Thursday, September 29, 2011

Push and Pull

I guess I never really thought about what motivated or drove me until this class, I always just thought it was something natural that everyone possessed. As described in the slides to be motivated is to be moved to action/behavior or change in action/behavior. This usually stems from something new or something no one else has done. One of the biggest things that we talked about and that motivates me is when you are rejected or failed. The first thing you want to do is get right back up and finish or succeed in whatever you were trying to accomplish. That feeling of rejection or failure is extremely motivating for a person. The other thing we talked about in class is the push and pull theory. Motives push a person into action toward an end state, for example, hunger as a push towards food. On the other end, incentives pull a person towards an end state, for example, chocolate pulls a person towards it. This push and pull of your motives versus your incentives is a theory that can be found in just about anything. Whether it's biological needs or a psychological need to belong, motives and incentives seem to eventually interact with each other.


Motivation is the desire to do something. Motivation varies between each individual and each situation. The first thought that popped in my head when I pondered on what motivates me the most was my daughter. She is the reason why I do everything and anything. I'm in college to get a degree so that I will be able to support myself and my daughter. My daughter motivates me to go to class and work my hardest on my assignments. I want her to be proud of me and I want to be her motivation when she is older. Another motivation of mine when it comes to school is my family and my boyfriend's family. Our families were not too happy when they found out we were going to be parents. They all felt that our educations would be the first thing we both give up. Well my boyfriend and myself are proving them wrong because we are both enrolled in school. We can not wait until we have our degrees to show everyone that we might have had a child young but we still accomplished something. Before I make any decision I always have to think about my daughter and how my actions will affect her. My daughter is my motivation to change my lifestyle. I'm more concerned about living healthier now than I was before I was a mom. My daughter makes me want to change and be the best person I can be.

While my daughter is my greatest motivation there are times that I am not motivated when I want to be. My best friend and I joined a gym recently to get back into shape. Either one of us have a problem getting to the gym four or five days a week. Our problem occurs when we actually get to the gym and it becomes time to work out. While we try our best to motivate each other but we fail sometimes. The best motivation for us at the gym is having a mutual friend, who is also a physical trainer, work out with us. She teaches us new work outs and makes sure that we are doing them correctly. She stands above us counting our sets and encouraging us to do more. She definitely gives us the best motivation and work out. Sometimes you need a little help when it comes to being motivated.

Motivation + Passion

Given the open-ended nature of this blog post, I stopped to ask myself - what really dictates motivation? I suppose most people would cite responsibility. Most students are in school because they "have" to, according to their parents, or because they believe it is the right thing to do. I'd imagine a poll of most students would result in this type of answer. Likewise when it comes to career choices - most people pick their jobs on what makes them the most money and disregard any aspect of enjoyment, laughing off the possibility of a "fun career". For example, I know a few people that are pursuing Atlantic Cape Community College's accelerated Air Traffic Controller degree - a career on every list of "most stressful jobs in the world" imaginable. They're doing this not because it is fun or interesting, but because it is the fastest and most effective away to earn a stable living.

However, the pursuit of two year degrees and "easy" majors to score into large job markets sounds to me still like the academic path of least resistance. I believe, as Psychiatry majors, the majority of us represent that rare breed of motivation - the truly passionate, those who believe in putting in their full time and effort into their endeavors not only to reap the best possible rewards, but to reach the achievements that are the most rewarding for us. This type of passionate drive is unfortunately rare in today's world, seemingly reserved only for athletes and movie stars who "get paid millions to do what they love," but it truly is not that far off for any of us. All that it comes down to, as lame as it may sound, is following your heart and doing what makes you happy. While many of us realistically won't ever make a living strictly on passions alone (I know I'm hardly good enough to earn any money off surfing, for example), there is definitely something admirable and passionate in doing our best to pursue an academic future in the field of psychology, where our career choices are only limited by the amount of dedication we put into our education. Besides, someone's gotta help council all those stress out Air Traffic Controllers!

