Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Stress, Coping and Health

Stress, Coping and Health

Another fascinating topic in our Motivation class was in chapter seven in our text book. Here the author, Lambert Decker of Motivation Biological, Psychological, and Environmental, speaks on Stress, Coping and Health. Decker gave in depth details about the individuals motivation and behavior in dealing with these issues. Stress in our society today has become a prominent factor in many peoples lives. It is a serious condition with many devastating outcomes. There are a lot of citizens nowadays who are still not aware of how severe stress can be. At hand is a relative small notion that stress can have a little bit of a positive outcome when a person is under pressure. Stress can in some instances motivate you to do your best while other times causes you to do just the opposite.

There were three key terms that stood out the most, which are Strain, Coping, and Stress.
Decker, reports that strain occurs when resources are not adequate for a person to achieve positive events or to avoid or escape negative events. Some examples from the results of strain are losing a romantic relationship or failing to recover from an accident ( Decker 2010 pg154).

The next term is coping in which Decker refers to behavior that is motivated to meet life demands and their consequences. He goes on to say stress results when life demands strain coping resources either because the demand is too great or the resources are inadequate (Decker 2010, pg154).

The last term which is stress according to Decker, endangers a persons well-being and shows up as negative feelings, physiological arousal, psychological disorders, illness, or maladaptive behaviors. Deckers, examples are so common in our society today. He reports a person can feel depressed, have trouble sleeping, develop headaches, catch a cold, and drink too much alcohol to alleviate negative feelings and stress (Decker, 2010 pg 154).

Stress and how to cope with it before it ruins you health can be practiced on a daily basis. The first and foremost is laughing or smiling. Many psychologist today are telling there clients that laughing is good for stress. So, take a look at the video and laugh if your stressed.

Deckers, Lambert, (2010). Motivation Biological, Psychological, and Environmental,
Boston, Masschusettes.

Interview, Did he have the motivation to play again after his injury?


I interviewed a 54 year old man, he has 4 kids now and a wife. His injury occurred playing basketball at the end of his college career. The injury consisted of a severe concussion, broken nose and broken ribs all in one game. This injury stopped him from trying out for the New York Knicks, as so he planned later that year!

In general….?
Do you consider yourself a recreational or competitive athlete?

Today I am a recreational athlete and before my injury I was very competitive. My injuries were a severe concussion, broken nose and broken ribs all in one game during the end of my college career.

How important is sports participation in your life?

Sport participation in my life was key in giving me a competitive edge, in my day to day life as I grew older. It gave me great insight into my children’s participation in sports. Also it helped me to learn to deal with failure and success and manage it in regular life situations as I got older.

What were your goals as an athlete?

My goals as an athlete were to be the best I could be in the positions that I played in basketball and other sports. Also, to try to excel at each skill necessary and to compete and never back down. Challenges were welcome goals to be achieved and the better the competition the more motivated I became. I wanted to be known as a fair competitor and tough competitor and to be the man who wouldn’t back down.

Do you have a supportive team and coach?

Having a supportive team and coach was always key in having a successful winning season, but even during losing seasons the support of my team and coach were key in giving me the confidents one needed to succeed as an athlete. Sometimes things become overwhelming, wither that being too small or not as fast or as talented in certain skills and still being able to compete at the level one needed to by being scrappy or hustling to make up for the physical ability I was lacking.


How much distress did you feel about your injury?
Did you perceive it as a disaster? Annoyance?
Were your moods affected by your injury?

What distressed me most was getting injured to the point that I was no longer able to compete and it seemed insurmountable at the time, it affected my over all attitude with people my social life and my ability to communicate with others. It seemed to be a major disaster more then just an annoyance and my mood was that of depression. I also was torn by the fact that was not able to support my teammates and coaches effort in supporting me.

How did the injury interfere with your goals?
How did you cope with the injury?

The goal was to continue to excel to the level of a professional, but it was just not in the cards, I therefore began to redirect my energies towards my school work and overall future. My future now includes having my own established business in which the redirecting those energies helped me succeed.

Final Post

The most interresting aspect of this course that I enjoyed learning more about was the information in Chapter 5 which was Homeostatsis.

Homeostatsis is to maintain constant internal body conditions. Constant Condition examples: Food=eatting or if a person is cold and they up their body temp they are now in a pleasent state.

Homeostatsis also has a negative feedback system. This explained how self-correction processes reduce discrepency.

Effects of deviation & Set points create physiological needs.
Examples of physiological needs, or drives are food and water.
Another example is alliesthesia which can catorgorize our needs useing set points and whether they are pleasent or unpleasent based on a specific need.

As humans we seek pleasent things to maintain homestatsis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2YWonZsh_M&feature=related Great Video explaing Homestatsis!!!!!

