Ap psych Motivation Notes

Module 37
Motivation: ​A need or desire that energizes and directs behavior
Motivations arise from the ​interplay between nature and nurture
There are four perspectives for viewing motivated behaviors
○ Instinct Theory​​ (​F
​ ocuses on genetically predisposed behaviors)
○ Drive Reduction Theory​​ (​​Focuses on how our inner pushes and external
pushes interact
○ Arousal Theory ​(​ Focuses on finding the right level for stimulation)
○ Hierarchy of needs​​ (Describes how some of our needs take priority over others)
Instincts and evolutionary Psychology:
Instinct:​​ ​A complex unlearned behavior that is rigidly patterned throughout a species.
An example of this would be salmon knowing to return to their birthplace.
Drives and Incentives:
When the instic theory of motivations collapsed it was replaced by the drive reduction
Drive reduction Theory​​: T
​ he idea that a psychological need creates an aroused
tension state (a drive) that motivates an organism to satisfy the need.
When a psychological need increases so does a psychological drive
Homeostasis:​​ ​A tendency to maintain a balanced or constant internal state; the
regulation of any aspect of the body chemistry, such as blood glucose around a
particular level. An example of this would be the body's temperature regulation system.
The psychological aim of drive reduction is Homeostasis.
Unlike drives that push us incentives pull us
Incentive:​​ ​Positive or negative environmental stimulus that motivates behavior
Optimum Arousal:
Optimal Arousal Theory: ​Theory that says that some motivated behaviors actually
increases someone's arousal. An example of this would be well fed animals leaving their
shelter to explore and gain information, in the absence of a need based drive.
Human motivation does not eliminate arousal instead it seeks out optimum levels of
Basically if we have all of our biological needs satisfied we feel driven to experiance
stimulation and we hunger for information.
Too much stimulation causes Stress
Yerkes Dodson Law​​:​ The principle that performance increases with arousal only up to a
point, beyond which performance decreases.
Optimal arousal levels depend on the task the person is doing. A harder task would want
you to lower arousal for best preformance.
A Hierarchy
of Motives
● Some
such as
and lack
needs take
over others
Thirst taking
of air taking
over thirst.
Hierarchy of needs: ​Maslow's pyramid of human needs, beginning at the base with
physiological needs that must first be satisfied before higher level safety needs and then
physiological needs become more active.
Maslow's order of needs is not universally fixed.
Module 38
An experiment was conducted involving 36 male volunteers having their food supply cut
by half for 6 months . The experiment concluded maslow's principals during the time
period the men were obsessed with food and since they were preoccupied with such a
basic need they lost all interests in secondary needs such as sex and self realization.
The physiology of hunger:
You are having stomach contractions whenever you feel hungry
But if you remove your stomach you would still feel hungry this means that stomach
contractions are not the only source of hunger.
Body chemistry and the brain:
Glucose: ​the form of sugar that circulates in the blood and provides the major source of
energy for body tissues, when its level is low we feel hunger.
If your body’s glucose level is low, your digestive organs will signal the brain to be more
motivated to eat, this will make us feel hunger.
You don’t consciously feel your body’s glucose level drop
The brain sounds the hunger alarm using several neural areas located in the
hypothalamus. There is an appetite enhancer within the hypothalamus that controls the
hunger alarm. ​If it gets stimulated electrically well fed animals began to eat. If it gets
destroyed starving animals don't eat. The opposite happens with the appetite
suppressing ​area.
The interaction between appetite hormones and brain activity suggest that the body has
some sort of weight thermostat. ​When rats fall below their normal weight their body
begins to try to restore that weight by increasing their hunger and outputting less energy.
The opposite happens when they have their weight above the normal level.
Set point: The point at which an individual's weight thermostat is supposedly set. When
the body falls below this weight and increase in hunger and a lowered metabolic rate
may act to restore the lost weight.
Basal metabolic Rate (BMR)​​ The body’s resting rate of energy expenditure.
All humans vary in their basal metabolic rate​, but we share a common response to
decreased food intake, by our body's lowering our BMR
Some psychologists disagree that an actual set point exists, since it does not explain
several things like slow weight gain or loss, or obesity, instead they use the word Settling
point to indicate where the person's weight settles in response to caloric intake.
The psychology of hunger
On factor that influences our decision to eat is our memory of the time of our last meal
AS time passes we think about eating triggering feelings of hunger.
Our preferences for sweet and salty tastes are generic and universal,​ but conditioning
can intensify or alter our preferences. For example people given highly salted foods may
develop a liking for excess salt.
Our culture also affects what we eat and what we like​, we might think eating on thing in
america is cruel and disgusting but it might be perfectly normal in another country.
Our environments also influence our tastes for example in a climate where agriculture
has produced milk, survival patterns favor people with lactose tolerance. In tropical areas
of the country food spoils quickly so people add spices to preserve food.
Most humans avoid food that is strange or unfamiliar to them.
Situational Influences on Eating:
Situations also control how we eat here are some examples
○ Most people eat more food than usual when they are with others since being
around the presence of others tends to amplify our natural behaviors.
○ Also you eat more when you are givin a larger proportion size
○ Food variety also influences our eating habits, when we are offered a dessert
buffet we more than when we are only asked to choose a portion of one favorite
Obesity and weight control
Obesity can be socially toxic affecting how you are treated and how you feel about
yourself. It has been associated with lower psychological being, and linked to increased
risk of depression
Our bodies store fat because it is an ideal form of stored energy and powers them
through times when food was scarce.
Through the world obesity has increased dramatically the past few decades,
Obesity increases the risk of several health conditions such as diabetes, high blood
pressure, heart disease, gallstones, arthritis and even cognitive decay and Alzheimer’s
Basically it increases health care costs and decreases life expectancy
Set point And Metabolism:
Once we become fat we burn of few amounts of calories and have a lower
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