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).

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