Thursday, May 31, 2012

Big Hips and the Female Mate Value

After reading the first few chapters, something that really struck me was Mate Value. According to the text book "Motivation" by Lambert Deckers, mate value is defined as the possession of characteristics that are desired by the other sex. The higher the person's mate value, the greater the person's appeal. There are two attributes that describe the desirable characteristics. The first is Psychological features and the second is Physical features. The Psychological features desired in a partner mainly includes the personality , the morals, and the values of a particular individual. The part which struck my interest were the Physical features.Let's be honest, the first thing anyone notices about another individual is their physical attributes. However, men and women notice different attributes in the opposite sex. I'm sure some of us may have heard the idea that men subconsciously love women with big hips, however the media has portrayed a different story. Being that I happen to be a woman with big hips I decided to look into the topic and see for myself.

In a study done by Devendra Singh she discovered that one of the bodily features, waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), is a reliable indicator of a female’s reproductive age and sex hormone profile, ultimately enhancing their female mate value. Variation in the size of WHR also systematically affects the judgment of female attractiveness, healthiness, and youthfulness towards the opposite sex. After review of her study she finally came to the inference that most men are, in fact, more likely to be attracted to women with a larger WHR and that cross-cultural and historical data suggest that the relationship between WHR and female attractiveness is not culture-specific and not inculcated by modern fashion or media.

So I guess the next question would be why is the female WHR so intriguing to men and what exactly is encoded in the hip ratio? A big fat clue is to whether the person will have enough energy to care for and carry offspring. Many rumors I've heard on the subject is that most men are actually, subconsciously attracted to us women with bigger hips just because we are made for birthing children. So I guess we can assume that the ultimate moral of this study is that men may say they love women who are stick thin and are a size 2, but the women who get them in the end are ultimately the ones with the big hips and butts.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Emotion Post 1

                I know I am very late with my first post. I have been having a lot of trouble getting on. Early on in chapter one, emotion is discussed. We can be motivated by the emotions that we are feeling. When we are upset about a particular grade, we can be motivated to do better; when we are in a good mood, we can be motivated to get stuff accomplished.
                Something interesting from the text I found was the word emotion comes from the Latin word emovere which means to move out. I have never looked at emotions as moving in a certain direction. If you take it further, you can look at it this way: if you are happy, you are motivated to move in a good direction. If you are sad, generally you move in a sad way.
                Most emotions have facial expressions. You can physically see if someone is sad, happy, angry, or scared. But emotions you cannot see would be depressed, loved, moody, etc. When you experience the emotion of love, you can feel motivated to better yourself for your loved one. For example, when a person loves another and wants to be with them, they may be motivated to get a better job to be able to provide a good life for that person.
                I included this video because I thought it would be a funny example of emotion.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chlorophyll? More like Borophyll.

Staying motivated throughout one’s academic career can prove to be a difficult task, especially as you climb to the higher levels of academia.  At least in elementary school we have recess to look forward to, and later in high school a well-deserved lunch period breaks up the monotony of algebra and espaƱol cinco.  But as schooling becomes more about how many years you have under your belt and less about the little things in life, the advantages of attending class everyday and spending hours on homework seem more obscure, and often not so worth the wait.  Why is it that in our younger years it seems easier to accept that school is just part of our day, but as we reach college level courses going to class feels more like a waste of time then money well spent?  Why does it feel like a better idea to go out and get belligerently drunk than stay up hitting the books?
            To speak hedonistically, as college student I certainly receive more pleasure from leaving class and a considerable amount of pain in dragging myself to the library to study for an upcoming exam.  Class is to uninteresting to sit through, and frankly it seems my degree won’t mean much in the job market my colleagues and I are sent to enter into. John Locke argues that the distinction between pleasure and pain is easy to make when compared side by side, but becomes more obscure when comparing present feelings with future feelings (Deckers, 26).  That is to say, its easy to choose a cold beer over a warm one because you can recognize the immediate benefits of a refreshing brew, but choosing school work over well, any other activity within 20 miles of campus is nearly impossible because a degree and a well off job seem too far out of sight.  But regardless of how optimistic the opportunity for gainful employment looks, shouldn’t we feel compelled to learn in the same manner as we once did?
            Walk into almost any college classroom and you will see why attendance is so scarce, and motivated students so few and far between.   PROFESSORS ARE BORING.  No one likes to waste their time, especially not listening to an educator who presents the same information every class in the same methodic and uninteresting ways.  When college students aren’t motivated in class, the tend not to attend and their grades suffer as a result (Brewer and Burgess, par. 4).  Professors today need to come to the realization that lectures and PowerPoint slides don’t encourage attendance and in fact influence students not to come to class.  In their study, Ernest W. Brewer and David N. Burgess found that lectures were the number one unmotivating item cited by students and even recommend that college teachers shouldn’t rely on lecturing as the primary method of teaching (pars. 36- 42).  Students have changed, and what motivated college goers of the past is unable to catch our attention in the 21st century.  Professors need to keep their classes more interesting and capturing today if the want to keep their seats full of the leaders of tomorrow.


