorial looked into the different types of emotions and how they can be grouped or not grouped. This was done in teams. Specific emotions. I did not realise how many emotions there are, i make some wonder if i have ever felt some of those things.

Performed the Q sort. Where in groups, models of emotions were debated and constructed. Photos of each groups emotion models were taken.

Positive and negative affect schedules

Problems with the PANAS:

  • Psychometric: consider appropriate in large samples from general adult populations.
  • Past inconsistencies in studies may be a result of methodology
  • gender differences?

(Crawford & Henry, 2004)

Textbook Chapter

When focusing on the textbook, the tutorial gave us an opportunity to play around with layout and embedding pictures. It was interesting to see all the different things you can do. You can really 'pretty up' your page with coloured boxes. This gave me motivation to go and try these things my page. It can actually be a big time waster. I looked for some more references for my chapter. I visited the Ngunawal Centre on campus to see if any resources were available. I had no luck. The library did offer a lot of historical knowledge, which i realised was appropriate for setting the context of my chapter. Especially if i am focusing on topics such as impact of European Settlement. Matt from the unit gave me some resources he knew a friend had. These were handy in developing my knowledge of the indigenous culture, dreaming and ceremony. These are some of the website he gave me, which were very informative.

Week Eleven[edit]

Lecture/textbook: Personality and Emotion[edit]

Individual differences in emotional states may be the result of personality traits. Whether a person is more extroverted or introverted will determine whether they avoid situations or approach them. It will determine how events are interpreted and the expected reaction to these events. Personality could explain why some people are more motivated than others and the cause of behaviour in particular situations.

The big five personality traits

Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness to experience, Agreeableness and Conscientiousness. The sensation seeking scale found that a greater number of people score between 7-15 which, is neither sensation seeking or sensation avoiding. While this is very simplistic, it does show in a very general way, that few people actually have high or low intense personality characteristics.


Happy set points: positive emotionality, extroverts Unhappy set points: negative emotionality, introverts Both of these set points are independent of each other. Reeve (2009) believes that happiness is innate and environmentally influences. Studies found that people who are generally happy stay that way through life. One study on quadriplegics showed that before their accidents they were happy. One week after the accident they are experiencing negative emotionality due to the circumstance they are in. However, two months later they returned to their original level of happiness. Extroverts are thought to be happier as a result of their ability to experience positive emotions. They have a stronger behavioural approach system, where they need more stimulus so they go out of their way to seek it.

Individuals with high neurotic personality traits are more likely to experience negative emotions then stable individuals. They display the tendency to avoid situations and experience high emotional distress. They avoid situations they feel threatened or will get punished in.


In relation to motivation, we feel aroused when we are in environments that are stimulating. For example I feel more alert and awake when I am in a lecture I find interesting, opposed to being in a lecture with a topic I don’t enjoy or find interesting. This brings to mind one example, for one of my jobs I am a scribe for people with physical or mental problems. One lecture I had to scribe in would always make me fall asleep. I would go through the motions of getting heavy eye lids, loss of concentration and would stop writing the notes and start writing what I was dreaming in my mind. Here is a classic example of low arousal levels due to decreased interest and mental stimulation. To stop falling asleep in that class I would have to get a coffee or suck on a lolly to engage my behaviour and increase my arousal through the interest of eating a lolly or drinking a coffee. According to Reeve (2009) this is me engaging behaviour to increase my level of arousal. Reeve also explains that when we are under aroused, we seek out ways to increase arousal, as increases in environmental stimulation are pleasurable and improves performance. When we are over aroused, we seek out ways to decrease arousal levels as increases in environmental stimuli is aversive and decreases performance.

Sensory deprivation studies have provided evidence to suggest that our brain and nervous system need constant arousal, at differing levels, that comes from the environment (Reeve, 2009). We can also be over stimulated and aroused, in which case we become impaired cognitively and emotional states are upset. I know when I stay up late into the early morning writing an essay, I make more mistakes with grammar and spelling. The next morning, I will nearly always have emotional outbursts of anger, frustration and anxiety. To avoid stress, people tend to avoid overstimulating environments. I have not quite mastered the art of getting an assessment in super early, so that no late overstimulating nights need to occur. This is usually the result of a stressful environment like exam period, late night studying for an exam the next day.

