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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.


Welcome to my online e-portfolio. My name is Shannon and I am an undergraduate student currently enrolled at the University of Canberra and studying a Bachelor of Science in Psychology Degree. As part of an assessment item, all students enrolled in motivation and emotion are required to create an online e-portfolio for the purpose of sharing their learning reflections about motivation and emotion and the learning activities involved in this unit. It is believed that such reflections of our learning experiences will encourage us to develop deeper processing and allow for better understanding of the units content. Further to this, the sharing of our reflections will help to facilitate social interactions and peer-to-peer learning. On the completion of this assessment item, students are also expected to be able to integrate theories and current research towards explaining the role of motivation and emotions in human behaviour.


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

Please note: All of the information explored in this e-portfolio was either derived form the assigned text for this unit, that is Reeve (2009), or the lectures and tutorials run by the unit convenor, James Neill.

Week One, 16th August – 20th August[edit]

Lecture: Introduction to Motivation and Emotion.

18th August 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.

Tutorial- No tutorial for this week.

Reading: Reeve

Chapter One, Introduction.

Chapter Two, Motivation in Historical and Contemporary Perspectives.

As I arrived to the first lecture for the unit motivation and emotion I was almost certain that I was not going to enjoy this unit. Further, I believe that this unpleasant feeling was a result of reviewing the unit outline earlier this week. To elaborate, I had reviewed the unit outline and I was significantly concerned about the three assessment items that were to be completed to receive a pass or higher grade for this unit. I believe that this significant level of concern was present as, throughout the three years that I have been enrolled at the University of Canberra, the majority of my assessment items have consisted of oral presentations, essays, laboratory reports and examinations. All of which are assessment tasks that are quite different to the assessment items of this unit. Moreover, I found that I was mostly concerned about the textbook chapter assessment item due to its high percentage weight of 50% and my lack of experience within this technological area, I could never be considered technologically savvy. Further, I was also concerned that the following assessment item expands on the textbook chapter and has a further percentage weight of 20%. However, after attending the first lecture I felt slightly more confident about these two assessment items. As a result, i have experienced a slight increase in my enthusiasm levels towards this unit. Further, I did find that, apart from the technological abilities required, I was particularly interested in the e-portfolio assessment item that was discussed in the unit's outline. This is because I strongly believe that completing an online e-portfolio will be beneficial for several reasons. To elaborate, I firstly believe that by completing an e-portfolio I will be able to develop more, not only as a person but also as a psychologist in training. I further believe that I will experience a deeper level of processing that will also facilitate a better understanding of the unit’s content. Moreover, I strongly believe that through the reflection involved in the completion of this assessment item I will become more aware of my own values and motivations. I believe that this will also provide me with the opportunity to identify and acknowledge both my strengths and weaknesses in my learning and practising experiences as a psychologist, allowing me to be further develop my identity as a psychologist and provide more effective learning experiences. Lastly, I believe that, as regularly entries are required, this e-portfolio assessment item will ensure that I remain focused and complete all off the units requirements throughout this semester.

Moreover, throughout this week’s lecture and assigned readings, I also found it interesting to expand my knowledge about motivation. Further, I favoured the comment made by Reeve (2009) stating that an individual’s journey to understanding motivation and emotion will begin with the question ‘What causes behaviour?’ Further, Reeve suggested that with this question, several other, more specific questions will emerge such as ‘What starts behaviour?’ and ‘How is behaviour sustained over time?’ In regard to motivation, Reeves also suggests that the subject matter of motivation concerns processes that energize and direct an individual’s behaviour. Moreover, and in an attempt not to summarise the whole lecture or textbook readings for this week, I will now summarise several of my learning experiences including those regarding how motivation is studied, the four processes that are involved in energizing and directing an individual’s behaviour, how motivation can be measured, and the eight common themes that emerge through the study of emotion.

How Motivation is Studied.

This week I learnt the five questions that motivation study seeks to understand. These five questions are as follows:

  • What starts behaviour?
  • How is behaviour sustained over time?
  • Why is behaviour directed towards some ends but away from others?
  • Why does behaviour change its direction?
  • Why does behaviour stop?

Further, I find myself in agreement that by addressing these questions in motivation study, core problems of motivation would be solved and thus we would gain a greater understanding of the motivation process that occurs in individuals.

The Four Motivational Sources.

This week I also learnt that the four suggested processes that give an individual’s behaviour its energy and direction are:

  • Needs,
  • Cognitions,
  • Emotions, and
  • External Events.

To elaborate, as outlined by the unit convenor, James, I learnt that the needs, cognitions and emotions of an individual can be regarded as the internal motives that energize and direct the individual’s behaviour. Further, external events are sources of motivation that are a product of the environmental, social, or cultural experiences of an individual that will also energize and direct their behaviour.

I find the suggestion of these four motivational sources to be extremely interesting. Further, as a result of reviewing this suggestion, I have become increasingly interested in the needs, cognitions, emotions, and external events that energize and direct my own behaviour. Moreover, upon reflection, I have gained a greater understanding and awareness of my motivations. To elaborate, in regard to my needs, I am particular motivated to work and complete my study at the University of Canberra to insure that I am guaranteed the financial stability I require to acquire my everyday needs such as shelter, food and clothing. Further, upon reflection, I have realised the external events that motivate me to complete my bachelor degree of Science in Psychology. That is, I am highly motivated by the individuals I consider to be important to me. They all believe that I have the ability to successfully complete this degree and this has motivated me to continue to participate in my course to insure my completion. Although I have gained this awareness, I am also aware that further reflection is required in an attempt to gain a better understanding of how my cognitions and emotions energize and direct my behaviour.

How Motivation can be Measured.

