Sunday, December 19, 2010

Final Project Post

Our Motivation course has helped me gain insight into several aspects of human motivation. We have discussed the difference between internal and external motivators, or intrinsic and extrinsic, as well as the role that our personality and emotions play in our behaviors. Biological evidence in support of a physical basis of psychological traits has helped me to understand why some people have, and always will, be "jerks". The most interesting topic discussed to me would have to be the chapter on addictions.
Without going into unnecessary detail, it would be an understatement to say that my life has been strongly impacted by the effects of addiction. Decisions made by certain family members which seemed to be illogical and detrimental have now been cast in a new light. The fear of withdrawal symptoms combined with a growing tolerance and a genetic predisposition have proven to be much stronger than the inexperienced individual might consider. The argument of "why don't you just quit smoking?" is much more complicated than previously considered.

Post 5: Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation is key to most employment situations. Extrinsic motivation might involve a good parking space related to a better position at work, a higher salary, or maybe the smile on the face of a patient when you, the doctor, helps them feel better. These things however, have a utility value which can depreciate over time. At a certain point it doesn't matter how much money a job can earn you, you just don't find its overall utility to be worth it. This is where intrinsic motivation can help. Intrinsic motivation is something that requires no external reward or benefit, one is motivated toward a specific action for its own sake. So a doctor that has become bored with the monotonous nature of certain aspects of his job would have to experience increased intrinsic motivation to balance the discounted utility of his position.

Post 4: Stress

How we deal with stress extremely important to our overall life satisfaction. People who are unable to handle the stressors of life can experience a compromised immune system, leading to an increased risk of physical sickness as well as an increased risk of stress related disorders like acute stress disorder or ptsd. Our approach to life events effects whether or not something is seen as stressful or challenging. Things that we are better prepared for are usually taken to be less stressful than unexpected events. This of course is all in terms of perspective however, with different daily and life experiences leading individuals to develop different coping skills with which to approach potential life stressors. The following video shows an extremely dangerous which would probably lead to extreme amounts of stress for the everyday individual. These workers do not experience that type of distress as often, as they see this type of event as a days work.

Post 3: Homeostasis

Homeostasis involves our body's preference toward remaining at a specific set point. Whether it be hunger, thirst, or even temperature, our bodies utilize a negative feedback system to maintain a balance between the extremes of the condition. Our body will respond to a deviation away from its set point by motivating specific behaviors that will reach an end goal of regaining homeostasis. In terms of thermoregulation the setpoint for humans is around 98.6 degrees farenheit, the optimal environment for the body's internal cellular activity to function. Normal reactions to being exposed to cold temperatures for an extended period of time leads to shivering as well as a lowered core body temperature. The "Ice-Man", however, seems to be an exception.

Post 2: Addictions

The chapter on addictions is extremely interesting to me. As a child I used to beg my mother to quit smoking cigarettes. I'd come home from my D.A.R.E. class filled with facts about the benefits that she could experience if she'd stop. Better sense of taste, smell, lower blood pressure, reduced chance of heart attack and / or stroke, not to mention all of the money she would save and the time that she could gain with me, her Wonderful son.

The funny thing is, after all of that time begging her to stop, I eventually grew up to be a smoker myself. Although I was fully aware of the benefits and costs that were associated with cigarettes, I chose to do it anyway. Why? The answer is part psychological, part physiological. The psychological aspect was the social acceptance that was gained, along with the immediate satisfaction that each cigarette produced. On top of that there was the genetic predisposition toward drug experimentation and addiction.

Post 1: Push / Pull

The concept of motivation from a psychological stand point involves a sort of push-pull situation. When we are motivated by psychological or physiological needs we are pushed toward a specific goal. The goal usually involves some sort of incentive which pulls the person toward it. Parkour, a sport which involves moving from point a to point b in the most efficient manner, is full of motivational examples. One might have a physiological need to become more physically fit, or a psychological need to fit in with a group of sport oriented friends. These motivators would probably couple with an incentive of becoming better at the sport, or finally being able to perform a specific movement like a backflip.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Final Post!! - Body Language

Body language is a very interesting aspect of psychology and motivation. Through a person's body language, you can actually understand what they want or how they really feel. You can actually learn how to interpret body language and use it in your everyday encounters with people! Below is some interesting information and videos! Hope you enjoy!

The technique of "reading" people is used frequently. For example, the idea of mirroring body language to put people at ease is commonly used in interviews. Mirroring the body language of someone else indicates that they are understood.