Sensation seeking

Sensation seeking is an interesting personality characteristic, one that I personally rank low on. This trait is linked to arousal and reactivity. Sensation seekers prefer to be continually exposed to external stimuli that stimulates their brain. They become bored with routines and will seek out ways to increase their arousal levels. They may seek experiences that excite them, such as sky diving. Low sensation seekers tend to need less external stimuli to excite the brain. Routines are accepted. Even with out doing a sensation seeking scale I can say that I would be low. I need routine in my life, I only need a small amount of brain stimulation and I have had enough, for example at a party I prefer to talk to different people and do some dancing, but when things start to get “hectic” it is too much for me and I have to leave. However, I do like to try new foods and explore new cultures. So maybe I am I a mild sensation seeker rather than an extremist?

Sensation seekers have a central nervous system that needs constant variety and change. Zuckerman (1994) describes sensation seekers as “trying to find varied, novel, complex and intense experiences, and are willing to take the physical, legal, social and financial risk for the shake of the experiences”. This makes me think of people with drug and gambling problems, this group of people tend to find the excitement from doing these activities. Gamblers in particular, don’t gamble for the financial gain they could possibly achieve, but do it for the excitement of what could happen. Sensation seekers believe the risk of their behaviour is worth it if they receive the sensations that come from that behaviour. They are seen as “risk accepting” rather than “risk taking” (Reeve, 2009).

Remembering back to week three ‘the brain and physiological needs’, where we talked about the effects of dopamine and serotonin. Sensation seekers are believed to have high levels of dopamine (which acts as the reward system and facilitates behavioural approach). While their serotonin levels are low in sensation seekers (serotonin is the biological inhibition system, so it inhibits behavioural approach). Sensation seekers biological make up can be seen as a cause for their behaviour.


Another personality characteristic linked to motivation is control beliefs. There are two characteristics of control beliefs that will be discusses here. These include perceived control and desire for control. Individuals who have personality characteristics of perceived control tend to have certain performance expectancies that can generate positive outcomes. In order for this type of individual to perceive they have control over the situation, they must first believe they are capable of achieving the desired outcome. Secondly, in those situations where control is attempted, it needs to be somewhat responsive and predictable. When the situation is unpredictable and unresponsive then control is perceived as useless and learned helplessness is experienced. While desire for control is the effort individuals take to make their own decisions. Individuals that display personality characteristics of desire or control tend to take leadership positions are influential and overly prepared for most situations. There is motivation to have control over the events occurring in life.

When I look at my control over getting into honours, I believe to an extent I have a resonable level of control. I set the goal of getting into the program at the end of the year. The choices I make revolve around the effort and time put into my assignments to get a high grade. When I start to lose focus or drive I think of my goal again and become refocused. When the tasks become overly difficult I seek help from others who can redirect me back to my goal. I try to stay positive and try not to become overwhelmed by it all. At the end of the day, the end outcome is out of my control, but I do have influence over the probability of getting into honours increasing or decreasing.

The four-step model of ‘influence for control during achievement-related performances’ was interesting. So far I feel I have high desired control that benefits (according to this model) because my higher goals (like my assessments) are getting completed despite their difficulty at times, thus my motivational levels are being maintained and rewarded with good marks. However, it shall be interesting to see if my high desired control actually turned into a liability. Where the high desire for control has caused goals to be set that were unachievable (HD marks), or too difficult and ultimately leading me to the illusion of control throughout the semester. I do doubt this because I don’t exhibit a hostile reaction effect when I don’t achieve the HD goal. Maybe If I actually failed something then this hostile reaction might occur.

Week Twelve[edit]

Lecture/textbook: Unconscious Motivation[edit]

Psychoanalytic Perspective: The more traditional view of Freudian principles on unconscious mental processes. Is very pessimistic and confronting for the human species. Psychodynamic Perspective: The differing perspective of dynamic unconscious mental processes that can choose to adopt the traditional Freudian processes or not.