Further, I learnt that an individual’s motivation can be measured through:


  • Attention
  • Effort
  • Latency
  • Persistence
  • Choice
  • Probability of response
  • Facial expressions
  • Bodily Gestures


  • Behavioural engagement
  • Emotional engagement
  • Cognitive engagement
  • Voice

Brain and Physiology Activations:

  • Brain activity
  • Hormonal activity
  • Cardiovascular activity
  • Oscular activity
  • Electrodermal activity
  • Skeletal activity

Having reviewed this information regarding how motivation can be measured, I have also become increasingly interested in my external behaviours that could indicate either a high level of motivation, or a lack of motivation to other individuals. To elaborate, I have increased my awareness to the bodily gestures, vocal engagement, and facial expressions I produce throughout my tutorial sessions and othe social experiences and have surprising found that I portray a significant amount of gestures that could be interpreted by other individuals as a lack of motivation and interest on my behalf. I believe that this has several significant consequences. However, my main concern would be that in any future counselling experiences I may have I could portray to clients that I am uninterested in the issues they are bringing to the session and that I am unmotivated to work with them to resolve these issues. Having recognised and acknowledged this, I am now attempting to address this issue to insure that my external behaviour gives other individuals the impression that I am highly interested and motivated.

The Eight Common Themes that Emerge in the Study of Motivation

Reeve (2009) states that there are eight common themes that consistently emerge through the study of motivation. They are as follows:

  • Motivation benefits adaption;
  • Motives direct attention and prepare action;
  • Motives vary over time and influence the ongoing stream of behaviour;
  • Types of motivation exist
  • Motivation includes both approach and avoidance tendencies;
  • Motivation study reveals what people want;
  • To flourish, motivation needs supportive conditions; and,
  • There is nothing so practical as a good theory.

Having reviewed all of the information outlined by Reeve (2009) regarding these eight common themes of motivation study I find myself in agreement with his statement suggesting that these aforementioned themes are important in motivation study because they provide an overall perspective for unifying the diverse assumptions, hypothesis, perspectives, theories and finding that are developed in the study of motivation. Moreover, this week I also reviewed the textbook chapter table of contents and will begin to think about what area of motivation and emotion I would like to author a chapter about. I also registered an account with Wikiversity as this is was required to begin and complete my online e-portfolio. However, I still need to send this details to James.

Week Two, 23rd August- 27th August[edit]

Lecture- Assessment task skills.

25th August 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


No tutorial this week.

Reading- No pre-lecture reading.

This week I attended lecture two with slightly more confidence. I have reflected on last week’s learning experiences and have also reviewed the assessment items again. I now feel that, although the assessment items are quite different to those I have previously completed, I should accept this opportunity as it will provide me with the opportunity to develop new skills and participate in new learning experiences. However, I do still have some concerns in relation to the assessment items. For example, although I have commenced work on my e-portfolio and feel rather confident, I am concerned that I will struggle to keep regular, up-to-date entries of my learning experiences. Therefore, I must stay motivated! I also find it rather intimidating that all other students enrolled in the motivation and emotion unit will have access to my e-portfolio and be able to review all of my other assessment items, even though I can select a non-identifying Wikipedia name. Further, I feel as though the intimidation I experience may affect the quality of work that I produce this semester.

Further, I did enjoy the recap that James did at the start of this week’s lecture about what we had learnt last week. Having reflected on my learning experiences from last week and also having James recap the contents of last week’s lecture has made me feel more confident about the unit and has also insured that I fully understand the unit’s content to date. Further, I was also excited this week to be covering the motivated and emotional brain. I have always been particularly interested in the brain’s structures and was curious as to how these structures would generate specific motivational states. However, I found that much of the information about the brain’s structure I had previously learnt in previously completed units. Therefore, I was slightly disappointed in the content. However, I can be confident that I understand the information in this week’s lecture which helps to decreases my anxiety levels i experience towards this unit.

This week I have also reviewed the textbook chapter topics and will begin some preliminary investigations into several topics that interest me before I select and commit to topic.

Week Three, 30th August-3rd September[edit]

Lecture- The Brain and Psychological Needs.

1st September 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


2nd September 18:30- 20:30,

Room 02A12.


Chapter Three, The Motivated and Emotional Brain.

Chapter Four, Physiological Needs.

Having reviewed the textbook chapter topics last week and also engaging in some preliminary investigation, I have found myself to be particularly in the emotional expression topic. Therefore, this week I will express my interest of the topic to the unit convenor, James, and hope that this topic has not already been allocated to another student.

In regard to tutorials, this week was the first week of tutorials sessions for me and unfortunately I was ill and therefore unable to attend mine! However, I did review the tutorial notes that were made available to all students via our Moddle website. As a result, I thought it would be beneficial for me to complete the tutorial exercises on my own to ensure that I missed as little as possible. My results in these exercises will be explored following further details of the tutorial.

Firstly, as outlined in the tutorial notes, students were welcomed to the first tutorial group for the motivation and emotion unit of study and received an overview of what I assume would have been regarding how the tutorials will run and what will be involved and or required in each tutorial. I think this is important as it informs all participating individuals of the tasks and involvement levels that will be expected from them not only throughout this session, but throughout the whole semester. Further, I believe that I would have benefited from this section of the tutorial as I believe that it would have provided invaluable information regarding the units content and student requirements.

After students received an overview of the tutorial session, they were instructed to participate in an Icebreaker. This involved a series of questions and, as previously mentioned, my results can be reviewed at the end of this section. I believe that this task would have been both great and benificial to participate in. Further, I believe that the inclusion of icebreakers in the initial tutorial session is important and invaluable as it allows you to interact with other students and develop both friendships and support systems. However, I believe that it would have been better to have more questions about you as a person and thought that it was inappropriate to ask who an individual had voted for in the latest election. Overall, I am disappointed that I did not get to participate in this task as I feel as though it would have been a great and fun learning experience that would have allowed me to form more friendships groups within this tutorial group and learnt some interesting facts about other students.

