Psychological Needs Autonomy, Competence and Relatedness
Hiking through Badlands • CCSU Coach wants to write book about endurance hike. • Extremely strenuous. • Exhausting but exhilarating. • Why do people put themselves through such things? • What’s the motivation?
Explanation • You chose to do this. Of your own free will. No one made you do it. • You had the skills to survive for two week hike. Physically fit. Had the right equipment. • You were with friends. Kept each other going through tough times.
Three characteristics of intrinsic motivation: • Autonomy • Competence • Relatedness
Autonomy • Key foundation of decision making. • We decide for ourselves. • Hike was not forced upon him. • Hike as part of Army boot camp endured rather than enjoyed.
Three qualities of autonomy • Perceived locus of control • Perceived choice (of options) • Volition (free will)
Perceived locus of control • PLOC • Individual’s understanding of the cause of action. • Top salesman. Why? • My effort. • Boss gave me best route. • Caught a lucky break.
Perceived locus of control 1) My effort = me =internal PLOC 2) Boss gave me best route = powerful others = external PLOC 3) Caught a lucky break = chance = external PLOC
“Only a pawn in their game” • Not a great feeling to realize being pushed around by powerful people. • Not in charge of one’s life. • Stressful situation for most people.
Perceived choice • Decision making flexibility to choose. • Given options. • More than one candidate on ballot. • Free to choose course of action. • Not pushed towards making one choice.
Volition • Exercise free will. • Freely choose to participate. • “I freely want to do this.” • Participation in experiments. • Free not to participate. • Quit at any time
Application to Counseling • Internal Locus of Control: change must come from within. External advice not very helpful. • Perceived choice: best to give options of different kinds of therapy or which concerns to talk about • Volition: Freely entered. Court mandated clients motivated for wrong reasons.
Application to medicine. • Compliance with medical orders. • Internal locus of control vs monitoring. • Choice of treatments. Point on risks and benefits. • Patient must make wishes clearly known. • Heroic treatments or No Code.
Langer and Rodin Study • Both Yale Professors. • Arden House in Hamden. • Nursing homes can be decision-free environment. • Give patients some control over small decisions in their lives. • Responsibility Induced Group.
Responsibility Induced • At floor meeting, residents told they had choices on: • Arrangement of furniture. • Visiting hours. • Entertainment. • Given small plant to care for.
Control Group • Floor meeting. • Nurses would take care of every need. • Told what entertainment to expect. • Visiting hours set. • Room layout remains as is. • Nurses would care for plants.
Conditions and Measurements • One floor for each group. • Nurses not aware of other condition (floor). • Residents rarely traveled beyond floor. • Pre and Posttest on: • Locus of control. • General Mood. • Staff rated patients on alertness and social activity.
Results • Responsibility induced group. • Better mood. • More active. • More alert. • Jelly bean jar on each floor. • Guess the number. • 10 entered contest on RI floor. • Only 1 on control floor.
Conclusions • Small amount of responsibility has impact on mood and activity. • Important for people to have some control over their environment. • Healthier for people. • No info on the health of the plants.
Competence • Competence is the ability to perform some task. • Incompetence is its opposite. • Want to be effective. • Have skills to meet challenge. • First day of hike discover we don’t have stamina to continue.
Flow: Csikszentmihalyi • “How to live life as a work of art, rather than as a chaotic response to external events..."
Discovering Flow • He started with artists, or with those that were "creating meaning". Many described an "ecstatic state" or a feeling of being outside of what they were creating with their hands. • So a pianist described not noticing the room, his hands, the keys, the score, but rather being conscious of only "being one with the music and expressing emotion".
Measuring Flow • Most of his research based on surveying people spontaneously about what the activities they were undertaking and the way they were feeling (along several dimensions) at the time. • He used a watch which beeped at random times during each day and required his subjects to immediately complete a standard survey.
Flow experience Completely involved, focused. • Sense of ecstasy - of being outside everyday reality. • Great inner clarity - knowing what needs to be done and how well it is going. • Sense of serenity - no worries about self. • Timeliness - thoroughly focused on present, don't notice time passing. • Intrinsic motivation - whatever produces "flow" becomes its own reward.
FLOW Channel high anxiety 4 1 Challenge FLOW 3 2 boredom low low high Personal Skills
Relatedness • Maslow’s Need for Belongingness • Social interactions with friends. • Affectionate relationships with others. • Others acknowledge us and care about our wellbeing. • Give and take: reciprocal relationships.
Social attachments • Relatedness if the need to establish close emotional bonds with other people. • Connected and involved with others.
Humans are social animals • Like other social animals. • Living together in groups improved our survival. • Perhaps part of our genetic makeup. • Important for our well-being.
Components of happiness • Subjective wellbeing (happiness) • High correlations of SWB with satisfaction with family and friends. • Social support and emotional intimacy. • Important for physical and psychological health. • Strongest external source of SWB. • Social contact better predictor than wealth, education or career.
Marital status and SWB • Significant predictor of subjective well being. • Make for more: • Positive interactions • Emotional expressiveness • Role sharing • For success, trust and intimacy important.
Why are married people happier? • Most likely happier people to begin with. • Agrees with other SWB research. • Same trend is true for health. • Marriage has benefits for physical health. • Increase longevity. • Men gain more benefit from marriage.
Importance of family • Rare person who, as his life draws to a close, wishes he had spent more time with at work.