Friday, December 7, 2012

Final Project Post

To be motivated, one must be moved to commit an action or behavior or to change an action or behavior. A motive is an internal disposition to approach or avoid an incentive. An incentive is an environmental stimulus that attracts or repels. Motives and incentives both work together to create motivation in people. 

Throughout this course, I learned a lot about what drives people to be motivated and the different things that affect one's motivations. A person's personal history has a lot to do with how motivated they can be and what different things motivate them. Some means of motivations are universal: sex, fear, food, and music. However, these four items affect people differently depending on personality and physical traits. A main motivation for all people are physiological needs. Homeostasis is a huge motivation for people; if someone is hungry or thirsty they are very strongly motivated and will do almost anything to get these basic needs met. 

Another driving force of motivation is arousal. Brain and psychological arousal have a large affect on one's motivations. The degree of arousal also changes the level of motivation and it can vary from person to person. Different personalities can affect motivation as well. The factors of openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism all factor into this. For some people, the larger end reward can be very motivational, but for others they would rather have immediate gratification and not hold out for long periods of time, i.e. in terms of weight loss things of the like. The size of the cost and resources needed to achieve a goal also contribute greatly. There are many internal and external factors that affect one's motivation and each person feels these things differently.

My favorite part of the course is when we were talking about how food and thirst affect motivation and how much of an impact this has on people's lives. I found Brian Wansink's soup bowl experiment really interesting. The other video where he demonstrated all the different ways people's eating habits can be controlled based on the environment was really cool and something to think about. It showed how people are not as in control of themselves and their decisions as they think they are. It relates to my life because now I am constantly aware of most of the things Wansink mentioned while I'm eating. Health and healthy eating is a big thing to me, so I really like to remain completely conscious of what I'm eating and how much I eat. I think if more people were aware of the factors he talks about in his book, then they would be able to control more of what they eat and be overall healthier. 

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