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


Week 1: Introduction[edit]

The concept of motivation has developed around two questions

1. What causes behaviour
2. Why does it vary

I had never thought about motivation in such intricate terms as those that were presented in lecture 1 and the text book. Motivation has both intrinsic and extrinsic forces that shape the amount exerted.

The concept of ‘will’ is quiet interesting also. It shows how greatly the theories of motivation have progressed. Will is a grand theory that stated that motivation found its basis in two camps

1. Good, Rational, Immaterial, and active
2. Primitive, Biological and reactive

Theories of motivation have now progressed to incorporate various physiological explanations, behavioural expression and theories that look at different aspects and expressions of motivation. The grand theories were eventually found to be of little help as they raised more questions then they answered. I find it interesting that a lot of original theories are found to be dead ends, however, they insight others into finding out the answers that uncover our psychological functions.

Week 2: Assessment Tasks and Skills[edit]

This lecture allowed us to look deeper into the concept that is motivation. Motivation can be thought of as

1. Processes that give behaviour energy and direction
2. Needs or desires that energise and direct behaviour

The difference between the motivated and emotional brain struck me as quiet interesting. A motivated brain asks the question ‘Do I want to do this’ and an emotional brain asks ‘What is my mood whilst doing this’. It seems that motivation and emotion are quiet closely linked and that one can influence the other. For example if student is in a motivated frame of mind to complete an assignment and then finds a component to difficult to complete. The emotion of frustration or helplessness may then alter their motivational state.

This lecture also explored in depth the physiological and biological aspects of motivation and the different brain centres that stimulate different emotions and motivations. This is interesting as tables and diagrams showed parts of the brain that activate pleasure and different emotional tendencies. This demonstrates how far things have come since the modest beginnings of theories that aimed to explain motivation and emotion. Theories and biological aspects have been refined to pin point exactly what triggers cause motivational states and emotions.

Week 3: Brain and Physiological Needs[edit]

Neurotransmitters were an aspect of this lecture that I have really found interesting. The 4 motivationally relevant neurotransmitter pathways are:

1. Dopamine = Generates good feelings associated with reward
2. Serotonin = influences mood and emotion
3. Norepinephrine = regulates arousal and alertness
4. Endorphin = Inhibits pain, anxiety and fear by generating good feelings to counter negative feelings

Needs were also explored. Needs are any condition within an organism that is essential and necessary for life, growth, and well-being. Needs are described as the way we know if we need to act to ensure the physiological well being. When needs are satisfied and nurtured well being flourishes. When needs are neglected or wanting they may damage you biologically or psychologically. Maslow theorised that needs could be organised into a hierarchy of those that are essential to satisfy and those that are less important. Needs have also been established and explained in regards to sex, thirst and hunger. Upon reading into these it is interesting to see how we are individually influenced by motivations and emotions that we are not even aware of and how they can be separated into processes

Week 3: Tutorial 1- Introduction[edit]

Today was the first tutorial for the Psychology subject Motivation and Emotion. This tutorial was quite interesting as I discovered more about what was to come in motivation and emotion. one of the more fascinating discoveries I found was when James outlined that all of our assessable items were to be completed on a website called ‘Wikiversity’ which I was not familiar with nor had ever used before, so it is going to be a unique experience.

To begin the tutorial we all engaged in a variety of Ice Breaker activities, which were useful for getting to know other students in the class. A range of different topics were covered during these activities from which we needed to answer yes or no or place ourselves into different categories. Once we had been through these activities James instructed us to form small groups of 4-5 people.

Our first task in our groups was to come up with a individual meaning of motivation. This proved to be a difficult task as I hadn’t really thought of it before. My meaning was: “the psychological force which compels individuals to complete tasks. After this we created a group meaning for motivation. The overall process for this was intriguing as it created a lot of discussion around what motivation actually was.

We then completed the exact same task for emotion within our small groups. Again this created lots of interesting discussion and different people’s ideals of what emotion is. Personally I found emotion to define as emotions are so broad and can be created in many different ways and scenarios.

After we had defined motivation and emotion respectively we started to talk about our assessment in our small groups. I was a little unclear of my topic though upon talking to James \during this tutorial I chose Adolescent emotions for my textbook chapter. During discussions held in my group i came up with a few broad questions and areas I wished to explore during my chapter which are as follows:

  • What is emotion?
  • How do we define adolescence?
  • How do adolescents react to different emotions?

Week 4: Psychological and Social Needs[edit]

This week’s lecture is on psychological needs. Self determination theory states that:

1. Individuals are inherently active
2. Person-environment dialectic

Person-environment dialectic states that there is a two way relationship between individuals and the environment and that one influences the other. This concept is one that seems to make a lot of sense even before you further examine the theory. I find that I am very much influences by my environment and that I have learnt to alter my environment in order to achieve set goals.