Decker, L. (2010). Motivation

Friday, May 25, 2012

Genetic Disposition Post #1 Ambrin Qureshi

Genetic Predisposition to Addiction
It is suggested that approximately 50 percent cases of alcohol addiction are caused due to genetic predisposition to alcoholism. The remaining 50 percent are because of poor coping skills. Keeping it in statistical terms, the offspring of drug addicts are eight times more prone to become addicted than others. Supporting this statement, Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of national institute on drug abuse (NIDA), claimed that some individuals are genetically predisposed to addiction. In Chapter 4 of our book I learned about this and I can honestly say I am surprised. Although I read environmental factors also contribute this is something that people can blame their addiction, well at least they used to blame genes, but now its known.

Is the Green Eyed Monster in your Relationship?
According to Decker jealousy is a negative emotion triggered by an actual or suspected loss of a mates sexual services or a mates affections (2010). He goes on by providing evidence that jealousy negatively affects both men and women but with different degrees. For example, women are more jealous of emotional infidelity and men of sexual infidelity. He shows evidence by providing a study that proves that this is the case universally.
Jealousy motivates some people to behave, often, in negative ways. According to an article by Living Strong (2010) jealousy can create feelings of mistrust, envy, doubt, and resentment in a relationship. It can also cause feelings of low self-esteem, sadness, fear, anger, and grief in an individual. These negative feelings often result in breakups, therapy, depression, and physical and verbal abuse. Thus, what makes jealousy unhealthy is how a person reacts and how it affects him/her and their relationship.
But, jealousy can also be a healthy emotion. Several articles by Living Strong also say that healthy jealousy is possible. It can motivate you to work harder to improve your relationship. For example, if you feel that your partner is spending too much time at the office, you may cook dinner more often, become more sexually intimate, go out on more dates and so on. Also, moderate and controlled jealousy can also communicates to your partner that you love them, care about them, and that they are very important to you. In all, positive jealousy is healthy because it has the potential to improve a relationship.
Although feelings of jealousy is almost is impossible to prevent, there are two important steps you can take to manage jealousy (Living Strong 2010). First, confront your fears by asking yourself what you are scared of, and where does that fear stem from; and consider your partner’s fears as well. Second, acknowledge your triggers and your partner’s triggers too. Second, communicate! Not only what the triggers and fears are but also the love you feel for one another. Being truthful and open to yourself and your partner will help you seek an action plan to resolve or manage jealousy.

Is your jealousy healthy, or is it holding your relationship back? Take this dating quiz and find out.


Decker, L. (2010). Motivation

Drug addiction and classical conditioning

After reading chapter four and viewing the lecture slides I came across something that I could relate to. Drug addiction and what comes along with addiction problems. I have a loved one that is in recovery and have became very educated in the area. I was shocked to learn that it could be genetic even if you have never met the other family member who had a addiction problem. My loved one has had a problem with both marijuana and pills, but after a long process of a methadone clinic and meetings she is now in recovery. when thinking about adiction you rarely hear about it as a classical conditioning process. But when you think about the process you can find a definite connection. As described in the lecture slides of chapter four (slide 40) the link is described. When talking to my loved one I asked her what triggers a want to use are there any key places or words/phrases that you link with either using or getting high? And she explained to me that when she buys a new purse or gets her nails done or does them herself she thinks of using because those are there's things she was always doing when she was using. Now when she does those things she gets extremely nervous and sometimes has to stop doing what she is doing because the classical conditioning is still quite strong it scares her and risks her sobriety. Words that also are linked for her are the names Mary and Jane, got the stuff, stash, high, etc. As explained in the lecture these words or actions become a direct link (conditioned stimulus) to the past pleasure present fear of pleasure (unconditional response). My loved one could do anything to get to her drugs or to use her motivation was her drugs and nothing else because the drugs (unconditional stimulus) became her life. Now that the stimulus is gone her motivational drive has to reroute to have a different healthy drive force, which seems to be taking a long time to do. With out her drugs she seems like she takes longer to accomplish tasks where as the drug addict could of found multiple ways of manipulating things or people to get the task done quicker or have it done for her.