Body language signals may have a goal other than communication. Both people would keep this in mind. Observers limit the weight they place on non-verbal cues. Signalers clarify their signals to indicate the biological origin of their actions. Examples would include yawning (sleepyness), showing lack of interest (sexual interest/survival interest), attempts to change the topic (fight or flight drivers).

Physical expressions like waving, pointing, touching and slouching are all forms of nonverbal communication. The study of body movement and expression is known as kinesics. Humans move their bodies when communicating because, as research has shown[citation needed], it helps "ease the mental effort when communication is difficult." Physical expressions reveal many things about the person using them. For example, gestures can emphasize a point or relay a message, posture can reveal boredom or great interest, and touch can convey encouragement or caution.

One of the most basic and powerful body-language signals is when a person crosses his or her arms across the chest. This can indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. It can also indicate that the person's arms are cold, which would be clarified by rubbing the arms or huddling. When the overall situation is amicable, it can mean that a person is thinking deeply about what is being discussed. But in a serious or confrontational situation, it can mean that a person is expressing opposition. This is especially so if the person is leaning away from the speaker. A harsh or blank facial expression often indicates outright hostility.

Consistent eye contact can indicate that a person is thinking positively of what the speaker is saying. It can also mean that the other person doesn't trust the speaker enough to "take their eyes off" the speaker. Lack of eye contact can indicate negativity. On the other hand, individuals with anxiety disorders are often unable to make eye contact without discomfort. Eye contact can also be a secondary and misleading gesture because cultural norms about it vary widely. If a person is looking at you, but is making the arms-across-chest signal, the eye contact could be indicative that something is bothering the person, and that he wants to talk about it. Or if while making direct eye contact, a person is fiddling with something, even while directly looking at you, it could indicate the attention is elsewhere. Also, there are three standard areas that a person will look which represent different states of being. If the person looks from one eye to the other then to the forehead, it is a sign that they are taking an authoritative position. If they move from one eye to the other then to the nose, that signals that they are engaging in what they consider to be a "level conversation" with neither party holding superiority. The last case is from one eye to the other and then down to the lips. This is a strong indication of romantic feelings.

Disbelief is often indicated by averted gaze, or by touching the ear or scratching the chin. When a person is not being convinced by what someone is saying, the attention invariably wanders, and the eyes will stare away for an extended period.

Boredom is indicated by the head tilting to one side, or by the eyes looking straight at the speaker but becoming slightly unfocused. A head tilt may also indicate a sore neck or Amblyopia, and unfocused eyes may indicate ocular problems in the listener.
Interest can be indicated through posture or extended eye contact, such as standing and listening properly.

Deceit or the act of withholding information can sometimes be indicated by touching the face during conversation. Excessive blinking is a well-known indicator of someone who is lying. Recently, evidence has surfaced that the absence of blinking can also represent lying as a more reliable factor than excessive blinking.

Some people use and understand body language differently, or not at all. Interpreting their gestures and facial expressions (or lack thereof) in the context of normal body language usually leads to misunderstandings and misinterpretations (especially if body language is given priority over spoken language). It should also be stated that people from different cultures can interpret body language in different ways.

Body language comes in clusters of signals and postures, depending on the internal emotions and mental states. Recognizing a whole cluster is thus far more reliable than trying to interpret individual elements.

Aggressive body language: Showing physical threat.
Attentive body language: Showing real interest.
Bored body language: Just not being interested.
Closed body language: Many reasons are closed.
Deceptive body language: Seeking to cover up lying or other deception.
Defensive body language: Protecting self from attack.
Dominant body language: Dominating others.
Emotional body language: Identifying feelings.
Evaluating body language: Judging and deciding about something.
Greeting body language: Meeting rituals.
Open body language: Many reasons for being open.
Power body language: Demonstrating one's power.
Ready body language: Wanting to act and waiting for the trigger.
Relaxed body language: Comfortable and unstressed.
Romantic body language: Showing attraction to others.
Submissive body language: Showing you are prepared to give in.

Post #4 - Facial Expressions

Expression implies a revelation about the characteristics of a person, a message about something internal to the expresser. In the context of the face and nonverbal communication, expression usually implies a change of a visual pattern over time, but as a static painting can express a mood or capture a sentiment, so too the face can express relatively static characteristics (sometimes called physiognomy). The concept of facial expression, thus, includes:

1. a characteristic of a person that is represented, i.e., the signified;
2. a visual configuration that represents this characteristic, i.e., the signifier;
3. the physical basis of this appearance, or sign vehicle, e.g., the skin, muscle movements, fat, wrinkles, lines, blemishes, etc.; and
4. typically, some person or other perceiver that perceives and interprets the signs.

