Chapter 10 - Motivation and Emotion

The Evolutionary Approach:
The evolutionary approach emphasizes the role of instincts in motivation. An instinct is an innate (unlearned) biological pattern of behavior that is assumed to be universal throughout a species. According to evolutionary psychologists, if we can understand the roots of the people that went before us it paints a pretty good picture of the pattern that takes place down generations. However human behavior is far too complex to map a pattern from people in the past to determine actions were done my instinct.
Drive Reduction Theory:
The drive reduction theory states that motivation and emotion can be explained by these two present things: A drive is an aroused state that occurs because of a physiological need. A need is a deprivation that energizes the drive to eliminate or reduce the deprivation. Drive reduction theory explains that as a drive becomes stronger, we are motivated to reduce it. The goal of drive reduction is homeostasis, the body's tendency to maintain equilibrium, or a steady state.
Optimum Arousal Theory:
Psychologists are generally referring to a person's feelings of being alert and engaged when they refer to this theory. When we are very excited, our arousal levels are high. When we are bored, they are low. Thus, when we are motivated to do something we do it and try to do it well and when we are not motivated to do something we do not do it. Yerkes-Dodson law: performance is best under conditions of moderate arousal rather than either low or high arousal.

The Biology of Hunger:
GASTRIC SIGNALS: A growling stomach needs food. The stomach tells the brain not only how full it is but also how much nutrient is present, which is why rich food stops hunger faster than the same amount of water.
BLOOD CHEMISTRY: Glucose (blood sugar) is an important factor in hunger, probably because the brain critically depends on sugar for energy. So do other factors such as insulin and leptin.
BRAIN PROCESSES: The lateral hypothalamus is involved in stimulating eating. When this area is electrically stimulated in a well-fed animal, the animal begins to eat.

There are two main factors to obesity the biological and the psychological. Te biological states that obesity has a genetic component and the psychological: Psychologists used to think that obesity stemmed from factors such as unhappiness and external food cues

Motivation and emotion go hand in hand. Motivation is what motivates us and makes us strive towards our set goals and emotion is how we react when we have succeeded in meeting our goals, or when we are not quite able to reach the goal we had originally set for ourselves.

Biological Factors in Emotion- The body is a crucial part of our emotional experience. There are many different factors that control one's emotional factors. For instance, if your mom or dad tells you "we need to talk," you could automatically assume you did something wrong or are in trouble, when they really may just want to ask you what you did at school that day. Depending on the body language or verbal cues the person speaking to you uses, you may or may not know if what they want to talk to you about will have a positive or negative outcome. If you are nervous that your parents want to talk to you and you think you might be in trouble, your body may move through a vast array of emotions, such as fear, anticipation, worry, and dissapointment. However, if you realize you weren't getting into trouble after all, your body may go through an array of more positive emotions, such as relief, happiness, and joy.

The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for rapid reactions to different stressors. During the "fight or flight" response, the sympathetic nervous system increases your blood pressure, makes your heart rate speed up, makes you breathe more rapidly, and causes you to have more efficient blood flow to the brain and all major muscles. These changes help prepare our body for action.

The parasympathetic nervous system is responsible for calming the body. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, your heart rate and blood pressure drop, your stomach activity and food digestion increases, and your breathing slows down. These changes help premote relaxation and healing.

Behavioral Factors in Emotion- The behavioral component in emotions can be verbal or nonverbal. Verbal components could include telling someone you love them, telling someone you dislike them, or telling your best friend how much they mean to you. Nonverbal components include showing someone you care about them by giving them a hug, smiling when someone does something nice for you, or frowning when someone does something you don't like. Different facial expressions we use can influence and reflect emotions. Our facial muscles send signals to the brain that help us recognize different emotions we are experiencing. For example, when we smile, we feel happier and when we frown, we feel sadder. Thanks to James-Lange's theory of emotion, we know that emotional experiences can be generated by changes in the awareness of our bodily states.


Cognitive Factors in Emotion- Cognitive theories of emotion center around the premise that emotion always has a cognitive component.Thinking is responsible for feelings of love, hate, joy, and sadness.