The historical perspective of psychoanalysis (1930s): The dual-Instinct Theory (Freud)

  • Freud saw motivations to be influenced by impulse-driven biological forces.
  • All sources of physical energy are biologically driven, so instinctual bodily drive is what explains the root of motivation (the instinct).
  • Freud came up with two categories for our biological drive:
  1. Instincts for life: food, water, air, individual and collective species and reproduction etc. Known as the Eros. These instincts help us to maintain life.
  2. Instincts for death: Known as Thanatos, this is the instinct that influences rest, inactivity and energy conservation. Aggression manifests in self-criticism, depression, sadism, drug and alcohol addictions. Death is the only way a person can have no bodily disturbances.

Drive or Wish contemporary psychoanalysis

Contemporary psychoanalytic theorists challenge Freud’s dual-instinct theory by saying that sex and aggression are wishes rather than physiological drives. The wish model is a discrepancy theory of motivation. It is the discrepancies between the “present state” versus the “ideal state” (desired state). When there are discrepancies then aggression will develop as a way of getting the present state closer to the ideal state. For example, when I am just relaxing watching my favourite TV program, I am calm, however, when my brother comes along and changes the channel without asking, the present state in no longer the ideal state so I get aggressive. By doing this my brother realises I was actually watching something and changes the channel back, as a result, the two states now become closer. Here, my psychological wishes regulated by behaviour not instinct.

Contemporary Psychodynamic Perspective

The four postulates

  1. The unconscious: thoughts, feelings and desires do exist at an unconscious level
  2. Psychodynamics: motivation and emotion frequently work together. There are unconscious and conscious feelings that motivate people in opposing ways. For example, I want to get into honours but I also think I would be strangely relieved if I did not get in because I fear I won’t be up for the challenge. I want, yet fear the same thing.
  3. Ego development: Learning to develop from the immature, fragile self to a more mature, resilient self.
  4. Object relations theory: Childhood is the time when stable personality patterns form and mental representations of the self and others are constructed. This then guides future motivations and quality of social relationships.

The unconscious

Freudian Perspective in the Unconscious Divided mind into three components:

  1. Conscious: short-term, feelings, sensations, thoughts, memories and experiences that are made aware at the given time.
  2. Preconscious: the storage unit for all thoughts, feelings and memories that are not in our immediate consciousness but can be easily retrieved.
  3. Unconscious: believed to be the largest part of the mind. This is the storage unit for inaccessible impulses, repressed experiences, memories, unfulfilled wishes and desires.


Freud believed that daily tensions were stored in unconscious and released in dreaming. This is a time that individuals can assess the unconsciousness (hypnosis).

Adaptive Unconscious Perspective

  • The study on the man who had his hippocampus removed rid him of his epileptic seizures, found that his motor skills improved everyday despite the fact he had no recollection of the people he worked with everyday and of even being there.
  • This does provide some evidence to suggest we have an adaptive unconsciousness. The adaptive unconscious sets goals, makes judgments and initiate action.

Implicit Motivation Perspective

  • Emotions, motives, attitudes and judgments that are functioning in the unconsciousness.
  • Implicit motives direct attention to environmental events that are emotionally associated with.
  • The degree to which implicit motivations predict behaviour depends on the awareness of the events that are affecting their emotions, thoughts and behaviours.

Subliminal Motivation

  • Stimulus is at a low energy level, only just activates conscious awareness.
  • Marketers use this technique to get into peoples subconscious. When we later spot something that reminds us of the advertisement we feel the need to want it. McDonalds does this well with children. Most people do not react to the message, despite the fact they are later reminded about it, which is the only power we have against marketers. I on the other hand am terrible, if I see a boost add or someone drinking it, I feel the need to get one and so I do.


Will and Counterwill

  • When we have to do something we do not want to do, the conscious volition will wrestle with the unconscious counterwill.
  • Conscious volitions include desires, ideas, excitation and cathexis (EGO)
  • Unconscious counterwill includes counter-ideas, repression, inhibition, anticathexis (guilt)(ID)

For example, there is conflict within myself to complete this assessment before it is due (Id) and just wanting to relax (Ego).


  • This is when an individual forgets information or experiences through unconscious, unintentional and automatic ways. Repression is the ego’s counterforce to the id’s demanding desires.
  • I find repression fascinating. I am currently reading a book based on the concept of repression.

