Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Final Project: Motivation in a Crisis

The class is a study of Motivation; to be moved into action.

What is motivation? What are some sources of motivation? Does my past motivate me today? Does my unconscious motivate me in any way? Do all people share similar motives despite cultural, language, and socioeconomic differences? What role does motivation play in my selection of a mate?
Questions like these and others are part of the reason I was so interested in taking this course. While the study of motivation alone was interesting, the course also helped me understand more about myself. Why was I pulled to psychology and education as professions? Why was I so determined to do track in high school? Why do I take solace in isolation rather than in companionship with humanity? I found the reasons for these choices through the study of motivation and the class forums.
The class of “Motivation” is more than just an education and four credits. It is also a way to grow in maturity and wisdom. But most importantly, it has helped me survive!
Read on…

About a month ago, I had chest pains and was rushed to the hospital. There I was examined and my cardiologist found muscle protein in the blood stream. She ran another lab to see if it was heart muscle. The results came in while I was waiting for orientation to start. That is when I met Dr. Berg and asked to be excused from orientation.
It has been a rollercoaster since then. Well, it has been a rollercoaster since the beginning as you may know if you have read my posts. At first, I was angry about the news. Then I thought about all the abuse I put my body through. I have only myself to blame.
I have been going to University of Pennsylvania from some treatments and tests since I got the news about my heart. During all of it I have been taking this class, and I am so glad I decided to drop learning theory instead of this class (I couldn’t do two summer classes at the same time and deal with the heart issues).
When my cardiologist called with the results of the lab showing heart muscle in the bloodstream, I broke down. I screamed at my God, asking him why he let this happen after all I did to try and turn myself around. Then, I took another look at my situation. Using this class as a guide I went over my past and examined my motives, including the ones that I was unaware of (all of which is posted in my third post). I examined the sources of my motives whether they were psychological, physiological, and environmental. I studied the incentives of my motives, what it was that I was after when I chose a course of action.
I especially focused on chapter 7 section one; Appraisal of life events, primary and secondary. I decided to do just that. I took out a piece of paper and started.
I considered all of the variables in my life. Then I did a primary appraisal. It was a negative of course. So, I moved on to secondary appraisal.
I had a body that was abused for what was to be the growth years, the years where my body should have been at its peak! So that was a negative, but at least I was aware of it. So I gave that one a neutral mark. Now I had a family to lean on once again. I had my faith in my God again. I was no longer in isolation. I had my friends. I had a huge buffer of support for this situation. I had coped with my stress in an emotion-focused coping strategy. Ever since my brain tumor, I had developed a positive approach to most of life’s lemons and therefore I saw them as more of a challenge. I decided that I fell into the “sense of humor” and “hardiness” categories of personality.
After the appraisal, I decided that I was going to overcome this challenge. I shared the whole appraisal process with my family and friends, and we all got a laugh out of my list of past errors. They agreed with my decision to overcome this challenge.
It is all right there! The essence of the class!
A fork in the road. What motivated me to choose my action?

1. The sources of my motive
a. Psychological
i. Personality
1. Sense of Humor +
2. Hardiness +
ii. Emotional state
1. Stressed -
2. Suffering from low self esteem –
3. Happy +
b. Environmental
i. Support of friends +
ii. Support of family +
iii. Religion +
iv. In a hospital (stressful environment in my opinion) -
c. Physiological
i. Lost weight +
ii. Will to survive (humanities shared past) +
iii. Body badly beaten (personal past) -
iv. Well fed, no thirst. +

Nine positives, four negatives. While this list here does not contain everything that I had on my notepad, it had the core ones.
Thus, my motives pushed me into action, and my disposition and personality pushed to challenge this lemon and overcome it.


So you can see how this class was more to me then a few credits. It was my survival. This all happened a month ago and since then I have been healing very well. I place my success on many things, mostly on this class. It has been a long, stressful, and exhausting couple of months but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I was going to put up pictures of my past and some MRI’s. I know this is a lot of reading and I am sorry for the lack of extras like pictures.

P.S. Thank you to all of you who have commented to me. Your words give me strength through this ordeal.

Post 3: Motivation Through the Chapters and my Life

Some of you may have read my post on my addiction to running. I didn't tell you the effects that the addiction had had on me further down the road though.
Ever since my running issues, I had sworn it off. I had not run in some time. Nor did I do much, if any, exercising. I was ashamed of what I had done. And because of that shame, I let myself go.
Oh, how quickly one addiction can lead to another. Food! That was my need; or so I believed. While I was running, I ate seven thousand calories a day to keep up my energy. When I quite, my body told me through a number of ways that I needed to eat. So I did. I went from a 140 pounds to 280 pounds. Soon my body knew that I did not need to eat, but I continued. No longer was this a physiological need. It became a addiction and psychological need. I felt empty.
I had no more ambition after I stopped running. I was afraid to try anything else for fear of failure. I was afraid of the public, especially after I got so fat and overweight. I avoided people because of my shame and low self esteem. I became lonely through my own actions. Feeling empty, I filled myself with food, which was so easy! I lost my mind in video games and television to pass the long lonely hours.
Then, about two years after I stopped running an x-ray found a growth in my brain. When I was running, I had been taking caffeine pills among…other things to keep my energy up all day long. I was constantly exhausted in high school from school, activities, friends, and the running that I took some alternatives to keep me going. I slept at most one hour a day because of all the different things I was on, but at least I could complete all my goals.
It was these because of these things that I got a brain tumor, or so my brain surgeon hypothesized. I went to a learning hospital in Philadelphia and through two surgeries and some radiation therapy, lost the tumor and sixty pounds.
Going through such an event can really motivate someone. It did just that for me. I was still overweight but I was able to keep those pounds off. Because of the tumor, I lost sixty-seven percent of my vision, I am on steroids and testosterone medication, my bones are slowly disintegrating, and I am now susceptible to diabetes.
But I was happy! Happy to be alive! I resumed my education, moved to Deptford and currently at Stockton. I am in my fourth year of schooling and about to graduate with a BS in Psychology and Teacher Education. I started at a gym again and with strict adherence of trainer and doctors recommendations I brought my weight down to 200 pounds. I got in touch with my family again. I returned to my church. Then I got that call from my cardiologist.
Understanding motivation has helped me see how my decisions, addictions, past, emotions, physiology, and social choices have guided my motives and choices to where I am today.
My addiction to running motivated me to go further and take drugs to keep up on my other responsibilities. After hurting my hip by running, my physiological need for food motivated me to continue eating even though I did not need to eat as much. This turned into an addiction and a solution for my shame and guilt. My shame and fear of how others would see me motivated me into a life of solitude.
During the brain tumor I took appraisal of my life and seen how my past and taken me close to death’s door, I was motivated to turn it around. I lost more weight, joined my family and church again, and resumed my education.
This class has allowed me to view my past in a new way. So that I can understand my decisions in the past. Taking this class allowed me to work through much of the anger I have over my mistakes in the past.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Final Project Post

