Motivation and emotion
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Motivation and Emotion. Chapter 8. Motivation. Motivation - the process by which activities are started, directed, and continued so that physical or psychological needs or wants are met. Incentive Theory- we are pulled toward behaviors by rewards or incentives

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Motivation and emotion

Motivation and Emotion

Chapter 8



  • Motivation - the process by which activities are started, directed, and continued so that physical or psychological needs or wants are met.

  • Incentive Theory- we are pulled toward behaviors by rewards or incentives

    • Positive or negative environmental stimuli that motivates behavior

    • Extrinsic motivation- a person performs an action because it leads to an outcome that is separate from or external to the person. ( get rewards/avoid punishments)

    • Intrinsic motivation- desire to perform a behavior for it’s own sake

Instinct approaches to motivation

Instinct Approaches to Motivation

  • Instincts - the biologically determined and innate patterns of behavior that exist in both people and animals. (unlearned)

    • Ex.- salmon spawning at their birthplace, migrating birds

  • Instinct theory is not generally accepted as motivation for humans

Drive reduction theory of motivation

Drive (Reduction) Theory of Motivation

  • Need - a requirement of some material (such as food or water) that is essential for survival of the organism.

  • Drive - a psychological tension and physical arousal arising when there is a need that motivates the organism to act in order to fulfill the need and reduce the tension(eating or drinking).

  • Drive-reduction theory - approach to motivation that assumes behavior arises from physiological needs that cause internal drives to push the organism to satisfy the need and reduce tension and arousal.

Drive reduction theory of motivation1

Drive Reduction Theory of Motivation

  • Primary drives - those drives that involve needs of the body such as hunger and thirst.

  • (Acquired) Secondary drives - those drives that are learned through experience or conditioning, such as the need for money or social approval.

  • Homeostasis - the tendency of the body to maintain a steady state; aspect of body chemistry

    • What do you do when you are cold?

Arousal approach to motivation

Arousal Approach to Motivation

  • Stimulus motive - a motive that appears to be unlearned but causes an increase in stimulation, such as curiosity.

  • Arousal theory - theory of motivation in which people are said to have an optimal (best or ideal) level of tension that they seek to maintain by increasing or decreasing stimulation.

    • Driven by curiosity

Arousal approach to motivation1

Arousal Approach to Motivation

  • Yerkes-Dodson law - law stating performance is related to arousal; moderate levels of arousal lead to better performance than do levels of arousal that are too low or too high.

    • This effect varies with the difficulty of the task: easy tasks or well learned require a high-moderate level while more difficult tasks require a low-moderate level.

    • Page 501 in text

      • Runners excel when aroused by competition. But facing a difficult exam, high anxiety may disrupt performance.

Abraham maslow s hierarchy of needs

Abraham Maslow’s- Hierarchy of Needs

  • Humanist that believed we all have needs we are motivated to satisfy

  • Self-actualization - according to Maslow, the point that is seldom reached at which people have sufficiently satisfied the lower needs and achieved their full human potential.

  • Peak experiences- according to Maslow, times in a person’s life during which self actualization is temporarily achieved.

Motivation and emotion

Criticism- theory based on successful upper/middle class people living in the Western Hemisphere.

Hunger bodily causes

Hunger: Bodily Causes

  • Insulin - a hormone secreted by the pancreas to control the levels of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in the body by reducing the level of glucose in the bloodstream.

  • Glucagons- hormones that are secreted by the pancreas to control the levels of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in the body by increasing the level of glucose in the bloodstream.


Hunger bodily causes1

Hunger: Bodily Causes

  • Weight set point – the particular level of weight that the body tries to maintain.

  • Basal metabolic rate (BMR) - the rate at which the body burns energy when the organism is resting.


Motivation and emotion


Hunger social causes

Hunger: Social Causes

  • Social cues for when meals are to be eaten.

  • Cultural customs.

  • Food preferences.

  • Use of food as a comfort device or escape from unpleasantness.

  • Some people may respond to the anticipation of eating by producing an insulin response, increasing the risk of obesity.


Eating problems

Eating Problems

  • Obesity - a condition in which the body weight of a person is 20 percent or more over the ideal body weight for that person’s height (actual percents vary across definitions).

  • Anorexia nervosa - a condition in which a person reduces eating to the point that a weight loss of 15 percent below the ideal body weight or more occurs.

  • Bulimia - a condition in which a person develops a cycle of “binging” or overeating enormous amounts of food at one sitting, and “purging” or deliberately vomiting after eating.


Motivation and emotion


Biological factors of eating problems

Biological Factors of Eating Problems

  • Leptin - a hormone that, when released into the bloodstream, signals the hypothalamus that the body has had enough food and reduces the appetite while increasing the feeling of being full.

    • Role of leptin in obesity.

    • Genetics and obesity.

  • Genetics may play a part in anorexia and bulimia, as well as insensitivity to leptin.


