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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.

Introduction to Motivation and Emotion[edit]

In conjuction with this E-portfolio on my learning during the semester on the unit Motivation and Emotion there are also two other multimedia presentations on my specified chapter topic Motivation and Goal Setting.

  • 1- My textbook chapter on Motivation and Goal Setting can be found here [1]
  • 2- The accompanying multimedia presentation which provides a 5 minute summary of the key chapter points can be found here Multimedia presentation.

WEEK ONE[edit]


I have entered this unit with great expectation I constantly ask myself how can I be motivated and how can I help motivate others? Also how connected is our emotional well being to motivation? I like to see things simply so I see motivation as being moved into action or to be moved to decide on a change of action (Schopenhauer, 1841/1960). Any action or behaviour is not spontaneous but occurs by either internal motives or environmental incentives. I always seem to remember that motives push these include our physiological and psychological needs, an example of those is our need for food or our need to belong with others. Environment incentives pull an example of this would be the desire to graduate at the end of this year and the satisfaction of completing my degree. In the tutorial the strength was also considered to be a factor as well as direction. It was difficult in the tutorial to give a definition to -what is an emotion?` Emotion comes from the Latin word emovere, meaning to move out. Deckers(2005) described it as a special case of push motivation such as fear, anger and sadness push individuals toward end-states defined by the aim of the emotion. It would be wounderful if it were that simple to just describe motivation and emotion as a push or a pull but unfortunitely it is more complex. A persons biological attributes and psychological dispositions determine what will be motivating. An example of a biological attribute would be a small amount of food in my stomach and my body telling my brain that it is hungry and I am then motivated to acquire, prepare and eat food. What would psychologicaly motivate me is when I get on the bathroom scales and the number is getting higher. The higher the number the greater the motivation. I started to think about the history of motivation and emotion and how did we get to todays understandings. Some of our fore fathers who set foundation stones for us to study motivation and emotion today. Meagans Frauds perspective. Megan O'Connell

Theorists of Motivation

here to read more about me.

How to Successfully Navigate Wikipedia[edit]

Week Two Tutorial[edit]

Week two I was plummeting to the tune of Chrissy Amphletts "get me out of here". Quite reluctent to start but motivated by the 30% weighting and my need to graduate. I then turned my thinking around, to acknowledge it as a personal challenge. Wonderful opportunity to learn a new language, meet and talk to new friends, and last of all expose my work to others warts and all. This tutorial gave me more tools to just come home and start. I had already decided that motivation and goal setting was the subject that I was most attracted and drawn to. Within my work place it is a requirement to set goals with our participants and over a period of time work towards them, and when the goal was longterm work in small incremental steps. For example my participant Jean who suffers from depression had the desire to renew her wedding vows to her dieing husband of 26 years. Firstly, Maslow's heirarchy of assisting with the basics for the family was needed, before Jean could think about their wedding. Due to circumstances the family had esculating bills and had not paid their rent, resulting in threatened eviction. With carful financial planning this enabled Jean to then put her wedding plan in place. Jean started to tick off small goals propelling her to the next goal, her energy levels increase, her household management improved and her day to day wellbeing improved in caring for her husband. The wedding is in November the only thing left to do on Jean's list is suites for the men and flowers on the day. The most notable observation for me was an initial very slow start in Jean having the action componet in moving towards her goal. However, she then got to the point where she was ringing me telling me what she had done in preparation for November. Jean's behaviour increased in strength and direction and emotionally she grew in confidence and mastery.

Week Three The Brain and Physiological Needs[edit]

Its been a long time since Pineas Gage in 1860 suffered a brain injury with a crow bar going through his frontal lobes. I think that the connection between motivation and emotion and brain structure may have commenced. Reeve (2010) says that the brain is not only a thinking brain but also the centre of motivation and emotion with three main areas of study.

=== To look at specific brain structures and the specific motivations that are generated===.

An example of this was research on a cat its medial hypothalamus was stimulated resulting in the cat displaying arousal  of a full attack with undirected growling and facial expressions.

===Biochemical agents stimutale brain structurs===.These are neurotransmitters( nervous system) and hormones (endocrine system).

===Day to Day events stir biochemical agents into action===. For example an unexpected pleasant event occurs ( someone gives you flowers) this actives the biological agent (dopamine) is curculated into the brain circuit. The Brain structure is stumutated by the dopamine, it then stimutates the limbic system and emotion is aroused. Feelings of pleasure and positive affect is the result.