Final Project post

I was very surprised in reading the first chapter alone by how in depth the study of motivation is. There is way more involved than one would think and it was really very interesting to learn about. We started off being introduced with motives and incentives. Motives deal with the internal biological and psychological needs and these push a person to an end state; hunger is a motive for eating. Incentives are external and they pull a person to an end state; interest charges are the incentive to pay your bill on time. I saw this concept as the foundation of motivation and in the following chapter we were shown specifically how this worked in all aspects of our lives. We were shown how emotion are linked to motivation, for example, fear is seen as the universal motive that tells us to escape a harmful situation or even a situation that we don’t want to be in. We were informed about how addictive behaviors, whether they’re behavioral or psychoactive, effect a person and why they keep going back for more and can’t stop. We then moved into homeostasis and what drives us to eat and drink as well as our drives and needs. Through the last part of this course we learned how our personality characteristics affect behavior because our traits affect the situations we put ourselves in. We finished out with goal motivation, which is all about using the goal as the incentive for a person to achieve that end state, and finally furthered out outlook on how emotions are motives.

My Favorite Part of the course was probably Chapter 4, Addictions and Addictive Behavior. I had learned a good deal of the basics when I took Physiological psychology, but this gave me a chance to look at it in a whole new aspect. While it all interested me, I was particularly intrigued by the small section on positive addiction. Addictions are usually seen as bad so I was taken back while I read this because I’ve never heard it in that light before. Exercise addiction, although positive, can have many of the same symptoms and effects as drug addictions. Tolerance can be built up and many experience withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to work out. Strenuous exercise can create what’s called runner's high, which give feelings of euphoria, positive mood, and relaxation. This is because of the endorphins that are released. You are considered addicted when you crave this runner's high, as well as when you organize your life around exercising and push to yourself to extremes although there are consequences.

This video give a first had experience of a very seasoned runner.

I was probably so intrigued by this because I could be on the verge of being a mild exercise addict. I love to be active and the benefits greatly outweigh the risks or consequences. I do have to be careful because I do have injuries but I’m constantly pushing myself to become better and do more. I do a combination of cardio at the gym and P90x workouts at home. Between the two of them I can say I have definitely experienced a runner's high at some point, maybe even more often than I think!

Final Project Post

Truthfully this class has been one of the most interesting classes that I have taken in college. When I signed up for the course I was just taking it because I could use it for a requirement and I never really even thought about the title of the class: Motivation. We are motivated beyond my wildest dreams. Everything that we attempt to do in life carriers some type of motivation behind it. We are motivated to be presentable, to bathe, to work, to cook, to clean, to eat, to laugh, to cry, etc. I was always the type of person that wanted to see the bigger picture when it came to everything. I never could really understand why people reacted certain ways to things or why people would just say things that made absolutely no type of sense to me. From the beginning of starting this class all the way up into the end I have learned how to become more patient with people and understand them a little more than I did before. I know that everyone is not always on the same page at the same time but I would have never thought that being motivated to do certain things is the reason for this. Now I can not really say that things do not make sense. This class has taught me to think that just because I do not understand what it going on around me does not mean that it always does not make sense. A lot more things make much more sense to me now just from reading the understanding the things that were being explained through power point. I feel that I would have benefited so much more if the class was longer or if I actually took the class at school because it was so much to learn in such a small amount of time but I did get so much from it. As everyone else mentioned the chapter on addictions and addictive behavior was really beneficial to me because I have had many close people to me that have suffered with various addictions. As I mentioned earlier on in the blog, a lot of time I just did not understand why people would do certain things. While reading about all of these drugs I could not imagine how someone would just want to abuse their bodies with many of the things that were mentioned. Now that I have a little bit more knowledge on the subject, I now know that sometimes once you start something a lot of people do not have the power to just stop or they really do not want to. Which ever substance they are using at the time is delivering such pleasure they are not thinking about the pain that might eventually follow. Addiction is such a serious condition that effects so many people. I really think that if children are educated about certain things early on that they wouldn't try it. Sometimes telling a child "Just say no" isn't enough. Just like everything else children want to try things that might hurt, harm, or put them a lot of danger one day. If educated properly as we have been I think that might affect some of the outcomes that we are seeing. The chart that was shown of first time drug and alcohol users in 2006 was unbelievable. That rate should be decreasing not increasing which most likely at the rate the world is going it is. I believe that something really should be done.
The universal appeal of music really caught my eye. I was so excited when reading about this because music is one thing that I will not be able to make it through life without. I know many people that find music just as important as I do, but I am happy to know that universally music has some significance in the world. Music has benefit of sexual selection because musicians have a hight mate value. Everything else that I learned about music in this chapter was not surprising to me except for this but once again it make sense to me now. I never really understood why some women decided to become "groupies" to chase men that really did not really want them. This is a prime example of why I say just because I do not understand it, does not mean that it does not make sense. We can learn so much through music, if all of my notes came with a sone, I would be a straight A student.


Every since I was a young child I have always been a very emotional person. I used to cry about everything. Now that I look back on it I really do not have the slightest clue of why it would happen t just would. I am extremely grateful that the older that I have gotten I have learned how to really control how I feel to a certain extent. One of the slides gave the definition of emotion as the functional reaction to a stimulus change. I never realized that being yelled at or punished for doing something wrong was a stimulus change but it actually is. its funny how something can affect us on the inside and we are able to show the world exactly how we are feeling through the expressions that we make with our face. I have been told that I have the craziest facial expressions and most of the time I do not even realize that I am even making a face to begin with. This all ties into how behavior is motivated by our emotions and making a physical facial expression or even acting out or being sweet is all behaviors that all come with us feeling some type of way about something.bject width="480" height="385">


Learning about arousal was very interesting to me. I always knew that when we became aroused me obtained this unbelievable energy from out of no where or this is what I thought. When we are aroused our vigor of our behavior increases and also our efficiency of our behavior increases. I would have never thought that most of our body plays a major part in our arousal. I have always been under the impression that we see something that we like or that might arouse us and our brain triggers that response, but now I see that it is so much more than that. Arousal comes n three different categories.Each of these categories make your brain and your body react in numerous different ways, your nervous system even plays a major part in you becoming aroused. Now arousal to me is no longer just a feeling, it is actually an action. Te be aroused actually requires energy. The body is such a wonderful mystery.

