Sunday, December 9, 2012

Final Project Post

General Overview
        Over the last several months, the course Motivation has taught me many different aspects of psychology that I was not aware of until I enrolled into this class.  Motivation, for the most part, consisted of reasons for being motivated and what affects motivation.  One of the first things that I learned was how motivation is usually determined by a person's mood and how it can be positively or negatively affected depending on the mood.  The history of motivation became another topic, the Law of Effect specifically, which is where the more satisfying consequences strengthen behavior and vice versa.  Cephalic responses, physiological reactions to sight and aroma of food, play a big factor in hunger, which leads to motivation to eat.  There also was lessons on the negative portion of motivation, or should I say lack of.  Students that lack the motivation to do homework or study for a test tend to experience more stress the closer a due date of an assignment.  Our drives to be motivated are regulated by what Abraham Maslow called our Hierarchy of Needs, in which our natural instinct follows to fulfill five categories of needs: physiological, safety, belonging, esteem and self-actualization.  Depending on your personality also decides the amount of motivation that you are likely to have among your lifetime.  
        Surprisingly, having too many options whether they are good or bad affect motivation.  When one is confronted with too many choices it can discourage their motivation to do something.  We learned that this was called the Paradox of Choice.  As the class came closer to an end, the history of emotions was delved deeper into, considering emotions play a key role in motivating someone.  In the evolutionary theory it has been said that emotions are a result of learning how to survive.  Also, emotions can vary over time either due to their intensity or how long that they last.  Overall, this class excavated deep into the history, causes and effects of motivation, deeming it very interesting.  I would recommend it to anyone interested in this field.

Favorite Part
        One of my favorite topics in this class, something that sparked my interest was Chapter 4 on addictions.  I think the reason that I found this most interesting was because it focused a lot on the brain and what causes the brain to be addicted to drugs.  The part about how genetics play into addiction was something that I was always curious about but was never sure, how some people are more susceptible to addictions than others depending on family history.  Also, personality traits also play a factor in determining ones prone to addiction, impulsivity for example, someone that acts on impulse has a higher risk of being addicted to something.  I really found interest in this part of the class when it got into how the brains has certain neurons that are affected by drugs and that’s what causes a person to feel the effect of the drug.  Cocaine for example, blocks reuptake pumps, which remove dopamine from the synapse creating more dopamine resulting in intense pleasure.  The opponent process theory is why drugs have the negative and sometimes withdrawal effect, since opponent B reacts when opponent A (the drug effect) wears off, trying to maintain homeostasis.  If the drug stops, opponent A opponent B is still going strong, causing withdrawal symptoms.  This is all so fascinating to me which is why I found this to be the most interesting topic in the class.

         This video shows the effects of cocaine on your brain in a little more depth.  I found it very interesting.


        I would say that I am thinking of course concepts outside of class.  One of my favorite shows called Breaking Bad is a show that revolves around the making and selling of meth, so there is bound to be people using drugs in this show.  Now that I know a little more about the effects I take that into account when watching the show just thinking about how crazy it is that I know what is going on inside their brain and how it will make them feel.  Also, as far as motivation I try to motivate myself by giving myself a reward at the end of doing something that seems unsatisfying but the result will be anything but.  This class only made me have more of an interest in my major, psychology and was another reason why I know that I am in the right field.

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