Brain Structures[edit]

Gehirn, medial - beschriftet lat.svg
Brain Structure Motivational/Emotional Experience
Approach-Oriented Structure
Hypothalamus Pleasure – eat, drink, sex
Septal Area Pleasure - sociability and sexuality
Orbitofrontal Cortex Learning incentive value of events, decision making
The cross section showing the anatomic
                                                         position of the key Brain Structures 
                                                         involved in motivation and emotion has
                                                         always facinated me along with the 
                                                         motivational states associated with 
                                                         specific brain structures.
Medial Forebrain Bundle Pleasure, reinforcement
Nucleus Accumbens Pleasure – reward, hotspot for liking
Cerebral Cortex (frontal lobes) Plans, goals, intentions
Medial Forebrain Bundle Pleasure, reinforcement
Anterior Cingulate Cortex Mood, volition, decision making
Left Prefrontal Cerebral Cortex Approach motivational/emotional tendencies
Medial Prefrontal Cerebral Cortex Learning response – control beliefs, mastery motivation
Avoidance-Oriented Structures
Right Prefrontal Cerebral Cortex Withdraw motivational/emotional tendencies
Amygdala Detect/Respond to threat and danger (fear/anger/anxiety)
Hippocampus Behavioural inhibition – during unexpected events
Arousal-Oriented Structure
Reticular Formation Arousal

Just as a rough guide it helped me to remember by thinking of the brain in three parts core brain that is the old, anamalistic, automatic functioning part. The middle brain with the limbic system and the cortex that is the conscious brain influenced by cognitions. In our tutorial we were asked to name these parts and circle them, this helped me remember the three simple parts. How do we view the brain ? The use of PET and MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) assist in viewing activity and brain structures related to motivation and emotion, and not forgetting the surgeons view.


At a synapse one neuron releases chemicals that affect a second neuron. Those chemicals are known as neurotransmitters. Reaearch as identified more than one hundred chemicals believed to be neurotransmitters (Kalat 2007). The neurotransmitters act as messengers within the brains central nervous system. It is a cluster of neorons of nerve fibres that communicate with other neurons by using one particular neurotransmitter. More detailed information on neurotransmitters

Neurons that Motivate[edit]


When released generates good feelings it is released when a variety of events such as reward or the positive anticipation of pleasure. It makes a person feel emotionally positive and more likely to enhance their functioning (Reeve 2009).


The things that stimulate dopamine for me is a glass of wine on friday nights, sticky date pudding. This prepares or motivates my behaviour to ring friends, get the glass or knife(goal directed approach behaviour). When I think about these things it gives me pleasure. I then think about these things as rewards. On occasions it is unplained or unexpected then it is even more rewarding.


Many addictive drugs such as cocaine, herion, amphetamine, alcohole, nichotine cause dopamine-induced hypersensitization, once this occurs can last for hours(Reeve 2007). In the case for example nicotine Reeve empersises the differerence between wanting and liking the reward. The full experience of reward is when wanting and liking occur together.

Hormones in the Body[edit]

A hormone is a chimical that is secreted in most cases by a gland but also by other kinds of cells and conveyed by the blood to other organs whose activity it influences. I liked the way Kalat expressed hormones as functioning like a radio station sending a message to anyone tuned in to receive it. He says that a neurotransmitter is like a signal on a telephone line conveying a message from sender to receiver. Circulating hormones modify brain activity three in particular are integral to motivation and emotion.

  # Cortisol Sometimes called the stress hormone.  
   Public speaking is a good example. Why is this important? It is 
   related to poor intelligent functioning, netative affect, poor health
  #Testosterone Associated with high sexual motivation.
   Intersesting these hormone levels change for example
   men who are in a committed relationship have lower 
   testerone levels than single men.  
  # Oxytocin Known as the bonding hormone. Particularly for women
   and their motivation, it gives them coping mechanisms in stressful
   times. It helps them seek counsel, support and nuture during stress.

First Tutorial[edit]

This week was the first tutorial and we formed groups and with some group exercises for example gathering in specific groups that expressed things about outselves, years of study, favourite takeaway food. We talked about our textbook chapter and formed groups of four to continue the semester with as a way of assisting and supporting each other. I would like to share as little about me, Click here to read more about me.

Psychological and Social Needs[edit]

What is a need?[edit]

Needs are many but basically fit into three types: Physiological needs these include thirst, hunger and sex. psychological needs those being autonomy, competence and relatedness. Lastly, Social needs including achievement, affiliation, intimacy and power. Physiological needs involve biological systems such as neural brain circuits, hormones and bodily organs. All needs generate energy and all needs are different. Some needs differ from one onother in that some generate deficiency needs, whereas some generate growth motivation. To differentiate a deficiency-based need from a growth based need is by the emotions each gererates. Deficiency needs generate tension packed urgency laden emotions such as anxiety, frustration, pain, stress and relief. Growth needs generate positive emotions such as intetest, enjoyment and vitality. Drive-Reduction Theory 250 × 188 - 6k - jpg Early Theory by Clarke Hull(1943) created a biological theory of motivation referred to as drive theory. Physiological deprivations like sleep, food or thirst create a biological needs. The longer the need the higher the drive for that need. Drives are energizing and direct us into action to satisfy the need. There is a cyclical pattern depicting the rise and fall of psychological drive. 1.Satiated state- 2.Physiological deprivation develops gradually 3. prolonged physiological deprivation produces bodily need 4. need intensifies and gives rise to psychological drive 5. Goal directed motivated behavior occurs as attempt to gratify drive 6. Consummatory behavior occurs 7.Drive reduced.