I Dont Want No Scrubs

So today I was listening to 102.1 at 6 in the morning on my way to work and the DJs posed a question: Who makes the money and who spends the money in your relationship. Without much thought, I decided this was a stupid question because it was obvious what the answers were going to be. One woman called in and said she doesn't have a real job but she goes shopping every day and spends her hubby's money so that is a job in itself. Now was that the most obvious answer someone could have given? The last caller was a man who was obviously adorable because he said this: I have been with my amazing wife for a few years now and I got laid off from my job so currently I am unemployed. Even when I was working, my wife made double the amount of money that I made and I am completely okay with that." The DJ was floored and you could tell that he was not expecting and answer like that because he questioned the man by saying, ' you really just admitted your wife makes more money than you? Most guys would never admit that.' That really got me thinking about our class discussion and what motivates us to pick a mate. The one girl in the video said that her man needs to have [swagger] and a car that bounces up and down for no reason and looks ridiculous. We also talked about how money motivates our decisions. Well in my opinion, yes money is important but not as important as other things. The man that I am going to marry - yeah he might have a nice car and a good job but I'd rather have an amazing father for my children and someone who can make me laugh and feel special than a man who has a bouncy car. End rant =)

Mate Selection

In class on Tuesday we talked about universal motives. Universal motives determine the commonality of what motivates us. In a clip that we watched in class girls were motivated to select mates based on what their status was. This is very common now for people to base their selection on how wealthy a person is or what they have to show off. One thing that this can lead to which was a topic of interest for me was jealousy. Jealousy is a secondary emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection. A lot of women want the have the best guy to show off and in some case these women don’t care what it takes to get this man. Women become very jealous of things they can’t have and this brings up the motive of mate poaching. Mate poaching refers to an attempt to attract someone who is already in a romantic relationship in order to form either a short-term or long-term relationship with the poached individual. Men are more likely to give in to the temptation of short-term poaching.

Pep Talks as a Motivational Source

In many sports, "pep talks" are given before and in between games by coaches as a way to fire up or to motivate their team to go out and outperform their opponent. Although it may seem as pointless to some people, these speeches are often highly praised by many athletes. To put it simply, some coaches possess this natural ability to speak in such a manner that can change the pace of a team in a heartbeat. Another way of classifying pep talks would be under the category of extrinsic motivation. This means that the motivation comes from an outside source rather than from within. Sometimes the ability to motivate a team separates the great coaches from the average coaches. I can personally speak on this matter; I come from a very heavy sports background and have had the opportunity to play for a coach that had this fiery capability of getting us ready for any game. I can honestly say that I much prefer to play for a coach that can pump a team up before a big game than to play for a more passive coach; you'd be surprised how big of a difference it can actually make. Some coaches' speaking abilities are highly regarded and sought after, an example of this is how some companies will pay coaches to come into their place of business and speak. The purpose of them speaking to a company is to motivate the work staff and to increase work morale. Say what you will, but having the ability to speak in such a manner can lead you to great success in sports.

Heavy Drinking

The article I chose was about a study that was performed to investigate UK university student drinking in terms of social and motivational factors. The study consisted of 50 students who were heavy drinkers and 49 students who were considered light drinkers. A questionnaire was provided that measured the student’s drinking expectancies, perceived benefits, and the drawbacks of drinking.

The study found that the heavy drinkers scored higher than light drinkers on measures of tensions reduction, sexual enhancement and dependency drinking expectancies. The top three reported benefits of drinking were social life, fun, and self confidence. The study also found that heavy drinkers perceived a lot of drawbacks to their finances as a result of drinking. The heavy drinkers were found to hang with a heavy social network and they received more encouragement to drink and participate in more heavy drinking activities than light drinkers. The study also suggested that social factors are important influences in the maintenance of heavy student drinking in the forms of peer pressure and increased self- confidence.

In conclusion, the motivational factors such as the increased self-confidence played an important role in the heavy drinkers. I like this article because I found it true that people gain self- confidence and more courage when they are drinking. This is a motivational factor that people like especially for those people who are shy.