Self determination theory has 3 components that were examined in regards to controls and benefits. They include:

1. Autonomy – influences self direction and endorsement of an individual’s behaviour
2. Competence – The need to be effective in ones environment
3. Relatedness – The need to be socially and emotionally connected to others

When looking at these three aspects I find that for me the most important is the concept of relatedness. Psychologically it allows support, emotional attachments and relationship exchanges.

Week 5: I-E Motivation and Goal Setting[edit]

This week’s lecture was on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and goal setting. This week split the types of motivation and further refined our understanding.

Intrinsic motivation flows on from psychological needs satisfaction and incorporates autonomy, competence and relatedness. The greater a person’s intrinsic motivation the more determination they have on a task. Intrinsic motivation also influences creativity, learning in the form of flexible thinking, and optimal wellbeing.

Extrinsic motivation is an environmental reason to engage in something such as an incentive. This form of motivation can be refined into consequences, incentives and rewards.

I found the concept of rewards particularly interesting. It is obvious that both intrinsic and extrinsic have their place in motivation but it is interesting that one form can be undermined by another. Rewards are a subcomponent of extrinsic motivation that is aimed at establishing compliance. We are told that in learning reinforcement can establish a desired behavioural pattern and that rewards are items that can be utilised. This lecture states that although the intention of rewards is to develop compliance a secondary effect is that it can undermine intrinsic motivation and self regulation.

Week 5:Tutorial 2- Needs[edit]

During this week’s tutorial we spent some time talking about our textbook chapters. This was a very useful process as I got to share a brief plan with my group and gain some useful feedback to further shape the direction of my textbook chapter. I am now begging to feel more confident in my ability to create a useful and effective textbook chapter on adolescent emotion.

For the remainder of this tutorial we were able to move on to the week’s topic of needs. This was again structured in our small group setting form the previous weeks tutorial with which our first task was to define what needs are. This was a very broad definition as our group had a few interlinking ideas, though we also had a few ideas that were completely opposite to each other. Upon completing this task we focussed on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, which in itself was a very useful and thought related task. It was amazing to see just how closely these needs relate to our will to survive, live and have items of pleasure around us on a day to day setting.

The group’s discussions about this topic was very thought provoking as I found myself thinking of the needs that I am able to fill on a daily basis and those in which are being neglected. Whilst thinking deeply about my needs I discovered that I am constantly fulfilling my basic survival needs as well as love and belonging, though my social need is sometimes lacking. This was very interesting in itself as I then discovered that it is relatable to each individual in their everyday lives. Going further into this and thinking about it in relation to motivation and emotion I thought that it may be a worthwhile topic to explore for use in my textbook chapter.

Week 6: Personal Control and The Self[edit]

This week’s lecture is on personal control and the self.

The idea that individuals wish to control their environment is one that I completely agree with. In this lecture the example was used of the motivation of exercise. People exercise as they believe that by exerting this type of motivation they can favourably alter the results. I believe this may also have an impact on why some people continue to exercise and why others tend to become interested initially and then stop. Motivation when a goal is first established is generally high and good intentions are present. Some individuals can lose sight of a goal if results are not seen. People who cannot view the fruits of their labour within certain expected time fames may view the effort they expel as not worth the gains that they get back. This expectation of what will occur can severely affect behaviour.

Learned helplessness was another concept that aroused my interest as it overlaps with a learning subject I am taking. Learned helplessness is a psychological state that arises when an individual believes that they are unable to control or alter outcomes. This is a theory that has had various experiments conducted. The early experiments all encompassed the same ideal. Dogs were subjected to electric shocks while placed in different groups. The dogs were paired and the one in the control group could not do anything to stop the shock being administered, the shock would only stop when its conditioned partner learned how to activate the cessation device. As harsh as these early experiments sound they yielded quiet interesting results. When the cessation device was altered the dogs that originally learned the previous trick quickly adapted to the new condition. Those that were in the group that could not turn the shock off did not adapt at all. Instead they exerted no effort to stop their discomfort and waited for the shock to stop.

Week 7: Tutorial 3- Self & Goals[edit]

In the tutorial this week we discussed the topic of the motivation that surrounds students attending university. For me personally I found this topic to be of high interest as I have been at university for five year, as I switched degrees in 2009 into a degree which I had to start from scratch. Reasons for attending university can be either intrinsically motivated (internal forces) or extrinsically motivated (environmental factors). As a whole class group our discussions were based on the following reasons why people attend university:

  • Careers and qualifications; People complete university simply to get a better job or for the fact that they will have a degree.
  • Self-Exploration/ Learning: People go to university to learn about a certain subject that has personal interest to them.
  • Social Opportunities: People go to university simply for the social aspects, to meet new friends and form new relationships.
  • Altruism: People attend university to further develop themselves as people as well as wanting to ‘save the world’.
  • Social pressure: People attend university due to the pressures placed upon them by friends, family and society.
  • Rejection of alternatives: People attend university as they believe it is a better alternative than doing nothing or working..