Maslow's Hierarchy of needs[edit]

Suggests that human needs can be organised heirarchically. With my work in assisting people with mental health I'm unable to assist them at a higher level until their basic requirements are met, particularly food and shelter. Homeostatis refers to the bodily systems maintaining a steady state of equilibruim. Or in other words the body's ability to maintain a stable internal state. To do this the bodily systems generate motivational states to maintain a steady state and to generate the motivation necessary to energize the direct homeostatis restoring behaviours.


Thirst arises as a physiological need or bodies are continually losing water through persperation, perspiration, urination, breathing vomiting, bleeding and sneezing. Reeve (2009) quotes that in two days we could die without water. Water inside us lies in both intracellular (inside cells 40%)and extracellular fluids ( outside cells 20%). Thirst Activation on tests with rats it suggests that the intracellular cell when deprived of water result in osmometric thirst and this is the primary cause of thirst activation. Thirst SatietyThis introduces the negative feedback system because we have to know when to stop drinking. The negative feedback mechanism for satiety must lie in one or more body sites:mouth, stomach,intestines, bloodstream and cells. Hypothalamus and Kidneys The brain through the hypothalamus monitors intracellular shrinkage and releases a hormone into the blood plasma and sends a message to the kidneys to conserve its water. It is the hypothalamus that the psychological experience of thirst originates sending a message to the frontal lobes and generates a motivational urge to drink. Environmental Influences Taste is a determinate or influence for drinking. The sweetness, sourness, saltiness and bitterness all influence people differently.


In a society that is very conscious of body image this section is valuable knowledge and complex. In order to understand hunger and eating it is expected that cognitive, social and environmental influences need to be considered. Research studies have three predominent models:

Short-term physioligical models[edit]

Short-term hunger cues regulate the initiation of meals, size, and termination of meals.The glucostatic hypothesis says that blood glucose sugar levels deficiency stimulates eating by activating the lateral hypothalamus and cluscose excess inhibits eating by activating the ventromedial hypthalamus

Long-term Energy Balance[edit]

Long term proposes the lipostatic hypothesis , including the set point theory regulation. According to the lipostatic hypothesis shrunken fat cells initiate hunger, normal and large fat cells inhibit it. I was overwhelmed when I read about the set point theory, this theory suggests that each individual has a biologically determined body weight that is set by genetics either at birth or shortly afterwards. Whereby hunger activation and satiety depend on the size not the number of fat cells per person.(It's not my fault!!)

Environmental Influences[edit]

Things that affect eating behaviour include stress, appearance, sight, taste of food. Variety and availability also influence people and their consumption of food. Environmental factors can compete or interfere with physiological factors, for example dieting. People also consume more in the presence of others and spend more time eating for example lunch with family and friends.


In animals the pattern of sexual behaviour begins with the female's ovulation period. The sending out of pheromones to the male. The males testerone levels increase, consumation, where both psychological drive and physiological need is met( it seems so simple). Sexual motivation responds to a number of factors, including hormones, external stimulation, external cues, cognitive scrips, sexual schemas and evolutionary processes. Males learn to coodinate their sexual script to coincide with the three linear stages in the sex response cycle of desire (excitment), arousal, and orgasm. Sexual motivation in women is more complex it usually revolves around emotional intimacy needs.

Gender differences in mate preferences[edit]

Males place greater emphasis on: Physical Appearance, Younger women, No difference with religion and males are more prepared to have a relationship with a different race. In my social psychology tute I was really surprised that the one male in the class has such different responses for the females. For example physical attractiveness was first on his list. I was also surprised that in the group he was courageous enough to admit it, considering the group dynamics. Biological makeup still at the forefront. Women place greater emphasis on: older men (5years), Earning potential, Has Children, no difference with religion.

Week Four Psychological and Social Needs[edit]

In understanding Psychological need it further reinforced my knowledge that no man is an island. Our psychological need involves our active connection with the environment doing enjoyable and interesting things. The things that make us happy, it is this that propells us to be motivated to seek out, explore and challenge ourselves, to enable us to grow as individuals. There are a couple of different approaches to motivation, firstly that people are inherently active and secondly that it is the environment that motivates us. Organismic (person centred, innate) psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness(Deci & Ryan) provide people with natural motivation such as learning, growing, and healthy development depends on the environments support. All three are needed for growth. 1. Active. 2. environment provides the stimuli but the person shapes the environment.


I want to be the one to decide or choose what, how, and when to do things. I want to construct my own goals,have freedon to decide, determine my own actions, I have a need for perceived autonomy. The mini Self- Determination Theory ( Deci and Ryan) does not try and describe biological theory are growth orientated needs essential to pshchological well being. What contributes to perceptions of autonomy? There are three aspects: Internal perceived locus of causality-caused by myself Violition - I have not been coerced Perceived Choice over one's actions.