Additionally, students were also asked to form small groups that consisted of approximately four individuals that would be used for discussion and collaboration activities throughout the semester. However, as previously mentioned, I was unable to attend the tutorial and therefore I have not yet been admitted into a group. Further, students were instructed to develop their own definitions of motivation and emotion. My definitions will be explored in a later section. Students were then asked to share and discuss their definitions with their group members and develop a group definition of both motivation and emotion. These definitions were then discussed as a class. I think this was an important and invaluable task to complete as I believe that if we develop our own definitions of motivation and emotion we will gain a better understanding of both the topics. Individuals were then asked to express their personal interests in motivation and emotion. Again, my responses will be discussed in a later section. Moreover, students were instructed to discuss textbook structures and learning features. I am regretful that I missed this section as I believe that this discussion would have helped me to develop innovative ways to develop my textbook structure. Further, students were asked to participate in a Wikipedia editing question and answer discussion. Again, I am regretful that I missed this discussion as I believe it would have been beneficial to help understand the processes involved in developing a wiki page. As a result of missing this discussion, and having never developed a Wikipedia page previously, I remain concerned about how I will complete this assessment item. Overall though, I believe that this tutorial session required a lot of student to student interaction. I believe that this is beneficial as it allows student the opportunity to form relationships with one another. Through these relationships, people can explore the unit together and gain important support systems that can be need to complete the unit’s requirements. Further, I believe that by having the opportunity to form relationships with other students, students will maintain a higher level of motivation throughout the unit. I say this from the previous tutorial sessions I have experienced that did not include any interaction among students. Rather, students were practically required to remain silent for the tutorial session whilst either completing the required work or listening to the tutor. I found that during such tutorials majority of the students experienced a significant decrease in their motivation. Moreover, I found that I was one of these students and as a result, I was not motivated to complete the course requirements to the best of my ability which significantly impacted on the results I obtained for the unit.

My Results.


How long have you been at UC?

I have been enrolled as an undergraduate student at the University of Canberra for the past 3 years studying a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree.

What is your favourite fast food?

My favourite fast food would have to be the cheeseburger pizza that is available at dominos pizza!

Who did I vote for?

I choose not to comment on this question as I believe that it was inappropriate.

How have you been feeling (emotionally) today?

I must admit that I feel terrible! I have been feeling upset today. However, I believe this is a result of the symptoms I am feeling from having the common cold and I expect that I return to being happy again once the symptoms are no longer present.

Define motivation and emotion.

Motivation- Motivation is the needs, cognitions, emotions, and external events that give behaviour energy and direction.

Emotion- Emotions are our experiences in regard to our feelings, physiological preparedness, desired functions, and expressions.


What areas of motivation and emotion are you most interested about?

To be honest, at this time I could not state that there is a particular area of motivation or emotion that has interested me. However, I am finding that the material that has been covered in this unit to date is relatively interesting which helps me to stay motivated to learn the content.

What is your textbook chapter topic? I have chosen to do emotional expression as my textbook chapter topic.

Additional Questions.

What are the main motivators/motivations in your life?

I believe that I am my main motivation. I have set my own aims and goals in life and I know the person I want to become and what I want to achieve in my life. I regularly reflect on these goals and what I value in life and I believe that this is what motivates me in life. However, I can also say that my friends and family help to motivate me. Without my friends and family I would not have anyone to share my accomplishments with and I would therefore not be motivated to achieve such accomplishments.

What are the main emotions in your life?

I believe that I am often overwhelmed by the occurring events (such as university) in my life so I often feel anxious. However, when I have stayed focus on everything I need achieve or I know that I have no tasks to complete I am generally a happy and relaxed individual.

What are your personal goals for this unit?

My first goal for this unit would be to receive a passing grade to allow me to complete my degree in Psychology. However, I also would like to gain more knowledge about motivation and emotion and further my skills through the assessment items. I believe that completing these goals will benefit me in any employment positions I have in the future and make me a more self aware individual. Now that I have completed the questions for this week’s tutorials I feel confident that I have not missed out on as much as I could have. After answering these questions I have become more self aware which I believe will help me successfully complete this unit. I now have a better understanding of my motivations in life and I am more aware of the emotional responses I have to environmental stimuli.

Week Four, 6th September- 10th September[edit]

Lecture- Psychological and Social Needs.

8th September 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


No tutorial for this week.


Chapter Six, Psychological Needs.

Chapter Seven, Social Needs.

This week I did not have a tutorial which allowed me more time to work on my textbook chapter outline. As previously discussed I have decided that I will do emotion expression and, as requested on our Moodle website, indicated my interest in this topic to the unit convenor, James, at the beginning of this week. Further, my request was accepted. However, now that I have committed myself to this topic I am finding it difficult to find the relevant material on emotional expression that I require. As a result, I am once again feeling overwhelmed by this assessment item. However, I am hoping to discuss this issue with James in my next tutorial that will be held next week as we will be having small group discussions about our textbook chapter outline. I am also hoping that this will eliminate my negative feelings towards this assessment item and allow me to produce a high quality textbook chapter. In regard to this week’s lecture on psychological and social needs, I enjoyed learning about the social needs of an individual. Specifically, I found it interesting to learn that:

  • The social needs of an individual are acquired psychological processes that activate emotional responses to a particular need relevant incentive.
  • Examples of an individual’s social needs can include: Achievement; Affiliation; Intimacy; and, Power.
  • Two main achievement goals are mastery and performance goals.
  • Mastery goals are an individual’s desire to: develop their competencies; make progress; improve the self; and, overcome any difficulties with effort and persistence.
  • Performance goals are an individual’s desire to: prove one’s competencies; Display high ability; outperform other individuals; and, succeed with little apparent difficulties.

In regard to achievement goals, this lecture made me reflect on the type of goals that I set for myself. Upon this reflection, I discovered that I more commonly set performance goals. By recognising this, I have discovered that I am limiting myself by only setting performance goals and if I was to also set mastery goals I believe that I would be able to better develop my competencies and produce higher quality work. Therefore, I am going to try and adopt more mastery goals.

Week Five, 13th September- 17th September[edit]

Lecture- Intrinsic-Extrinsic Motivation and Goal-Setting.

