Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Final Post

Motivation has been such a wonderful course! Not only have I learned information I had previously not know, I also apply the learned information to everyday thinking in terms of social interactions. I believe that Psychology in general explains many things, including the origin, evolution, and application of terms and trends in relation to human beings and their environment. Each chapter has provided new knowledge, and many of the sections touched on the previous one, making the class come full-circle in terms of fundamental understanding. I have learned ideas spanning from what motives and incentives are, to how we select mates, to our specific feelings in relaxed or desperate situations, to our physiological and psychological drives in anticipation of an incentive. My favorite sections from this course dealt with the history and motivation of emotion and the evolutionary antecedents of motivation.

The history of motivation and emotion was great, in that it provided the fundamental history responsible for how we view emotion today. I enjoyed the concept of Hedonism, as I feel that all human beings try to maximize pleasure while minimizing pain in practically all phases of their life. It is interesting how the ancient philosophers coined these terms over two-thousand years ago, and yet they still apply to today's society. I also liked some of the trends this chapter discusses, such as the temporal motivation theory, which talks about the idea of an incentive value decreasing upon incentive delay. This is especially true for money, as the value of it can decrease over the length of days, weeks, months, or even years.

Chapter three, which talked about the evolutionary antecedents of motivation was appealing to me as well. The idea of universal motives and the notion of nature vs. nurture are both elements that question the upbringing and development of human beings in relation to motivation. My favorite section of the chapter dealt with how we go about selecting a mate and the reasons pertaining to why men and women are attracted to one another. This led to the concept of one's mate value, which I found particularly interesting. Overall, this chapter has provided great insight in terms of explaining the hows and the whys of human behavior.

Many of the ideas learned in this class can be applied to the real world. When thinking of marrying a potential spouse-to-be, I can ask myself why it is that I am attracted to this particular person. The good gene hypothesis would come to mind, and I would realize that I am probably selecting a mate that has a somewhat high mate value. When I question my brother on why he likes and dislikes particular foods, I now realize that he suffers from food neophobia, making him too afraid to try any food out of his comfort zone. These two ideas present only a fraction of ideas I can now relate to real life scenarios and situations.

I would highly recommend this class to anyone who is interested in Psychology. Those who are not Psychology majors, like myself, would benefit from a class like this because its principles, trends, and theories, are relevant to contemporary life regardless of academic major. Motivation has certainly expanded my knowledge!

This clips talks about how to be happy at work, as is discussed by the author of the book, Flow

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