  • It is also important for a person to have personal choice with that comes greater interest and geater autonomy eg my textbook chapter.
  • The need to nurture and encourage an individual interests and preferences and makes a person feel like they are more in control of their situations.
  • Possible for an extrinsic goal to be taken on as an internal goal, put in more effort and motivation and doing things.
  • Focus on the person and nurturing no so much about outcomes and preformance. The example given in the lecture about the google employees. The employees get to do their assigned work 80% of the time and 20% working on their own projects. Resulting in some wonderful creative projects that have been created in the staff 20% time as well as completing their assigned work.

Autonomy support contribute to the three psychological needs. The benefits from Autonomy Support. Things that support autonomy is the perciving that Im in control of the surrounding environment for example this university where Im nurtured and encouraged to challenge and use critical thinking makes me feel autonomous. This increases my motivation with the psychological experience of percieved autonomy. The more understanding we have around doing things the more likely we are to be motivated. Benefits from autonomy support include motivation, engagement, development, learning, performance and psychological well-being. Second psychological need is competence


It is a psychological need to be effective in interactions with the environment (Deci& Ryan, 1985). Skill and challenge of the task are key controllers, this reminds me of Vygotskys zone of proximinal distance. It matches skills and challenge with appropriate feedback, positive and negative. Structure is important to feel competent, good training structure and feeling comfortable in the environment also assist eg starting a new job. Flow state of acquiring skill expecially technically as I participate in this e-port folio has increased confidence and taken me from high anxiety to worry on the involving competence flow. Supporting competence involves positive feedback. comparisons with past, looking at other's performance, and evaluations from others. For children in the Harter's study the moderate level was the best challenge until more skills were learned.

The third psychological need is relatedness[edit]

This is the psychological need to belong, establish close emotional bonds and attachment with other people. The desire to be connected with others in a warm relationship. (Reeve, 2009). It is interaction with others, intimacy and debth in the relationship that is also a need. Most common is a communal relationship like a marriage.

What makes a good Day?[edit]

Very good question, the textbook puts the three psychological needs together, perceived feelings of daily competence, daily relatedness and daily autonomy are the reqirements for feeling positive, feelings of well being and feeling motivated.

Social Needs[edit]

Social need - not an innate need but a learnt need as distinct from the psychological need that is considered an essential need.

Quasi-need- is situationally trigged by a situation, not something you can not do without. If you were not in a particular situation you would not want it eg caramel slice when I'm in the bakers having coffee. Need relative incentive are things that our culture teachers us we want that feed into deeper more biological and psychological needs. Examples of social needs are: Achievement, Affiliations, Intimacy and Power. Achievement-stable, think of personality traits, dominent motive eg sport, financial, student. There are high verses low achievement people. Approach and aviodence based motivations that go with individuals. Where does a need for achievent come? McCelland believes it to be cultural. Acheivement runs in families having environments that support achievement. Cognitive influences tells us that people are attracted to things they are interested in. There can be a culture of expetation at some schools. High expectations for success, strong valueing of achievement, for example James Ruse selective school in Sydney with high expetations placed on academic achievement to stay number one ranked school in the state (They have the worst rugby football team in the state). Atkinson's model of achievement looks a bit daunting, tendency to approach success verses the tendency to avoid failure. With the likelihood of success I would approach, or likelihood of failure I would pull away. When referring to acheivement goals there are two main achievement goals Mastery Goals and Performance Goals. It is considered that a combination of both would be best. Avoidence motivation was particularly interesting when I thought about my clients at work that are very intelligent and have been unwell for a period of time. Often they express fear of failure that often has started during the school process. They avoid preformance situations in fear of failing. Many appointments and opportunities are set up for them and often they fail to turn up to the appointment or interview. They also present with low self esteem, low personal control, low vitality, low life satisfaction and low psychological well-being. Which makes me wonder if now there is a learned helplessness. I prefer to think more optimistically Martin Seligman is my favourite theorist with his learned optimism.

Approach tendencies like achievement goals. This was the section on leaders and power orientation and goal pursuit and leadership motivation. Good leaders need to be able to self regulate and have a low need to affiliation. Combinination of high need for power-Low need for affiliation and High self-control are the qualities of leaders.

Week Five Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation/Goal setting[edit]

Intrinsic motivation what you feel as an inherent desire to do things. To do things because you want do or to persue your own interests. It is probable a blend of both that I'm at university. According to self determination theory intrinsic motivation persistence is higher if intrinsic motivation is high. Creativity, conceptual understang, high quality learning and optimal functioning and well being are benefits of intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic Motivation some external incentive, behaviour is contingent of some environmental response. Doing something to get something back. For example a teacher will do something to get something from the children. This is critically viewed because this is a external motivation not an intrinsic motivation. Along operant conditioning principles. Incentives==Consequences==Reward. Reward only serves as a reinforcer if the person wants it, only when it is wanted does it regulate and motivate behaviour. Does punishment work with behaviour? Reeve says no the side effects are not worth it, negative emotions, interfere with learning process, impair relationships (Teacher/student, child/ parent),and are bad modelling for the child. What is the consequence of extrinsic rewards ? It takes away the motivation if the person is already doing it, it takes away the intrinsic motivation. It has many implications in our community for example the Northern Territory police involvement in our Aboriginal community, by taking away their self-autonomy and determination. Work for the dole?. Extrinsic rewards don't have the same level of learning as intrinsic motivation.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory[edit]

The theory explains how an extrinsic event(eg money, grade, deadline) affects intrinsic and extrinsic motivations as mediated by the events effect on the psychological needs for competence and autonomy (Reeve 2009) He suggests three propositions.