Motivation: The Class

Motivation is a class that I had always wanted to take, regardless of when, and where, and by whom it was taught. When I think of the meaning of motivation, I think of not procrastinating, and making better use of my time getting things accomplished rather than sleeping or watching television. However, this class has shown me that there is so much more to it than that, and I learned several interesting facts along the way. Motivation is being moved to an action or a behavior, and a motive is an internal disposition to not only approach, but also to avoid, an incentive. There are biological and psychological sources of motivation, and internal and external sources. For example, money is an internal source, and studies have shown that deprivation of money can lead men to prefer heavier women (the external source). Addictions and psychoactive drugs were discussed, because they alter moods and behaviors. From chapter four I learned that caffeine is actually considered a psychoactive drug, and is the most widely used psychoactive stimulant in the world. Chapter seven outlines stressors, and techniques we use to repress them. I learned that stress can cause physical and psychological problems, and can worsen medical conditions. I also learned that a sense of humor can help reduce the affects of stress. The lectures also talk about personality traits and temperaments, and how they differ between individuals. Personality traits affect motivations; agreeable people are more likely to help stranded motorist, high-neuroticism persons are more likely to take part in risky behaviors as coping mechanisms. The text talks about arousal, and how male physiological arousal is increased after going for a run. And what I definitely enjoyed was learning about different facial expressions, and their relation to our emotions and moods.
My favorite chapter of all was chapter six: behavior, arousal, and affective valence. This chapter had to much information in it. I never knew that there was energetic arousal, which leads to a positive feeling, and tense arousal, which brings on a negative feeling. Energetic arousal is high during the midday, but low in the morning and at night, and can be increased by caffeine. Tense arousal usually occurs during stressful situations, like during an exam, job interview, or sports competition. High arousal can result in optimal performance, but further arousal shatters that performance (see my personal attached video :] ). Memory can even be affected by high and low levels of arousal. A person's cool memory system works best under low arousal, while the hot memory system works best under high arousal. When arousal is low, sensory stimulation can be reduced, and people can learn to like situations that previously frightened or stressed them out.
Everything I learned can be applied to real life situations, from discerning why a certain song is altering your mood, to why your procrastinating, and how to overcome the procrastination, and how to tell how someone is feeling by reading their facial expressions. Stress is something we, as college students especially, experience often, and we had a whole chapter just on the effects of stress and the different types. This class taught me more than I ever expected to learn, and went deeper into the term motivation than I thought possible. I am really happy I was able to find the time to take this class.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Final project

This motivation course began with the introduction to motivation and emotion, and continued on with the history of motivation. We learned that the sources of motivation are either internal in the case of push motivation or external in the case of pull motivation. Biological variables for push motivation describe a person's brain and nervous system system while psychological variables describe properties of a person's mind, like psychological needs. We also learned that initially, emotion meant observable movement but later took the meaning of the unobserved movement of feelings, and currently consists of the integration of affective feelings, physiological arousal, behavior, and facial expressions. Next, the course turned to the discussion of homeostasis, behavior, and stress and coping with that stress. We reviewed what physiological changes motivate adjustment in body temperature, fluid balance, energy levels, and how corresponding psychological sensations motivate behavior to regulate these variables. We also learned that strain results in stress that is detrimental to a person's well-being and is manifested by negative feelings, excessive physiological arousal, psychophysiological disorders, illness, and maladaptive behavior.

Half-way through the course, we turned our focus to peoples drives, needs, and personality. We took a look at Hull's Drive Theory stating that, "related to physiological need is psychological drive, which is a motviational construct that results when an animal is deprived of a need substance (p. 185)." Our bodies require an ideal set of internal conditions for its well-being, and any deviation from these conditions produces a physiological need. After we took a look at the drives and needs of people, we looked at what propels the drives and needs of a person, such as goal motivation, economics of motivation, and extrinsic and instrinsic motivation. Goal motivation refers to "the ablility of a desired end-state to move a person into action because the goal is the incentive a person is motivated to achieve (p. 268)." Extrinsic motivation derives from an external incentive, while intrinsic motivation is chosen freely and is inherent in the activity. The course came to an end after we further talked about emotions and emotions as motive.

My favorite part of this course, although I found it all to be relatively interesting, was when we learned about addictions and addictive behaviors in chapter four. Drug dependence or addiction is characterized by cravings, tolerance, and a withdrawal syndromes. Cravings are overpowering and almost uncontrolable urges for the drug a person uses, in order to obtain the euphoric effects or to reduce withdrawal effects. Tolerance occurs when a person habituates to the effects of the drug while withdrawals are the drug-opposite effect that results from drug-use abstinence. I found it interesting to learn about the different types of addictions people have, how they handle and maintain their addiction, and the withdrawal process. Almost everyone world wide has at least one addiction that controls their life in some shape or form, whether it be hard drugs such as amphetamines, opiates or cocaine, or whether it be something that we believe to be harmless such caffeine. "Caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world (Strain & Griffiths, 2005, p. 1201)." "It has a stimulating effect that is deemed pleasurable especially among caffeine drinkers. Caffeine consumers report feeling more alert, energetic, lively, clear-headed, and experience greater well-being (Schuh & Griffiths, 1997; Yeomans et al., 1998)." Common caffeine withdrawal symptoms begin 12-24 hours after the last caffeine drink. Withdrawal symptoms for caffeine include headache, fatigue, decreased energy, depressed mood, and decreased alertness (Juliano & Griffiths, 2004).

Final Project

I've got to say that taking this class was a bit hard. I say that because this class is called "Motivation" and every time I want to enjoy my day off it is hard to be motivated to hop on my computer when I could be at the beach or enjoying my summer. (Not being cooped up in my house on a nice sunny day.)

Ever since I can remember I've been a procrastinator, as you can see nothing has changed. (Last minute posting) I was hoping this class could help me with that issue. I can't say that it has turned my life around, but it has given me a better understanding of things. I know I say this every semester, but hopefully beginning in the fall I can plan things out much better. The funny thing is, that I occasionally make "To Do Lists" but I just don't always follow through with them. I have even broken it down to day by day, but it's not that often that I make these; only when I have way too many things happening at once and loose track. My goal from now on is to get started on an assignment early into the semester and them finish it half way or well before it is due. What I do is I put everything off until the end because it can be taken care of within a day or two. I figure if I start early that I will loose my train of thought or have anxiety each day I work on it compared to my day or two. My major problem with my last minute assignments is that my papers are half-assed, meaning I could be getting a higher grade than what is on that paper if I were to try a little harder.

My favorite chapter, like everyone else was Addictions and Addictive Behaviors. It really gives me a good idea of why these drugs are addictive. I don't know much about drugs, but I wasn't aware that most of them gave you short sense of a high. (Here I thought it was hours or days. Shows you how much I know.) Why would you risk so much just for a few GREAT minutes? I think someone mentioned in a post or comment, which I agree with, that the truth should really be shown to children about drugs. They just hear a few bad things from the teacher and are maybe shown a movie or two how in the end everything works out, but nothing compares to some of these video clips shown here. Children and adults need to see these types of videos, no matter how graphic they may be, it is the truth. I'm pretty sure scaring kids will get them to take these kinds of things vary serious.

My favorite part of this course was the discussion board. All of these videos were very helpful. I also like how the lecture slides had some video clips in them as well. They catch my attention much better than a book with size 10 font. I'm glad that this class is a little bit of both though. Not only were the videos and pictures nice, but I loved that some people opened up and shared some personal stories. For most people opening up in a classroom full of students is hard, so thanks everyone for sharing.