This book is called When Rabbit Howls, the troops for Truddi Chase [more information on this book click here]. This book is written by a women and her therapist. This women (Truddi Chase) experienced incestial rape as a young child into her early teens by her stepfather. As a result of this long-term abuse, Truddi created 92 different voices (the troops) or personality that acted as the gate keepers of her horrific memories. It is an amazing and interesting story about how the body can protect us and how hard it is to fight and make the unconscious conscious. It is scary to think that Truddi lived till her mid forties without realising something about her personality was different. This story makes me wonder if there are repressed memories within my own life that will later come out (hopefully not as traumatic as Truddi though!)

When Rabbit Howls The fear in the rabbits is evident as the man goes to touch it. This is a reflection of how Truddi would have felt when she was growing up with her stepfather


This is our conscious attempt at getting rid of thoughts, feelings, attitudes that have already occurred. This is something we generally fail at. I find that whenever I have tried to suppress and embarrassing moment it has flared up ten times worse. If I need to suppress something, I find that the best way to achieve this is through distractions. However, memory pops up unexpectedly later on despite this tactic.

Ego development

Ego is believed to unfoldsthrough life in this developmental order:

  1. Symbolic: ego is immature as child and is overwhelmed by impulses. The ego is dependent on the caretaker of the child.
  2. Impulsivity: external forces of parental rules. Control of those impulses occurs when the child first anticipates consequences and understands the rules. E.g. child learns the must wait for a parent to cross a road, otherwise they could be hit by a car or punished verbally by their parents. As a result, they don’t rush across the road but wait till it is safe and they are holding hands with an older person.
  3. Self-protection: Consequences are then internalised and act as a protective mechanism
  4. Conformist: group acceptance rules are internalised, and anxiety of being disapproving within group counteracts impulsivity.
  5. Conscientious: internal set of rules and pro-social sense of responsibility to others
  6. Autonomous: thoughts, goals, plans and behaviours are a product of self not impulses or from other people (peers, parents).

The ego is an important motivational tool as it is a defensive mechanism against anxiety and helps us feel empowered so we can better interact within our environment.

Ego Defense The ego is constantly in a state of vulnerability from the environment, internal conflict of id and ego and the superego’s demands, which create conflict with our consciousness. To contract against these stressors, we have a defensive mechanism, this mechanism acts as a buffer against anxiety provoking situations, that can later lead to depression and anxiety. Truddi Chase used repression as a form of defense, I like to use humour or reaction formation. It was interesting to read in the text book that people who tend to develop depression usually have immature defense mechanisms to cope with stressors in life. My Aunty has depression and I remember her saying to me some people can turn stressful events and anxiety into strengths but others like herself can’t deal with it and let it consume them. I guess this can be seen as an immature defense mechanism.

Object- Relations Theory

This theory discusses the nature and development of mental representations of self, others and affective processes. How mental representations of caretakers are perceived and how this has carried on into adulthood. This makes me think of Truddi Chase, who was not shown love but was abused as a child. Her mental representation of the self became so distorted and confusing that she had to develop fantasy personalities created by observing others in her life. This developed into adulthood and caused her to be cautious of everybody; she could not maintain a relationship with her husband, therapists or even take care of her own child.

Criticism for Psychodynamic Perspective

  • Many of Freud’s concepts have not been scientifically tested and therefore can not be used on a scientific basis but only metaphorically
  • Methods of data collection
  • Some theories were just completely wrong
  • Predicting a lot of the time over post explanations

Tutorial Five[edit]

We started off this tutorial with question on the textbook chapter progress. I was a little freaked out but the word count people were telling me they had. But, that was motivation in itself to get more done.

After the class chat, we were given a chapter review quiz. We discussed that some of the questions were not explained well and could therefore be interpreted in different ways. This was focused around question two, which state this line was true, most people are happy irrespective of life circumstances. At first glance, I would disagree with this because I believe some people are depressed as a result of their life circumstances. But the question does state MOST. So unless I did a study to refute this I can’t argue.

When then did a sensation seeking scale. When I read the textbook and lecture slides, I automatically perceived myself to be very low on this scale. However, I was actually a moderate sensation seeker. Compared to the tutorial class, I was actually on the upper end of the sensation seeking scale, which shocked me. I scored highest in experience seeking and scored equally in boredom susceptibility, disinhibition and thrill and adventure seeking.

