I can hardly believe we have reached the end of the course already; and that we actually covered the entire book! I have to say that I found the latter chapters of the text - actually from Chapter 4 on - much more interesting than the earlier chapters. I actually wanted to read the material for my own edification instead of reading it just to ensure a good grade on the exams (intrinsic motivation). What I learned from the course is to be more cognizant of my motivators; in others words, to consider "why" I do or wish to do certain things. It's important for me at this stage in my life to understand the choices available to me and the basis upon which I make decisions. So many times we just "do" things without taking the time to consider why we do them. It's like we're functioning on autopilot and we "check out" mentally. What this course has also impressed upon me is to consider what motivates others. Oftentimes, I think we get so caught up in our own thoughts, ideas and motives that we don't stop to consider what is motivating other people. We often have the same experiences, but we certainly don't experience them the same. Our personalities, drives and needs, personality traits, and psychological needs are all different and varied.
What I found interesting is that there was limited discussion of religion/spirituality as a motivator. Certainly, that is a tremendous factor in many lives; definitely in mine. I only recall mention of it in Chapter 9 (p. 233) in connection with the "seven domains of contingencies of self-worth". I would think the text would include more material on such a dominant motivator.
My favorite part of the course was the chapter on personality (Chapter 9), with a close second being the chapter on Addictions (Chapter 4). It was particularly interesting to read the section on "possible selves". I think everyone to a certain extent imagines how their lives will unfold in the future and what joys and tragedies await. As I near the end of my undergraduate studies, I'm certainly envisioning roads that will enable me to put my degree to use and also considering whether pursuing a masters is the best option for me currently. Again, I have to consider my main motivation if I were to pursue the degree and what additional incentives need to be explored.
As for the chapter on addiction, I know many people that struggle with addictions (drugs and/or alcohol). Quite frankly, I still can't confess to understanding why someone would risk long term happiness over momentary pleasure, although the material on the value of instant pleasure versus delayed rewards makes sense. I now have a better understanding also that addictions have a biological component, so some people are predisposed to certain behaviors. I think I'm less inclined now to be too hasty in my evaluation of someone's circumstance, but to instead consider the various factors involved in an addiction.
In essence, as I said, I think it benefits us to consider one another's motives. We look at situations differently based on our personalities, influences, etc., so it's important to make an effort to understand where another person is coming from and what is motivating them.
I enjoyed this class. The schedule was accelerated, but the reading was interesting. I never had to post blogs before, so it was beneficial to learn about it and I enjoyed reading everyone's posts.
Good luck on the final and enjoy the rest of the summer!