Facial expressions are an important channel of nonverbal communication. Many animal species display facial expressions, but expressions are highly developed particularly in the primates, and perhaps most of all, in humans. Even though the human species has acquired the powerful capabilities of a verbal language, the role of facial expressions in person-to-person interactions remains substantial. Messages of the face that provide commentary and illustration about verbal communications are significant in themselves. To see examples of such nonverbal communication, see the FAQ. Other types of expressions provide another, different mode for understanding the private, hidden side of the inner person, a side which may not be accessible in the form of verbalizations. For example, the facial behaviors related to emotion can reveal part of the feeling side of a person's private life. Such emotion indicators range from stereotyped, full-face expressions that are obvious to fleeting, partial-face movements that are hard to see.

The videos below are about facial expressions! I hope you enjoy them!

Post #3 - Addictions

Drug addictions are a problem across the globe. In our studies we learned about them but I found some additional interesting fats and videos that would help to further understand the topic. I know quite a few people with drug and alcohol addictions, myself NOT included, and it is a very difficult and upsetting thing to deal with. If you want to deter someone from starting drugs go to an NA meeting. I attended a few with friends before and it really wakes you up to other people's lives and how bad drugs really are. I hope you enjoy the videos and drug addiction facts below!

These three videos below are very helpful in describing addictions of drugs and the symptoms:

Drug Addiction Facts
Here are some facts that may surprise or sadden you about drug abuse. As with most issues about addiction, there is much that is unexpected; the costs or much higher than expected and the causes are very sad. That fact that child abuse is such a strong predictor of abuse speaks volumes about the problem. See what you think:

Drug Addiction Facts 1:
Drug abuse and drug addiction, according to the National Institute of Health, impacts all Americans, because we all pay the cost for it.

Drug Addiction Facts 2:
Statistics show that drug abuse and drug addiction cost Americans over $484 billion annually. This figure includes healthcare costs (and abuses of that system), lost job wages, traffic accidents, crime and the associated criminal justice system costs.

Drug Addiction Facts 3:
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 10 to 22 percent of car crashes involved drivers who have been using drugs.

Drug Addiction Facts 4:
Drug use and addiction is linked to at least half of the major crimes in this country, as at least half of the suspects arrested for violent crimes, such as homicide and assault, were under the influence of drugs when they were arrested.

Drug Addiction Facts 5:
Stress is a major factor in drug use and abuse.

Drug Addiction Final Fact 6:
Sadly, nearly two-thirds of people in drug abuse treatment report that they were physically or sexually abused as children. Child abuse is a major contributing factor to drug addiction.

More Facts on Drug Addiction
Here are some statistics from the U.S. Department of Health and Family Services concerning drug abuse and addiction:

-- In 2006, an estimated 20.4 million Americans aged 12 or older were current (past month) illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug during the month prior to the survey interview. This estimate represents 8.3 percent of the population aged 12 years old or older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.

-- In 2006, there were 2.4 million current cocaine users aged 12 or older, which was the same as in 2005 but greater than in 2002 when the number was 2.0 million. However, the rate of current cocaine use remained stable between 2002 and 2006.

-- Hallucinogens were used in the past month by 1.0 million persons aged 12 or older in 2006, including 528,000 who had used Ecstasy. These estimates are similar to the corresponding estimates for 2005.

-- There were 7.0 million persons aged 12 or older who used prescription-type psychotherapeutic drugs non-medically in the past month. Of these, 5.2 million used pain relievers, an increase from 4.7 million in 2005.

-- In 2006, there were an estimated 731,000 current users of methamphetamine aged 12 or older.

-- Among youths aged 12 to 17, current illicit drug use rates remained stable from 2005 to 2006. However, youth rates declined significantly between 2002 and 2006 for illicit drugs in general and for several specific drugs, including marijuana, hallucinogens, LSD, Ecstasy, prescription-type drugs used non-medically, pain relievers, tranquilizers, and the use of illicit drugs other than marijuana.

-- The rate of current marijuana use among youths aged 12 to 17 declined from 8.2 percent in 2002 to 6.7 percent in 2006.

-- Among persons aged 12 or older who used pain relievers non-medically in the past 12 months, 55.7 percent reported that the source of the drug the most recent time they used was from a friend or relative for free.

-- In 2006, there were 10.2 million persons aged 12 or older who reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs during the past year.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


There are so many aspects to motivation that most of us don’t think about on a daily basis. What motivates us to get out of bed? What motivates us to go to school and get good grades? What motivates us to want our dream homes? On another note, what motivates addictive behaviors? Our biology, personality, temperament, physiology, culture and economics are just some of the main topics that motivate us to strive for more, while we are just one in a huge world.