Remember this comercial? There needs to be more comercials on tv about drugs!

Final Post

This class was a class I needed in order to graduate, and when I read what it was about it really seemed interesting. I really enjoyed reading the chapters in this class. The book broke down the chapters with the recaps, which really summed up the entire section that you just read. I learned how each person is motivated by different incentives and how motivation works in order to succeed in life. Another interesting thing that I learned was how failure leads to success, we all fail at something in life, but it takes that failure to push through it and get to the goal you have been working for.

I also learned how people become addicted to drugs and how the brain and the body wants the drug more than the person wanting to get high off of the drug, which is really interesting. Before reading chapter 4 I though that people were addicted to the drug, alcohol or cigarettes because they loved the way it made them feel, but that isn't the case, it's the brain wanting the drug and needing the drug for the euphoria which in the brain can increase sense of energy, such as cocaine. It is just so interesting to know that it's more the brain wanting the drug than the person just wanting to get high again.

My favorite part has to be chapter 4 about Addictions and Addictive Behaviors becau
se it goes into detail of how and why people get addicted to drugs, alcohol and cigarettes before I had no real idea of why people kept doing the drug and after watching videos of people being addicted after reading this chapter I can understand better that it's the brain that needs the drug to feel the euphoric that is in the brain to get the feeling the person got the first time they started the drug. The more they do the drug, the more of the drug they need in order to get high. I always thought that the drug was just to get high, I knew the brain was affected, but I didn't know it controlled the addiction.

Everyone has there own motivations in life, back in October of 2009 my motivation was to lose weight and start working out. I was overweight and just wanted to slim down and start to look and feel better about myself, have more confidence about the way I look. I got my friend to help me work out and before I started to work out I took a before picture of myself to see my improvement over the months to see the results better than just looking in the mirror every day and wondering if I was improving. It didn't take long before I started to notice some improvement, but it wasn't the results I wanted so I hired a personal trainer and with the personal trainer I was giving a diet plan. I was able to go from 215lbs to 200lbs in one month, and now I'm 195lbs and still going to my goal which is 185lbs. It takes a lot of hard work and a lot of discipline to get to the gym and eat healthy. Below are pictures of myself, from October of 2009 to the most recent one I took today just to show you the motivation and goal incentives I had into loosing weight.

I am using this class well beyond the class, my goal when I graduate is to get a job in some type of law position, my main goals are either the US Marshals, the FBI, or the NCIS, in order to get into these type of law enforcement you need to be in tip top shape, and my main goal is to get into one of them and it be my career. I have to be able to have 5.3% body fat for the US Marshals and run a mile and a half in 8-10 minutes. I started training myself now for the long term goal in order to be able to achieve my dream job as working for one of these type of law enforcement positions. It's a long term goal, but the incentive of my dreams becoming reality is worth working on and doing what I need to do in order to make it happen.

October 2009 July 2010

Final Project Post

This course was validating because many of the theories, concepts, and proven facts that I read in the textbook were ideas that I already either pondered or believed to be true due to my own detailed observations. Such as people who are happier before marriage are happier in marriage and are more prone to maintain their marriage as opposed to getting divorced. Also, that major life altering events such as divorce or death lower one's seemingly permanent set point of happiness. I have found the concept of evolutionary psychology interesting particularly in regards to the universal appeal of music and sexual selection. Priming and Reflexology also caught my attention. During this course I have realized and been amazed at how humans really animals and can be easily manipulated.
Favorite Part:
Being that relationships are of particular interest to me right now as I am going through a divorce, I enjoyed the sections of the text addressing, mate selection and the economics of the investment model. I particularly was able to relate and have an affinity to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Henry Murray's Psychological Needs as well as the Five-Factor Model. Chapters 8 and 9 in general were my favorite because they discuss the facets of personality, drive, reactions and overall why a person is who they are and why they do what they do which is what intrigues me towards psychology. I love to analyze and learn about myself and others and human interactions. During this course I have learned more about myself and the people I have interacted with. I conclude that my strongest needs are for cognition, understanding and respect. I firmly believe that Murray is accurate in his list of psychological needs.
Unfortunately, I can not sem to find any videos or pictures for how I apply what I have learne din this course to life. Now, that I have labels for which to categorize people as I evaluate them I believe I will be better equipped to choose those who are more compatible with me. My husband's strongest need is for autonomy. After being married to him as well as having dated other men with this need in common I conclude that I am not compatible with people who have this strong need because they put up walls, are stubborn, spiteful and overall uncooperative towards my needs of cognition, understanding and belongingness. I do associate the need for autonomy with Love Avoidance. My husband as well as some others I have dated are Love Avoidants. The best definition of what a Love Avoidant is in Pia Mellody's book "Facing Love Addiction." Love Avoidants are people who were enmeshed by one parent moreso than abandoned by the other parent. Because the flow of nurturing was from child to parent at a young age the child/person learns that intimacy equals loss of autonomy. Due to therse cirumstances, the Love Avoidant's conscious fear is intimacy and subconscious fear is abandonment. It does not take much at all to trigger their fear of intimacy; they will be offensively defensive. Therefore, these people protect and fight for their autonomy like you would not believe which includes preventing, ruining, and avoiding being intimate with others. However, this behavior creates a lonely predicament for themselves which usually leads them to some kind of addiction which they also use as a wall to hide against intimacy.
On the other side of the fence is Love Addiction. I am a Love Addict. Love Addicts had one parent abandon them more than the other parent enmeshing them. They too from childhood do not learn what healthy intimacy is. Their conscious fear is abandonment and subconscious fear is intimacy. Their fear of abandonment is easily triggered. I associate the need for cognition and understanding with Love Addiction because they are tools used to attempt to be intimate which can end up being enmeshment.

Final Post

Overview: Motivation is a very intersting topic. It explains the reasons why we behave in the ways we do and the reasons we have certain feelings and not others. It is the reason we seek water when thirsty and the reason I am doing this assignment. To be motivated is to be moved into action. We are moved into action everyday. Behind everything we do is motivation. Motivation is responsible for why we eat, who we form relationships with, why we persue certin things, and how we cope and deal with stress. Motivation is a truly amazing. Without motivation I am not sure we would exist.

We are motivated by both internal and external sources. Biological variables motivate us to survive. Hunger motivates us to eat and tiredness motivates us to sleep. Psychological variables motivate our emotions. Happiness motivates us to smile and anxiety motivates us to perspirate. Our external sources of motivation come from the environment. Environmental variables explain why we are more motivated towards positive goals and repeled by incentives with less value to us. All of our actions and ways of being are powered by our motivation in life.

Favorite Part: The context of this course was very interesting. Therefore, it was difficult for me to pinpoint my truly favorite part of the course. After great thought I decided to go with chapter four. Chapter four is titled addictions and addictive behaviors. This section explains why people are motivated to use psychoactive drugs, and become addicted to certain behaviors. It is assumed that people are motivated to use addictive drugs because of the pleasurable results. Some of the most well known psychoactive drugs are caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and cannabis. This text gives you a brief background on all of these drugs and more.