Post 1

Motivation throughout the years
Thinking about what motivates me now as an adult got me thinking about how motivation for things change as you get older. When you are a child you are motivated by different things to get what you want. You may want to eat dessert or get a new toy so you may be motivated to have good behavior so you receive what you want. As you get a little bit older your motivation for things changes. Like in high school for example you may be motivated to work out and eat right so you can be the best athlete on your team, or you may study and always do your homework because your motivated to get good grades. And now at my age things that motivate me are to get good grades so I can graduate college. Also i am motivated to get good grades because I am spending a lot of money to attend college. I also am motivated to work out so I can be healthy. But as I get older I think things that will motivate me are my career and family.  I will want to be successful and my family will motivate me to do that because I would want to provide a good life for them.

Motivation and fear..
I always wondered what motivated a person to murder someone, even if they understood the consequences that follow.  I understand that some people murder out of fear.  Fear for their life, their families or out of self defense. "Fear is n excellent example of a universal motive that evolved to push individuals  to avoid and escape dangerous stimuli".(65) But it is when these reasons aren't present that I am baffled by.
Many different things motivate people some could be fear, protection, money, jealousy.  But I have always been interested in how these things motivate someone to go as far as killing someone. But I guess if we had these answers we could try and prevent them from happening.

Motivation to make positive changes

         What does it take for a person to decide to make a change? People are naturally resistant to change, even those we want in our life. Why is it so hard for us to embrace something that could positively affect us? Is it simply a matter of motivation?  
          Making changes comes with a whole assortment of emotional issues that most of us would rather not deal with. It means that we would have to disrupt our routine. It also means that we must exert some sort of effort. If we already have too much to do, and more than enough to think about, the last thing we want is to have one more demand put on us.
        I think we all know when change is due, but as people who want to be able to improve our lives by making changes in our behavior; we need to know how to change our behavior.  According to Dr. Bj Fogg (the founder of Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University and creator of FBM Behavior Model ) Three things must all be present at the same time in order for real change to take place: motivation, ability and a trigger. We understand what motivation is. It's our desire for a different, better result. Motivation is something that we need to renew regularly. Regular self reflection is a commonly suggested method to maintain motivation.
        A lot of us have had defining moments, moments where we have had enough. We have these moments, but we don’t have the ability in one way or the other to carry these changes out. The ability would be your support, the tools and the system- which can be the most vital part. The biggest thing that holds us back, is fear.  Fear destroys our ability, so we decline into our comfort zone, and long for change.
        I always fear the unknown. I have lived my life rather content; have lots of friends, a great family but I felt unfulfilled. After completing high school, I went on to cosmetology school and for many years I had a successful career as a stylist. But I stopped being challenged; I hit my ceiling in my career by the age of 25 and had always regretted not going to college. I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a teacher, but I was SO SCARED. I didn’t think I could do it, how could I start over now? I already had a successful career, what if I am not a success in school, or worse yet; what if I go to school and am unsuccessful in my chosen career? These thoughts plagued me for years until one day; I met someone who was a school teacher during the school year and a stylist in the summer in a beach community. BINGO! Found my trigger. That not only was my trigger, but it gave me comfort in knowing I could balance both careers and maintain what I have built -while satisfying personal growth. It was on this day that my trigger, motivation, and ability all took place at once. It has been a long road, but after 6.5 years of balancing, I will be graduating in December. The reward will far outweigh the challenge. Change is good.

Toddlers Fear Snakes, not Guns; Fear as Motivation.

Fear motivates us to stay safe by avoiding danger.  Fear is conditionable and can result from our experiences (Deckers, 65). We can all name what we fear the most, but many of us are not aware where our fear originates from.  Where does fear come from?  Well according to Deckers’ book fears come from our evolutionary past or natural selection.  When it comes to anxiety the fear is in our genes.  The following video explains about a gene that causes risky behaviors when missing and that genes control our fears (2).

In 2008 a study demonstrated that children are naturally more afraid of things that would have been dangerous centuries ago than of modern dangers (3). Younger children are afraid of snakes, but not guns.  “In the study the psychologists found that participants with a certain variant of the serotonin transporter gene that made the gene shorter, developed a fear of the picture with the shock easily, while participants with a longer version of the gene were less likely to develop a strong fear of the picture. The COMT enzyme gene variant was found to contribute to how easily participants were able to overcome their fear of the shock upon their return to the experiment the next day (3)."