15th September 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


16th September 2010, 18:30- 20:30,

Room 02A12.

Readings- Reeve

Chapter Five, Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations.

Chapter Eight, Goal Setting and Goal Striving.

I thoroughly enjoyed this week’s tutorial. To elaborate, firstly, we received an introduction of around ten minutes that involved the explanation and discussion of ‘What are needs?’ and also a suggestion of how these needs can be organised. This involved a review of the work that was conducted by Maslow (1943, 1987). Moreover, this revelled that Maslow suggested that individuals have a ‘Hierarchy of needs’. To elaborate, the ‘hierarchy model of needs’ conveys three themes about the nature of human needs. Firstly, as outlined by Reeve (2009), is the suggested theme that needs will be arranged in this hierarchy according to the potency or strength and the lower the need appears in the hierarchy, the stronger and more urgently it is felt by an individual. Secondly, is the suggested theme that the lower a need appears on the hierarchy, the sooner it will appear in an individual’s development (Reeve, 2009). As a result, it is suggested that younger individual can only experience the first few levels in the hierarchy model of needs, while older individual are more likely to have the capacity to experience the full range of needs outlined in the model (Reeve, 2009). Lastly, it is suggested that an individual can only sequentially experience the needs outlined in the model. That is, from lowest to highest (Reeve, 2009). Moreover, there are five suggested needs (Reeve, 2009). The lowest need outlines in the model is Psychological Needs. The second is Safety and Security Needs. This is followed by Love and Belonging Needs. Additionally, there are Esteem needs, and lastly is Self-Actualization Needs (Reeve, 2009).

During the tutorial we also discussed the motivated and emotional brain. Firstly this involved a class discussion on the brain structures involved in motivation and emotion. During this section, students were provided with a handout that presented a diagram of the brain and demonstrated the anatomic position of key brain structures involved in motivation and emotion. Additionally, we were required to identify additional specific neural structures and their motivational function. These specific neural structures were the: Reticular formation; Medial Forebrain bundle; Hypothalamus; Amygdala; Septal area; Hippocampus; and, Cerebral cortex. To reflect, I found this exercise particularly interesting and invaluable as it increased my knowledge through provided informative information about the various brain structures involved in motivation and emotion. Moreover, this activity also helped me to recognise that the importance of consistent study as I was not able to explain all of the neural bases that were presented. As a result, I will attempt to insure that I consistently review the unit’s content to allow for greater understanding and an increased ability to recollect.

Additionally, we were required to identify the motivational role of several key hormones. That is, Dopamine, Seratonin, Norepinephrine, Endorphin, Cortisol, Testostrone, and Oxytocin.

Moreover, the psychological and social needs of an individual was also reviewed and further discussed. I found these discussions particularly useful as again they insures the understanding of the content that is covered in throughout the unit.

Further to this, the unit convenor, James, allocated fifteen minutes of the tutorial to our first assessment item, the textbook chapter. This was invaluable as I was able to discuss my textbook chapter outline with other students and collaborate to develop additional ideas. I was also able to discuss my concerns about the assessment items with James and I am now feeling confident again that I can complete this task. Further, I found that by having the opportunity to discuss our textbook chapter outline ideas with one another we were able to receive constructive criticism that will help in our attempt to complete our textbook chapter assessment item. I was also able to brainstorm some ideas about gathering information with my group and now feel confident that I can find more information about my topic with the additional sources I was given. Moreover, as I was able to explore different ideas about my textbook chapter and now have a rough outline as to what I want to do, I will now start to review my research and search for further information regarding emotional expression.

Week Six, 20th september – 24th september[edit]

Lecture- Personal Control Beliefs and The Self and its Strivings.

22nd September 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


No tutorial for this week.

Readings- Reeve

Chapter Nine, Personal Control Beliefs.

Chapter Ten, The Self and its Strivings.

This week’s lecture explored personal control beliefs and the self and its strivings. I noticed this week that the unit convenor, James, did not provide a reflection of last week’s lecture. I was slightly disappointed in this as I find that James always reviews previous lectures well and it provides me with the opportunity to further reflect on the previous week’s contents. I find this important as I believe it allows me to gain a better understanding of the content. However, in regard to this week’s lecture, I still had several enjoyable learning experiences during this week’s lecture that I wish to explore and reflect upon. To elaborate, during this week’s lecture I found it particularly interesting in expanding my knowledge the many ways of coping that individuals commonly employ. To summarise, it was stated that there are seven main approaches to coping that an individual can employ in an attempt to cope in a given situation. Firstly, it was stated that individuals can employ an approach versus avoidance approach. It is suggested that this approach to copying involves either an individual taking action by moving toward and interacting with the problem or walking away from the problem (Reeve, 2009). Secondly, it was suggested that individuals can employ a social versus solitary approach to coping. That is, individuals can choose to either take action with a group of people, or take action independent and alone (Reeve, 2009). Thirdly, it is suggested that individuals can employ a proactive versus reactive approach. To elaborate, individuals can choose to take action to prevent the problem from occurring, or they can take action after the problem has occurred (Reeve, 2009). A direct versus indirect approach is also explored. That is, an individual taking action themselves, versus an individual enlisting the help of another individual who takes the direct action (Reeve, 2009). Additionally, it is suggested that individuals can take a control versus escape approach by which they either take charge of the situation or they avoid the situation (Reeve, 2009). Moreover, individuals can either take action to change the problem or take action to change oneself which can be regarded as the alloplastic versus autoplastic approach to coping (Reeve, 2009). Lastly, it is suggested that individuals can adopt a problem focused versus emotion focused approach to coping by which they either take action in an attempt to manage the problem that is causing stress, or regulate their emotional response to the problem (Reeve, 2009). Moreover, I enjoyed learning about these different ways that individuals can cope as it provided me the opportunity to reflect on how I commonly cope with situations. Upon this reflection, I concluded that I commonly take a proactive or an escape approach in an attempt to cope in a given situation. Further, I believe that it is usually effective when I take a proactive approach toward a situation. However, I believe that trying to use the escape approach in many situations is a weakness of mine. I believe that alternative coping methods would be much more effective. As I have become aware of this I will now attempt to employ what I consider more beneficial ways to coping. This will hopefully insure that minimal stress is experienced and positive outcomes are achieved.

