Psychology – Duez             LEARNING TARGETS                                           Unit 5 Part I: Motivation and Emotion

Motivation: It is the drive to begin or maintain behavior.

If you learn only 5 things from this Unit...

1. Human motivation is complex, and while there are a number of theories, none by itself sufficiently explains our behavior.

2. Biological motivation includes the role of the hypothalamus, which maintains a state called homeostasis.

3. Theories of social motivation, including the need for achievement and the hierarchy of needs, show the importance of understanding motivation in the context of our environments.

4. Emotions can be explained through a variety of theoretical perspectives, each arguing that emotion emerges in conjunction with physiological response to stimuli.

Learning Objectives:

- How and why people are motivated?

- Different types of motivation

- The importance of emotion in human behavior

Terms to know:

Arousal - change in the physiological factors controlled by the autonomic nervous system.

Cognitive dissonance - unpleasant feeling that occurs when your behavior doesn't match your beliefs or cognitive assessment.

Drive - force that pushes a person toward a particular behavior

Extrinsic motivation - incentive to perform a behavior for external reward or to avoid punishment from others.

Feedback - process during which the output of one action becomes the input of another action.

Hierarchy of needs - list of lower-to higher-level needs that humanistic psychologists believe all people possess.

Homeostasis - self-adjusting process that maintains a constant internal environment in an organism.

Incentive - force that pulls a person toward a particular behavior.

Instinct - innate, unlearned behavior.

Intrinsic motivation - incentive to perform a behavior for its own sake and for self-satisfaction.

Motivation - incentive to act.

Motive - stimulus that moves a person toward a behavior designed to achieve a specific goal.

Need - state of lacking something that one requires or desires.

Primary needs - unlearned needs for basic things that affect the ongoing function of the body.

Secondary needs - psychological needs - such as money and achievement - that may or may not have something to do with primary needs.

People to know:

John Atkinson, David Buss, Walter Cannon, Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen, Joseph LeDoux, William Masters and Virginia Johnson, David McClelland, Henry Murray, Stanley Schacter

Motivation: It is the drive to begin or maintain behavior. Students are keenly aware that being motivated to do something can have great significance. For most of us, however, it is not easy to become motivated when the consequences of our behavior are distal rather than proximal. If we think we have time to do something, we will use up as much time as possible before we start doing it.

Humans have long been interested in trying to determine ways to improve motivation. We don't completely understand the process, it is difficult to manipulate. First we will review theories of motivation, and then look at the biological and social aspects of motivation. The great humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow once proposed that humans have a hierarchy of needs: The basic biological needs that we require for survival but higher needs such a recognition, achievement, and a sense of fulfilling our potential as human beings. These needs provide us with the motives for our behavior.

Other psychologists say that our basic biological needs produce drives that makes us uncomfortable. We are motivated to act in a way that will relieve that discomfort and make us feel better. Motivation is a complex concept that involves the interaction of physiological, behavioral, and psychological factors.  One of the most important factors in motivation is emotion. The way we feel plays a key role in motivation and in other areas of cognition. Emotion may even be a necessary element in reasoning.


Motive - a stimulus that moves a person toward a behavior designed to achieve a specific goal.

Need - a lack of something that one requires or desires.

Drive - a force that pushes a person to act.

Incentive - a force that pulls a person toward a particular behavior.

Emotions - the states of the body and mind associated with feelings.

Motivation may be conscious ("I'll need a good grade, so I'll study") or unconscious (nibbling on food while you're studying may be an unconscious behavior).

Needs -> Drive ->|-----------------------                

                                  \/                                      \/


                                 /\                                       /\



1. Instinct Theory: One of the oldest theories of motivation is that of instincts, which comes from the field that we know today as evolutionary psychology. Following the ideas of Charles Darwin, this theory suggests that human behavior is driven by innate instinctual drives (unlearned) like those for some birds and fish. However, this theory soon revealed its limitations in that it could only describe the behavior of humans but not provide an explanation.

2. The Drive-Reduction Theory: Clark Hull in the 1940s. Hull stated that humans have innate biological needs (for example, thirst) and social needs (for example, love), and that drives compel us to satisfy our needs. A person who realizes she is thirsty (a need) then feels an internal motivation (the drive) to find water to satisfy that need. Drive-Reduction Theory states that an organism will do whatever is necessary to reduce the unpleasant sensation. Of course, humans often act counter to this. People will go on hunger strikes if they feel strongly about some cause. The motivation to not eat in this situation is greater than the biological motivation to eat.

