11 Motivation, Emotion, and Personality
STEP 4 Review the Knowledge You Need to Score High
Motive is a need or a want that causes us to act. Motivation directs and maintains goal-directed behavior. Motivational theories explain the relationship between physiological changes and emotional experiences.
Theories of motivation include the following:
• Instinct theory—physical and mental instincts such as curiosity and fearfulness cause us to act. Instincts are inherited automatic species-specific behaviors.
• Drive reduction theory—focuses on internal states of tension, such as hunger, that motivate us to pursue actions that reduce the tension and bring us back to homeostasis, which is internal balance. Need is a motivated state caused by a physiological deficit. Drive is a state of psychological tension, induced by a need, which motivates us.
• Incentive theory—beyond the primary motives of food, drink, and sex that push us toward a goal, secondary motives or external stimuli such as money, approval, and grades regulate and pull us toward a goal.
• Arousal theory—each of us has an optimal level of arousal necessary to perform tasks which varies with the person and the activity. Arousal is the level of alertness, wakefulness, and activation caused by activity in the central nervous system. According to the Yerkes—Dodson law, for easy tasks, moderately high arousal is optimal; for difficult tasks, moderately low is optimal; and for most average tasks, a moderate level of arousal is optimal.
• Maslow’s hierarchy of needs—arranges biological and social needs in priority from the lowest level of (1) basic biological needs to (2) safety and security needs to (3) belongingness and love needs to (4) self-esteem needs to (5) self-actualization needs. The need for self-actualization, the need to fulfill one’s potential, and transcendence, spiritual fulfillment, are the highest needs and can only be realized after each succeeding need below has been fulfilled; lacks evidence to support theory.
Physiological motives are primary motives such as hunger, thirst, pain, and sex influenced by biological factors, environmental factors, and learned preferences and habits. These include the following:
1. Hunger—increases with stomach contractions, low blood sugar, high insulin levels that stimulate the lateral hypothalamus (LH); high levels of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine, GABA, and neuropeptide Y that stimulate the paraventricular hypothalamus (PVN); environmental factors such as the sight and smell of desired foods; and stress. Stimulation of the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) stops eating behavior.
Set point—a preset natural body weight, determined by the number of fat cells in our body.
Anorexia nervosa—eating disorder most common in adolescent females characterized by weight less than 85 percent of normal, abnormally restrictive food consumption, and an unrealistic body image.
Bulimia nervosa—an eating disorder characterized by a pattern of eating binges involving intake of thousands of calories, followed by purging, either by vomiting or using laxatives.
2. Thirst—increases with mouth dryness; shrinking of cells from loss of water and low blood volume which stimulate the lateral hypothalamus; and sight and smell of desired fluids.
3. Pain—promotes avoidance or escape behavior to eliminate causes of discomfort.
4. Sex—necessary for survival of the species, but not the individual. Testosterone levels in humans seem related to sexual motivation in both sexes. Sexual orientation refers to the direction of an individual’s sexual interest:
• Homosexuality—a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another person of the same sex.
• Bisexuality—a tendency to direct sexual desire toward people of both sexes.
• Heterosexuality—a tendency to direct sexual desire toward people of the opposite sex.
Masters and Johnson described a pattern of four stages in the biological sexual response cycle: sexual arousal, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.
Social motives are learned needs, such as the need for achievement and the need for affiliation, that energize behavior acquired as part of growing up in a particular society or culture.
Need for achievement—a desire to meet some internalized standard of excellence, related to productivity and success. People with a high need for achievement choose moderately challenging tasks to satisfy their need.
Affiliation motive—the need to be with others; is aroused when people feel threatened, anxious, or celebratory.
Intrinsic motivation—a desire to perform an activity for its own sake.
Extrinsic motivation—a desire to perform an activity to obtain a reward such as money, applause, or attention.
Overjustification effect—where promising a reward for doing something we already like to do results in us seeing the reward as the motivation for performing the task. When the reward is taken away, the behavior tends to disappear.
Social conflict situations involve being torn in different directions by opposing motives that block us from attaining a goal, leaving us feeling frustrated and stressed. Types of conflicts include the following:
• Approach—approach conflicts—situations involving two positive options, only one of which we can have.