Moreover, I also enjoyed learning about self constructs. To elaborate, as outlined by James in this weeks lecture Self-esteem refers to an individual’s general feeling s of self-worth or self-value. Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief about their ability to perform specific tasks. Self-confidence refers to an individual’s belief in their own personal wealth and likelihood of succeeding. Self-confidence is a combination of self-esteem and general self-efficacy. Lastly, Self-concept is the nature and organisation of beliefs about one’s self. Further, our self schema is a combination of all these self concepts. Having reviewed and reflected on this information, I have now acknowledged that should try to improve my own self-constructs so that I can benefit from a well-developed self-schema. That is, having the ability to process information about the self with relative ease, quickly retrieve self-related behavioural evidence from the domain, confidently predict my own future behaviour in the domain and resist counter-schematic information about myself. It is suggested that this will also help me to behave in a way that confirms my self-view, and prevent episodes that might disconfirm this self-view.

Further, as I did not have a tutorial this week, I was able to use my spare time to review the research that I had collected in regard to emotional expression. However, even with additional sources, I have become slightly concerned again that I have not been able to access enough relevant information on the topic which could negatively impact my work. However, rather than waste time until I can discuss this with James during my next tutorial, I have decided that I will start to develop an initial draft of my textbook chapter. I can then summarise my work and take it to next week’s tutorial and discuss my concerns with James.

Week Seven, 27th September - 1st October[edit]

Lecture- No lecture this week.


30th September 2010, 18:30- 20:30,

Room 02A12.

Reading- No readings for this week.

As there was no lecture or readings this week I was able to spend time reviewing the content of preliminary weeks. Also, i was able to work on my textbook chapter draft so I could take it to this week’s tutorial and discuss it with James.

This tutorial was the third tutorial for the motivation and emotion unit of study. Further, James stated that this would be the last tutorial that reviewed the topic motivation as the next three tutorials would explore emotion. This was explained to the tutorial group members at the beginning of the lesson. Moreover, it was also explained that this tutorial would focus more specifically on some applied aspects of motivation rather than the previous tutorial which was more of a summary of the lecture and readings. Further, students received an overview of what this lesson would consist of.

Once the introduction to the lesson was complete, students were instructed to move into the discussion groups they had formed in the first tutorial session. Within these groups, we were then instructed to discuss what we believed our motivations were in regard to attending university. Further, the purpose of this section was related more broadly to intrinsic-extrinsic motivation. My group identified several motivating factors. Firstly, it was suggested that many university students are motivated by financial opportunities that a degree commonly provides. I believe that this is a significant motivator for many students and will admit that it is one of the most significant motivators for me. To elaborate, I believe that attending university to obtain a degree has significant financial costs in itself. Students have the responsibility of paying the enrolling fee of each unit, purchase any materials required in each unit and support there day to day living expenses. This all has a significant impact on an individual’s finances. As a result, I do not believe that the majority of individuals would voluntarily expose themselves to these financial difficulties if they were not going to receive financial compensation on the completion of their degree. Secondly, it was suggested that students can be motivated by close family members and friends. I also find myself supporting this suggestion as do I find myself significantly motivated by my relatives and friends. To elaborate, I believe that individuals can experience a significant amount of pressure, particularly from the relatives, to achieve higher educational status. This can be for several reasons. For example, I have found that many families that are financially unstable often require a relative to receive a higher education in an attempt to gain the financial stability the family requires. Alternatively, I find that relatives can place significant pressure on an individual to engage in higher education because they believe that they have the potential to succeed in that area. Lastly, I would suggest that many relatives simply pressure individuals into receiving higher education’s because they did not have the opportunity to. Lastly, it was suggested that studying at university provided students with a vast range of social opportunities that are available to students. According to this suggestion, students will become motivated to complete a university degree as it allows them to participate in these social opportunities.

Moreover, once all groups had time to brainstorm their own motivations we were asked to return to one group again to engage in a class discussion focused on our suggestions. A class brainstorm that summarised everyone’s suggestion was also completed and recorded on the board. As a result of this, it was concluded that there are six primary motivations as to why students enrol in university. The first suggestion that was made was that students were motivated to attend university due to rejection of alternatives. For example, students were motivated because of the lack of opportunities available for them to participate in fulltime work, and the lack of any other alternatives available to them. Secondly, it was suggested that the career/qualification opportunities gained through a degree is a significant motivator for students. That is, individuals are motivated by the opportunity to achieve qualifications that will advance them in their career. Thirdly, it was suggested that individuals are motivated by idea of self development. As an example, it was suggested that students are motivated to attend university in an attempt to achieve personal growth and also through curiosity. Moreover, it was suggested that individuals are motivated by the social pressures that exist in their life. Most commonly these social pressures were explained as a relative or family member, however peers also was suggested that individuals that were regarding as close friends could also be included. As previously discussed, the class also suggested that individuals were motivated by the social opportunities that are made available through studying at university. For example, the opportunities to form new close friendships, the opportunities to join social groups within the university community and to participate in the range of activities that are run throughout the university. Lastly, it was suggested that people are motivated by Altruism. That is, they are motivated to complete their studies in an attempt to better contribute to the community. After this, we were instructed to complete two short questionnaires, university student motivation and University student outcomes.