Some of our motivations come from individual differences, and others are shared. Our personality and temperaments would contribute to our individual differences and a universal motive (one that is shared) would be our need for happiness in life. Motivation is an interesting type of psychology because there are so many factors that estimate what we do and why we do it. This class has opened by eyes to the many aspects, and has answered my question, “What is motivation and where does it come from?”

My most favorite part in this class was learning about the motivation in Addictions and Addictive Behavior. Learning that caffeine was a category with alcohol, nicotine, amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine and opiates was surprising. So many people drink tons of coffee and don’t think about the effects it can take. It is a psychoactive stimulant, even if it is legal and widely used. Learning that made me think twice about the next coffee I touch. Also, the information on each type of psychoactive drug was informative. Comparing drug addictions to food addictions was also interesting because the only difference is that people can react to the thought of food before seeing it (classical conditioning). There is also a genetic and personality disposition that made me think of the people I knew who were addicted to alcohol, drugs or coffee. They all had the addictive type of personalities (impulsiveness) and people in their family, somewhere along the line, had the same disease. The way the brain responds to addictions is the most interesting because the brain controls 100% of what people think and feel about their addictions. The chemicals, neurons and neurotransmitters make it that much harder for people to quit their addictions. Addictions are hard to control, and they can consume one for all that he/she is worth. It may take a higher motivator to pull one out of the motivation for addiction. Either way, it is a long road which encompasses more strength than some can even imagine.

“If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.”

We all have the feeling of giving up, but there is always something that keeps us going. Motivation is apart of living. It’s what keeps us going as human beings. It’s what keeps us individual, while climbing up some of the same ladders to get to the point of “Self Actualization.” It makes me think of our world leaders, instructors and celebrities, which most of us look up to. They’ve climbed some of the same ladders, but what makes them so different? Ultimately, if we let our motivations lead the way; we can overcome our circumstances, no matter what tries to get in our way. Our individual motivation will lead us to the top, whatever that might mean for the each of us.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Final Post

When I signed up for this class I honestly thought that we were going to learn things such as how to motivate people or maybe how to motivate ourselves a little better. I never imagined that motivation included so many components. I had no idea that self esteem, emotions and personality traits had anything to do with motivation. I previously thought that some people wer not motivated just because they were lazy, now I have a better understanding of people and possibly why they seem to have no motivation. I learned that I can not only be motivated to go to school but I have to apply it in my everyday life, to exercise is an example. If the incentive was of importance to me I would have done it already. One would say I am not motivated, but change will come!

My favorite part of the class I would have to say was the section on procrastination. I chose procrastination because I am an admitted procrastinator. I could relate to that section the most out of any others. The book says that it basically means "to put off until tomorrow, what you could have done today". I know that I procrastinate and I know that I could be doing something that needs to be done but I just put it off. I find everything else that needs to be done before I do what really needs to be done. The fact that I actually read it in this book and had to say it out loud (or type it out loud rather) makes me feel that I need to make a change. Stress levels are higher when "crunch time" comes around and it's all unnecessary. Procrastination is not a positive effect on motivation and I must reach the goals that I set, big or small.


Emotions are defined in the book as a functional reaction to a stimulus event or change, such as an actual or anticipated loss or gain. The physical reaction to emotions are one's persoal choice and can have a negative or positive effect. Most commonly, emotions are associated with relationships. When two people are in a relationship, they usually share feelings and emotions for one another.
This is a photo of Christa Pike. In 1995, at age 18, she was the youngest woman in U.S. history to be on death row. She was convicted of the murder and the conspiracy to commit murder of Colleen Slemmer, 18. Ms. Pike believed Slemmer was sleeping with her boyfriend and she could not handle it. Her emotions led her to believe that this action was a possible means for her to loose her boyfriend; she could not handle it. Emotions can sometimes get the best of a person but the key is to always control your actions. My motto is: "you can not control your feelings or your emotions, but you can control how you react to them". Ms. Pike is now going to loose her life because she did not control her actions to her emotions.

Final Motivation Post

There is no motivation without a motive and an incentive. Those are the must ingredients for the mixture of motivation. Many things I didn’t realize play are important factors regarding motivation. Motivation is made up of many different sources such as psychological, social, biological moreover, intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Self-regulation and self-control are closely linked to the super ego; the super ego is something psychological. Socially, we all want to be liked. So often we get motivated to do things to meet the social norms and expectations. In a biological aspect, the body asks of you to meet certain goals. The motivation to complete these goals can be internal sources such as hunger. The other motivation is extrinsic which is to attain the food.