The reasons why we attend university are very interesting and in some way you are able to place a part of yourself into each category. I believe that I would fall into most categories in some way though I am mainly focussed on altruism and career and qualifications as I already work full time whilst studying. After this discussion our focus then turned to more individual one as we took part in a Learned optimism test (Seligman 1991). Once i completed this test I had confirmed my suspicions and found that I was intrinsically motivated to complete university, which was a satisfying realisation.

Week 9: Nature of Emotion[edit]

Week 10: Aspects of Emotion[edit]

This week’s lecture was on aspects of emotion.

  • What is emotion?
  • What causes emotion?
  • How many types of emotion are there?
  • What are good emotions?
  • What is the difference between emotion and mood?

These questions I find quiet amusing. Not because I think that they are not worth asking but because people are so sure of what emotion and mood are. When you ask them to explain emotion and then the difference in mod they struggle. Their confident air is somewhat gone as they try to incorporate a range of different items into their definition and then ask the question ‘What do you think?’.

Emotion is made up of subjective, biological, purposive and social phenomena. I think that this type of explanation encompasses most aspects that can set off an emotional reaction. Emotions can be very subjective to environment or circumstance and they can also be to a biological change in hormones. Social situations are also a factor and you can often see examples of this in collective grieving after particularly bad event. Emotions also tend to be more specifically defined and short lived where as moods tend to be extending for greater periods of time and their parameters are somewhat ill defined.

Week 10: Tutorial 4- Emotion[edit]

Before entering this tutorial I was a little curious as to what aspects of emotion we would be exploring, as I do not widely talk about emotions. It is my personal belief that upon looking at a person’s facial expressions, it becomes obvious what emotion that they are feeling at that time due to the surroundings they are in (for example you see a child crying in the shopping centre, this could be due to them not being able to have what they wanted). As a result of this I found the emotional Q-sort activity very interesting.

This activity outlined many emotions that I previously had not thought of as emotions. The process was carried out in reference to the six emotions as outlined in Reeve (2009) which were: joy, sadness, interest, fear, anger and disgust. Whilst completing this activity our group found that a lot of the definitions seemed to fall under more than one category. As result of this we placed definitions that fell into more than one category in their own subsection.

After this activity we then focussed on and engaged in a PANAS (Positive and Negative Affect Schedule). This was a very interesting text as it showed similarities to other personality tests that I have previously been involved with. Once completed I found it quiet interesting how positive and negative emotions can be interpreted by humans and other species. James then went through a short session on how to use images in Wikiversity and the overall layout of Wikiversity. This has helped me understand a bit more about Wikiversity and will hopefully come in handy for my textbook chapter.

Week 11: Personality, Motivation & Emotion[edit]

This week’s lecture was on Personality, Motivation and emotion

The personality type of introverts and extraverts has always interested me. I am from a family of extraverts and when together we can be quiet an overwhelming bunch. Extraverts are described as being sociable with a preference for enjoyment and social situations. They are also thought of to be assertive and socially dominant. Finally they have a tendency to seek out enjoyable situations. It has been suggested that introverts are happier then introverts as they can express the emotion of happiness with ease.

When you consider this definition it makes a lot of sense. If a person is more willing to seek out situations where fun occurs then they are more likely to be exposed to situations that cause happiness. I find it particularly interesting that 2 people in the same situation can have 2 completely different emotional reactions.

Week 12: Unconscious Motivation[edit]

This week’s lecture was on unconscious motivation.

The unconscious is something that arises throughout each psychology course and one that is always interesting. Freud’s explanation of the unconscious is perhaps the most interesting, as for me were most of his theories. Freud theorised that dreams were an outlet for the tensions that individuals encountered in their day to day lives. Dreams were a way in which an individual can access their unconscious core and explore their wishes. Dreams were thought to be a challenge to the ego so they instead of being expressed in an obvious way they were expressed as latent and symbolic.

Freud further theorised that individuals have a personality structure consisting of an ID, ego and superego. The motivations of the ID are located in the unconscious and are impulsive and pleasure orientation. The motivations of the ego are partly located in both conscious and unconscious but are surrounded by the ideal of delayed gratification and self preservation. It is these 2 personality structures that are in a struggle to express and remember information and desires.