The university student motivation questionnaire listed several motivations for studying at university. Individuals were then asked to rate the extent to which each motivation was accurate for them using an 8-point scale and circling the best response. Secondly, students were asked to complete the university student outcomes survey and again were asked to indicate the level to which each statement was correct for them using an 8-point scale. Results of both of these questionnaires were then plotted on a chart given to each student. This allowed student to identify what motivators, if any, were more prominent for you compared to the average and what motivations, if any, are less prominent for you compared to average? I found these exercise particularly interesting and was able to indentify that I am more prominently motivated by altruism and social pressure, and less by career and qualification, self-exploration, and social opportunities. I also discovered that satisfaction in students occurs when there is a match between motivations and outcomes. Further, if there is a mismatch between an individual’s motivations and outcomes they are likely to be dissatisfied with their university experiences which will commonly cause a drop out. Through this exercise I also learned that our motivations can be multiple and complex and that the match between our motivations and outcomes is theorised to predict satisfaction levels and satisfaction levels are theorised to predict our likelihood to continue.

The next section of the tutorial discussed learned optimism and was related to the personal control textbook and lecture topic. However, rather than focusing on learned helplessness as did the lecture and textbook chapter, this section was aimed to focus on learned optimism. Firstly, James further explored the definitions of learned helplessness and learned optimism. Once this had been completed, students were instructed to complete and score the learned optimism test, developed by Seligman, 1991 in an attempt to measure the pessimistic and optimistic levels of individuals. I believe that some of the questions asked in this test were hard to respond to due to the forced choice method the test had employed. Further, I also did not score my results properly as I found the instructions very confusing. As a result, I do not think that this learning experience was as valuable as it could have been.

Further, we also further discussed the self. That is, we brainstormed, discussed and distinguished the difference between self-constructs, including self-esteem, self-concept, self-worth and self-efficacy. Again I found this section of the tutorial interesting as I enjoyed the content. It also clarified any misunderstandings I had.

Lastly, James allocated time to discuss any textbook related topics. This was useful as it provided the opportunity to ask any questions and raise any concerns. I found that a common concern amongst the students was the Wikipedia technology involved in completing the assessment item. As previously discussed, this has been one of my greatest concerns regarding this assignment as I have never been involved in the production of a Wikipedia page and I commonly find myself failing at any similar projects I have attempted. However, James did state that it was more about the content that was in the textbook chapter rather than the presentation of it. Although this is somewhat settling, I still find myself concerned about this. I believe that this has also created a significant amount of addition stress for students which I believe could negatively impact their work.

Week Eight, 4th October - 8th October.[edit]

Mid-Semester Break

This week was the university’s mid semester break which means that there were no lectures, tutorials, or readings for any of the classes. I found this time useful as it provided me with the time to work on the development of my textbook chapter. However, at the end of this week I had found that I had made relatively little progress due to the lack of information available regarding emotional expression and several other assessment items being due. Therefore, my stress levels regarding this assignment are increasing. I was also supposed to attempt to edit my e-portfolio page in an attempt to become more familiar with it but found that I had run out of time.

Week Nine, 11th October- 15th October[edit]

Lecture- Nature of Emotion.

13th October 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


No tutorial this week.

Readings- Reeve

Chapter Eleven- Nature of Emotion: Five Perennial Questions.

Chapter Twelve- Aspects of Emotion.

After having a break from lectures and tutorials last week, I feel more enthusiastic and motivated towards completing this unit. As stated previously, week six was the last week that we were going to review motivation and would therefore move on to emotion. Therefore, this week’s lecture was on the nature of emotion. I really enjoyed the change between the topics of motivation to emotion. Moreover, I specifically enjoyed learning about the basic emotions of an individual and the utility of these emotions. To elaborate, I learnt that the primary motions that an individual experiences consists of fear, anger, disgust, sadness, joy, and interest (Reeve, 2009). Further, these emotions act as coping functions and social functions (Reeve). Further, I enjoyed reading about the James-Lange theory to emotion. Particularly, I found it interesting that he suggested that our emotional experiences depend on our bodily responses (Reeve). That is, in other words, our bodily changes cause our emotional experiences. Further, the James-Lange Theory has two main assumptions. Firstly, it assumes that an individual’s body will react uniquely to different emotion-eliciting events (Reeve). Secondly, it assumes that an individual’s body will not react to nonemotion-eliciting events (Reeve). As suggested by Reeve, in an attempt to appreciate the James-Lange theory I reflected on my bodies physiological responses to several events. The main one that stood out for me was that, when I become startled, I commonly experience bodily physiological responses, such as screaming, elevated heart rate and widening of the eyes, before I become aware of what is happening. However, even though I can reflect o my experiences to appreciate the James-Lange theory, I also find myself supporting some of the criticisms that were made in regard to the theory. Particularly, I find myself supporting the idea that bodily functions could be a part of the body’s general mobilizing fight-or-flight response (Cannon, 1929; Mandler, 1975; Schachter, 1964, cited in Reeve).

This week I also worked on my textbook chapter. Surprisingly, I actually feel as though I am making progress as I have been able to complete several sections of the chapter. In an attempt to insure that I allocate enough time to this assessment item I have also devised up a weekly plan of what I want to have completed on the assignment.

Week Ten, 18th October- 22nd October[edit]

Lecture- Aspects of Emotion.

20th October 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


21st October 18:30- 20:30,

Room 02A12.

Reading, Reeve

Chapter Twelve- Aspects of Emotion.

This week’s lecture and tutorial discussed the different aspects of emotion. As usual, to begin this week’s tutorial, James provided the class with an overview of the tutorial session. Once this was completed, the class was instructed to divide into two groups. Other tutorials had three to four groups but due to a low class attendance our tutorial group only had enough participants to divide into two groups. Further, once the class had been divided into two groups each group received a hand-out containing a list of specific emotions. Once the groups received these lists they were instructed to cut up each emotion word in the list and conduct an emotion Q sort. That is, sort, discuss, and agree on an organised model of the emotion and place each emotion word into an underlying cluster. Once this was completed groups were instructed to share and discuss their model with the rest of the class. Photographs were also taken of each of the models and uploaded onto the internet by the unit convenor, James. The next class activity was completing and scoring the 20-item Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Once all class members had completed and scored their PANAS a class discussion took place that compared our results with other undergraduate norms , and explored forms and psychometrics.