From my experience fear is not all bad. The role of fear is always for survival.  Sometimes it can seem to hold us back, but it could also move us forward faster.  For example, you want to get a job because you wish to be successful (motive) and the money (incentive) you’d make pulls you towards this job, but you fear rejection.  Fearing rejection has little to do with survival and being safe, but having a little challenge can increase desire for the goal and motivate someone to overcome the fear obstacle.
Here are the top ten most common fears in adults are (1);
1) Fear of heights
2) Fear of enclosed spaces
3) Fear of the dark
4) Fear of snakes
5) Fear of spiders
6) Fear of needles
7) Fear of thunder and lightning
8) Fear of having a disease
9) Fear of germs
10) Fear of the number 13
Think about this: What are you afraid of? And when exactly did your fear begin?


Love is an Addiction

           Love, We've all heard of it, many of us have been or is still in love. Some people claim to have loved several times, some claim to have loved just once. There are those who have been hurt many times by the people that claim to love them back but are still willing to take another chance and go back for more. Then there are those who have been hurt so bad from someone they loved so deeply that they just never seem to love again. Finally, there are those who become so obsessed with the one they are with that once they lose them, they lose their mind as well. Why do some people have trouble letting go? What drives them to act a certain way they do after a break-up?
             Researches have found that the way our brains respond to rejection from love, actually has an evolutionary basis. Helen E. Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University who studies love said, “The brain circuitry for romantic love evolved millions of years ago, to enable our ancestors to focus their mating energy on just one person at a time and start that mating process. And when you've been rejected in love, you have lost life's greatest prize, which is a mating partner. This brain system becomes activated probably to help you try to win this person back so you focus on them and crave them and try to get them back.” 
              The experiment consisted of 15 college students who had recently gone through a break-up. All 15 participants had to take the Passionate Love Scale test which psychologists use to measure the intensity of romantic feelings. Each of the subjects had to look at a photograph of their ex and were asked to think about events they had gone through with their ex's. Then each subject was asked to look at a neutral image of a familiar person, anyone in their lives they know. This part allowed for the subject to erase the feelings they had when looking at the picture of their former love.
This is what the experiment found: Viewing their former loved one stimulated a region of the brain called the ventral tegmental area, involved in motivation and reward. Previous work has found this region is also active in people who are madly in love. This makes sense, because “Whether you're happily in love or whether you're unhappily in love, you're still in love" (Fisher).
Brain regions known as the nucleus accumbens and orbitofrontal/prefrontal cortex were also activated. These regions are known to be associated with intense cocaine addiction and cigarette addiction. There was also increased activity in the brain's insular cortex and the anterior cingulated, regions associated with physical pain and distress.
                      Unlike other addictions that need different sorts of medication, hospital visits, or a months stay at rehab to cure, only time can cure a broken heart. “The more time that had passed since the breakup, the less activity there was in a brain region associated with attachment,” Fisher stated. Love can either be one of the greatest, most special, most amazing experience people go through, other's not so much, but once we've encountered that complicated yet oh so wonderful feeling called love, there is no doubt that most of us will want to stay in love or find another one to love.

Here is a video where Helen Fisher talks about love being an addiction:                                       

Birds of Paradise (Amanda Stallard)

The quest to find the perfect man or woman is a goal that most humans and animals strive for. The primary motivating factor of finding a mate is so that we can have someone to love and share our life with.  The process of selecting a mate can be very complex and is often referred to as sexual selection.  The term sexual selection was first introduced by Charles Darwin in 1859 by his book titled, “On the Orgin of Species.”  The process of sexual selection varies from male to female and is based upon the need to find a compatible mate.  
We as humans are able to attract the opposite sex by one of two ways.  The first being making yourself attractive to the opposite or same sex.  In modern day society appearance is everything and most people form judgments about you within the first three to five seconds of meeting you. We are able to enhance our appearance by choosing clothing, accessories, makeup, and hairstyle that would be targeted towards attracting a certain type of mate.  Additionally we all strive to be successful by having a house, car, job, and money. These factors all enhance the likelihood that you will attract a mate that has the same type of ambitions and interest that you have as well.  The second approach to attracting a mate is by intimidating or defeating your rivals.  This is often seen when men or women try to out do their competition by enhancing their appearance, personality, or lifestyle. This approach is similar to Darwin's theory of  survival of the fittest because we are all competing for the same thing but there can be only one person that comes out on top.  
I chose to talk about the topic of sexual selection because I was watching Animal Planet television series called, “Planet Earth” about a year ago and there was a special on the New Guinea birds of paradise.  I was so fascinated by the elaborate mating ritual of the birds of paradise.  The male birds of paradise change their appearance by manipulating their feathers and then they preform a dance to attract any female birds that may be watching.  The female birds decide wither or not they like what the see and either accept or decline the male birds advances. I found it quite entertaining because as humans we are all doing a dance to attract our perfect mate.  The process of trying to find a partner is filled with plenty of rejection but that does not decrease our motivation to keep looking for the perfect mate.  