Week 12: Tutorial 5- Personality[edit]

This tutorial was one of the most important and useful tutorials to me as James devoted a large quantity of time to helping us gain better insight into our textbook chapter and also ran through how to submit the textbook chapter with us. In my personal opinion using Wikiversity has been very difficult as I am very confident in Microsoft Word, yet these features are not shown in Wikiversity. Although in saying this I feel that my abilities to use an unfamiliar word processing tool have increased and I am slowly becoming more confident. I would like to gain further insight into how to use Wikiversity as I believe it could be a very useful tool not only for my current assessment items but also for the future. We also looked briefly at the multimedia assessment briefly, which was led mainly by James.

Once this discussion had finished we turned lour focus to some other interesting activities. We went through and completed a personality test which was focussed on the big five personality traits. And we finished the tutorial by looking at the four main factors of the sensation seeking scale (Zuckerman 1971):

  • Thrill and adventure seeking: the desire to engage in sport or other activities which involve physical danger such as scuba diving or bungee jumping.
  • Experience seeking: the desire to seek new found experiences in a nonconforming lifestyle with unconventional friends.
  • Disinhibition: the need to disinhibit behaviour in a social setting by engaging in activities such as drinking and partying.
  • Boredom and susceptibility: the aversion of participating in repetitive activities such as work.

This activity was very eye opening as I was able to try and select the characteristics that I show in activities that I ensue daily.

Week 13: Growth Psychology[edit]

This week’s lecture is on growth motivation and positive psychology

The problem of evil was the most interesting concept in this week’s lecture. I think that the statement that ‘People are inherently good’ is completely incorrect. People in this world, old and young, do terrible things to others. Nature vs nurture or any other argument cannot account for the things that some people do. I believe that people are good as that is what society has come to expect. We are bound be laws, norms and expectations and as such we exhibit expected behaviours. This is one perspective that is presented by the humanistic approach. That malevolency is something that people are born with and that due to our evolution we now see primitive acts of violence as evil.

Chapter 15 states how individuals descend into a malevolent personality and consists of situations in which a child is subjected into situations that are not ideal. I feel like this humanistic perspective ignores those people that commit acts of malevolence that have grown up in loving families or that do so at a young age. I believe that in a lot of cases acts that are defined as evil and the motivations behind it are environmentally and circumstantially driven, but there are some individuals that are just inherently evil or are just unable to conform to social norms.

Week 14: Summary and Conclusion[edit]

Emotion and motivation was a particularly interesting subject. I really enjoyed the content and seeing how both motivation and emotion can be broken down into different theories and components.

Week 14: Tutorial 6- Growth Psychology[edit]

This week’s tutorial saw the conclusion for classes in motivation and emotion. During this final tutorial the group discussed the differences between positive and humanistic psychology. This brought about many different personal opinions from the group. We also discussed the issue of raising a child with a socially unacceptable temperament. In my personal opinion the child needs to take responsibility for his or her own behaviour and taught some respect for their parents and others around them. We then moved on and focussed on a checklist for self-actualisation characteristics according to Maslow. The topics that we covered in this discussion were:

Priority of Values such ads truth, love and happiness.

  • Acceptance of self, of others, of nature: Accepting the fact that things are the way they are, whether it is good or bad.
  • Identification with human species: Indentifying with not only your own culture, family and friends abut also with all of humanity.
  • Emphasis on higher level values: self-actualisation where people tend to forget about the smaller matter and focus on higher values in life.
  • Perception of reality-greater perceptual accuracy of reality: The ability to relate to others on a deeper level and perceive the truth.
  • Discrimination between means and ends, between good and evil: Seeing the bigger picture of life.
  • Resolution of dichotomies (Conflicts): Become disconcerted with small matters, therefore not retaliating to immediate surroundings.

Internally controlled

  • Autonomy and resistance to enculturation: Being in control of one’s own life to a certain extent.
  • Detachment and desire for privacy: Ability to enjoy yourself in a comfortable manner.
  • Spontaneity, simplicity, naturalness: Focused upon values and habits in daily routines.

High involvement, productivity and happiness

  • Problem-centering: Absorbed in present tasks they are completing.
  • Creativeness: often viewing life like a child, very relaxed.
  • Freshness of appreciation and richness of emotional reactions: Aware of emotional state and how they react to certain situations.
  • High frequency of peak experiences

High quality interpersonal relationships

  • (Intimate) Interpersonal relationships: Everyone wants to be friends with them, though they are very selective with who they surround themselves.
  • Democratic character structure: Persons general status in life is unimportant to them as they are focused on equality.
  • Philosophical unhostile sense of humour

This process led to deeper thoughts into my own life and how I live. Overall this subject has been very interesting and live developing.