  • Locus of causality (individuals belief in what causes their behaviour) it is possible to have external rewards that increase intrinsic motivations. Two types of reward tangable (money, cake, touch or feel) and non-tangable( praise, social, external best, more likely to feed their sense of competence).
  • Events that increase greater perceived competence foster internal motivation.
  • Combination of the two above.

How do we motivate people?[edit]

Provide a rationale- when people understand the reasonit assists in motivation, also helping to cognitively internalise the reason in doing something. When someone shows an interest in something build around it, also assists. The amount of effort that people put in depends on the perceived importance and the perceived self determination.

Goal setting[edit]

We will be looking at plans, goal setting, goal striving. The cognitive mechanism by which plans energise and direct behaviour. The TOTE model Test=Operate=Test=exit. Discrepency between the present and ideal state. Create drive discreprency to motivate us to action. A goal is whatever an individual is trying to accomplish. Reeve expresses that not all goals are the same, if its a simple goal it does not generate a large amount of energy. Goals should be specific with a degree of difficulty to energise and motivate performance. Long term goals should have increments along the way as not to lose interest. How do they influence performance people need to know what to do. Feedback essential and gives a emotional response and can drive increased effort. Achieved goals self efficacy goes up and allows individuals to take on higher goals. Goals and feedback are linked and important to each other. I lets the individual know about their progress, if its above or below target, so they can moderate effort. The type of feedback is crucial for example if you tell someone their failing, hopeless there is a chance that the individual will give up. Hattie and Timperley(2007) meta analysis cited feedback as important and powerful but there is more needed in good goal setting. Hattie had a forward thinking feedback model. He used questions like where are you going, how are you going to do it and where to next?

There are Goal Processes.[edit]

  • Goal acceptence -rational for goals to be reasonable and realistic. Factors that affect goal acceptance are the perceived difficulty, my participation in the goal setting process, the credibility of the person and extrinsic incentives.
  • Goal choice- ability, self efficacy, past performance and incentives.
  • Short-term vs Long-term goal setting- set short term goals that can lead into a long term goal. Long-term goals are cognitive complex.

Goals can undermine performance if the goals are too high, or a large number of goals, when you set a goal you risk failing. Goals can effect thinking and behaviour. Cheating can also be a temptation if there is too much goal orientation. Creativity can be reduced by goal setting. The planning or implementation of the goal should not be overlooked before starting. Reeve's sequential steps:

  1. one specify the objective to be accomplished.
  2. two define goal diffeculty.
  3. define goal specificity.
  4. Specify the time span until preformance assessment.
  5. Check on goal acceptance
  6. Discuss goal attainment strategies.
  7. specific, when,intentions.
  8. feedback.


Over the last 18months I have been working on the long range goal of sail training to gain my yacth masters so I can sail with my children. During this semester break I am in Hobart about to embark on two days at sea and night sailing. This chapter has had me challenging and identifing my strength of motivation, the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute to obtaining this goal. The period of time to complete this goal is important to me and was an important consideration from the inception of the plan it also has helped me move foward an stay interested. Very obviously I should be at home working on my book chapter but I realise that it is not my first strongest goal, it is a large undertakings, it is complex, and involves the cognitive relm of motivation. Hence this quote resonated with me:

"our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a woman does not know what harbor she is making for, no wind is the right wind". Seneca, 4 B.C.-65 A.D.

This goal grew from a previous experience of taking my children to New-Zealand that was two years in the planning. Due to success with New-Zealand I was able to take on a larger more complex goals and feel confident of success.

Nature of Emotion[edit]

===What is an emotion?===

Basic Emotions are Universal

In our groups we tried to define this and it was very difficult to define an emotion. Four key components that Reeve suggests, feelingsthe experience of them for example joy,interest, fear. There is a cognitive activity with some physiological arousal. Secondly, bodily arousal, triggered by the cognitive arousal eg increased heart rate. The expression of the emotion in a public way, to try to hide it or facially giving of feelings of emotions (behavioural mode of expression), Lastly to energise and direct behaviour. Emotion tell you how your going as in the feedback loop towards a goal, you can then change behaviour if needed.

What causes an emotion?[edit]

Reeve (2009) suggests cognitive processes and biological processes that give rise to feelings, sense of purpose, bodily arousal and socially expressive. Ekman (1992) very interesting research on emotional intelligence and emotions are universal over cultures (core emotions). Biology plays a key role in emotion. Lazarus(1984)thinks that it is more cognitive due to different emotions expressed. Stimulus from a life event then an arousal that triggers a behaviour.