Incentive theory offers a counter to drive-reduction theory, in that we are not pushed internally by needs but are pulled from the outside by external incentives. For example, if we walk by a bakery, the aroma of bread or the sight of freshly baked loaves may entice us inside whether or not we are hungry.

3. The Arousal Theory: Stimulation is a primary need. Too much stimulation causes stress, so homeostatic processes are working here as well. Some people exhibit a drive towards high-risk situations that are uncomfortable without adrenaline rush. Others are content to watch and would feel uncomfortable if they were forced to engage in high-risk behaviors.

4. The Humanistic Theory: Maslow proposed that humans have needs beyond those of survival and reducing drive tensions. The need to do something important with one's life is as essential as the basic biological needs. Lower level needs must be met first before one would move to higher levels and, eventually to self-actualization.

Finally, we may also be driven by intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. A boy who plays the violin for four hours a day simply to excel is driven by intrinsic motivation, but if those practice sessions are motivated by external rewards such as winning a competition or gaining admiration from his parents, then this is extrinsic motivation.

BIOLOGICAL/PHYSIOLOGICAL MOTIVATION. The hypothalamus is the region of the brain most often associated with motivation. It plays an important role in the motivation for feeding, fighting, fleeing, and sexual reproduction. Research has shown, for instance, that if we lesion the lateral hypothalamus in a rat, the rat will lose its appetite. The rat will experience a form of anorexia in which it will not be hungry and, therefore, will not eat. Thus, we believe that the lateral hypothalamus provides motivation for hunger or feeding.

We also know that the ventromedial hypothalamus is important in eating behavior. The ventromedial hypothalamus seems to be the satiety center (the part of the brain that tells you that you're full). If we lesion the ventromedial hypothalamus, the rat will not feel full and will continue to eat well beyond what is normally expected. Thus, we can clearly see the motivation in the biological structure of the brain for this behavior.

One of the most important concepts in biological motivation is that of homeostasis, the tendency of all organisms to maintain a balanced state. When we are too cold, the hypothalamus releases hormones that cause us to shiver and seek out warmth or put on clothing. When we have not had enough sleep, we are likewise pushed to slow down as we yawn and struggle to keep our eyes open.

Homeostasis helps us to return to this balance when we deviate from our normal state. Feedback is a process in which the output of one action becomes the input for another action. If exercise produces a rise in the body's temperature, that rise triggers cooling mechanisms in the homeostatic process. The body cools, the temperature change causes the cooling process to slow down or stop as the body returns to an acceptable temperature.

1. Hunger Drive: Hunger is probably the most researched of all physiological needs. Arises from a complex mixture of external and internal factors:

External Factors:

Internal Factors:

2. Sexual Drive: The pleasure that organisms derive from sex ensures that they will procreate, helping their species survive. Like hunger, it is a complex interaction involving chemistry, biology, and psychology. Chemistry plays a role, the release of specific chemicals in the body triggers the emotions we associate with sex drive. Cognition also plays an important role in mediating the sex drive. Just as cultural beliefs play a role in determining the foods one will eat or avoid, personal values and cultural customs are determining factors in when, how, and with whom one satisfies the sex drive. Although a primary need, sexual activity is also associated with higher needs in Maslow's hierarchy, such as belonging, avoidance of loneliness, and self-esteem.

SOCIAL MOTIVATION. In the 1950s, psychologist David McClelland explored what motivated humans to challenge themselves, particularly in relation to others. He developed a theory called need for achievement in which he used experimental data based on participants' descriptions of ambiguous pictures to support his claims. In longitudinal studies, McClelland found that subjects who scored high on tests of achievement were more likely to be entrepreneurs. Other theories of social motivation claim that fear can be a very powerful motivator, with some humans being driven by a fear of failure while others are more afraid of success.

One way that we can provide motivation for ourselves is to delay gratification by holding off on a reward until after we perform some less desirable activity. This is called Premack principle, and it can be applied in many social situations. It is a form of social reinforcement that has been shown to be very effective.

MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS. Abraham Maslow argued that humans were driven not by a need for achievement but by a need to become self-actualized, which means to reach one's own potential. Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory suggests, however, that before individuals can concern themselves with self-actualization they must first take care of more basic fundamental needs (such as hunger and thirst) and psychological needs (such as love and self-esteem).

EMOTIONS. A concept related to motivation is that of emotions. Psychologists have long asked what causes emotions and even what are emotions. We know that there is consistency among cultures in terms of how we express emotions facially. For example, research has shown that fear is identifiable in faces of regardless of culture. What we do not know, however, is how emotions are generalized. There are several debated theories about emotion. They are summarized as follows:

As you can see, emotions are difficult to understand. We assume they are physiological at some level, but there is often a cognitive component. However, unlike other cognitive functions, emotions are not directly under our control (jealousy, for example). So we are left with an experience that is very common but difficult to explain - just like much of psychology.