I found it amazing learning of the influences evolution has on motivation. It all goes back to our human history. It is quite interesting to see how the past motivations have developed into common incentives and common desires across the world and have ultimately, become the current motivations. Sometimes we experience unconscious motivation when we don’t know the sources of our motivation but can be traced back to the past motivations. One common desire that we all have is to pursue and the access of pleasure. Hedonism is in all of us, we all want and seek satisfaction from doing things. In addition, there other universal motives that are shared due to evolution such as money, sex, and love. Even sexual interactions such as attraction is motivated by universal motives that are dated back to the past. The way we select our mates can coincide with the good gene hypothesis. The hypothesis states that we search for beauty because it signals good genes therefore, can produce healthy babies that can survive in the world.

Other things I found interesting during the course were how our internal factors are regulated in our bodies. We have a set point that regulates things in our body such as, temperature, calories, fats, and level of hydration among other things. Physiologically, our bodies are always running and at one point one may receive a negative feedback such as trembling because it is so cold outside. The trembling is your body trying to go back to the set point was your body temperature should be. When such changes in the body system occur from unpleasant to pleasant is called Alliesthesia.

Overall, the course on motivation was enlightening. So many factors are tied in to motivation, and it shed some light on how we all make decisions or goals, how we achieve them, and why those goals and motivations occur.


Curiosity results when the amount a person wants to know exceeds his current knowledge. It can cause a person to do things that are embarrassing, dangerous, or even illegal. Young children (toddlers in particular) are one group that comes to mind when speaking of curiosity. They tend to want to touch and explore everything they can get their hands on, this however is partly due to intrinsic motivation, but it also has to do with a person's natural ability to want to know. As young adults, people to tend to be curious about sex so they either experiment or get educated. Curiosity can be an educating factor when one is curious about something postive or something that is worthwhile in life, to waste energy on negative curiosities such as the effects of drugs can be very harmful. Curiosity can be a good thing, but if you let it get the best of you --the old saying goes "curiosity killed the cat"!

Chihuahua Temperament

So I’m the girl from class with the four Chihuahuas. That sure makes a statement. It makes some cringe, some laugh and some surprised, when I tell them about the number of madness I have in my home. Originally, I only had one but they started to multiply (fortunately and unfortunately). They are just too cute to give away. My dogs may be exactly what you think, or not quite. Yes, it is true that in temperament Chihuahuas tend to be feisty and vicious, and that’s including mines. However, my dogs are not the type to bark so much. Oh, who am I kidding they do bark their heads off, but they do not attack as other Chihuahuas I have seen.left to right: Lola, Lily, and Blaze

Each and one of my Chihuahuas have different and similar temperaments. The oldest, Blaze “the daddy” is likes to furiously bark at people from the other side of the fence, or window. It all changes when the people are inside the house, he turns more friendly. Lola “the wife,” was given to us about a year ago (without her puppies would not be multiplying right now) and she behaves in such a rare way. I think Lola was abused because she is super shy and does not like anyone other than us in my house. Lily “little girl” is not shy but she would let you know she does not like you by staring at the person and making growling noises. The last puppy, Soly, is quite a little spitfire. She is very energetic and very playful. She likes to bark a lot, and likes people; mind you she is four and half months old.

Lily and Soly

When I am viewing how each of these dogs behave, it becomes noticeable how the puppies have their temperament passed down from their parents. Blaze and Lola are the parents of Lily and Soly. Blaze and Soly are similar with the warmness they display to the visitors; these two also have in common that they do not listen, they tend to misbehave a lot more. In contrast, Lola and Lily are not very friendly and tend to stay away from newcomers. Lola and Lily are great with commands and listening.

It’s quite interesting to see the temperament differences in my dogs. It’s funny to actually see how their emotionality is actually genetic base-inherited.

40 Inspirational Speeches in 2 Minutes

This class I think has been an inspiration. It really did show me how motivation is not just to get fit or to get that degree it is simply in everything that we do. Taking many psychology classes has truly changed me as a person. Perception and motivation I think were the two classes that I absolutely loved. Sometimes in life you have to realize what is it deep down that you want or what is the incentive to motivate you to get the reward. There are so many experiences in my life that have truly made me a more confident person and classes like this one is one of those experiences. My Perception teacher was very into meditation and yoga and to be honest I needed something to help me slow down and reflect and I decided to take some yoga and now I feel so much more calm and in control of myself than ever before. This video that I found and posted I thought was a video that we should all watch. It really makes you feel good about yourself and it makes you just want to get up and make a change or fulfill that dream that you wanted or have been striving for. It makes me never want to give up and to keep on moving in the direction that I want. I think that a college class that offers a self confidence boost and teaches you why and how why do the things that we do leaves us with something new we may learn about ourselves. Not only are we becoming more educated but we are also going to think twice about the things we do because I feel that we are a little more aware of them. Thumbs up!