How many emotions are there?[edit]

This was questioned in our tutorial. Biological perspective says a small amount 2-10 from biological and evolutionary. Cognitive perspective many shades and combination, personal colourance and cultural differences. Great complexity and interpretative perspectives. Core emotions and then cluster into groups of emotions. Core emotions should be innate, does not rely on cognitive interpretation. Core emotion is it is uniquely identifiable in people. Four negative fear,anger,disgust and sadness., positive joy and interest.

What good are the emotions?[edit]

To look from a functional or biological perspective. In life it is needed to be able to regulate and organise them in order to function. Social benefits of emotions. Communicate our feelings to others, influence how others interact with us, invite and facilitate social interaction and create, maintain and dissovle relationships. Emotional sharing with others help us regulate them. Emotions brings people together and help with relationships. Emotions contribute to cognition and helps regulate our emotions.

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

Antecedents what lead up to events. Moods dont seem to have defining causes eg just woke up feeling bad. Emotions are short lived (20 minutes)for example if your angry with someone you may need to come back in an hour. Moods less quick to trigger but take longer to change.


This below picture was a result our group trying to group emotions together. Not an easy task and every group has a diffent set of categories. Positive and negative emotions and questions about differences.


Aspects of Emotion[edit]

Interactive aspects between biological and cognive aspects of emotion. There is also the social and cultural aspects of emotion. Oldest view of biological view by James -Lang theory of emotion. Stimulus--bodily reaction-emotion or does stimulus=cause emotion-then a bodily a sudden cold shower--increased heart rate/arousal surprise/shock/fear. Criticisms:

  • Body reactions were general as in the fight and flight response not varing between emotions.
  • The emotions were experienced faster that the physiological response.
  • The physiological arousal does not cause emotion.

Biologically there may be some specific patterns in brain activity.Different rates of nueral firing, frequency of firing over time can explain emotions. From higher firing of excitment, surprise, slowing interest. High levels over time is not desired.It would suggest that there are neural firings that indicate emotion. Differential emotions (Izard) suggest 10 neural firing pattern expressions of emotions. Recognised across cultural. Groups into positive, negative and neutral. Izzard expresses unique feelings and expression.Positive emotions being interest and joy. Neutral emotions as surprise. Negative emotions classified as fear, anger, disgust, distress, contempt, shame,guilt.

Does smiling make you happy?[edit]

Facial feedback hypothesis is the last biological theory. Emotions stems from feelings aroused by using facial expressions like smiling. Muscles, temperature, and glands makes the face a readout of what your body is experiencing. Yes, but only a small affect.

Cognitive aspects of emotion[edit]

Key component is an appraisal, a cognitive interpretation of an event. Is it relevant to my wellbeing. If not the flight or fight response. Says that you can not have the emotion until the appraisal of the event has occured. It is the intrepretation of the event that matters. Appraisal theory of emotion (Arnold 1970) says that a situation occurs we appraise it to be either good or bad, we have the accompaning emotions of liking or disliking followed by the action of withdrawing or approaching. This is a simple model but used as a good foundation for other theories. Lazarus model has benefit, hard and threat. If you can understand thought patterns it assists in changing behaviour patterns. It is a cognitive explanation of emotions. Lazarus also includes in stress and coping, he includes a secondary appraisal in his model which involves the persons assessment of their capacity to cope with the possible benefit, harm or threat. Appraisal theories are about 65-70% accurate in predicting peoples emotion which I thought was surprising. Social and cultural aspects of emotions are often social events, when we talk to other people in a group it is narratives of our experiences. This sharing of emotions brings emotional knowledge and is culturally specific. It teaches how to express our emotions and how to manage them.

Personality, Motivation and Emotion[edit]

It's of interest as to why people have different motivation and emotional states when two people experience the same situation. Personality traits can help explain the induvidual differences, the tutorial exercises surprised me. Personality is key to the choices we make as individuals.

The big 5 personality traits[edit]

The importance of these factors to personality is in order. Neuroticism -negative emotionality, most subject to negative responses. Extraversion-sociability, having a lower level of base line arousal. Seek extra arousal externally from the environment. Introverts has more internal arousal. Openness to Experience- wanting new experiences. Agreeableness- how you get along with others, empathy for others. Conscientiousness- attention to detail, getting assignments on time. Influences what people seek out and the experiences they choose. The set point theory of happiness was very thought provoking, in that the level of happiness that I feel now generally is possibly at the same level that I will feel in ten years time. Based on Reeve (2009) he states that extraverts are happier and have a happiness set point and neurotics are unhappy and have an unhappiness set point. When I think of my work, I have many unhappy people, and they have been unhappy for many years. I have never consciously considered that their personality traits may contribute to a level of naturally occuring unhappiness. Extraversion is a predictor of positive happiness and neuroticism is a predictor of unhappiness. Extraverts have a greater capacity to experience positive emotions and a stronger response in seeking out rewarding situations than introverts.The three areas of action include greater sociability, greater social dominance and greater seekingout of risk and adventure than introverts. For a neurotic the primary aim is caution and hesitantacy.

