Chap 8 – Motivation and Emotion 2 How does Motivation and Emotion relate to previous study material?



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Psychology 205 – Introduction to Psychology Frank Tuttle, Instructor

Mendocino College, Spring 2010


Chap 8 – Motivation and Emotion 2
How does Motivation and Emotion relate to previous study material?

Consider early development of psychology – (main list of characters, schools, concepts)


Psychoanalytic thought:

Freud – 3 part division of human personality

Ego – mainly rational

Superego – mainly moral

Id – primitive instinctual
Classical conditioning is learning to associate a reflex pattern with a neutral stimulus. Reflexes are unlearned patterns which occur when an unconditioned stimulus (UCS) causes an unconditioned response (UCR) Repeated pairings of the UCS with a neutral stimulus lead the individual to respond to the neutral stimulus in the same way that they respond to the biologically programmed stimulus. The neutral stimulus has become a conditioned stimulus (CS) and the response is now a conditioned response (CR) Learning has occurred. Example: A nurse gives a shot to an infant. The reflexive response to pain is fear and crying. The infant learns to fear the nurse and cries when the nurse enters the room. Pavlov's dog ; Watson's Experiment with Little Albert
Operant conditioning involves learning due to reinforcement and punishment. Reinforcement is any consequence which causes an increase in behavior. Example: A parent gives a child a favorite treat after they practice on the piano for five minutes. The child practices more. Punishment is any consequence which causes a decrease in behavior. Example: A worker plays on facebook rather than complete a task. The boss makes the worker stay late to complete the task. The next day the worker does not play on facebook. B. F. Skinner

The nature/nurture controversy refers to the debate between whether genes (nature) or environment (nurture) plays the greater role in human development. Harry Harlow

Although historically this argument was either/or, current thinking rates the interaction between nature and nurture as primary. Basically what this means is that there is no easy cause-effect relationship between a stimulus and human behavior. One cannot ask “what causes autism” or why does an abused wife stay with her husband”. Human behavior is complex and influenced by multiple, interactive variables.



Other Important Motives, pg 288

How are stimulus motives different from primary drives?



Stimulus motives = Unlearned motives such as exploration, manipulation, curiosity or contact, that prompts us to explore or change the world around us.

More responsive to environmental stimuli (primary drives are biological based)



Exploration and Curiosity

  • sparked by new and unknown, directed to a more specific goal of “finding out”

  • indefinable “curiosity” – (prepare a short-answer definition for exam)

William James = viewed as an emotion

Freud = a socially acceptable expression of the sex drive.

Or, response to the unexpected and as evidence of a human need to find meaning in life

May assume, curiosity is a key component to intelligence, linked to creativity

Linked to cognition – familiarity with events and circumstance and as we raise out threshold of understanding and awareness, our curiosity becomes more ambitious.
Manipulation and Contact


  • Is the human need for contact universal?

    • The urge to touch is almost irresistible

  • manipulation focuses on a specific object that must be touched, handled, etc before we feel satisfied with the experience

  • a motive limited to primates – due to agile fingers and dexterity (or, entire body!)

  • is an active process, in contrast to contact may be a passive process


Harry Harlow – maternal-separation and social isolation experiments (1958)

- classic series of experiments demonstrating the importance of need for contact

- research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow worked for a time with him.


  • separated new born monkeys from mothers and given “two surrogate mothers.”

    • One soft and cuddly, the other made of wire mesh and no soft surfaces, same shape/size

    • Both mothers warmed by electric light bulb

    • Only wire mesh mommy had a nursing bottle (food and warmth provided)

    • But, monkey preferred the terry cloth, soft mommy

Aggression, pg 290

Is aggression a biological response or a learned one?



Aggression = behavior aimed at doing harm to others; also the motive to behave aggressively- encompasses all behaviors that is intended to inflict physical or psychological harm on others.

  • intent is a key element of defining aggression

Freud – considered aggression an innate drive, similar to hunger and thirst

  • thus, one important function of society is to channel the aggressive drive into constructive and socially acceptable avenues (name a few? Which do you avail yourself of?)

or, is it a remaining vestige of our evolutionary past? Triggered by pain and frustration.

  • Frustration (and pain) plays a role in aggression

    • However, frustration (and pain) do not produce aggression

    • Do we learn to be aggressive when frustrated?

  • children who witnessed aggression episodes, tended to learn aggression

Aggression and culture

Cultural variation exist in handling of aggression



  • suggesting that aggression is very much influenced by learning that takes place in a specific cultural setting and by cultural norms and values.

    • A contrast between collectivist societies and individualist societies

Gender and aggression

Across cultures and every age, males are more likely than females to behave aggressively.

Is the origin of gender difference in aggression biological or social?


  • no easy answer – biological factors seem to contribute (testosterone and high levels of estrogen) and may have roots in evolutionary defensive behaviors exhibited by our ancestors.

  • Our society clears tolerates and even encourages greater aggressive behavior in boys than in girls.

Answer this question – How does the above thought relate to previous discussions of “reinforcement and punishment?” (refer to last paragraph of Gender and Aggression section on page 292.)
Emotions

How many basic emotions are there?

Historically, ancient Greeks thought that emotions could wreak havoc on higher mental abilities such as rational thought and decision making.


  • early psychologists thought of emotions as a “base instinct”- leftover from evolutionary heritage

contemporary thought holds emotions in better light – essential to survival and major source of personal enrichment, linked to immune functions and therefore to disease, and to how expression of behavior.
Refer to Figure 8 – 8 Plutchik’s eight basic categories of emotion. Pg 295

Robert Plutchik’s eight = fear surprise

Sadness disgust

Anger anticipation

Joy acceptance


  • each help us adjust to demands of our environment

  • What has been one challenge to Plutchik’s model?

  • Of interest – words used to name or describe an emotion may influence how that emotion is experienced.

    • What are the implications of this concept?

      • Involving language, immediate cultural context, television, traditional views . . .

  • generally thought that no more than dozen (12) primary emotions (found in all cultures)

    • What is thought of secondary emotions? Are these universal?


Theories of Emotion

What is the relationship among emotions, biological reactions and thoughts?



James – Lange Theory - stimuli in the environment cause physiological changes in our bodies and this causes emotions (muscles, skin, internal organs)
Cannon – Bard Theory - holds that we mentally process emotions and physically respond simultaneously, no one after another.
Schacter – Singer - cognitive theory of emotion (Two Factor theory), the situation gives us clues as to how we should interpret our state of arousal.
Facial Expression theory – (Carol Izard, 1994) – evokes an unlearned pattern of facial movements and body postures that may be completely independent of conscious thought.

- thus, emotional experiences arise from bodily reactions.


Communicating Emotion

People express emotions verbally through words, most often convey feelings nonverbally.

Much of the information we convey is in how the information is expressed (feeling-tone , recall discussion of dream recall)
Facial expressions are the most obvious emotional indicators.


  • can tell be “observation”

    • many facial expressions are innate, not learned

    • there is an evolutionary aspect to facial expression of emotions – Darwin


Body language, personal space and gestures

  • Body language is another way we communicate messages nonverbally

  • Personal space is the distance we maintain between ourselves and others

  • Explicit acts also serve as nonverbal clues to emotions

    • Name a few


Gender and Emotion

There is some gender difference in the expression of emotions


How can culture influence the way we express emotion?

Facial expressions associated with certain basic emotions appear to be universal.



- yet, there still remains the view that facial expressions of emotions are learned within a particular culture (culture-learning)


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