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Motivation and Emotion. Nolan Simmons, Linda Yu, Madison Aichele. Motivation. Motivation : a feeling or idea that causes us to act toward a goal. Motivation Theories. Drive Reduction Theory : a theory that our behavior is motivated by biological needs (food, water, shelter)

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motivation and emotion

Motivation and Emotion

Nolan Simmons, Linda Yu, Madison Aichele


Motivation: a feeling or idea that causes us to act toward a goal.

motivation theories
Motivation Theories

Drive Reduction Theory: a theory that our behavior is motivated by biological needs (food, water, shelter)

homeostasis: a balanced internal state

Different drives include:

Primary drives: biological needs

Secondary drives: learned needs (money)

motivation theories continued
Motivation Theories continued...

Arousal Theory: states that we seek an optimum level of excitement or arousal.

Everyone has a different need for excitement level and we are motivated by activities that will help us achieve this level.

People with high optimum levels of arousal will be drawn to high-excitement behaviors or activities.

People with low optimum levels of arousal will be satisfied with less exciting and less risky activities.

motivation theories continued1
Motivation Theories continued...

Arousal Theory cont..

Yerkes Dodson Law: We might perform well at an easy task with a very high level of arousal, but the same high level of arousal will prevent us from performing well on a difficult task.

motivation theories continued2
Motivation Theories continued...

Incentive Theory: we associate some stimuli with rewards and others with punishment, and we are motivated to seek the rewards.

Incentives: stimuli that we are drawn to due to learning

motivation theories continued3
Motivation Theories continued...

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs - Abraham Maslow

Tier 1: Physiological needs: to satisfy drives for hunger, thirst, and sex

Tier 2: Safety needs: to feel safe, secure, and out of danger

Tier 3: Belongingness and love needs: to be accepted and belong

Tier 4: Esteem needs: to achieve and to gain approval and recognition

Tier 5: Self-Actualization needs: to fulfill your unique potential

motivation theories continued4
Motivation Theories continued...

Achievement Motivation: examines our desires to master complex tasks and knowledge and to reach personal goals

Extrinsic Motivation: motivation by external rewards (i.e., grades, salary)

Intrinsic Motivation: motivation by internal rewards (i.e., enjoyment, satisfaction)


Emotion: Experiential and subjective responses to certain internal and external stimuli.


  • physiological arousal
  • expressive behaviors
  • conscious experience
emotion theories
Emotion Theories

James-Lange theory: event → arousal → emotion

Cannon-Bard theory: event → arousal + emotion

Two-factor theory: event→ arousal + label → emotion

expressed emotion
Expressed Emotion

Facial feedback hypothesis: expressions amplify our emotions by activating muscles associated with specific states → the muscles signal the body to respond

Ex. Smile → feel happier

experienced emotion
Experienced Emotion

Catharsis: emotional release; releasing negative energy will calm aggressive tendencies

Feel-good, do-good phenomenon: increased willingness to help others when in a good mood

Adaptation-level phenomenon: tendency to judge various stimuli relative to those previously experienced

Relative deprivation: perception that one is worse off relative to those with whom one compares oneself

stress in relation to emotion
Stress in Relation to Emotion

Can affect our mood. Stressors are everyday events or situations that challenge us in subtle ways.