Final Post

Tonic Immobility

From all the interesting topics in our Motivation class Tonic Immobility was the one that captured my attention the most. Similar to the flight/fight response, a freeze response is said to have the same type of reaction. In the case of some animals whether they are in a dangerous or stressful situation will freeze or just play dead.

This type of response is referred to as tonic immobility. According to our text Motivation Biological, Psychological, and Environmental, by Lambert Deckers. He illustrates his point when he mentions an implication of the cusp catastrophe model is that the drop in performance can be so drastic that it is manifested as freezing which is when the individual ceases all behavior. Decker, terms this as tonic immobility which refers to the lack of behavior that occurs in reaction to extremely stressful circumstances (pg 137).

Why, this captivated my interest was the fact that a friend of mine children were attacked by pit bulls right in front of her face. These dogs ran in her house and began to attack. She was in a trance and could not move to even fight or block off the dogs as they attacked her children. Once help arrived she was able to come out of this fixated state and assist her children however she could. I truly believe that her tonic immobility came when each child was crying for her help and she did not know who to run to first so she just froze in the midst of the attacks.

The text also gave several examples of humans freezing as well. For example, when the Estonia sank in September of 1994, it was reported that the passengers were seen standing still as if paralyzed, exhausted, or in shock. Or they were just sitting there incapable of doing anything (Decker 137).

Below is a you tube video in which a possum is playing dead for his/her life. The sort of freezing or playing dead is considered to be a form of tonic immobility. This clever possum stayed in a fixated state until his prey left. He/she knew the chances of survival were slim. Enjoy.

Deckers, Lambert, (2010). Motivation Biological, Psychological, and Environmental,
Boston, Masschusettes.

Final Post

This course, motivation, was interesting and explored many aspects of motivation. We learned what motivation was and how it affects us in everything we do. I was surprised to see how everything we do would be tied into this course. Some examples of this are getting out of bed in the morning, going to class, doing homework, getting assignments done on time, choosing the people we talk to throughout the day, what things we want to eat that day, and what we want to do that day. Everything that we do has motivating factors that were discussed in this class.

One thing that I really enjoyed was reading the articles. The one that I enjoyed the most was the article on luck. It gave me a new way of looking at things. The part that I found the most interesting was the part about optimistic people being luckier then pessimistic people. I also enjoyed the article on adderall. I like how the author added his experience from taking adderall in the article. The topic that we covered in class that I thought was the most interesting was mate selection. In one of the videos we watched in class about mate selection, it shows girls going after men based on what car they drove and how much money they looked like they had. The women in this video said they wanted to find the man that everyone would be jealous about. Another aspect of selecting a mate that I found interesting was mate poaching. This is an attempt to attract a person who is already in a relationship. Mate poaching happens more often than I thought it did. Overall I really enjoyed this class and I learned many things I didn’t know before.

The Luck Factor

In this article the author speaks upon lucky and unlucky people. Richard Wiseman, a well known psychologist surveyed a bunch of people to find out who considered themselves lucky or unlucky, he utilized a variety of simplistic tests. What stood out the most to me was the newspaper test. This was a test in which he gave both the lucky and the unlucky people a newspaper and asked them to look through it and tell him how many photographs were inside. The results revealed on average, the unlucky people took two minutes to count all the photographs, whereas the lucky ones determined the number in a few seconds. According to Wiseman, the reason why the lucky people took just seconds was because they read the second page which stated “stop counting, there are forty-three photographs in this newspaper.”

What amazed me the most was in the second part of this newspaper test the unlucky people missed another chance and this time it dealt with money. They missed opportunity to win two hundred fifty dollars because they were still in tuned with finding the photos. This article gave many examples of lucky and unlucky people to say the least. Patricia’s bad luck experiences reminded me much of myself. It was interesting to see someone having similar experiences which made this article very captivating.

The author went on to speak upon the power of superstition. In remembering about the power of superstition years ago it was said that if you carried around a rabbit’s foot it would bring good luck. As far as I can remember back then, there were actual moments in my life in which this was true. Its funny because till this very day I still believe in walking under a ladder brought forth bad luck as well as smashing of a mirror. There was another superstitious thing and that was if the palm of your hand itched it meant that you were coming into some money soon.

In wanting to know why and how bad luck could follow me everywhere, it was interesting to read about positive skepticism in which the author mentions the reason as our thoughts and behaviors are responsible for much of our fortune and it represents the potential for change. This article shed some light on how lucky and unlucky people exist in our society today. Wiseman also mentions the utilization of science and skepticism to increase the level of luck, happiness, and success in people’s lives. In this video were some lucky and unlucky events which took place. I thought the video was astounding to say the least. It allows anyone to see just how lucky or unlucky someone can be. Enjoy.