Week Thirteen[edit]

Lecture/Textbook: Growth and Positive Psychology[edit]


  • Focuses on the top-down approach which, focuses on general motives and the master motives that control specific ones, like the self and it’s striving for fulfilment. Holism sees things in whole, addressing the healthy and unhealthy. The unhealthy may consist of the conflict between the ideal and actual self. A good example is the need for food against the need to be socially thin.
  • It is s humanistic view about self discovery and potential. Holism related to growth and self-realisation, and stays away from self-concealment and pleasing others.
  • Commitment to personal growth is a huge motivational force.

Positive Psychology

  • Uses empirical methods within psychology to recognize things in life that make it worth living in.
  • Builds personal strengths and competencies
  • Helps us to recognise the potential for human life.


  • An innate developmental endeavor. Leaves behind dependencies and defensiveness and heads towards realistic appraisals to achieve self-realization.
  • Self-actualization is characterised by autonomy and openness to experience.

Hierarchy of human needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

As this was discussed in earlier weeks I will only briefly mention aspects of this hierarchy. Very few people get to the top (which is self-actualization). Maslow’s belief was that if one level could not be achieved then you could not continue up. Encouraging Growth

  • Maslow was contradictory in his belief that self-actualisation was innate and yet few people ever achieve it.
  • As a result, Maslow came up with everyday behaviours that could help personal growth towards self-actualization.
  1. Make growth choices: when I read this I think of my small country town. Some of my peers from high school are still living there, going no where, with dead end jobs. I believe they stayed there because it was the easier and safe option. But it doesn’t encourage growth. I went overseas, I feared it, but still went because I knew there was nothing for me back home. Later I came back and enrolled in university. However, I don’t think I can fully tick this box as I do fear some things in life and choose the easy option. One instance is when I got to high level sport I would psych myself out before I even saw my competitors. As a result of this, one day when I was trying out for the state hockey team, I pretended to have a sore ankle and opted out instead of taking up the challenge. This was something I have regretted ever since.
  2. Be honest: Daring to be different. This behaviour is something I have had trouble with in the sense that I can never be honest about things that would hurt a persons feelings. For example, my friend loves singing and wants to pursue a career in this profession. She is constantly asking me if she is good enough. Let me tell you now, she is not! But I don’t have the courage to deal with consequence that would arise as a result of my action of being honest. Guess I don’t tick this box fully either.
  3. Situationally positioned yourself for peak experiences: Finding out what you are bad at and learning your level of potential by learning what your potentials are not. I am terrible at tennis and will not ever try it again. I am bad at the piano, despite the 7 years of pursuing that hobby, I am bad at it but, still enjoy doing it on occasions. It is not something I would attempt to master. Again I can’t tick this box.
  4. Give up Defensiveness: Identify defenses and have the courage to give them up. This is definitely easier said then done. This is something I have always been taught to work towards. Working on the skills that I lack to achieve the goal or become the person I want to become. For example, in high school I was terrible at writing essays; I would hate showing people what I had written. When I applied for psychology I came to realise that a large portion of the degree is of writing essays. So I started to read material that would increase my vocabulary and practice writing essays to improve my skills. I wanted to become a psychologist and I knew this was going to get in my way. So I addressed it, many tears, hours and essays later I am much better at writing and can now achieve reasonable marks in my psychology classes.
  5. Let the self emerge: Listening to not only the opinions of other in regard to who you should become, listen to yourself as well. If I was listening to my parents or peers I would be doing teaching or coaching at the moment. I started to do coaching despite the fact that my inner voice was saying you will always be a better sportsman rather than coach. After two years, it made me so unhappy I dropped it and took up something that I though would only be interesting, instead I found my passion.
  6. Be open to experience: Stop and smell the roses. I feel am only partially open to experience, some things I just don’t want to experience, like drugs or deep fried mars bars. However, I like to think I am open to different cultures and new situations.

Overall, I have a long road to achieving self-actualization. Some behaviours I partially have achieved but none are fully experienced in all aspects of my life. Luckily or hopefully, I have many years to encourage my personal growth further.