• Avoidance—avoidance conflicts—situations involving two negative options, one of which we must choose.
• Approach—avoidance conflicts—situations involving whether or not to choose an option that has both a positive and negative consequence or consequences.
• Multiple approach—avoidance conflicts—situations involving several alternative courses of action that have both positive and negative aspects.
Emotions are psychological feelings that involve physiological arousal (biological component), conscious experience (cognitive component), and overt behavior (behavioral component). Physiological arousal involves stimulation of the sympathetic ner-vous system and hormonal secretion. The limbic system is the center for emotions; the amygdala influences aggression and fear and interacts with the hypothalamus. Basic emotions such as joy, fear, anger, sadness, surprise, and disgust are inborn. Cross-cultural studies support the universal recognition of at least six basic emotions based on facial expressions. Different cultures have different rules for showing emotions. No one theory accounts completely for emotions:
• Evolutionary theory—emotions developed because of their adaptive value, allowing the organism to avoid danger and survive. We often know how we feel before we know what we think.
• James—Lange theory—conscious experience of emotion results from one’s awareness of autonomic arousal.
• Cannon—Bard theory—the thalamus sends information to the limbic system and cerebral cortex simultaneously so that conscious experience of emotion accompanies physiological processes.
• Opponent-process theory—following a strong emotion, an opposing emotion counters the first emotion, lessening the experience of that emotion. On repeated occasions, the opposing emotion becomes stronger.
• Schachter—Singer two-factor theory—we determine an emotion from our physiological arousal and then label that emotion according to our cognitive explanation for the arousal.
• Cognitive-appraisal theory—our emotional experience depends on our interpretation of the situation we are in.
Health psychology looks at relationship between psychological behavior—thoughts, feelings, and actions—and physical health.
Stress—both psychological and physiological reactions to stressors; situations, events, or stimuli that produce uncomfortable feelings or anxiety.
Selye’s General Adaptation Syndrome—three-stage process describes our body’s reaction to stress:
1. Alarm reaction—stressor triggers increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
2. Resistance—raised temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration maintained; levels of adrenaline and corticosteroids rise.
3. Exhaustion stage—immune system is weakened, increased susceptibility to ulcers, depression, death.
Stressful life events include the following:
• Catastrophes—unpredictable, large-scale disasters that threaten us.
• Significant life events—stressful changes in our lives such as death of a loved one, marriage, starting college, etc. Holmes and Rahe’s Social Readjustment Rating Scale rates stressful events in our lives. The greater the number and intensity of life-changing events, the greater is the chance of developing physical illness or disease in the following year.
• Daily hassles—everyday annoyances that together can raise our blood pressure, cause headaches, and lower our immunity.
Type A personalities with traits of anger, hostility, and cynicism are more likely to have heart attacks than are Type B personalities. Type A personalities—high achievers, competitive, impatient, multitaskers, who walk, talk, and eat quickly. Type B personalities— relaxed and calm in their approach to life.
Coping strategies are active efforts to reduce or tolerate perceived levels of stress.
Maladaptive coping strategies include aggression; indulging ourselves by eating, drinking, smoking, using drugs, spending money, or sleeping too much; or using defense mechanisms.
Adaptive coping strategies include taking direct action through problem solving, exercising, seeking the social support of friends, finding help through religious organizations and prayer, and accepting the problem. Relaxation, visualization, meditation, and biofeedback can help lessen the effects of stress in our lives and boost our immune systems.
Positive psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning.
Personality—a set of unique behaviors, attitudes, and emotions that characterize a particular individual.
Idiographic methods—personality assessment techniques that look at the individual, such as case studies, interviews, and naturalistic observations.
Nomothetic methods—personality assessment techniques such as tests, surveys, and observations that focus on variables at the group level, identifying universal trait dimensions or relationships between different aspects of personality.
Biological approach—examines the extent to which heredity determines our personality.
• Heritability estimates from twin and adoption studies suggest that both heredity and environment have about equal roles in determining at least some of our personality characteristics.
• Evolutionary psychologist David Buss attributes the universality of basic personality traits to natural selection because traits such as extraversion and agreeableness ensure physical survival and reproduction of the species.
Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic approach—originated with Sigmund Freud, who emphasized unconscious motivations and conflicts and the importance of early childhood experiences.
Freud’s three levels of the mind:
• Conscious—includes everything we are aware of.
• Preconscious—contains information and feelings we can easily recall.
• Unconscious—contains wishes, impulses, memories, and feelings generally inaccessible to conscious.
Freud’s three major systems of personality:
• Id (in unconscious)—contains everything psychological that is inherited and psychic energy that powers all three systems. Id is “Give me, I want,” irrational, self-centered; guided by the pleasure principle.
• Ego (partly conscious, partly unconscious)—mediates between instinctual needs and conditions of the environment to maintain our life and ensure that our species lives on; guided by the reality principle.
• Superego (partly conscious, partly unconscious)—is composed of the conscience that punishes us by making us feel guilty and the ego-ideal that rewards us by making us feel proud of ourselves.
Defense mechanisms—extreme measures protect the ego from threats; operate unconsciously and deny, falsify, or distort reality. Some defense mechanisms:
• Repression—the most frequently used and powerful defense mechanism; the pushing away of threatening thoughts, feelings, and memories into the unconscious mind; unconscious forgetting.
• Regression—retreating to an earlier level of development characterized by more immature, pleasurable behavior.
• Rationalization—offering socially acceptable reasons for our inappropriate behavior; making unconscious excuses.
• Projection—attributing our own undesirable thoughts, feelings, or actions to others.
• Displacement—shifting unacceptable thoughts, feelings, or actions from a more threatening person or object to another less threatening person or object.
• Reaction formation—acting in a manner exactly opposite of our true feelings.
• Sublimation—redirecting unacceptable sexual or aggressive impulses into more socially acceptable behaviors.
Freud’s Psychosexual Theory of Development—sequential and discontinuous stages with changing erogenous zone and conflict in each stage. If conflict is not successfully resolved, the result is fixation. The stages are the following:
• Oral stage—pleasure from sucking; conflict is weaning from bottle or breast; oral fixation; oral-dependent personalities are gullible, overeaters, and passive, while oral-aggressive personalities are sarcastic and argumentative.
• Anal stage—pleasure from holding in or letting go of feces; conflict is toilet training; anal fixation; anal-retentive personalities are orderly, obsessively neat, stingy, and stubborn; or anal-expulsive personalities are messy, disorganized, and lose their temper.
• Phallic stage—pleasure from self-stimulation of genitals; conflict is castration anxiety or penis envy. Healthy resolution of Oedipal/Electra complex results in identification with same-sex parent; fixation; homosexuality or relationship problems.
• Latency stage—suppressed sexuality; pleasure in accomplishments; if accomplishments fall short of expectations, development of feelings of inferiority.
• Genital stage—adolescent to adulthood; pleasure from intercourse and intimacy with another person.
Carl Jung’s analytic theory emphasized the influence of our evolutionary past on our personality with the collective unconscious—the powerful and influential system that contains universal memories and ideas that all people have inherited from ancestors over the course of evolution.
• Archetypes—inherited memories or common themes found in all cultures, religions, and literature, both ancient and modern.
• Individuation—psychological process by which we become an individual; a unified whole, including conscious and unconscious processes.
Alfred Adler’s individual or ego theory emphasized social interest as the primary determinant of personality. We strive for superiority and try to compensate for inferiority complexes.
Karen Horney attacked Freud’s male bias and suggested the male counterpart for penis envy is womb envy. She thought females were more envious of the male’s social status.
Humanistic approach—Humans are born good and strive for positive personal growth.
• Abraham Maslow emphasized the goal of self-actualization—reaching toward the best person we can be.
• Carl Rogers’s self-theory or the view that the individual’s self-concept is formed by society’s conditions of worth and the need for unconditional positive regard—acceptance and love from others independent of how we behave.
Behavioral approach—According to Skinner, our history of reinforcement shapes our behavior, which is our personality.
Cognitive and social cognitive/social-learning approach—Cognitive theories say human nature is basically neutral and we are shaped by our perceptions of the world.
• George Kelly’s personal construct theory looks at how we develop bipolar mental constructs to judge and predict others’ behavior.