Annual surveys can show the extent in which people are motivated to experiment with with these drugs. Many people have the ability to experiment and never use again, or use on occasion for the pleasurable results. On the other hand many people become addicted to or dependant on the pleasurable results. Addiction is described as the intense craving and use of a particular drug. Both genetics and personality can be linked to the reasons some people are motivated to use drugs while others are not.

Just like drugs, behaviors can become addictive. Two addictive behaviors that the text touched upon were excercise and gambling. Excercise addiction can be related to drug addiction because of the high people feel from the state of euphoria they get from the exercise. "Running is considered addicting if a person craves a runner's high, organizes his life around opportunities to run, and runs as much as possible in spite of negative consequences" (p. 98). People who become addicted to exercise show withdrawl symptoms such as anxiety and depression if they are unable to exercise.The other behavioral addiction the text touched upon was gambling. The text seems to blame a lot of gambling addictions on the increased acceptance of gambling in our society. The text states that the mesolimbic dopamine system may be responsible for gambling addictions, but not much is known on how they relate.

Creativity: I have found a informative clip about addictions that I think everyone can enjoy.

A behavioral addiction that the text did not touch upon is the addiction to shop. Spending addicts have always interested me. Like the addiction to excercise or gamble; shopping results in a positive feeling for people. People can become addicted to the pleasure the gain by buying new things that in most cases they do not need. Below is a link to a video where a woman explains her addiction to shopping and how she pulled herself through it.

Extension: Like I had mentioned earlier in this assignment motivation is behind everything we do and feel as human beings. All of our behaviors are motivated by something. By studying motivation we can learn why it is that we behave in certain ways and why others behave differently from ourselves. Motivation explains why we get up in the morning, why we make it to class, why we have a job, why people choose to get married or have children. It is the back bone of our lives and by studying it I feel I have a greater understanding of the reasons I do the things I do and feel the ways I feel. It has also helped me to better understand the people around me and why I may be motivated differently than they are.

One current issue that I feel involves motivation is the crisis in the Gulf. Our country is dealing with the largest oil leak in history right now. People all over the country are motivated to help do something about this situation. People have volunteered their time and efforts in hopes to keep our beaches clean and waterways safe. some of these people may be motivated by the love for seafood, while others motivated by their love for our country. No matter the reason for the motivation, because of motivation people are working together to clean up our country right now.


Motivation is the key to survival and success. When we are hungry are motivated to eat, when we are thirsty we are motivated to drink. Motivation is the push toward the goal, also known as the incentive. Motivation is the driving force behind every action and sometimes we are not even aware of why and how we are being motibated. Our bodies,emotions, personalities are contributing factors to the decisions that we make. The main motivator for our body is homeostasis. Homeostasis is the term used to describe the constant conditions maintained by the body. When we expose our bodies to drugs we flood our brains with dopamine, which is chemical related to pleasure. The feeling of euphoria and the negative feelings that occur when the drug is no longer present in our bodies, also known as withdrawal, motivate people to continue to use them. People also gamble and excessively excercise to feel the same effects. Our emotions are reinforcement to either continue to do something or to let it go. An emotion also serves as cognitive signaler by influencing the cognitive system in appraisal of the changing situation. According to the appraisal tendency hypothesis, a specific emotion influences cogitive judgements in a manner congruent with the emotion's affective feeling. Motivation is the core of human evolution and will continue to serve as the ultimate driving source of each individual.

Sometimes people don't even realize that they're being motivated. A motivator that people often don't consider is their mood. A mood is a subjective experiences similar to, but not identical with, emotion. They tend to be less intense and last for a longer amount of time than emotions do. Our moods are affected by hour of the day, day of the week and the season of the year. moods are clasified as either positively valenced or negatively valenced affect. Moods help to influence people's desires in the moment. If someone is in a postive mood, they are more likely to feel motivated to move and be productive. When people are in a negative mood they tend o want to be less active and less social. My mood has a strong influence on what I will accomplish throughout the day. If I am feling energetic and happy I am ready to take on whatever comes my way. When I'm in a negative mood I let it get the best of me. I become rude and uncaring, I tend to hur people's feeling and feel no remorse. In all actuality I tend to be in a negative mood more often, especially in the winter time. I now understand that this mood change is not something that only i experience. I believe that I have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is characterized mostly by depression in the winter ue to lack of sunlight. My mood changes my outlook and therefore changes my outcome.

Final Project Post

Overview: This course is more relevant to life than any psychology course that I have ever taken. It is about what motivates individuals to engage in certain behaviors and actions. Any outside element (meaning not internal) that causes an individual to engage in a certain action is called an incentive. An example of this would be money causing someone to work hard. Money would be the incentive. Incentives are what cause motivation. This course demonstrates how incentives motivate people in many different aspects of life. Some of the topics covered in the course are hunger and thirst, coping with stress, addictions, and performance under stress. The course demonstrates how motivation comes into play using real-life topics like these.

Favirote Part: My favirote part of this course was chapet 6. I have been an athlete for my entire life, so learning about how arousal affects performance was very interesting to me. Arousal is strongly linked to performance. It is defined as the activation of energy for a behavior. Arousal can affect performance both positively and negatively. There are two types of arousal, which are physiological arousal and brain arousal. In physiological arousal the body changes to feel more energized. When this happens the sympathetic nervous system causes sweating, increased heart rate and breathing,and muscle tension. In brain arousal, areas of the brain recieve more blood, glucose, and oxygen. These areas are more active and use more enegy. How arousal affects performance depends on the task that needs to be accomplished and the person performing the task. This is called the Inverted U arousal relationship. There is are points at which arousal increases performance, levels off, and decreases performance. It was found that high arousal increases performance on easy tasks and that low arousal is best for difficult tasks. I found this very fascinating. Athletes often use stimulants for obvious reasons. Because of the effects on the sympathetic nervous system an athlete will have more energy. However, baseball players often use powerful stimulants to increase concentration and reaction time when hitting a baseball. This seems to somewhat conflict with what chapter 6 states about low arousal being best for difficult tasks, as hitting a baseball that is thrown over 90 miles per hour is the most difficult task to accomplish in all of sports. However, difficult may mean complex, as hitting a baseball can be considered a simple yet very difficult to accomplish task.

