I had the opportunity to take both “Learning Theory and Research” and “Motivation” with Dr. Berg. Both classes had similar layouts, was very interesting, and informative. This particular Psychology class “Motivation” explained why we do the things we do. There are so many aspects to motivation that most of us don’t think about on a daily basis. There is a motive behind everything that we do. Some of the topics covered were universal motives of sex, fear, food, and music (i.e. selecting mates, maintaining relationships based on motivation, food preference), addictions and addictive behaviors (the motivation behind using psychoactive drugs and gambling), personality and self in motivation, and drives and needs as internal sources of motivation.
I have taken many psychology courses in school since it is my major and I must say that this class and “Learning Theory and Research” are two of my favorites. I really wish that these classes were lectures; I think I would have loved them even more. I rented the books, but, because I learned so much from them, I want to buy them now. At first, I thought that these books were going to touch on a topic and then move on to another topic like other psychology books I have read. However, I soon found out that these books focused on the concept it was talking about and explained it in great detail. Additionally, before I started reading the books, I flipped through them and I recognized some of the topics. I thought the material was going to be repetitive but I discovered shortly that the text had an array of topics that I never seen or heard of before. For example, I had no idea that self esteem, emotions and personality traits had anything to do with motivation.
My favorite topic was achievement motivation in chapter 8 “Drives, Needs, and Awareness.” I found it interesting because I have a need to achieve/ a drive to be successful in anything I do. According to Deckers (2010), the need to achieve or motive to achieve success (Ms) is a disposition to engage in task-oriented behavior or achievement behavior. It is characterized as doing things better than before or surpassing a high external or internal standard of excellence. The standards can be defined on the job, in sports, or in school and are based on the performance of others or on the persons own standards. Many people have a need to achieve while others are motivated to avoid failures and some have both. The motive to avoid failures (Maf) is the opposite of the need to achieve and inhibits a person from attempting to achievement tasks. It is characterized by anxiety and fear about failing a task. I think a lot of people go through this in life. For example, I chose to major in psychology because I want to become a counselor for kids with health problems when I get older. As a result, I am driven by my Ms and it pushes me towards my goal. However, I become afraid of failing and I don’t want to let down myself/others so think I made the wrong decision. As a result, my Maf tries to push me away from my goal. The Maf does not work though because its strength is not as high as the strength of my Ms. The video shows some other people who were motivated to achieve despite what others thought about them.
This class has been an inspiration. For a while now, I felt like I have lost my motivation to do a lot of things and I’m trying to find it back. Reading this book helped me understand why some people, including myself, are not motivated and explained how we to become motivated.
Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation: biological, psychological, and environmental (3rd ed.). Boston, Mass.: Allyn & Bacon.