Wrap up. A behavior is what we do. Motivation is why we do it. Motivation is a complex combination of needs, drives, incentives, and emotions. Several theories have been proposed to explain emotion, including the instinct theory, the drive-reduction theory, the arousal theory, and the humanistic or hierarchy of needs theory. The social-cognitive theory and cognitive consistency theory focus on the role of cognition in motivation.

Hunger, thirst, and the sex drive are physiological motivations, while achievement and doing something "meaningful" are examples of psychological motivations. Motivations can be intrinsic or extrinsic.

Emotion involves physiological processes, expressive behaviors, and cognitive appraisal in generating feelings. The basic emotions of joy, anger, fear, and sorrow appear to be universal across cultures. Emotions may play an important role in cognitive functions such as reason and decision making.

20 Questions to know (use this target sheet, your textbook, and the notes):

1. Assume you hate your job yet you continue to work there. When someone asks you why you stay at your job, you say it is because of the money. What might explain this?

(Intrinsic or Extrinsic Motivation)

2. An animal experiences an injury to its head. It then starts to eat uncontrollably. What part of the brain is probably injured?

(Lateral or Ventromedial hypothalamus)

3. Which part of the brain is responsible for biologically driven motivational processes?

(Thalamus, Hippocampus, Limbic System, or Hypothalamus)

4. Which part of the brain is responsible for an animal that will not eat at all?

(Lateral or Ventromedial hypothalamus)

5. “I love my job for the sake of doing work itself.” The person making this statement is motivated by ?

(Intrinsic or Extrinsic Motivation)

6. An example of intrinsic motivation is?

(I exercise because: I get a dollar for each pound I lose, It makes me feel good, Because people say I look good, or Because others do it and I want to fit in)

7. Assume you want to study more. What could you do to improve your motivation?

(Set small goals, Set large goals, or Forget about goals – motivation is mind over matter)

8. “Motivation can be described as positive reinforcement.” This statement might have been said by

(Carl Rogers, B.F. Skinner, Sigmund Freud, or William James)

9. If we were interested in controlling motivation from the perspective of behavioral psychologist, we would provide

(positive punishment, shaping procedures, positive reinforcement, or extinction procedures)

10. A psychologist who wanted to explore the role of motivation by examining how individuals compete with others in their environment would be following the ____ perspective.

(behavioral, biological, psychoanalytic, or socio-cultural)

11. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, only after people have taken care of their physiological and psychological needs can they aspire to fulfill their ____ needs.

(hunger, thirst, self-esteem, or self-actualization)

12. David McClelland studied the need for achievement by asking the participants in his experiments to (invent, play, compete, or solve) certain situations.

13. What concept is often illustrated using the example of a room thermostat, because its function is to maintain a "steady state" in areas such as body temperature and hunger?

(Instinct, Homeostasis, Need, Incentive, or Extrinsic Motivation)

14. To motivate ourselves, we sometimes set a goal. Suppose we think, "For every 50 minutes that I study, I'll talk to my friends for 10 minutes." What theory does this describe?

(Gestalt principles, Cocktail party effect, Premack principle, Freudian psychology, or Jungian symbology)

15. "I read because I enjoy learning about new things." This is an example of

(intrinsic motivation, positive punishment, groupthink, extrinsic motivation, negative punishment)

16. Suppose you are walking through a food court in the mall and you see a new cafe offering an Indian food buffet. At first glance the food looks delicious, and as you get closer you can smell the wonderful aromas of the food. The sight and smell of the food is referred to as a(n)

 (need, drive, instinct, incentive, or intrinsic motivation)

17. Kayla really wants her son to become an excellent golfer, so she has created a system of rewards for him in which he earns money for each round he plays. Which form of motivation is Kayla using?

(Classical conditioning, Drive, Homeostasis, Intrinsic motivation or Extrinsic motivation)

18. Suppose you would be given pizza if you read a certain number of books. Such a motivation would be described by a behavioral psychologist as

(negative reinforcement, shaping, positive reinforcement, negative punishment, or positive punishment)

19. How could you increase your motivation to study for the AP Psychology exam? Give yourself a reward ______.

(for each chapter you read, for studying when you take a test, or for studying before you start studying for the test.)

20. Abby wants to motivate Sammi to pick up her clothing every night. In order to do this, she provides positive reinforcement in the form of praise. Which of the following is this an example of?

(Classical conditioning, Operant Conditioning)