Moreover, James had also allocated time to discuss Wikipedia. During this time, individuals were encouraged to ask any questions they had regarding the development of their textbook chapter Wikipedia page. Further, James also explained how to embed images, upload images, create coloured boxes, include quizzes, and correctly reference sources. I found this information particularly invaluable as I had no knowledge of how to complete these tasks. As a result, I now feel confident that I can perform these tasks correctly.

Week Eleven, 25th October- 29th October[edit]

Lecture- Personality and Emotion.

27th October 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


No tutorial this week.

Reading, Reeve

Chapter Thirteen- Personality Characteristics.

This week I was ill so was unable to attend the lecture. Further, I have not yet had the time to view the lecture online so I am unable to comment on it. However, I have quickly reviewed the lecture notes. Moreover, I was able to complete the assigned reading for this week. That is, personality characteristics. This chapter in the text book examined individual differences in happiness, arousal, and control. To elaborate, the first section of the chapter discussed happiness and extraversion and neuroticism. When reading this section, I found it particularly interesting to read about the suggestion that extraverts are generally happy and neurotics are generally unhappy (Reeve, 2009). Reflecting on my own previous experiences, I have found that many of the extraverted individuals that I know do appear to be happier than the neurotic individuals I know. Therefore, I do believe that this suggestion does have some truth behind it. However, again reflecting on my experiences, I have commonly found that the extraverted individuals who are consistently perceived by other individuals as happy can end up being the unhappiest of individuals. For example, a good friend that I attended school with was considered by many as an extraverted individual who always appeared to be happy and enthusiastic on every occasion. He had a great passion for life and consistently told people that you have only one life so make the most of it. However, sadly this friend took his life last year. During this time, I often heard people discussing their confusion as to why he had done such a thing when he was always such an outgoing and happy individual. To this, many replied that it is always the extraverted individuals that you have to watch. Further, in my experiences I have always found that neurotics may appear to be unhappy, but they express they tend to express their emotions more than extraverted individuals may. Perhaps, it could be suggested that extraverted individuals can be regarded as happier, but they do not express their emotions well and tend to employ less effective coping methods during times of stress. With this in mind, it would be interesting to further review literature discussing the suggestion that extraverted individuals are generally happier than neurotic individuals. Moreover, it would be interesting to discover whether or not this suggestion is not as supported as some may think, due to the reasons I have previously discussed, or if in fact extraverted individuals are generally happier but find it difficult to express their emotions as well as neurotic individuals can do which can have significant negative implications.

Moreover, the second section of this chapter reviewed the topic of arousal. To elaborate, this section discussed: Performance and emotion; Insufficient stimulation and underarousal; Excessive stimulation and overarousal; The credibility of the inverted-U hypothesis; sensation seeking, including an individual’s search for new experiences, risk taking, and biological basis; and, affect intensity. Although I found all of these topics interesting to explore, I found myself particularly interested in learning about excessive stimulation and overarousal. To elaborate, I discovered that overstimulating, stressful environments can disrupt and individuals emotional state which can cause impairment in the individual’s cognitive ability (Reeve, 2009). Further, this emotional disruption is also believe to cause feelings of anxiety, irritability, and anger (Horowitz, Wilner, Kaltreider, & Alvarez, 1980 cited in Reeve). Moreover, the cognitive disruption mentioned is also believed to cause as individual to experience confusion, forgetfulness, and impaired concentration (Broadbent, Cooper, Fitzgerald, & Parkes, 1982, cited in Reeve). Further to this, I am under the impression that I am particularly interested in this section as many of my current emotions and experiences are similar to these that are mention. I think this is because all of the due dates for my assessment items are coming up, so I am beginning to become stressed. Moreover, it seems that no matter how many hours I spend on these assessment items, I do not make any progress as I always lose my concentration and become confused. As suggested previously, I then become irritable, angry and anxious.

Moreover, the last section of this chapter discussed control. To elaborate, this section discussed: Perceived control, including self-confirming cycles of high and low engagement; and, Desire for control, including establishing control and losing control. Although I enjoyed reading this section, I didn’t find any of the information notably interesting. However, I think this may be a result of my decreased motivation levels.

Week Twelve, 1st November- 5th November[edit]

Lecture- Unconscious Motivation.

3rd november 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


4th November 18:30- 20:30,

Room 02A12.

Reading, Reeve

Chapter Fourteen- Unconscious Motivation.

This week’s required reading discussed the topic unconscious motivation. To elaborate, it discussed: The psychodynamic perspective; the unconscious; Psychodynamics; Ego psychology, Object relations theory; and, Criticisms. In regard to the first section, psychodynamic perspective, I particularly enjoyed learning about the dual instinct theory, in particular the two suggested instincts- Eros and Thanatos. To elaborate, I discovered that Frued (1920, 1927, cited in Reeve, 2009) suggested that individuals have two general instincts. That is, instincts for life, and instincts for death. Focusing on Eros- the instincts for life- Frued suggested that Eros instincts maintain life and insures individual and collective survival occurs. For example, instincts for food, water and sleep, which insure individual survival, through to instincts for sex nurturance and affiliation, which are said to insure collective survival (Reeve). Moreover, Thanatos- the instincts for death- are suggested to be instincts that push an individual to rest, become inactive, and conserve energy (Reeve). Further, it is suggested that these instinctual drives provide the energy to motivate an individual’s behaviour (Reeve). The second section of this chapter focused on the unconscious. Having already learnt a lot about the unconscious mind through the completion of previous units, I did not find that I was particularly interested in this section. Moreover, a section of this chapter also focused on ego psychology which include information on defence mechanisms. I found it particularly interesting reading the definitions and example of each defence mechanism Reeve (2009) provided readers. Further, whilst reading this I began to reflect on occasions when I employed each of these defence mechanisms. However, I will only report several of these examples. These examples are listed below.