Orford, J., Krishnan, M., Balaam, M., Everitt, M., & Van Der Graaf, K. (2004). University student drinking: The role of motivational and social factors. Drugs: Education, Prevention & Policy, 11(5), 407-421. doi:10.1080/09687630310001657944

Unconscious Motives

According to some psychologists, a considerable part of human behavior is stimulated and driven by unconscious motives. Maslow states that psychoanalysis has often revealed that there does not need to be any direct connection at all between a conscious desire and the eventual unconscious aim underlying it. For example, a person can be accident prone because of his/her unconscious desire to injure himself/herself and not because he/she is unaware of safety. It is interesting because it is difficult to interpret human behavior because the person could be doing something because of conscious or unconscious motives, but it also makes it more interesting. I believe that there is a reason for everything people do. It could be because of something they learned from their parents or because of an experience they had. Whenever I catch myself doing something I always question it. Sometimes people do not know why they do things and it could be because they repressed something that happened to them or something else.
There are so many different theories about the unconscious mind, but why can't we deal with those things in our unconscious in our conscious? Why is it that we have to stay unaware of them? I know that there are motives that we do not want to have in our minds, but I think we should be aware of them. It is our choice whether or not to act on them. Maybe humans just aren't designed to cope with things they do not understand. I think a person should be aware of their desires and motives,even if they are scary. Unconscious motives are sometimes a mystery, but I think there is always a reason behind them.

Mate Poaching

Mate poaching according to urban dictionary is defined as attempting to lure someone of the opposite sex away from their partner through various strategies in order to mate with them and/or to prevent their partner from mating with them. After reading the article Do Single Women Seek Attached Men it is shown that studies performed by Melissa Burkley and Jessica Parker of Oklahoma State University showed more men engaged in mate poaching. The real question in this experiment was women honest when responding? It was shown that many women feel that all of the good men are taken and if somebody is single there has to be a flaw keeping women from being with them. To examine the situation male and female undergraduates were quizzed about their romantic partners. The females involved were shown the same picture of men and the males were shown the same picture of females. Half of the people were told that the person in the picture was taken and the other half was told that they were single. When the subject was asked how interested they were in the person in the picture, the answers did not show a significant difference, but women showed interest in mate poaching. The studies showed that when the man was described as unattached, 59 percent of single women were interested in pursuing him. When that same man was described as being in a committed relationship, 90 percent were interested. In sum this study in particular showed that women took more of an interest in mate poaching where men showed less interest. The reason for this seems as though women think that single men have qualities that another female has already been troubled by, and the man in a relationship is the better choice.

Universal Motives (Food)

Food is one universal motive. Everyone desires and needs to eat no matter what country you live in. Food choices are different in different regions of the world. Certain food choices one culture may eat, would cause repulsion to another. Food choices that are made are primarily familiar foods. People don't venture too much out of their norm when it comes to food. They're afraid of the taste and possibly getting sick. Unappealing foods are avoided most of the time. When hunger strikes, then an individual's food choices may become opened to more options.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When it comes to theories on motivation, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is always the first thing that comes to my mind. Maslow himself was a very educated a wise man who I truly admire. His hierarchy of needs has five levels that represent five things we need as humans. Each need is built off of the other. Starting from the most basic human needs and working our way towards the ultimate goal of what he calls self-actualization. The pyramid starts with Physiological needs, which are our most basis needs, food, water, air. The next step is safety needs, which is the need for security and protection. Third is a need for social interaction. We need affection, the feeling of belonging and friendship. The fourth need is referred to as esteem. Esteem means having confidence in yourself, self-respect and also feeling recognized by others. Finally we have self-actualization, which means reaching our full potential and capacity as a person. This is the ultimate step that we all are motivated to achieve.

This hierarchy encompasses everything that we are motivated to achieve in our lives. We all want to be everything we can be. As human beings we all have a natural drive to do our best. We also want all of our desires fulfilled. Each step in the pyramid motivates us to reach the next step. And every step builds on the other. If you apply this theory to your life, it makes sense. With this pyramid we can make sense out of why we do what we do. Understanding what you want is the first step to getting it. If you know what your looking for, then you can find the method to achieve it.