★☆★ The Dove self-esteem Fund

How we perceive ourselves and other people plays a huge impact on us as humans. Perception is the process of attaining awareness. When we see shows on television such as Victoria Secret Annual Fashion show we see beautiful, thin, perfect women who have no flaws. What might that do to a women's self-esteem? I'm sure it immediately makes most women start to compare them selves to those models. That will most likely decrease her self-esteem. That is a huge problem with today's generation and society because we see it everywhere. Little girls are growing up watching this and are pressured to look like those women and it's also causing psychological problems along with it. I think that self-esteem on a women or a man is so important to strive for. You must accept yourself for who you are and understand that it's okay to be you. Well I brought up this subject because I remember seeing a commercial that is showing women how these "tv women" are completely made up and photo shopped. It is for women to understand that these women do have flaws and aren't perfect. The commercial is sponsored by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund. I think that as a big brand like Dove they are certainly using their fame in a more positive way. And at the end of the commercial it says "No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted." I just feel that it is great to see things like this out there because they are needed especially in today's society.

Fear of "Sea Creatures"

Shark attacks are very uncommon, and rarley do humans actually incounter sharks in the wild. Eventhough there are not many incounters does not mean that there are no sharks attacks; adveraging 50-70 shark attacks/year (worlwid). Aparently, pedestiains have a better chance of getting struck by lighting then actually incountering this live beast in the ocean. So why do we fear swimming far out at the beach?

Whale war's is a dramatic television series on the discovery chanelle that begian my interest in captive marine life. As we think about our goals, morals, and ethic's; I thought it would be intersting to post about something personal to me. I may love to surf, swim, and row in the ocean ,but I am always on the look out for a shark attack.

Motivational psychology is a awe-inspiring study of mind and soul. Professor's around the globe are excited about our ability to impell and compress our thoughts into creativness. I'd like to thank everybody who posted this semester. Happy Holidays!

Final Post

Motivation is such a broad term. It's basic definition is "the driving force that causes us to reach our goals". In this class we learned that the simple word can be used in so many different ways and have so many different meanings. There is also so much that it entails. Motivation can lead to an action or change in behavior. It can also lead to a motive. A motive is an internal disposition to approach or even avoid an incentive. Incentives are environmental stimulus that attracts or repels. An incentive can be a source of motivation. Incentives are what pulls us while motives are what pushes us to that incentive or goal. Incentive can be positive and negative. A positive incentive, like a good grade, can motivate us to study. A negative incentive, such as losing a loved one can motivate us to avoid getting close to someone.
Life seems to be full of incentives and motives. Some times event can cause people to lose their motivation. Those incentives, though important can sometimes change or lose their appeal as well. I'm sure most people go through similar situations, but this semester has been one of many that that haven't been the easiest for me. I dealt with relationship issues, friendship issues, family issues, lost a couple close relatives, and watched other family members get older and sicker. In the midst of everything thing, keeping up with my job and school seemed to get harder and harder. I seemed to lose my motivation. My goals now seem unclear and emotions seemed to put a damper on my motivation toward everything. Like we also learned in class, I seemed to show avoidance toward my school work and relationships with others. With all the negative things going on around me I guess I let fear take over. I became easily overwhelmed and was afraid of either failing to not achieving anything.
It may sound like a corny cliche, but as we got into the later chapters I began to relate a lot more to the class. I am the type of person that may over think. I want to learn and understand each situation, which I learned is called the "need for cognition". However, in order to cope, I began to realize that some things I may never understand. I recognized my autonomy, I am responsible for my own actions and I can not use bad things happening as an excuse. I know I am competent, capable to do whatever I put my mind to.
Emotions,motivation,behaviors toward different events, incentives,motives, and goals are all a part of human nature. Understanding that helps me realize I am not alone. I am now working on my self-esteem and trying to figure out my long term goals again. My dreams and goals have changed every time something happens in my life. Like most, I have not had it easy, but I know there are people worse off then me. I can use my experiences and understanding as motivation. They will be my push to get wherever I decide to go. One of my goals has always been to help whoever I can in any way I can. I look forward to getting back to working hard toward some of my original goals. This class actually helped motivate me to figure everything out again and be the person I know I can be.