• Social cognitive/social-learning theories stress the interaction of thinking with learning experiences in a social environment.
• Albert Bandura’s reciprocal determinism states that three types of factors all affect one another in explaining our the nature, frequency, and intensity of actions; stimuli from the social or physical environment, and reinforcement contingencies.
• Julian Rotter’s locus of control is the degree to which we expect that a reinforcement or outcome of our behavior is contingent on our own behavior or personal characteristics (internal locus of control), as opposed to the degree to which we expect that a reinforcement or outcome of our behavior is a function of luck or fate, is under the control of others, or is unpredictable (external locus of control).
• Walter Mischel developed a cognitive-affective personality system (CAPS). Interaction among five factors (our encoding strategies, our expectancies and beliefs, our goals and values, our feelings, and our personal competencies and self-regulatory processes) and characteristics of the situation account for our individual differences.
Self-efficacy is our belief that we can perform behaviors that are necessary to accomplish tasks and that we are competent.
Collective efficacy is our perception that with collaborative effort our group will obtain its desired outcome. Research studies indicate high self-efficacy is more beneficial in individualistic societies and high collective efficacy in collectivistic societies for achievement of group goals.
Trait theory—A trait is a relatively permanent characteristic of our personality that can be used to predict our behavior.
Gordon Allport’s trait theory proposed three levels of traits:
• Cardinal trait—defining characteristic, in a small number of us, that dominates and shapes all of our behavior.
• Central trait—general characteristic; between 5 and 10 of these shape much of our behavior.
• Secondary trait—a characteristic apparent in only certain situations. Our unique pattern of traits determines our behavior.
Hans Eysenck used three genetically influenced dimensions to describe personality. He used factor analysis, a statistical procedure that identifies common factors among groups of items, to determine his three dimensions:
• Extroversion (also extraversion)—measures our sociability and tendency to pay attention to the external environment, as opposed to our private mental experiences.
• Neuroticism—measures our level of instability—how moody, anxious, and unreliable we are—as opposed to stability—how calm, even-tempered, and reliable we are.
• Psychoticism—measures our level of tough-mindedness—how hostile, ruthless, and insensitive we are—as opposed to tender-mindedness—how friendly, empathetic, and cooperative we are.
Raymond Cattell studied surface traits—hundreds of visible areas of personality. He developed a list of 16 basic traits, source traits, that underlie personality characteristics. His Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16 PF) yields trait profiles of personality.
Paul Costa and Robert McCrae used factor analysis to identify five broad dimensions of personality. Five-factor model of personality, nicknamed “The Big Five,” includes the traits of openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
Assessment techniques to measure personality:
• Unstructured interviews involve informal conversation centered on the individual.
• Structured interviews involve the interviewer posing a series of planned questions that the interviewee answers.
• Behavioral assessments—record the frequency of specific behaviors in an observation.
• Psychoanalysts use projective personality tests—presenting ambiguous stimuli, such as inkblots or pictures, with the assumption that test takers will project their unconscious thoughts or feelings onto the stimuli. Examples are the Rorschach inkblot test and Thematic Apperception Test (TAT).
• Self-report methods, the most common personality assessment techniques, involve answering a series of questions, such as a personality questionnaire, or supplying information about himself or herself.
Jung’s personality types are measured by the Myers—Briggs Type Indicator.
Cattell’s personality traits are measured by the 16 PF.
Rotter’s locus of control is measured by the Internal—External Locus of Control Scale.
Maslow’s self-actualization is measured by the Personal Orientation Inventory.
Rogers’s congruence between the actual self and ideal self is measured by the Q-sort.
MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory—2)—567 true-false items.
Patterns of responses reveal personality dimensions.
NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI) and the Big Five Questionnaire (BFQ)—assess personality based on the five-factor model in healthy people; used in cross-cultural research.
Halo effect—tendency to generalize a favorable impression to unrelated dimensions of the subject’s personality.
Hawthorn effect—when people know that they are being observed, they change their behavior to what they think the observer expects or to make themselves look good.
Self-concept—our overall view of our abilities, behavior, and personality.
Self-esteem—one part of our self-concept or how we evaluate ourselves.