Final Post - Universal Motives

This motivation course had interesting sections. There were topics on what is motivation and the history of motivation. I wasn't aware of the amount of motivating factors that are present. Motivation is in every task and thought. There are even motivations behind emotions and facial expressions.

The course also discussed universal motives. Universal motives are motives that are shared by every country and culture. Food is a universal motive. Everyone needs to eat and drink. Animals share the same universal motive for food. Homeostasis is to maintain constant internal body conditions. This is achieved by eating and drinking. People of every country and culture are motivated by their thirst and hunger. Their food choices are different in different countries. Some cultures prefer spicy foods and some prefer sweet foods. Individuals of a culture basically stay with their food that is considered to be the norm for them. People are afraid to venture outside of their normal food choices. Food from every culture and country serves the same purpose. Anyone who is hungry will begin to crave and desire for food; and when their thirty, they will crave for liquids.

When preparing for a snow storm, people like to stock u on their food and water supply. They are motivated by possibly not being able to go out and get more supplies. It is a survival instinct to make sure that there is enough food and water. Everyone needs food and water no matter where they are in the world.

Final Post

During the course of this semester, I learned different aspects of human motivation. This class included everything from history of the study to recent experiments. We learned the cognitive, social, and biological aspects of motivation. We discussed how motivations develop our personalities and how studying these can help predict individual’s actions. From these experiments and studies, you can also begin to understand individual and cultural preferences and drives. Many parts of this class greatly helped me in understanding and relation to my cognitive psychology course this semester.

A few different chapters in this class were especially interesting to me. I enjoyed learning about human drives and needs. It is part of what first interested me in psychology; what underlying motives do humans possess? I also enjoyed the chapter on emotion and moods. They play such an important role in the psychology field and understanding our motivations. Decisions can be greatly influenced by current and previous mood states.

Understanding motivation is important in many different occupational fields. For instance, in the field of Criminal Justice or Investigations, it is necessary to know human motivation behind actions. In investigations, it shows how considering all the different societal and self-motivations of a personal can help draw conclusions to cases.

Final Post

This semester we discussed many aspects of motivation and how different factors socioeconomic/environmental effect our decisions and consequently, our motives. Like many have said already, I share personality traits of extroversion. Keeping an open mind and an optimistic perspective towards new, sometimes exciting and bold opportunities can result in good experiences. Experiences shape whom we are as individuals and our motivation to behave or pursue different avenues is the basis of living. Motivation for me is a bettering of one's self to ultimately achieve a comfortable, security of happiness so that when years pass and the end is close to follow, death, I'll be satisfied in knowing I have no regrets. Without motivation, we wouldn't be the triumphant species of this planet. The motive to become greater, achieve the most possible goals in the direction in assisting one's future either individually, for family and community. It all ties together in where motivation stems. The tree of success did not dwell on the rains that had not come, but on the rains coming.

Final Post

I truly enjoyed this class. I have to say it helped me a lot, it taught me so many different aspects of motivation, that I was not aware of falling under motivation. There were several interesting points in the slides and book (I enjoyed sitting down and reading the book).
One of the topics I was most interested in learning was gambling addiction. This addiction has become a huge problem. The legalization of gambling has led to an increase in in associated problems. Gamblers have a tendency to seek opportunities to gamble and are not sensitive to negative financial and social consequences. When gamblers have the urge to gamble, this can be primed by gambling- associated stimuli. The things that attract gambles to gamble is the flashy advertisements and billboards, when they get that paycheck every week or two weeks, the sights and sounds of the gambling casino. Mesolimbic dopamine system is what is linked to the pleasure of gambling. Where as, dopamine antagonist (naltrexone) is implicated in the reduction of gambling pleasures.
The reason this topic stuck with me and I was interested in it, is because my uncle has a gambling addiction. He goes to Atlantic City every night of the week, uses his "comped" rooms and gambles all night then goes to work. He does this all the time. He has gambled so much and got into so much debt with the bookys that my aunt and uncle lost their house, this house was my aunts dream house that was finally complete. This addiction makes a lot of people not like him, especially the family. Even after losing the house and being in so much debt he still does not care and still goes to the casino every night. Also, my aunt does not help out because on the weekends she is right there next to him in the casino. It is very sad to see someone have a gambling addiction, any addiction for that matter, especially when it is your family that is so close to you, it literally affects everyone.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Final post

This class helped fill me in on many different aspects of motivation. There were many interesting points in the text and slides that I did enjoy learning. I will start off by saying to be motivated is to be moved into action or thought by an incentive, or a motive. But these are not the only factors that come into play there are also emotions. Motivation as a whole is a product of biological, psychological, and environmental variables.