Extension: Motivation is relevant in every aspect of life. Without it, nothing would be possible. Every person that has ever accomplished anything did so in part because they were motivated by incentives. Whether you are an athlete, doctor, business person, student, or simply want to reach a personal goal such as weight loss, you will not be able to take the action needed to accomplish these goals without motivation. Incentives and the degree to which a person is motivated by them is often the difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful one.
When I chose this course I figured that it would be relatively easy because I didn’t realize how complex motivation is. I assumed that there were only two motivators, pleasure and power (sex and money, however you want to phrase it). To be honest I wasn’t THAT far off but I certainly did not expect how complex even the smallest form of motivation can be (26 pages to cover “Goal Motivation”). I thought it was interesting how the book incorporated physiological factors into how we are motivated as in chapter 5 where it talked about how our body’s metabolism and hormones affect how we behave and therefore, how we are motivated. The chapter on addiction and addictive behaviors, I thought, was a very good chapter and encompassed a lot of information I had gained from other classes and tied it up into one informative chapter. It combined “Drugs and Society” as well as “Intro Psych” into one really good chapter about drugs and why we get hooked on them. Chapter 11, goal motivation, was the chapter I would choose to tell someone to read if they were interested in motivation, I felt that it really summed up human motivation well and made it easy to understand because it broke it down into manageable sections. These sections included “goals that satisfy needs”, “other people as sources for goals” and “environmentally activated goals”, all of which we can think of times where they applied to us.

My favorite section of the course was the chapter on addictions and additive behaviors. The reason I am so interested in addiction and drugs is because I would like to eventually have a career in law enforcement. Whether or not people agree with it the drug war isn’t going anyway anytime soon and if I’m going to be involved in it I want to learn as much as possible about it before I get there. The punishment theory of crime reduction is an easy one to enforce, just catch someone with drugs and lock them up. It takes a little bit more understanding of human nature to try the prevention of crime model. I think chapter 4 would be a great addition to any criminal justice textbook because it gives a good overview of the drugs themselves and why we become addicted to them. The chapter covers the drugs themselves, how they affect our brain, and why we keep taking them after we know they are bad for us. One of the important sections of the chapter is the section on Genetic Disposition. Unfortunately this is one area where law enforcement is helpless in regard to drug enforcement. If someone is genetically disposed to being addicted to something, then no amount of banning or illegality will stop him or her from finding something that they will become addicted to. My political views make me lean to the side of legalization, I know, crazy for someone who wants to be a cop, but I’m not a hippie nor do I do drugs, but I don’t like being told what I can and can’t do and I think if people want to do drugs, let them. I’m not the only one that feels that way and in these videos you’ll see law enforcement officials who’s motivation to enforce drug laws seems to losing it luster.

What motivation do we have to fight this war on drugs? If we make drugs illegal will there be roving bands of drug fiends smashing through people’s white picket fences, or will things just stay exactly how they are now with a lot less people going to prison and lower taxes because there will be A LOT less spending and more taxing. Learning what I’ve learned about addictions in this chapter, it’s hard to imagine drugs ever being eliminated if it takes that strong of a hold on our bodies, and as long as people are motivated to buy it, people will be motivated to make it and sell it.

Final Project Post: Overview, Favorite Part, Creative & Extension

Generally, this course on motivation focused on all of the areas of life that the concept of motivation ties into. This course explains that motivation relates to just about every aspect of life, whether it is through our mental being, our physical being, or our surrounding environment. Without motivation, our lives would have no general sense of direction. We also wouldn't be able to properly cope with problems and stress. Without no motivation in life, most people would find no point to life, and not get as much out of it, ultimately feeling worthless. Motivation allows us to realize the potential that every single person has to live their life fully. If motivation didn't exist to us, not only would our lives be meaningless, but our bodies would not be able to function properly and get us through life physically (i.e., in our body's regards to hunger and thirst) either.

Favorite Part:
My favorite part in this course, along with many of the other posts, was Chapter 4, which focused heavily on addictions and what exactly triggers this type of behavior in a person. Addictive behavior is something that I take such a strong interest in, especially in the context of drug dependency. A part of the chapter that truly stuck out to me was the chart displayed in figure 4.1 on First-Time Drug Use (pg. 80). The age demographic was astounding to me because the starting age of experimental drug use was as young as age 12. Although it is much smaller than the rest of the other drugs, the fact that Heroin was even experimented with is frightening (with it being such a potent drug). The alcohol rate was extremely high and unfortunately is only increasing as years continue. This is a bit frightening for future generations to come.
I also found it interesting in the "Initiation into Drug Use" section (pgs. 82-83) that there are true personality and genetic predispositions to becoming addicted to drugs.
Finally, the concept of reward deficiency syndrome, something I had never previously heard of, being a possible reason for drug addiction in relation to dopamine affecting the brain's overall pleasure center being deprived of receptors. This chemical imbalance cause such an extreme problem in such an unfortunately high amount of people.

I chose to expand a bit on how the concept of motivation ties to the meaning of my favorite song of all time, a classic and extremely deep song that has been around for decades. Prior to taking this course, I would have never tied motivation to the song lyrics, and ultimately the song itself. Here is my new interpretation of the song "Wonderwall" by Oasis, in regards to our Motivation course:
The song is directed toward a specific individual who has truly inspired the person singing, in an aspect of love and/or friendship. They have such a profound influence on the person that they feel as though they can be shaped and "saved" by this person. They feel as though this sole person is the one that they can lean on and have to turn to for their entire life. This is their main source of motivation to continue their path in life. This person, the one in need of saving, feels as though there is hope, all because of this one person. All of the paths in life that serve as "winding" to them can be overcome, all due to their new found inspiration in this person. They know have the motivation to move forward in life and trust others. Their life is now perfectly aligned and they are "saved".

This Motivation course ties to just about every aspect of daily life. Now that I know all of the technical ways the chemicals and inner workings of our body serve as the fuel to get through each day of life properly, I feel as though I understand a lot of different things tying to motivation in a much more profound way. A current or common issue that motivation relates to entirely (that I would have never put together prior to taking this course) area the continuously run commercials on the issue of starvation being rampant among young children in third world countries. The overall tone (both the voice of the spokesperson and the solemn music being played indistinctly) serve as motivation cues to subconsciously reach the viewer on a deeper level and push them to call the hotline and enroll in the program to help these children overcome their immense starvation problem.

Final Project: Motivation - Physiological NEEDS & DRIVES

General Overview:

I took this class to better understand what produces the motivation in people. I find myself at times wondering where does that sudden burst of excitement come from or sudden drive to complete a task. Why do I wake up sometimes feeling like a bum and have no desire to do anything? I saw motivation as a push or a feeling of achieving a need or desire but in taking this course I realize how more complex and in-depth it really is. Emotions serve as a motive, being scared promotes fear and in return can cause a phobia. People have a choice to satisfy their needs and desires producing instrucmental behaviors. Locke farther explained that when the choice is near there is an increase of desire for it. Arousal is important to our motives, one can be presented with a stimuli which will determine the type of response, the intensity of the rsponse will occur through the arousal function.
Yerkes-Dodson Law looks at the stimulation and performance for a given task. When taking an exam in which one did not study will experience low arousal for better performance on a difficult tasks. We took a look into the stressors of everyday life and how it can easliy affect a person's health and the way they deal with things. I farther educated myself on my personal goals and incentives, I looked at previous goals that I made for myself and saw whether I completely acheived what i set out to do or I never did anything about it.