Actualizing Tendency

  • Carl Rogers: Recognised the presence of specific human motives and even the occurrence of Maslow’s human needs.
  • However, Rogers stresses that the human needs serve the collective purpose of maintaining, enhancing and actualising the person.
  • There is movement towards autonomy and way from heteronomy. We struggle through difficult and painful times that discourage our behaviour and motivations; however, our actualized tendency for growth in life gives us the source of motivation that encourages development.
  • Actualizing tendencies give us the strength to take on new experiences and challenges.
  • Organismic valuation process is the inherent ability to judge if an experience will promote or inhibit growth.
  • Unconditional positive regard from parents helps a child develop healthy mental representations of self. Children feel that no matter what they do or what happens (social influence) they will have unconditional love and will survive the situation. I got through an experience of bullying at school because I knew my parents had unconditional love for me, even if my peers didn’t. I didn’t internalise the opinions of my peers and relate them as a reflection of my self worth. I knew who I was as a result of my parents love.
  • Conditional positive regard can cause a child to become anxious or angry, because they only receive love if they are obedient; if they are disobedient then love is taken away. This is thought to lead to long term motivational dysfunctions.

Growth-seeking versus Validation-seeking

  • People often use social situations as a time for validation seeking. Peers, family and romantic partners are often used to externally validate personal worth. I am guilty of doing this, I have used my peers to validate my self worth. In high school my friends would sometimes offered me their left over food, I would always say no and state that I was too fat, they would always contradict me which would validate my-self worth ( I knew i was not fat but, I liked hearing that others thought I was skinny). Now I can not stand when friends do that to me, I tell them straight away to stop being silly. Validation seekers who have negative outcomes are more vulnerable to mental illnesses.

After reading this in the textbook, perhaps it is better I just play the game and validate their self-worth?

  • Growth seeking individuals focus their personal endeavours around learning, improving and reacting to personal potentials. Positive outcomes from interpersonal interactions leave individuals with growth seeking tendencies to feel validated. According to Reeve (2009) my positive outcomes came from my athletic and academic success, social inclusion at school and interpersonal acceptance.

How Relationships support the actualizing tendency

  • Quality of interpersonal relationships depends on congruence and adjustment.
  • A therapist can help a client move towards health and congruence by bring warmth, genuineness, empathy, interpersonal acceptance and confirmation of the other person’s capacity for self determination.

Problem of evil

The debate: are people born evil or is it the result of nature? People who are evil have no issues with inflicting pain or suffering on others. Serial killers and sociopaths are types of people that come to my mind when I think of evil. Humanistic perspective: Evil is a product of nature. Benevolence and malevolence are inherent in everybody, a person must internalize benevolence before they can overcome or avoid evil.

Week Fourteen[edit]

Lecture/Textbook: Summary and Conclusion[edit]

We are nearing to the final days of the semester, and it has come to that stage of concluding what we have learned throughout the unit. So what have i learned?

Explaining Motivation: Reasons for behaviour Why do we behave the way we do? There are many theories that answer this question. I do what i do because i am intrinsically motivated. When i want to learn or experience something new i seek external stimuli that will satisfy my need of curiosity. I use approach behaviour because i know what i am seeking is something i will succeed at so to improve my self-esteem (going to university to get a degree), this is classic achievement motivation. I do avoid thing i predict i might fail, so to avoid negative emotions (playing tennis). When someone asks me to do something, i have less motivation then if i was intrinsically driven to do it (washing my dad's car compared to finishing the next chapter in the book i am reading). I have more intensity in motivations to exercise because i love doing it as i receive positive emotions (dopamine), have a high performance result (increases my self-esteem) and good ability (naturally sporty). I use to have intense motivations for horse riding until i got to high school and found other hobbies that replaced my motivations (socialising, parties). However, presently i am highly motivated to ride my horse again and look forward to going home for that reason. Motivations are not stable but are situationally influenced. These are just some of the theories that stood out for me throughout this reflection process.

Predicting Motivation: Identifying Antecedent

Physiological: Needs for food, social interaction, sexual contact.