Sub-Dimensions of the Big 5

Neuroticism Extraversion Openness Agreeableness Conscientiousness
Anxiety Warmth Fantasy Trust Competence
Angry hostility Gregariousness Aesthetics Straightforwardness Order
Depression Assertiveness Feelings Altruism Dutifulness
Self-consciousness Activity Actions Compliance Achievement Striving
Impulsiveness Excitement seeking Ideas Modesty Self-discipline
Vulnerability Positive Emotion Values Tender-mindedness Deliberation

Note: Adapted from Reeve, 2009.

The two traits of extraversion and neuroticism have been examined extensively in terms of their relationship with motivation.


A persons arousal level is mostly a function of how stimulating the environment is. People engage in behaviour to increase or decrease their level of arousal. To increase arousal levels means to increase environmental stumulation that is more pleasurable and enhances performance. Overoused people will seek out opportunities to decrease their arousal levels which is pleasurable and also enhances preformance. Producing the inverted U-curve (Yerkes & Dodson 1908). Sensory deprevation on listening to the 60's experiment not sure whether that would get past the ethics committee. Heron's sensory deprivation study. The brain is built for stimutalion to function properly. Over stimulation creates stress and is debilitating if prolonged also trigger negative emotions, less intelligent and physiological break down. Important not to overstimulate or understimulate.

Sensation seeking[edit]

Helps to explain some behaviours, gambling, drug use, sexual risk taking. Approach type behaviour with uninhibited by the consequences. Need an element of risk taking or life would be boring. It is the willingness to take greater risks than most people. Zuckerman was a major theorist in this area. It takes more effort to keep their mood up in sensation seekers. Low level of internal stimulation. The biological basis influenced by high dopamine so when they get the reward they feel higher. Lower serotine meaning lower levels of inhibitary respones. There is a correlation betweem sensation seeking and drug taking. Another component of arousal is affect intensity. Monitoring individuals moods identified affect intensity, two types, affect(mood) stable and affect intense. Bad events have a greater impact than positive event on well being and relationships. Evidence indicates there is a ratio of 1 to 5 for good and bad events. Meaning that 5 good events should occur to one bad event to keep stability especially in relationships.

Unconscious Motivation[edit]

This chapter will have some different theories and concepts of unconscious motivation.Distinction

Psychodynamic perspective[edit]

Distinction between psychoanalytic with is the traditional Freudian approach to the unconscious including Dual Instinct Theory ( Eros and thanatos). With the Psychodynamic approach this is a more contempory perspective and the main one this chapter will address. Psychodynamic approach is the study of unconscious psychological processes(eg prejedice, depression, defense mechanisms).

Contemporary psychodynamic perspective[edit]

What is accepted for the Freudian theory is that much of mental life is unconscious in psychodymanic approach. Our mental processes operate in parallel with one another. Healthy development involves moving from an immature socially dependent personality to one that is more mature and interdependent with others. Our past experiences give us guides on later social motivations and relationships. Three contempory views on the unconscious include automatic appraises the environment, adaptive unconscious and inplicit motivation. We take in sensory input without knowing that we do, but we dont necessarity act on it. Part of a brain is never fully asleep it is always processing happening aroun us. The ego is the conscious part the id supress the desires or goes out to get them. Which leeds to repression and suppression. A critism is the inability to test theories around the id and ego. Ego developmenttakes a developmental perspective, seeing individuals as motivated to develope and grow. Start as an entity with no identity, progression to learn to be self protective knowing the rules of society and the environment, the individual can live comfortable in the community with others (internalise rules). Ego had devoloped as a way to manage the wanting and not having to defend against anxiety. The defence mechanisms to reduce anxiety are important as the resulting anxiety, depression and distress is disfunctional for the individual. It is an important part of human growth and development. Vaillant (1977) highlights the differences between the adaptive defence mechanisms in men, who have mature and immature defence mechanisms. He notes the highly stressful lives and immature defence mechanisms the person was likely to experience depression. He also expressed that depression occurred when people used immature defenses to cope with life stress. when life was not stressful or when adults used mature defenses, depression was avioded.

Object relations theory[edit]

This theory particularly the sexual example given in the lecture was thought prevoking. It is about drives and relationships do we approach or avoid,there is usually an emotional involvement, a schematic mapping of perceptions. For example to have a sexual drive turned into an eating drive. How was this done ? When a sexual drive creats anxiety and the parental or societal push is to say that is wrong can then have the person transfer the drive to seek pleasure elsewhere. Perhaps from sex to eating, hence establishing eating as the source of pleasure when the sexual drives are triggered.

Criticisms of the psychodynamic perspective[edit]

The testing and measurement is difficult. Reeve (2009) suggests a more creative way to measure ideas Freudian theory is not generalisable as his subjects were disturbed individuals. Replication difficult and questionable data collection. Theory is no good at prediction.