  • Denial. Upon reflection, I discovered that I have used denial on many occasions. For example, I often find that I put a lot of time and energy into cleaning or maintaining my house when I am experiencing difficulties in my personal relationships.
  • Fantasy. Having struggled financially for the past three years while I have been studying full-time at university, I particularly find that I frequently fantasise about being exceptionally productive in my area of work resulting in significant financial gain. With this financial stability, I am able to purchase all the items that I have dreamt about owning and also invest a significant amount of money for even more financial gain. If only!!!!
  • Projection. I believe that this would be one of the main defence mechanisms I use especially when it comes to my university work. I often find that when I become anxious and frustrated with my university work I will often project this onto someone, or something else. Moreover, I often find that I employ this defence mechanism a lot outside of university. For example, if there is a lot of work to be done around the house and it is not completed in time, I will often project my frustration out on my partner, basically stating that it is his fault and if he was more organised then it would have been completed. As a result of my excessive use of projection, I believe that it would probably be a good idea if I tried to employ different defence mechanisms, especially for the sake of my partner!

Moreover, as mentioned at the beginning, there were several other sections in this chapter that I reviewed. However, I decided not to report these sections.

In regard to the tutorial for this week, I was unable to attend due to unforseen work issues. Further, I was unable to find any tutorial notes. As a result, I do not know what I missed and was unable to complete any of the tasks by myself. Moreover, I was particularly disappointed that tutorial notes were not placed up on our moodle website (unless they were and I haven’t been able to locate them) as I find it beneficial to review these notes after the tutorials to reflect upon. Further, in this particularly situation it would have been useful so I was aware of what occurred during the tutorial and could attempt to complete some of the tasks to insure I missed out on as little as possible.

Week Thirteen, 8th November- 12th November[edit]

Lecture- Growth Motivation and Positive Psychology.

10th Novemeber 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


No tutorial this week.

Reading, Reeve

Chapter Fifteen- Growth Motivation and Positive Psychology.

I found that this week’s allocated reading chapter include quite a lot of topics regarding to growth motivation and positive psychology. Further, I read this chapter before I attended the lecture so I was unsure of what to expect out of it. Moreover, once I completed reading the chapter, I found that majority of the information I had already learnt through previous psychology units I have completed. Furthermore, I have already reviewed literature regarding the humanistic assumption that ‘human nature is inherently good’. However, I still did find it interesting to review the section entitles ‘The problem of evil’. In particular, I find it interesting to review the literature that explores the humanistic attempts to explain the evil behaviours of certain individuals such as rapists and murders. As suggested by Rogers (1982, cited in Reeve, 2009) it is believed that if caretakers provided individuals with the nurturance and acceptance that they required whilst establishing a genuine connectedness with those they cared for, then individuals would inevitably chose good behaviours over evil behaviours. To reflect on this suggestion, I do believe that in most situations every individual is born good and it is environmental factors that influence individuals to engage in evil behaviours. Moreover, I favour this suggestion because I believe that no sane person would commit a crime such as rape or murder. Rather, I believe that environmental factors occur that can cause an individual to experience impairments in their psychological functioning that will then influence them to engage in these behaviours. Alternatively, individuals could be forced by environmental factors to engage in these behaviours. For example, I believe that if someone was forced to choose between their life and an evil act, such as murder, most individuals would engage in the evil act to insure their survival.

Moving along, our textbook chapter was due at the beginning of this week and I’m not too sure how I should feel about mine. I found that I ran out of time to complete the things that I wanted to do and as a result, my textbook chapter wasn’t of the quality I wanted it to be. Mostly, this was because I could not work out the technological side to Wikipedia. Further, I would have preferred the textbook chapter to have been due earlier so that we could have received some feedback on our work before we had to complete our other assessment items. I believe this would have been beneficial as students would have been aware of the improvements they could have made to their Wikipedia pages. As a result, I believe that we could have then improved our future assessment items. However, I am relieved that the first assessment item is over and that there is only two more left.

Week Fourteen, 15th November- 19th November[edit]

Lecture: Conclusion and Review.

17th November 2010, 12:30- 14:30,

Room 12B02.


18th November 18:30- 20:30,

Room 02A12.

Reading, Reeve

Chapter Sixteen- Conclusion.

This week’s lecture focused on the conclusion of motivation and emotion. Further, James also included a review of the unit’s objectives and generic skills. Further, James also discussed the opportunity for students to provide feedback on the unit. I think this is particularly important as this feedback can be used to improve future units. It also provides convenors with some constructive criticism that can help them to become more effective teachers.

In regard to tutorials, I also missed this week’s lecture as I had other commitments. Further, and similar to the last tutorial, I was unable to find any tutorial notes so I am unsure on what I missed out on in this tutorial. Again, I think it would have been beneficial to review the tutorials so I had the opportunity to complete the tasks in my own time. This would have insured that I missed out on as little as possible and would have also helped me to understand the contents of this unit.

In regard to the assessment items for this unit, our multimedia presentation was due at the beginning of this week. I was rather concerned about this assessment item as I found it to be relatively simple for an assessment item that was worth 30% of our overall marks for this unit. However, I discussed my concerns with several other individuals enrolled in motivation and emotion and discovered that they all had the same concerns. This made me feel a little bit better. Further, I completed the multimedia presentation but I am not confident that it was interesting for viewers. However, as I have explained previously, I am not technologically savvy and do not have a lot of knowledge about power point presentations so had to keep mine relatively simple. Further, I did experience some difficulties trying to upload my presentation into a public domain. However, I was eventually successful.

Final Reflection[edit]

Overall, I have enjoyed this unit, Motivation and Emotion. Although I found the assessment items difficult to complete, I was able to further develop my skills which will be benificial in the future. Moreover, I learnt alot of invaluable information, not only about motivation and emotion, but also about me as a person. In particular, this e-portfolio gave me the opportunity to reflect on my previous experience and gain an insight into my own motivations and emotions. I was pleasantly suprised by some of these insights too! However, I was also able to acknowledge some of my weaknesses in my motivational and emotional experiences. Moreover, through these acknowledgement I am now able to further develop as an individual.