Saturday, January 28, 2012

Motivation and Emotion





The term motivation refers to an internal state that activates and gives direction to our thoughts.




Emotions are positive or negative feelings – generally reactions to stimuli – that are accompanied by physiological arousal and characteristic behavior.




Many human motives stem from the need for things that keep an organism alive: food, water, warmth, sleep, avoidance of pain, and so on. We consider these to be primary motives because we must meet these biological needs or die. The sexual motive is also considered to be a primary motive, not because we would die if it were not fulfilled, but because the species could not reproduce and survive if the sexual motive were not satisfied.


Homeostasis: Biological thermostats

Hunger: The Regulation of Food Intake

Thirst: the Regulation of Water Intake




Stimulus Motivation


Affiliation Motivation

Achievement Motivation

Solomon’s Opponent Process Theory of acquired Motives

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Maslow’s hierarchy of Motives





Three Theories of Emotion


1. Cannon-Bard Theory: The Cannon-Bard Theory proposes that emotion provoking events simultaneously produce subjective reactions (emotions) and physiological arousal.


2. James-Lange Theory:  The James-Lange Theory proposes that first you have the emotion producing event, then you experience a physiological reaction, and then you label this reaction with your subjective feeling of emotion.

3. Schachter & Singer's Two-Factor Theory - Emotion producing events cause internal arousal, we then attend to the external environment to help us label our arousal, based on our interpretation of the stimuli in our environment we label our arousal which determines the emotion we perceive. It is called two-factor because it includes a physiological and cognitive factor. Example, did you ever see a child fall and then look around to see if they should cry. If the mother shows concern they cry, if the mother doesn't appear concerned they get up and start running again.


Outward signs of Emotion

1. Nonverbal Cues


People read into the behavior of others to observe what emotions they are experiencing. It helps them to decide how we should respond to them. Various nonverbal cues are given by persons that indicate their emotions.


2. Facial Expressions

Emotions are often expressed by facial expression and how another person looks facially gives us an understanding of how they are feeling. There are six basic emotions registered by the face: happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, and disgust. Facial expressions appear to be fairly universal, being similar in all cultures.

3. Eye Contact

 If someone doesn't make eye contact with you when talking with you it could be a sign of shyness, that they are not interested or even deception. People generally have a negative reaction to people who fail to make eye contact.

4. Body Language

Body posture and movement of body parts can frequently give cues to the emotion the other person is experiencing. Fidgeting a lot is usually a sign of anxiety. Closing your arms across your chest could be a sign of defensiveness. Leaning forward with open arms could be a sign of openness.


For Further Reading


Jerome Kagan and Julius Segal (1992), Psychology: An Introduction, 7th Edition, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Fort Worth, USA.



Web References





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