Favorite Part:

The part that interest me the most was concerning the Physiological Drive and Needs people have. The need of the person results in activity which restores balance. The drive of a person energizes the behavior and tends to increase over time. People are born with certain physiological drives and needs, when the need of the person is met the drive is reduced and their behavior returns to a state of relaxation. Physiological needs are essential to living such as breathing,food,homeostasis,and sex, it pushes the person into action in order to satisfy their need. The drive is an persistent internal pushing that is going after the need. There are two types of physiological needs: chronic and temporary, chronic needs are preexisting and temporary needs are ones that are dormant until they are activated. A stimulus activates a psychological need in a process called redintegration.


My concept will relate to the drug and addiction section, I found this interesting article about menthol cigarettes being more than one-quarter of all cigarettes sold in the U.S. In fact, menthols -- often described as "cooling," "soothing," and "smooth" is increasing the numbers of smokers. The minty flavor makes them more appealing to young people, more addictive, and harder to quit than regular cigarettes.Since the 1960s and 1970s, tobacco companies have largely marketed menthols to younger people and blacks, who now smoke the cigarettes at higher rates than other groups. Roughly 70 percent of blacks smoke menthols, compared with just over 20 percent of whites and 26 percent of Hispanics, according to the latest government data. And there is some evidence that menthols are a "starter" cigarette. So why allow cigarettes to be sold when we all know the outcome, people begin to desire want need adapt and repeat what they like. Here is the article if you would like to farther read up on it.

Final Post

This class was very enjoyable to take due to the amount of work we were able to cover in such of short period of time. Understanding the basic concepts of motivation gave me a clearer outlook on why people do what they do. A person is motivated when they are “moved into an action or thought by either the push of a motive or the pull of an incentive” (pg 7). Within the chapters of this course we learned about addictions and personal disposition, the different sorts of dieting and all its characteristics surrounding it. We touched the break down of physiological and brain arousal to psychological arousal. We also learned about stress, what causes it, how to cope with it, and the outcome of it/ harmful effects it may have. The second half the course deals with actions and behaviors that effect motivation positively and negatively. It also covers incentive values and goals.
The most common chapter that people go through was the chapter on drug use, addiction, tolerance, and withdrawal, and how they led to the opponent-process and incentive sensitization theories. There are many different parts to motivation and how they are responsible for the motives we use in our everyday behavior and the affect they may have.I enjoyed each section equally only because i have learned about this prior to taking this class but with the power points and the text i was able to expand my knowledge on every unit.

The Ditchdigger's Daughters is the story of Donald Thornton, a laborer, and his wife Tass, a domestic, who managed to shepherd their six daughters into careers of professional status. Consider the results of their efforts: Two physicians, an attorney, a court stenographer, a dentist and a registered nurse. This was an ultimate movie based on a family of motivation. The girls were sheltered from everything because the father believed that we lived in a world filled with distractions and wanted nothing but the best for his girls. He knew that he didn’t come form much so he mapped out a promising future for his daughters. There was this quote that stuck with the girls thought the movie that inspired them to excel because they had to work twice as hard just to make in in that era. "You kids are black. You are dark skinned and ugly. I love you better than I love life. But I'm not always gonna be around to look after you, and no man's gonna come along and offer to take care of you because ain't light skinned. That's why you gotta be able to look after yourselves. And for that you gotta be smart." Sometimes motivation might not be sugar coated but as long as the point is expressed and taken in then that’s all that matters.


This course was on Motivation. The first half of the reading material covers the introduction, history, and evolution of motivation. Whether people realize consciously or not, many things motivate everyone each day. When someone is motivated, they are “moved into an action or thought by either the push of a motive or the pill of an incentive” (pg 7). A motive is an internal drive while an incentive is an external reward. Motivation for current human behavior has been a process of evolution and personal history which concludes that nature AND nurture are both causes of motivation!

The second half the course deals with actions and behaviors that effect motivation positively and negatively. It also covers incentive values and goals. In a situation, “prior reinforcers and punishers provide the knowledge and anticipated incentives provide the motivation” (pg 244). Lastly, emotions and the brain are covered as way to understand the motivating functions.


Favorite Part:

Chapter 4: Addictions and Addictive Behaviors was an enjoyable read. I have taken many biology classes and I am knowledgeable on how a healthy brain works. I found in interesting to see how drugs change the brain and cause addiction.

The mesolimbic dopamine system is the pleasure centers of the brain. Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that activates the neurons in that center and as a result the brain produces feelings of enjoyment. The natural reason for the pleasure center is to reinforce survival instincts such as sex. Drugs however can exceed any euphoric feelings caused naturally. They work by “increasing the amount of dopamine by either blocking the reuptake or promoting the release” (pg 95). The pleasure that one attains form the drug is the motivation to use. Eventually the brain will lose the ability to create the happy feeling without the help of drugs and an addict will continue to use in order to not experience withdrawal symptoms, which is another motivator.

One of my best friends stated using cocaine during her first year of college. The drug produces a feeling of euphoria and is addicting. After only a few months she was extremely addicted to the drug and her family sent her to rehab. There, the doctors used antagonists, which are substances capable of blocking the pleasurable effects of psychoactive drugs, to help her withdrawal and then recover.

The Brain and Drug Addiction:

Fun Facts From Each Section

Part One

Aristotle believed that there is a basic set of emotions: joy, fear, envy, love, anger,and hatred. Any other emotion is a combination of two or more central ones.

Part Two

According to the cue utilization hypothesis, the amount of information utilized in a situation declines as arousal increases. (pg 137)

Part Three

“One of the seven psychological needs or motives is power. To exert influence over other people, to be in charge, to be noticed, and to have “high” status are all characteristics of the power motivator” (pg 197).

Part Four

“The formula [Utility = (Expected incentive value)/(1+delay interval)] helps show what factors will affect procrastination” (pg 252).

Part Five

“Physiological arousal is merely an indication that the organism is ready or prepared for an emergency response, such as fighting of fleeing. For example, the liver releases glucose for the muscles to use as fuel for running or fighting” (pg 331).


We are all motivated to do things in our lives but in most instances, we do them without even thinking about it. What motivates a person to do some of the most basic things like eat, sleep, or behave the way they do? Throughout this class, we have learned the reasons behind our behaviors and emotions: Homeostasis, arousal, and coping mechanisms. These, along with several others are all reasons why we are motivated to do things in our lives. Without this class, I may have never understood how our body and brain works together to motivate us to keep going, and functioning properly.

What interested me more though were the things people are motivated to do that are
outside the norms of society such as becoming anorexic, being a procrastinator, or having an addiction to gambling or drugs. What could make a person do things that are frowned upon? Why is it that some people get caught up in these activities, while other people do not? By taking this class, I have been able to come to a better understanding as to why people do the things they do. I personally have had to deal with family members struggling with addiction and now see what has motivated them to take the path less traveled.