Biological factors of eating

Biological factors of Eating

  • Lateral hypothalamus- tells the body to eat. If damaged, a person could starve to death

  • Ventromedial hypothalamus- tells the body to stop eating- if damaged a person will eat uncontrollably

Motivation and emotion


Elements of emotion

Elements of Emotion

  • Emotion - the “feeling” aspect of consciousness, characterized by a certain physical arousal, a certain behavior that reveals the emotion to the outside world, and an inner awareness of thoughts and feelings.

  • Display rules - learned ways of controlling displays of emotion in social settings.

Common sense theory of emotion

Common Sense Theory of Emotion

  • Common Sense Theory of Emotion - a stimulus leads to an emotion, which then leads to bodily arousal. (Not accepted in the psychological community)

James lange theory of emotion

James-Lange Theory of Emotion

  • James-Lange theory of emotion - theory in which a physiological reaction leads to the labeling of an emotion.

  • “I am shaking, oh no, it’s a cougar! I am afraid!”

  • Fear followed your bodies response

  • Cougar – Arousal – Emotion

    Stimulus Pounding Heart Fear

    J-L = Jump then Label

Cannon bard theory of emotion

Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion

  • Cannon-Bard theory of emotion - theory in which the physiological reaction and the subjective experience of emotion are assumed to occur at the same time by the thalamus.

  • “Oh no, it’s a cougar! I am afraid!”

    Arousal (Pounding Heart)

  • Cougar = +

    Emotion (Fear)

Two factor theory of emotion

Two Factor Theory of Emotion

  • Schacter’s Two Factor theory – theory of emotion in which both the physical arousal and the cognitive labeling of that arousal based on cues from the environment (situatuion) must occur before the emotion is experienced.

    • Emotions can feel the same but they change based upon situation

  • Also called the Cognitive Arousal theory or The Schacter-Singer theory

    Arousal (Pounding Heart)

  • Cougar = + = Emotion (Fear)

    Cognitive Label(I’m afraid)

Emotion and the ans

Emotion and the ANS

  • Autonomic Nervous System mobilizes your body for action and calms it down

  • Sympathetic system releases epinepherine and norepinepherine, the liver increases sugar in the blood, respiration increases, digestion decreases, pupils dilate, perspiration increases

  • Parasympatheitc system takes over when the emotion subsides.

Emotion and the brain

Emotion and the brain

  • Negative emotions are linked to the right side while positive emotions are linked to the left.

  • The Singer and Schacter study showed how we interpret and label our state of arousal will reflect in our emotional experience. (arousal fuels emotion, cognition channels it)

    • A stirred up state can be experienced in one emotion or another depending on how we interpret it

      • Example: Fear, Anger, Sexual Excitment

Brain s shortcut for emotion

Brain’s shortcut for emotion

  • In the two track brain, sensory input may be routed directly to the amygdala for an instant emotional reaction, OR to the cortex for analysis.

  • Ex. We see a shadow and get alarmed only to realize it is something harmless.

  • (speedy low road v. thinking high road)

Brain s shortcut for emotion1

Brain’s shortcut for emotion

Detecting emotion

Detecting Emotion

  • Humans are good at detecting emotions of others by listening to their voice and watching their facial muscles.

  • It is easy to misread electronic communication due to the absence of nonverbal cues.

  • Women have a stronger ability to read nonverbal cues and respond with more emotion to situations than men

    • More likely to express empathy

Motivation and emotion

Acceptance and Anticipation

Facial feedback hypothesis

Facial Feedback Hypothesis

  • Facial feedback hypothesis - theory of emotion that assumes that facial expressions provide feedback to the brain concerning the emotion being expressed, which in turn causes and intensifies the emotion.

    • Smiling induces happy feelings

    • Emotions are contagious

  • Pencil-in-the-lips

  • Behavior Feedback- head up vs. head down

Function of fear

Function of fear

  • Fear is adaptive.

  • Learning to fear is a natural process

  • Human fear is regulated by the amygdala, which associates certain situations and object with fear/danger.

  • Phobias= intense fears out of proportion to the danger they actually represent, that disrupts a persons ability to cope.



  • Stress- the process by which we perceive and respond to certain events, called stressors, that we appraise as threatening or challenging.

    • Stressor- stimulus

    • Stress Reaction- physical or emotional

    • Stress- how we relate

Stress response system

Stress response system

  • Fight or flight

  • Withdraw, pull back, conserve energy- “paralyzed with fear”

  • Tend and befriend- common response among women

  • General Adaptation Syndrome

    • Alarm-resistance-exhaustion

    • Severe stress seems to age people

Stressful life events

Stressful life events

  • Catastrophes- increases in depression, anxiety and suicide rates often result

  • Significant life changes-

    • Death of significant person, loss of job, marriage, divorce, birth of a child

      Daily hassles- perhaps most significant source of stress; can negatively impact our health and well being

      increases in coronary heart disease are a real impact of stress on the body

Coping with stress

Coping with stress

  • Optimism- perceive more control, cope better with stressful events and enjoy better health.

  • Find humor in daily life

  • Supportive family and friends (pets)

  • Exercise- hellloo… norepinepherine, serotonin and endorphins!

  • Meditation, biofeedback and spirituality

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