Environment: Rewards, obstacles, unresponsive at times, cultural pressures

interpersonal: Warmth, genuineness, empathetic friends, someone who listens,

Intrapsychic: Need for autonomy (teachers, parents, coaches), high performance result, feedback, freedom of choice

Applying motivations: Solving problems

The better i understand motivations, the better i will be in finding solutions to problems that arise in the real world. How do i motivate myself? Good question! I would have to say, i motivate myself by having goals that i know are achievable yet they still act as a challenge for me. I also reward myself. A simple example of this is when i need to study but am feeling really unmotivated that day. Instead, all i want to do is watch a new movie. So I set a goal, study for either 2 chapters or for 3 hours and then i can watch the video as a reward. That way i feel less guilty then if i had just watched the movie. When i am intrinsically motivated i need little help. These are some examples of how i apply motivation to solve problems. How do i motivate others? Another tough question. I know with my sister, if i want her to check over my spelling for my assignments, i must extrinsically motivate her. (Unless she is mildly interested in the topic i happen to be writing about). I offer to buy her dinner and that usually works. Another example of motivating my sister is by using guilt (probably not very moral of me). When she does not have the motivation to exercise, i guilt her by saying she has not done any activity all day, her fitness levels will drop and i will be faster than her (that one always work, very competitive family). I definitely would not try this on anyone other than my family members. I guess i have motivated friend by helping them set goals that they can achieve, amplified their strengths and helped them to fix and overcome weaknesses. After reading the text and lectures, i can try some other way i would not have used before, such as building a relationship if it was absent, empowering them, using identity-confirming, need-satisfying, positive affect models.

Success stories

Autonomy-supportive parenting This was an interesting story. Understanding motivation can be a powerful tool in life, especially in the professional science of psychology. I am confident in saying that if i was to be confronted by a neighbor, friend or family member, i could offer some ways of helping (if nothing else i can hand them this units textbook or direct them to this wiki link). It is very satisfying to finish a unit and know you have learned something new and practical. This unit has helped me to better understand the motivations present and lacking within myself and how i can address those issues.

I hope you enjoyed my life examples and my interpretation of the topic motivation and emotion.

Tutorial six[edit]

Here we discussed how personal growth was good for the individual themselves and those who the individual surrounds themselves with. It is infectious.

We then had to indicate whether we thought people are inherently evil or whether evil was a cause of the environment. I indicated that evil was more innate than environmentally influenced, for this reason: There have been cases where two family members (Ivan Milat) grew up in the same environmental conditions. One child turned out to be highly respected and the other child to be a murderer. In this case environment didn’t have an influence. However, the two children came from the same family, so it also can not be genetics. I do question whether the parents of these children showed more affection and nurturance to one child. This is what Rogers would have argued as potentially influencing difference between the two children.

Then there is the TV show Dexter, he was born inherently evil, but his father taught him how to channel that evil into good, by only killing evil people (criminals). Now this is a fictional show, but it highlights the potential for different outcomes based on environment. If I had a child with a social undesirable temperament I would guide his behaviour to an extent, but would be reluctant to make them conform to the more socially desirable temperaments. I don’t have children thought and I am guessing that is easier said then done.

We also did a questionnaire on sense of coherence. Overall, I found I was just above the University of Canberra mean for comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness. We did actually find that questions seven and ten were not reversed in scale.

I really enjoyed the talk about Viktor Frankl, who was a Jew living in Germany and was put in the concentration camps at the time of the war. He found it interesting that some people in the camps would just give up and others could survived. He came to believe that disorders should be seen as symptoms not causes. I think his book “man’s search for meaning” would be an interesting read for this Christmas holiday. Also I hope to watch the documentary on Happiness. click here to view the documentary while you still can

Towards the end of the tutorial we talked about some of the positive psychology therapies. One of them was identifying signature strengths. So this is my attempt at some positive psychology:

My Personal Strengths

  • I am resilient: This was useful when I received feedback on my assessments as I know it was not a stab at me but positive criticism.
  • I always have a goal: whether it is small, large, short-term or long-term, I have things to strive for in life that give my life meaning
  • I am very empathetic: I am probably over empathetic, as it does not matter who or for what reasons a person may be upset about, it is so infectious for me that I get teary, happy or angry as well.
  • I have a passion to understand and know new things: New things interest me, I think this is because I came from a sheltered country town.
  • Optimistic explanatory style: I always turn other people’s bad attitudes around and help them to see it from a new perspective.


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University of Canberra provides The story of When Rabbit Howls in their catalogue, click here to get a taste of the story