One of the things I was most interested in learning had to do with the environment affecting an individual physiologically. This theory I am talking about is the opponent process theory. This theory goes into detail about how a body responds to the environment that is associated with the use of drugs, and has this response which actually protects the internal processes of the individual. I originally had no idea that the environment could have this effect on people. The theory of homeostasis is also very interesting and has a similar concept of keeping the body at a healthy level (without the interaction of drugs), alerting the individual of certain needs as well as keeping levels of energy coming in and energy going out even.

Another thing I really enjoyed doing in this class (although last minute) was reading the articles assigned. The hierarchy of needs also really stood out to me. It is a very interesting concept and I believe of great relevance. It makes perfect sense that the most basic needs have to do with survival, but as one completes these needs they are motivated to continue up latter. I found it very interesting that the failure to meet needs would keep an individual from moving up this hierarchy.

The luck factor was also a very interesting article. It defined the need for an open mind, and a positive attitude to be more likely to have better luck. I read this book called the Celestine prophecy that I believe related to these principles to a certain extent. In this book one of the insights involves becoming aware of coincidental occurrences, and that nothing is actually a “coincidence”. Similar to the ideas being spoken about the luck factor these insights represented a freedom, and pushed individuals to embrace coincidental and lucky occurrences.

In my other class aging and mental health, my professor continuously told us throughout the semester that behavior is a product of the person and the environment. This relates to motivation, the behavior can be seen as the motivation, the person involves both psychological and physiological processes, and environment is the setting individuals reside in. Through this class I have learned that physiological processes are triggered due to environmental stimuli, and even further that there is a reciprocal relationship between the three in the same way. Overall it was very interesting learning about motivation and all the different aspects involved.

Post 5 addictions

I wanted to blog about this particular topic because of its particular relevance to my personal life. Although I have never been dependent on any pain killers or heroin, many of my friends have, or are still fighting this seemingly endless battle.
Like the text and many other sources these addictions start very playfully and recreationally but turn very quickly into a vicious cycle changing the brain chemistry of these individuals, as well as their actual thoughts, and perceptions of reality. The hardest thing I found while trying to talk some sense into my good friends is getting them to not only listen but understand. It is very difficult to get a drug addict to number one, admit there is a problem, and number two accept the fact that they need help. The problem with alot of the younger generations doing drugs is that they make their own reality that they believe is right. For as many times as one can preach to a drug addict, every single time until there is a notable change they will agree with you on the outside, but not internally.

Through my experience with my one good friend I found that support is very helpful, as well as some long, deep conversations about life, its meaning, and an individuals purpose. There are several motivating factors to stay a drug addict, but what needs to stand out are the motivating factors to get out of this reality. Also I thought learning about the opponent process was very interesting, and something that all addicts or former addicts should know.

Study buddy?

When it comes to attention deficit I am a definite candidate. During my junior year of High school I began to have very bad attention problems, which was leading me into bad situations, and poor work in school. Up until this point I had been a very good student and couldn’t understand what was happening to me. The problem was I was just prescribed aderrol, nobody really talked to me about it or counseled me, or related to my feelings. In the beginning I thought it was great, the first time in a while I could think completely clear. These feelings of euphoria soon wore off and feelings of isolation, and depression set in. It was at this point I could not stand taking the medication any more so I took myself off of it and that was that.

Now years later I am at college and I must admit from time to time I have done similar medications to help me with assignments, the difference I have noticed is that I have matured a bit and can handle myself, and regulate my emotions at a better level. It is a very debatable topic but I do believe that these types of medications are necessary for some people, not all though.

My overall opinion is that people should be screened much more intensely as well as having monthly or regular appointments to talk about the medication and its effects. I personally have not found that these types of medications are addictive, because of the adverse effects it had on me.

Cognitive dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance

This article made a lot of sense to me. The reference to two notes that do not comprise a specific chord not sounding well together helped me bridge the gap between what I know, and this theory. Cognitive dissonance seems to be two conflicting variables within people. Examples of cognitive dissonance in myself would pertain to my personal view of myself, and the views others have of me. I feel that I am judged, and more often than not people have this idea of me that is completely untrue. Because of these conflicting thoughts in my head, especially when a professor loses faith in me, or never had it to begin with, I have this inner battle of whether they are right or wrong.

Another example would be procrastination of important assignments, I know inside that I should get them done, and that it would be of much greater ease to do so in a timely manner, but I always seem to have this conflicting thought pertaining to being able to do it later. The way to get around this is to really weigh your options and set your priorities straight, which I do sometimes have trouble with.

When I was prescribed adderol there was a certain amount a dissonance, and even is to this day. The conflicting variables involved me not being good enough to succeed without, and me not feeling emotionally alright while on the drug. Well I decided to stop my medication and do things the old fashion way at the end of senior year. The problem is this stuck with me throughout college, thoughts saying, well maybe I am not good enough, and maybe I need to be medicated. But in the end I made it through the dissonance.