Drug addiction is a problem for a few members of my extended family. For years, my one cousin in particular has been addicted to nearly every drug available. What started out as experimenting with marijuana, turned into an addiction to prescription drugs, and then finally an addiction to heroin, not missing very many drugs in between. My cousin has three children, ages 10, 6, and 5. I have never been able to understand why does the things she does. My frustration comes mostly from seeing her abandon her children and lead the life of an addict. The question that I ask everyday is "How co
uld she?" By taking this class and reviewing the chapter on addiction, I have a better understand of what has motivated my cousins behavior.

My cousin has always been a thrill seeker. If she was told she wasn't allowed to do something, that only increased the likelihood that she would do it. I now understand that she may have had a personality disposition that increased the chances of her taking the drugs and liking the effect they had on her body. Also, throughout her life, my cousin rarely needed to take responsibility for the things she had done. I think that because of this she would begin to make up thing and create new stressors for herself and gave her an excuse to use the different drugs. In her mind, she was just trying to make things better, and this is the only way she knew how. What didn't help the situation is that her fiance and father of her children had the same problem with addiction as she did.

As time went on and they had more children, their lives became too much to handle. Their comorbidity of stress and anxiety weight heavily upon them. By this time, they were both addicted to prescription drugs. My cousins fiance feel into a deep depression that not even the drugs could help him with. One night, he called my cousin to come over and my cousins world as she knew it would never be the same. That night, her fiance proceeded to shoot and kill himself right in front of my cousin. By reading this chapter, it has become clear to me that she now suffers from Posttraumatic stress syndrome, or PTSD, and self medicates to help her forget that night. Her PTSD has become so overwhelming that she can no longer function in a way that is normal in society.

Her wanting to block the memory of that night was positively reinforced each time she used. Every time she would take the drug, she would stop feeling the pain of losing the love of her life. After a while, my family realized what was happening to my cousin and we tried to get her to stop. After years of using drugs, it no longer had the affect she once sought out. Now, her addiction to heroin had built up such a tolerance that her usage was now just an effort to avoid any withdrawal symptoms.

Through this class I was able to understand through the affective model of negative reinforcement why my cousin would continue to use drugs after so many years. After years pushing and trying to get her help, she finally had the motivation for change and agreed to get help. I have always understood that an addiction, especially to narcotics is no easy thing to get over. I know that relapses are something that should be expected but never understood why. I now see that the use of drugs has primed my cousin for future drug use, especially if she is put in a situation that was similar to before when she was using.

Overall, this class has helped me to deal with my own issues having to do with my cousin and her drug use. In doing so, I have been able to enlighten members of my family about her behaviors and motivation behind her actions. I think that if more people understood the actions of an addict and their reasons behind them, people might be able to help before the problem gets too far. If more people saw the behaviors that could lead to drug use, they could maybe help to stop someone before it got to that point. Also, if people shared the stories of people they know suffering from addiction, this could also deter them from sharing the same fate.

Maybe if more people who have suffered share their story, we can stop future generations from doing the same.

Why do it now when I could do it later?

Procrastination. Most people I know suffer from it. I have come to believe that I may possibly be one of the worst procrastinator to exist. At almost no point in my academic career have I ever started a project or paper in a timely fashion. On nearly every occasion, I start andfinish the assignment the night before it is due. Don't get me wrong, I do think about the assignment and the task that needs to be completed but I always find some excuse to put it off. Take for instance our blog posts. I know that I have to complete them and know that if I don't, my grade will suffer. I tell myself everyday that I need to start my work and that once its done, I can breathe easy. Instead I decide that the stress I'll feel from doing the assignment is better left for another day.

So why do people procrastinate? According to the book "The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt- Free Play" there is anxiety that is often associated with starting or c
ompleting a task. In order to alleviate that anxiety, we use procrastination as a coping mechanism. Often, we will engage in behaviors that relieve the anxiety associated with the task. My favorite procrastination activities are usually associated with friends, television, or the internet.

If I have a project due date of a month away, I usually will think of what I'm going to do when the project or paper is assigned. About a week or two later I'll begin to tell myself that I should begin to work on the project in an effort to finish early and reduce some of the stress in my life. I usually tell myself that I am going to dedicate a night to my assignment and at least get half of it done. However, this almost never happens. If I talk to one of my friends I'll usually as them what their doing, which leads to us going out for a drink and the project never getting started. If my friends are busy and I make it to the point where I sit down to start the assignment, I usually turn on the TV. If there is nothing on TV, I usually find something to do on the internet. Facebook is a great way to pass the time. Finding out about all of the things happening in your "friends" lives can take up hours of your time. Before you know it, there goes another night when the assignment doesn't get started.

It is also thought that people procrastinate because they are perfectionists. According to the research done by Jason McGarvey of Penn State University, a perfectionist negatively evaluates their own performance and fears a poor evaluation by others. This is the exact reason why I procrastinate. I think that the work I am going to do is not going to be well received by others and therefore put it off till the last possible minute.

My theory is that I have received good grades throughout college and high school procrastinating the entire time so something must be working. I think I work well under pressure which adds to the reason I procrastinate. Like T. Bert Lance once said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

"I'm so fat!"

My sister and I are constantly saying to one another "I'm so fat," or something along the lines of "God, I'm huge." When strangers or even our loved ones hear us, they think we're crazy. At one point, my boyfriend even said to me, "If you keep this up, we're going to have an intervention on your behalf." Now, my sister and I feel "fat" from time to time but we know we're not actually overweight or obese. In reality, we're actually about average. I tell my family and friends I know I'm not fat, but sometimes I just feel that way.

Even though some people may think we're anorexic or have anorexic tendencies, if they really watched us, they'd see us pigging out on fast food, or going out for ice cream 3 times a week. What I think people don't understand is that there is a huge difference between girls that complain about how their feeling fat and the girls who actually suffer from anorexia nervosa and have an extremely distorted images of their bodies.

Anorexia Nervosa manifests itself in two different forms: the familiar restricting type and the not so familiar binge-eating-purging type often thought to be bulimia nervosa. Although most people think that this disorder only effects women, there are also some men that suffer from this disease as well with a ratio of somewhere around 6 to 1. Anorexia nervosa causes people to obsess about their weight and the foods they eat because they see them as being connected to their self worth. Their problems often rise as an inability to cope with emotional problems and actually has little to do with food.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are several factors that can cause anorexia nervosa. They include: hostility, isolation, and chaos within the family and also low levels of empathy and nurturance. It is also thought that society pressures teens and children into feeling the need be thin. Open up any fashion magazine and all you will find are models who are under 100 pounds who look like walking skeletons. In addition, it also theorized that children become anorexic because of the pressures they feel to become more independent.

Recovering from anorexia takes intense therapy to uncover the underlying issue leading to the eating disorder. Often times sufferers are nursed back to health gaining weight in small amounts and helping the patient to understand that their new weight is healthy. As sad as it seems even as one person recovers from anorexia, it seems as though a perpetual cycle will continue and new girls will be diagnosed with the disorder.