Saturday, June 11, 2011

Final Post

I learned so much from this class about Motivation. I used to think Motivation was something that could not be explained very well, but now I know that is certainly not the case. Motivation relies on a number of different things and the way we do things are based on those different things. First off, hedonic value is the pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain. You can see this everyday with humans and animals. If something gives us pleasure we will do it again, while if something hurts us we will generally avoid it. However, hedonic value is not clear cut. According to Freud's reality principle, you can postpone pleasure or endure discomfort if the result is greater pleasure later. This still follows hedonic value with getting to greater pleasure, but in order to get there we need to avoid immeadiate pleasure or experience some discomfort. I am a great example of the reality principle when I am doing school work. Many of my friends will be in the living room enjoying each others company, while I am in my room doing homework. My friends invite me out to be with them but I always say "After I finish this chapter." I am motivated to work harder on my homework so I can reach the greater pleasure of hanging out with friends without worrying about homework. The incentive of having fun motivates me to work hard.

Another thing I learned during this class was how easily motivational theories relate to our real life. In chapter ten I was introduced to losses loom larger than gains which means "...losses are more dissatisfying than gains are satisfying" (pg. 243). For example, the President passed a healthcare bill that will give every American health insurance to keep us healthy and happy but that is overshadowed by the fact that unemployment is still very high. Passing the healthcare bill was a satisfying gain but the high unemployment rate makes people angry so they remember it more. Chapter 12 was also very easy to relate to our real life, especially the demand law. The demand law is what people will buy according to prices. As price increases, less is bought but as price decreases, more is bought (pg. 299). I relate the demand law to punishers and reinforcers. Spending more money for something is the punisher, so we buy less when prices increases. Saving money on thing reinforces us that sales and price cuts are more appealing.

Overall, this class has made me realize something very important about myself. When I read about self esteem in chapter 9 I realized that mine was very low. I noticed people telling me that for awhile, but it didn't click until I read that high self esteem means you think of success, while low self esteem makes you think of your failures (pg. 233). I usually focus on what I need to do to avoid failing at something but after taking this course and listening to my loved ones, I understand that having low esteem is keeping me away from a whole array of new experiences that could be really great and fun. So, after taking this class I have made a declaration for myself. I need more intrinsic motivation, which means doing something in order to please myself, instead of only having external motivation of pleasing others (pg. 254). In order to achieve this I am going to set mastery goals for myself more often. "Mastery goals are...personal standards...they involve accomplishment, improvement or greater understanding of a task" (pg. 195). I will set mastery goals that I am interested in, and only set them because I want to. I'm glad I took this class because now I am confident that I will get higher self esteem and enjoy life more because I will take control of my own life.

And now for the fun stuff!! The video below is me explaining my favorite part of the course!!


  1. I sympathize with you. I also often focus on avoiding failure, and need to begin focusing on succeeding in things for myself. Intrinsic motivation really is a powerful thing! I'm glad to hear this class has had such a positive effect on you. Good luck to you and your new mindset! I hope you enjoy your new experiences! :)

  2. GREAT POST! I wish I had the nerve(and a video cam) to post what you did. Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed it very much.