Final Post!!

  First off, WOW! This semester has truly flown by.  I can't believe that in one more semester, I will officially be a college graduate.  It's very exciting and very scary at the same time.  I am so proud of myself for how far I have come.  When I first started school, I had no care, no interest and no desire.  Now, a few years later, it's like I am a whole different person with a different set of goals.  I hope to enter the Education Program, that is another goal I am setting for next year, and finish in 2012.  

  I am so lucky to have such wonderful people around me who love and support me and have stuck by me since day one.  I have had many great professors, as well.  Including Professor Berg for 2 classes. 

  I really enjoyed learning about all the aspects of motivation.  I mean, who knew there were so many topics to learn about!?  This class was very helpful in learning how to deal with various events that can occur in anyone's life.  I would recommend this for anyone who wants to gain a better perspective and have a better attitude towards their life. 

Economics of Motivation: Are we naturally lazy?

Motivation refers to the “why” of behavior. It deals with the answer to the question, why do we engage in certain behaviors? This class offered an in depth understanding of the many forms of motivation and the sources from which they originate. The chapters in our books along with lectures covered many themes regarding motivation.

We began with a brief description of motivation as the process by which a person is moved to action followed by exploring different theories from history that provided the beginning ideas and insight into the study of motivation. The next part looked at the biological properties of motivation where we examined evolutionary and personal history and its cumulative effects on motives and incentives. The topics we then discussed were addictive behaviors and drug use, homeostasis in relation to internal factors and eating. We also covered affective valence and the effects of arousal on performance along with the effects of stress and coping on health. The third part of our studies focused on the psychological properties of motivation including drives, needs, and awareness and personality traits and their affect on motivation. The final section in the course explained external sources of motivation in terms of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation and the goals and economics of motivation. We ended our journey through the extensive analysis of motivation with the function of arousal in relation to emotions and moods.

Motivation is a process apparent in the lives of everyone and taking this course really gave me a chance to take the many different explanations and apply them to my own life. One topic in particular that was interested me was the economics of motivation. This section looks at the paradox in motivation; humans value high-level goals but try to achieve them with minimal cost or energy. It describes the evolutionary adapted inclination of animals and humans to expend the fewest motivational resources while attempting to achieve the highest goals possible. This idea of a principle of least effort leads to the intriguing debate over the question, are we lazy?

Many people believe that humans are becoming lazy as our technological advancements allow us to exert less and less energy to achieve goals as we go about our lives. After learning in class about the evolution of the conservation of energy as a survival technique of our ancestors I have come to believe that we are naturally lazy. Now that we have moved into the new modern era there is no need to worry about conserving our energy for survival so people that still engage in such acts are deemed lazy!

This topic really relates to my life, I am a mater in the art of “conserving energy” or just being lazy. It takes a lot for me to become motivated to achieve my goals and I tend to slack off and lay around in bed instead of being productive. I feel this “conserving energy” or laziness debate applies wonderfully to the issues we are currently facing as a nation. The US is regarded by many to be a “lazy” nation filled with overweight people only concerned with fulfilling their needs while exerting as little effort as possible. Scientific advancement is a crucial part to progress and success of a nation but many feel technology is making people become lazy.

In the past few years, a large amount of new technology we’ve created is based on the attempt to enable us to achieve goals and accomplish tasks without even having to leave our homes let alone get off the couch. I will however mention the opposing view that is best stated in an article I read by Frank Bowes entitled, Is technology making us lazy?, he believes that,
“it is not the technology that makes us lazy, rather, it is our laziness that necessitates the technology. The human race has always sought out the easy path; and technology has merely served to provide us with one.”
Before reading this I had not previously considered this argument for technology. I hope that I have provided some people with food for thought as I end this final post having given an overview of motivation and I more extensive look at laziness, its origin, and its application to issues outside of class.

Final Post Project/Addictions

What is the definiton of Motivation? What comes to your mind when you think of the word and what feelings do you have? Actually, taking this class has giving me better insight on what motivation has to deal with. It is not just the simple definition of being able to move and what pushes you to move, but it talks about all aspects of life and how they all intertwine. This class has taught me about what it means to be become well rounded and what incentives, motives, drives, pushes, and pulls I will have to overcome if I want the best for my life.

Several spects of the class were very interesting, for example, all the videos you put into the power points, but I am not going to lie when I say there were several not so good aspects, for example, the chapter on evolution and motivation. But it goes to show that what was taught to me, I now know that this was a valuable course where I learned a lot about myself and who I really am.

