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Motivation: a need or desire that energizes behavior and directs it towards a goal

Aron Ralston was trapped under a cliff and cut his own arm off
Perspectives on Motivation

Drive-Reduction Theory: physiological drives, hunger, thirst, warmth

Hierarchy of Needs/Motives - "push" of biological processes and the "pull" of

culture, or social forces

Arousal (Optimization) Theory:

Drive Reduction

Drive: is an aroused/ tense state related to a physical need

Drive-reduction theory: such as eating to reduce the feelings of hunger. This

restores homeostasis, a steady internal state

Need (food/water) > drive (hunger, thirst) > drive-reducing behaviors (eating,
Arousal (Optimization) Theory
Seeking optimum arousal

Some behavior may be motivated to increase or decrease our physiological

arousal level

Curiosity, in kids or these monkeys, may be to reach preferred arousal level

Performance and Arousal level
What happens when we succeed at raising our arousal levels?

Yerkes-Dodson Law: moderate arousal is best (test taking)


Research on hunger is consistent with Abraham Maslow's hierarchy

In one study, men whose food intake had been cut in half became
obsessed with food
Hunger even changes our motivations as we plan for the future

Hunger and Hypothalamus

Complex relationship among the stomach, hormones, and different parts
of the brain
Hypothalamus is the key structure for homeostasis, hormonal system
Receptors in digestive system monitor levels of glucose and send signals
to the hypothalamus in the brain

Set point & metabolism

Most mammals have a stable weight to which they keep returning (set
A set point can rise with age, or change with economic or cultural
conditions (settling point)
Those who become overweight develop a new set point

Metabolism shifts to maintain it; resting metabolism slows

Hunger kicks in when weight gets below the new set point
It is thus easier to stay lean than become lean
Biology, evolution, and taste preferences
Differences in taste preferences are not arbitrary. Personal and cultural
experience, influenced by biology, play a role

Food aversion can occur after just one incident of getting sick after
tasting a food

Disliking new tastes (neophobia) may have helped to protect our

ancestors (evolution)
How much do we eat? (situational influences)
Social facilitation: the presence of other accentuates our typical eating
Unit bias: we may eat only one serving/unit (scoop, plateful) of food, but
will eat more iff the serving size is larger
Buffet effect: we eat more if more options are available

Motivation to excel in work

What is our motivation to do well in our jobs?

Humans in many cultures seem to have an achievement motivation, a desire for;

Accomplishment of goals
Mastery skills
Meeting of standards

Discipline: sticking to a task despite distractions

10 year rule: having enough experience to develop expertise in a field

Grit: passionate persistence at a goal

Hardiness: resilience under stress

Emotions: Arousal, Behavior, and Cognition
When someone cuts you off the road

Expressive behavior: yelling, accelerating

Bodily arousal: sweat, pounding heart

Conscious experience: what a bad driver, I am angry, even scared, better calm
How do these components of emotion interact and relate to each other?

How are the bodily signs triggered?

How do we decided which emotion were feeling?

An emotion is a fill body/mind/behavior response to a situation
James-Lang Theory: Body before thoughts

"we feel afraid because we tremble, sorry because we cry"

States that emotion is our conscious awareness of our physiological response to


Body response leads to emotions

Oldest theory for emotions

Cannon-Bard Theory: Simultaneous body response and cognitive experience

Conscious/cognitive experience at the same time as body response (Parallel


Adjusting the cannon-bard theory

Emotions are not a separate mental experience
When we block body responses emotions do not feel as intense
Cognitions can influence emotions, including our interpretations of stimuli;
"is that a threat? Then I'm afraid"
Schachter-Singer "two factory" theory: emotion = body plus a cognitive label

Study in 1962 - Subjects experience general arousal caused by injections


Emotions DO NOT exist until we add a label to body sensations

Izards Universal emotions
How do emotions differ in body signals

A general brain pattern: hemispheric differences

Positive "approach": emotions (joy, goal-seeking) correlate with left frontal
Negative "withdrawal": emotions (fear, anger, depression) correlate with
right frontal activity
Detecting lies

Polygraphs (detecting physiological arousal) often fail at correctly identifying

when people are lying. Why?

Empirical support weak and conflicting, inadmissible in most courts

Facial feedback

Effect: facial position and muscle changes can alter which emotion we feel