Motivation and Emotion

  • Motivation- The force that moves people to behave, think, and feel the way they do.
  • Emotion- Feeling, or affect, that can involve psychological arousal, conscious experience, and behavioral expression.

1. Theories of Motivation

  • Instinct- An innate biological pattern of behavior that is assumed to be universal throughout a species.
  • Drive- An aroused state that occurs because of a physiological need.
  • Need- A deprivation that energizes the drive to eliminate or reduce the deprivation.

Drive Reduction Theory
The Drive Reduction Theory states that as people are driven more they are motivated to sustain that state of their drive, otherwise known as "Homeostasis" (The body's tendency to maintain an equilibrium, or steady state). This makes daily routines easier because of the body's regulation between drive and motivation.

Yerkes-Dodson Law

In Yerkes-Dodson Law, performance is explained under the effects of arousal, and how a happy medium of the two is better than being unbalanced. In order to carry out tasks most productively, people must be equally motivated by arousal and performance. If either are too high, or low, an individual may become distracted easily, or too sluggish to carry out tasks.

2. Hunger, Obesity, and Eating Disorders

  • Set Point- The weight maintained when the individual makes no effort to gain or lose weight.

Psychology, Hunger, and Obesity

An array of problems may occur with relations to food in peoples lives that relate to emotions and human motivations. Time, setting, social behaviors, and availability affect how people relate to food.

Obesity can cause many health, and mental dilemmas such as diabetes and depression. Obesity may be caused by a variety of different reasons that effect why people tend to over-eat, factors of obesity include biological, cognitive, and sociocultural behaviors.

Eating Disorders
Some eating disorders include Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating. These disorders are not only derived from a persons drive, and motivation to look and feel good, but also cultural, psychological, and biological factors.
  • Anorexia Nervosa- Eating disorder that involves the relentless pursuit of thinness through starvation.
  • Bulimia Nervosa- Eating disorder in which and individual consistently follows a binge-and-purge eating pattern
  • Binge eating disorder (BED)- Eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of consuming large amounts of food during which the person feels a lack of control over eating.

3. Approaches to Motivation in Everyday Life

  • Hierarchy of needs- Maslow's theory that human needs must be stisfied in the following sequence: Physiological needs, safety, love and belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization.

Human Needs, and Self-Determination

According to Abraham Maslow, "people are motivated to satisfy their need for food first and to fulfill their need for safety before their need for love", like the building blocks of our life having a strong, and sturdy base is important, which is why people's own needs come before the needs of others. Our psychological state of mind depends on how we view safety, love, maslows-hierarchy-of-needs1.jpg, and self-actualization. Although these needs are important, motivation may drive people to do "build" and live their lives out of order. For example, a person's need of love may allow them to over look their safety to an extent.

4. Emotion

  • Negative affect- unpleasant emotions.
  • Positive affect- pleasant emotions.
Biological Factors in Emotion
The sympathetic nervous system which responds to stressors, is responsible for arousal. "Fight or Flight", which increase breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure, and stops digestion, is what allows the body to react to sudden changes in surrounding, nervousness, and arousal. This effects the change in people's emotions, such as love, distress, and happiness. A measure of arousal may be done with a polygraph, a machine that monitors changes in the body, also used to tell if a person is lying.

Classifying Emotions
Emotions have a wide range of variety according to what exactly it is people feel, for example, happiness may sometimes be confused with excitement at times, or sadness with being upset over something. All emotions affect people either positively or negatively. Arousal plays a big part in how people reflect on their emotions, whether they are excited, or happy, and allows people to differ one from the other. Emotions can also be classified as being high or low, intense or subtle. Negative and positive emotions differ greatly because of their drastic difference, such as terror(negative), and joy(positive).

5. Motivation, Emotion, and Health and Wellness: The Pursuit of Happiness

Factors of Happiness
Happiness is not only an emotion, but can be inherited as well. Happiness changes over time but retains a "set point" , or maintains a point of happiness without effort of change. Happiness does not last forever, and so most people are constantly striving to find happiness, such as love, fun, excitement, or anything that will please them in that moment. Once a burst of happiness ends, the individual will releave themselves to their own set point. Achieving a motivational goals is a way of maintaining happiness. When people reach their goals and do well for what they are driven for they will feel happy. This positive affect from day to day will give a heightened happiness above their set point.

6. Question & Answer

1. What is motivation?
Answer: The force that moves people to behave, think, and feel the way they do.
2. What are some examples of factors that may effect a persons eating habits?
Answer: Culture, mood, stress, settings, social behaviors, availability...etc.( or answers similar).
3. According to Abraham Maslow, what are people most motivated to satisfy their need of?
Answer: Food.
4. Why are positive and negative emotions easy to differ?
Answer: They are opposites.
5. What are some ways people may increase their happiness above their set point?
Answer: Achieving goals, maintaining the motivation to do well in what they strive to do...etc.(or answers similar).


Google,,Notes,Lectures, Laura A. King: The Science of Psychology.