It took me a while to think about what I wanted to do on my final project. I had so many ideas on what to write and ione topic especially took an interest in me. And that topic is addictions. I come from a family of addiction, whether it be alcohol, smoking, or drugs. I have several family members that are alcoholics and are addicted to drugs. Many have ended up in prison and on a more personal note I had an aunt who passed away last february from drinking vodka and taking the pain killer oxycotin. She never awoke that next morning. The two depressent affected her repiratory breathing and her death was ruled as an accidental overdose. My brother on the other hand, was addicted to oxcotin, himself. I can say with great pleasure that he has overcame his addiction and is working on his recovery.

I have had my ups and downs but never to the point where I had the problems that my family member had. Life is not so easy growing up with the addictive behaviors that are still currently in my family. I am a mother of two beautiful girls, and a wife for twelve years to the most amazing husband in the world. My life today is pretty hectic and I have overcome a lot of obsticals. I don't have any videos to post about addiction since it is a horrible thing, but what I have already written, who would want to see the devistation that I went through? Not me!!

Overall, I am so gald that I took this course from you, Dr. Berg becasue like I said before it has opened my eyes to a wondeful journey that will guide me down the path to success. I want to thank you for your time and patience. Keep up the good work and continue to be good at what you do!! My goal is to work in the psychology field and get a better understading of how the mind really works.

This is my "Goofy" family

Yoga For Depression and Anxiety

Everyone in the world is affected by some sort of stress or stressor. Some people are even affected by anxiety or depression as well. I feel that it is absolutely necessary in today's society to have something that will help you unwind. I feel that are lives become increasingly more and more busy each and everyday and Yoga has helped me to refocus a little bit each day. When is the last time that you took 10 minutes for yourself and just sat down and did absolutely nothing and tried to refocus on yourself? Seriously answer that question to yourself. I bet the answer is not everyday you can and will let yourself have those 10 minutes to regroup. I have found that yoga is increasingly more popular than it has ever been and I' so glad that people are finding some relief in their lives. Sometimes I find myself getting so caught up in everyday life that I never take those much needed minutes for myself.
Depression and anxiety are two very common diseases and yoga is something that has been very affective for people suffering. By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration. There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body's ability to respond to stress more flexibly (Harvard Health and Stress Center). The positive effects are staggering. This will hopefully help someone in need of unwinding or just to refocus their life and regroup.

Asperger's syndrome: real story

Asperger's and Autism are a phenomenal diseases, which affects many people in the world. Autism is the most common Pervasive Developmental Disorder. It affects the person in a nuerodevelopmental way in which it will delay their communication and socialization skills as well as delayed development of symbolic and imaginative play. Asperger's is considered to be a part of Autism. Usually this disorder is diagnosed after puberty. Understanding and living with a child, family, or friend that has these disorders can be quite a challenge. I am blown away by the way their brain develops and works. It is amazing to watch the courageous people understand them and help them. I have been watching a show on television that is called "Parenthood," and their son on the show was just diagnosed with Asperger's and it looks so challenging to have a child with that disorder. On the show the child had always seemed normal they thought until he got a little bit older and wouldn't take off this prate costume for over a year. They thought it was creative and cute at first but then he started repeating himself a lot and they got him tested and Asperger's was the diagnosis. My point is that this disease that I have become more familiar with is only from a show on television and this really is some people's lives...everyday! And I think it is great that the network has a show like this on television for those families who are dealing with disorders like this. It shows courage and hope and I'm glad to see something actually wholesome and educational on television. I can only hope for a better life and more research to be done to help these individuals who dealing with these disorders. This is something that I think everyone should be aware of and maybe be a little more grateful or thankful for what they have in their life.

Anorexia/Bulimia Project

This post is scary just watching it. I can only imagine the pain that is caused from these diseases. They affect so many lives in the world and people can't stop them even after all of the education we have on the diseases. Addiction is something that is physical and psychological as well. These men and women look into the mirror and still see fat in places that are just skin and bones. But in their eyes and mind they are fat and think everybody see fat. Addiction is a scary recipe for disaster. There are many people in the world that can't beat their addiction and loose their battle to the disease, drug, etc.. It is very hard to truly understand how these people's minds work when we can see skin and bones and they see fat. This type of addiction can be from any source including modeling or sports. The pressure that they have to be more fit or more skinny to prove themselves to the public is how this disease can begins and then it usually just escalates into a much bigger problem. Psychologically these individuals who are affected by addiction need long term treatment and it is not something one can just get over. It affects their minds and counseling must be their number one priority in order to get better. I personally have seen someone that was affected with this disease and she is better now but she is still in counseling and struggling with her eyes and mind everyday.