Growth motivation and positive psychology[edit]

Positive psychology, humanistic psychology, holistic psychology speak to this inner growth motivation. Traditionally as humanistic psychology 1960's, 70's and 80's. Positive psychology was promoted by Martin Selligman in the 1990's. More scienticfic in testing of strengths and how do we build this in individuals. Both approaches are holistic.


Topdown approach to motivation. Concentrates on the whole organism. Focuses on discovering human potention and encouraging its development.

Positive psychology[edit]

Devotes attention to the proactive building of personal strengths and competencies. Aims at makeing individuals stronger and more productice and to actualize the human potential in all of us. Maslow (1987) in his heirarchy of needs had as its pinacle self-actualization, this is where individuals have a full realization of their talents, capacities and potentialities. It is a process and an end point. Two key aspects is autonomy and openness to self actualization. Maslow organization of need into five categories.

Self Actualized Cat

The Heirarchal assumptions are: The lower the need the more strongly and urgently it is felt, The ones at the top are the least strongly felt. The physiological need are strongest lower level needs. The lower the need the sooner it arrives in development. As you get older the higher need become present. To pursue the higher needs the lower ones need to be fullfilled the example of the starving artist. Maslow offers some suggestion to encourage growth:

  • Growth choices- take on challenging things dont reject them out of fear.
  • Be honest- open to feedback.
  • as you get to know yourself you can position yourself into better jobs, peek experience states.
  • Be open to mistakes and accepting them as opportunities for change.
  • Listen to your deeper inner self to experience growth.

Some practicle behaviours relationships also support both autonomy and openness. Roger's has some similiar perspectives to growth. The organism has one motivation of self actualisation. It is innate and continual and guide the individual to genetically determined potentials. I enjoyed the logic in Rogers meaning of self actualization rather than heirarchial steps. In particular the difference between the unconditional positive regard and the conditional positive regard. The social conditions determine environments tell a person that their self worth is continguent on external value system. Self esteem is contingent rewards. The conditional positive regard building self esteem and self-worth are based on external conditions for example rewards. This being inconcruent with the inner organismic valuation process.Seperate behaviours from It is this incongruence or mismatch makes individuals unable to self actualize. seperate evaluations of beh from valuations of the self. If you are able to behaviour as your inner values say you should you will be fully functioning individual. Your behaviour is concruent with what you do. The example used was your family asking you to study business by you inner need is to study nursing but you are unable to because in society business has more meaning.

Relationsdhips support the actualizing tendency[edit]

The quality of interpersonal relationships.

  • warmth
  • genuineness
  • Empathy- understands feelings, acceptence with out judgement.
  • confirmatio of the other person's capacity for self-determination.

The problem of evil[edit]

Intentional acts of harm, directly or indirectly. Humanistic theorists view evil as not being innate. It only arises only when experience injures and damages the person.

Positive psychology and growth[edit]

Building skills and competencies in the individual. Positive psychologist believe that if you build on the strengths it decreases anxiety and depression. The building of strengths yeild two interrelated outcomes:

  • It fosters personal growth and wellbeing.
  • Prevents human sickness (eg depression etc) from developing in the personality. Reeve uses three illustrative personal strengths:

Optimism, Meaning, and Eudaimonic Well-Being. Optimism is associated to a positive attitude or a good mood that is in the immediate and future. It is related to better phychological and physical health, more health promoting behaviors, greater persistence and more efficient problem solving. Meaning is a sense of purpose, internalised values and high efficacy are the motivational menas to cultivate meaning in life. Creating meaning helps prevent future sickness. Eudaimonic well-being is the experience of seeking out challenges, exerting effort, being fully engaged and experiencing flow in what one is doingacting on one's true values, and feeling fully alive and authentic (Ryan & Deci 2001).

My Personal Learning[edit]

  • I realise that I fight myself when I dont think I can do things, I am very fearful of failure.
  • Things that I do at work with my clients is now better understood. My goal setting with my clients has much greater knowledge, understanding, debth and structure. It makes the clients successes much richer, and their inabilities to become motivated need for me to reframe or reassess the goals.
  • I enjoyed fishing out my old biological psychology book and looking at the brain in all its wonder. I was very time consumming and reconnected me with some prior learning.
  • I enjoyed this unit more than any other psychology unit, I now which that I was starting again. It has been a continual learning subject.
  • From my work perspective it will make me a better practicioner, which is of benefit to my participants.

Last word,Victor Frankl[edit]

Lack of meaning in peoples lives is the key that makes them sick. The example of Victor Frankl in the concentration camp. His "Logotherapy" Logo=meaning, while there was no meaning to life in general there was great meaning within each individual life.


Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation: Biological, psychological, and environmental (3rd ed.). Boston, USA: Allyn & Bacon.

Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion (5th ed.). NJ, USA: Wiley.

Wikipedia. (2010). Emotions and culture. Retrieved 22 October 2010, from