The two-factor theory of emotion was developed by Stanley Schachter and Jerome Singer. The two-factor theory of emotion states that emotion is determined by two factors: physiological arousal and cognitive labeling. We interpret external cues and label the emotion. For instance, if you feel good after someone has given you a compliment, you can label the emotion as "happy."

Sociocultural Factors in Emotion- Charles Darwin stated that "Facial expressions of human beings are innate, not learned; are the same in all cultures of the world; and have evolved from the emotions of animals." Today, psychologists still believe emotions, especially facial expressions of emotion, have strong biological ties. Paul Ekman's observations observed that the many faces we use to show emotion do not differ significantly from culture to culture. People from all different cultures have been observed to accurately label emotions that lie behind facial expressions. Even though facial expressions for basic emotions are universal for all cultures, display rules for emotion vary between cultures. Display rules are sociocultural standards that determine when, where, and how emotions should be expressed. For example, happiness may be a universally expressed emotion, but when, where, and how it should be displayed varies between different cultures.

The Adaptive Functions of Emotions- Everyone show emotions such as happiness, sadness, fear, and anger. Emotions are a huge part of daily life between human beings. Negative emotions indicate that something is wrong and that a person must take action to combat the problem. Positive emotions, however, do not signal that there is anything wrong, thus there is no problem to fix. Because of Barbara Fredrickson's "broaden-and-build model" of positive emotion, we know that the function of positive emotions lies in their effects on an individual's attention and ability to build resources. For instance, positive moods, such as humor, enjoyment, and contentment, have been shown to broaden a human's attentional focus, thus allowing us to see things for how they really are, instead of just making broad assumptions.

Biological Factors in Happiness- When it comes to experiencing positive emotions, the brain is hard at work. Genes also play a crucial role in helping us experience positively influenced emotions. For instance, researchers on the heritability of well-being has shown that a substantial proportion of well-being differences among people can be explained through genetics. It is known through the concept of set points, that there might also be a happiness set point - a person's basic level of happiness when the individual is not intentionally trying to increase his or her own happiness. There are many different factors that complicate the ability for a person to be happy, but as long as you try to stay positive and look at things from a number of different perspectives, staying happy can be easier than staying upset.


Obstacles in the Pursuit of Happiness- One of the most important key challenges individuals go through in trying to increas their happiness in the "hedonic treadmill." The hedonic treadmill uses the idea that any aspect of life that enhance's one's positive feelings is only likely to enhance their feeling's for a short amount of time, due to the fact that individuals generally adapt rapidly to any life change that would presumably influence their happiness.The idea of falling in love or buying a new car is exciting and may make you happy for a short amount of time, but your happiness will soon fade away and you will want more exciting things to fill the place of the old exciting thing. New feelings or possessions will likely lead to a momentary burst of pleasure, eventually giving way to the set point. Another obstacle in the goal of enhancing one's happiness and pleasure is that pursuing happiness just to do so is rarely a good way to get happy or happier and in the end is more likely to backfire then gain you happiness and pleasure.

Happiness Activities and Goal Striving- There are many ways to enhance positive affect in happiness and goal stiving. Sonja Lyubomirsky identifies that some of the most important positive affects are physical activity, kindness, and positive self-reflection. All of these help enhance positive affect because they make us feel good and when we feel better, we are in turn more positive in our outlooks on things. Another usefull approach to enhancing one's happiness is by committing to the pursuit of personally meaningful goals. By writing down or keeping a log of the goals you are trying to accomplish, whether they be big or small, you can help yourself achieve a better feeling of happiness. Goal pursuit has a tremendous advantage over many other ways of trying to enhance happiness. Because goals accentuate the positive, but do not always eliminate the negative, when we fail to reach a goal, we may experience a momentary increase in unhappiness. Experiencing an increase in unhappiness due to not reaching a goal can be a good thing because goals can make us both happy and unhappy, thus keeping life emotionally interesting, and their influence on our happiness won't wear off over time.

Review Questions

Q. Who stated that "Facial expressions of human beings are innate, not learned; are the same in all cultures of the world; and have evolved from the emotions of animals?"
A. Charles Darwin
Q. What does the sympathetic nervouse system do?
A. Prepares the body for action.
Q. Who came up with the idea of the "broaden-and-build model?"
A. Barbara Fredrickson

Group Members: Brittany Harrel, Kimberly Legaspi, Elizabeth Moylan