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What is the Motivation for Space Exploration?

If humans have everything they physically and psychologically need to survive here on Earth, then why on Earth would they search the universe for something more? (Sorry for the pun =p)
There is only one reason why a person would want to search past their own environment and that is because they are not satisfied. We already have access to everything we need to be successful on this planet. Apparently, some people can’t take advantage of the opportunities this planet has to offer. I believe that when a person cannot take advantage of what is already available, they fantasize about another world where they can find everything they need much easier. A group of people who we will refer to as ‘space explorers’ are the exact people who fantasize about finding their needs on another planet, in another galaxy, or basically anywhere but their own planet.
In 2007, Galaxy Zoo was launched. It was a website “with a data set made up of a million galaxies imaged with the robotic telescope”. The website was set up in hopes that people would volunteer their time to help classify some of these data sets. Jill Tarter, an astronomer and the director of the research center that launched the website drew interest into the endeavor by announcing the website mission as "[to] empower Earthlings everywhere to become active participants in the ultimate search for cosmic company." In the first year, more than 50 million classifications were received from almost 150,000 people. [1]
What made 150,000 people be so interested in space? What are they expecting to find? Are they expecting to find the ‘cosmic company’ that Tarter is talking about?
The question I am trying to ask is what motivates people to be drawn to extraterrestrial sources to fulfill their needs when everything they need is right here on our own planet?
According to anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, the list of basic human needs contains: nutrition, reproduction, bodily comforts, safety, relaxation, movement and growth [2]. (page 53, Universal Motives) All of these things can be found on our planet. If a person cannot meet one of these basic needs then they will move until they meet that need. Usually, this means moving towns, states, or countries. It would be much more difficult to search for basic needs in some place that is difficult to search and to move to, so why do people search space? If all their basic needs are met then there is no motivation to search space. We live on a planet that is made for satisfying our needs. Why are people not satisfied with what our world has to offer? I hope to learn some parts to the answers of my questions by the time this course is over.
[1] Moskowitz, Clara. "Astronomers need your brain power for the search for E.T. ." MSNBC, 2012. Web. 24 May 2012. <>

Post 1 : Addiction

How does an individual know that he or she is addicted to something, is it a choice or just an effect?  People and our general society do not acknowledge or comprehend that   a person does not choose to be addicted to any type of drug substance, food or even behavioral habits.   For instance,   the individual does not just wake up thinking “hey I will not be able to live without this substance, or without doing this routine there is more to it than just that.  In sense, it can be peer pressure that gets the person addicted or even some horrific tragedy that their trying to run away from that gets them into a daily routine of taking a drug. The reason for this is simple, to run away from reality and have a peace of mind.  These substances allow a false reality to take place. For instance, someone who is on cocaine will get a high feeling, for an hour or so that make he or she invisible to reality or its problems.  Since the person enjoyed the feeling of being high they feel as it will be “inevitable “for them to stop. What is the root of this effect, though? It can differ from anything from having a loved one die, or being an outcast of a group.

In my situation, however, it all started with college.  When I entered college, I decided to try alcohol. I thought drinking it would make me braver and stronger. I never could imagine occasional alcohol at parties or at friend’s house could really be a direct problem to my addiction.   It began with beer, but gradually switched to hard liquor and different kinds of alcoholic beverages. As time passed my drinking wasn’t just occasional. I realized this when I started to hit the bars and pubs 3 to 4 times a week, which led me to staying out late every night. The cause of this affected my schooling. I came to a point in my life where I was drinking from sunset to sunrise. The time came when I could not sleep without drinking alcohol.  Missing lectures, homework, and ignoring family phone calls became a routine to my madness.. All I found myself doing day and night was going out with friends getting drunk and waking up in afternoon with inferior hangover.  I basically made alcohol my first priority.  Alcohol at one point led me in a state of mind that even led me to quit college at one time. My family made me realize that this was a move that I will regret if I did not change, however I did not believe them.  I was in denial for about ½ year.  Once I realized this I became to panic and enrolled myself into a rehab group.   Even though I quit drinking, it still affected my daily life and the urges always came back. As time passed, quitting drinking became a positive effect in my life.   Alcohol abuse is not a choice, but is a temporally tunnel that lead the mind in another direction to forsake all memories, and depression.

Here’s a Motivation video (Hope you enjoy it): http: //