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Emotion and Motivation. Samuel R. Mathews, Ph.D. The Department of Psychology The University of West Florida. Elements of Emotion. Physiological arousal (heart rate, blushing, sweating, etc) Subjective experiences/feelings (rage, elation, sadness, etc). Elements of Emotion.

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Emotion and motivation l.jpg

Emotion and Motivation

Samuel R. Mathews, Ph.D.

The Department of Psychology

The University of West Florida

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Elements of Emotion

  • Physiological arousal (heart rate, blushing, sweating, etc)

  • Subjective experiences/feelings (rage, elation, sadness, etc)

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Elements of Emotion

  • Cognitive interpretations (blaming another, recognizing the object of desire)

  • Behavioral expressions (crying, smiling, gazing longingly

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Emotion and the Species

  • Emotions have survival value and have evolved to support organism in its environment:

    • Recognition of threats, attraction, etc

    • Signals to presence of problems and opportunities

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Emotion and the Species

  • Wide range of individual differences within the species:

    • emotional responsiveness,

    • interpretation, and

    • expression (e.g. grieving patterns and responses differ by tradition and culture)

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Basic emotions recognizable across many different cultures

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Processes of Emotions

  • Fast-response cycle

    • Largely unconscious

    • Relies largely on the limbic system of the brain (largely “reflex” response)

    • Tends to be linked to survival reactions grounded in evolution but learning does impact reaction (habituation)

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Processes of Emotions

  • Conscious response cycle

    • Largely conscious and slower to respond

    • Relies on cerebral cortex (learned associations and decision-making processes)

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Processes of Emotions

  • Arousal and performance

    • Inverted “U” in arousal and performance relationship

      • Easy tasks are performed better with higher arousal

      • Moderately challenging tasks performed better with moderate level of arousal

      • More challenging tasks performed better with lower levels of arousal.

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Theories of Emotion

  • Major theories have several elements:

    • Emotionally salient stimulus

    • Physiological reaction (arousal)

    • Cognitive appraisal

    • Emotional response

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Theories of Emotion

  • James-Lange Theory:

    • StimulusPhysiological ArousalBehavioral ResponseEmotional response

    • “I see a bear, I am running away from the bear, therefore I am afraid.”

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Theories of Emotion

  • Cannon-Bard Theory

    • StimulusEmotional Response Physiological ArousalBehavioral Response

    • “I see the bear, I am afraid of the bear therefore I will run.”

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Theories of Emotion

  • Schachter & Singer introduced the concept of appraisal

  • Cognitive Appraisal Theory

    • Stimulus Cognitive Appraisal (how does it affect us?)Decide how to cope

    • “I see a bear. Is the bear posing a threat? If yes, run. If not, get the camera.”

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Theories of Emotion

  • Debate is still active:

    • Are emotion and cognition separate systems?

      • Izard (1993) & Zajonc (1984) argue that they are

      • Lazarus (1991) argues they are linked

    • Emotional functions that are largely inaccessible to consciousness—Izard & Zajonc

    • Emotional functions that emerge from more controlled processes—Lazarus

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  • Mental processes that

    • select,

    • initiate,

    • direct, and

    • sustain our behaviors

  • Links behaviors with inferred internal states (e.g. someone who is drinking water must be thirsty and want water);

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  • Motivation is related to biologically based “drives”

    • Fight

    • Flight

    • Food

    • Reproduction

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Intrinsic—Extrinsic motivation

  • Intrinsic Motivation

    • motive for some behavior originates in preferences of the individual;

    • the action is its own reward;

  • Extrinsic Motivation

    • Motive for some behavior is based on external reinforcement

    • Reinforcement is contingent on some behavior

  • Typically some combination of both are present

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Maslow’s Need Hierarchy—Motivation

  • Maslow’s Need Hierarchy

    • Physiological (food, water, air, shelter)

    • Safety (protection from threats)

    • Love (nurturing caregivers)

    • Esteem (sense of satisfaction with one’s self)

    • Self Actualization (peak performance, realizing one’s highest level of existence)