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.