Monday, July 12, 2010


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).

1 comment:

  1. I liked how you did your project it covers many aspects of the drug itself and the addiction process. I enjoyed the video because it provides a clear explanation. I hope your close friend is doing well. I got alot of interesting information on the fun facts...nice move