Wk4 Questions Discussion Paper

Wk4 Questions Discussion Paper

Wk4 Questions Discussion Paper

DQ1-What is the difference between motivation and emotion? Are emotions inherently motivating? ( 150 words)

DQ2-What is the link between stress and motivation? How and when does stress go from being a benefit to a deficit in health and coping? ( 150 words)


DQ3-Select an article or chapter from this weeks reading material. Summarize the article/chapter in about 75+ words and then describe your opinion and/or realizations from the article/chapter in 75+ words.

DQ4-In your weekly summary for this fourth workshop week, describe some realizations you have had about  Arousal, Behavior, Stress, and Affect.


  • attachment



    C H A P T E R

    6 Behavior, Arousal,and Affective Valence The body of man is a machine which winds its own spring.

    —J. O. De La Mettrie, 1748

    Music hath charms to soothe a savage beast, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.

    —William Congreve, 1697

    ■ While taking an exam, a student is unable to retrieve an answer from memory. However, as soon as she exits the classroom, the answer comes to mind. Could the anxiety that was aroused by the exam have interfered with recall of the answer? This question and the following ones are provided as guides for understanding the concepts in this chapter:

    1. In what ways is arousal similar and different from motivation?

    2. What produces arousal?

    3. Does arousal affect how well a person performs a task? If so, how?

    4. Is arousal linked to the quality of our feelings? If so, what is the nature of this link?

    5. How do incongruous events produce arousal? Do their resolutions contribute to the enjoyment of humor, music, and suspense?

    Arousal and Performance Whether pushed by a motive or pulled by an incentive, physiological and psychological arousal accompanies behavior. In one case, arousal is in the background and affects the efficiency of ongoing behavior. In the other case, arousal is in the foreground felt as an affective experience. The following two quotes describing people’s experiences help clarify this distinction. The first quote illustrates the effects of arousal on performance. Wk4 Questions Discussion Paper

    My math anxiety started because of a teacher that I had for math in the third grade. We were learning our times tables, and she didn’t have any sympathy for the kids that were a little slower than the others. We would play a flash card game in front of the class, and if you got it wrong, she made you look like an idiot. So my anxiety comes from being afraid of being wrong in front of a group, and looking stupid. (Perry, 2004, p. 322)

    IS B

    N 0-

    55 8-

    46 77

    0- 9

    Motivation: Biological, Psychological, and Environmental, Third Edition, by Lambert Deckers. Published by Allyn & Bacon. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc.



    128 P A R T T W O / Biological Properties of Motivation

    This next quote illustrates how arousal serves as an affective experience.

    To her, the tension-and-release cycle that accompanies cinematic terror brings about some- thing like a gambler’s high. “It’s not that I’m a self-mutilator,” she [Ms. Gauh] said, “but it’s just a powerful rush when you can overcome some pain.” . . . “It’s the adrenaline,” said Sarah Stark, a movie theater manager in Lima, Ohio, explaining her long time interest in gory movies. For her, she said, violent horror movies amount to something of a personal endurance test, a bit like white-water rafting—the sheer terror of which clears the mind and, briefly, seems to reduce all of life down to a single exhilarating moment. (Williams, 2006, ¶ 12, 28)

    The first quote by a student with math anxiety typifies the relationship between arousal and performance on a task. When arousal is high, as in the case of math anxiety, per- formance is low. If only math anxiety could be reduced, but not totally, then a student might perform better when solving math problems or taking a math test. The second quote is from individuals who enjoy watching horror movies. For them, movie scenes create a level of arousal that is optimal for creating a sense of pleasure, like a rush or moment of exhilaration.

    The purpose of this chapter is to describe how these two functions of arousal help us to understand motivation. The intent of this first section is to describe arousal, its an- tecedents, and outcomes. It also covers how the quality of a person’s performance depends on the interaction between the level of arousal and the difficulty of the task being performed.

    Categories of Arousal Arousal refers to the mobilization or activation of energy that occurs in preparation or dur- ing actual behavior. “My heart is pounding” implies physiological arousal while “I feel tense and anxious” implies psychological arousal. In combination with neurological or brain arousal, these are the different categories of arousal that have been studied.

    Physiological Arousal. If you raced through your presentation during speech class with clammy hands, pounding heart, and dry throat, then you were physiologically aroused. Physiological arousal refers to those bodily changes that correspond to our feelings of being energized, such as sweaty palms and increased muscle tension, breathing, and heart rate. These changes indicate that the body is getting ready for action much like starting a car’s engine means that it’s ready to move. The autonomic nervous system controls physiological arousal and is divided into two branches: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasym- pathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for arousing or preparing the body for action. It stimulates the heart to pump blood more effectively. It causes glucose, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) to be released in the bloodstream. The sympathetic nervous system also makes rapid breathing possible, which increases oxygen intake. The parasympathetic nervous system, however, is concerned with conserving the body’s energy. It is active during quiet periods and tends to counteract the arousing effects of the sympathetic system. Wk4 Questions Discussion Paper

  • attachment


    C H A P T E R



    Stress, Coping, and Health

    The blessings of life are not equal to its ills, though the number of the two may be equal; nor can any pleasure compensate for the least pain.

    —Pliny the Elder, 77 A.D.

    Life is not merely being alive, but being well. —Martial, 95 A.D.

    ■ Simply put, stress moves people into action. It motivates them to manipulate stressors so as to alter their impact. And it also motivates people to support behavior aimed at diminishing or removing stressors (Baum & Posluszny, 1999). This is the main theme of this chapter, and the following questions can help guide your understanding:

    1. When are life events stressful, and when are they not?

    2. How do stressors affect people physically, psychologically, and behaviorally?

    3. Can the appraisal of life events alter their impact on a person’s well-being?

    4. How can a person cope with life events and the stress they evoke?

    5. Do people differ in the way they appraise and cope with stressors and stress?

    Relationship between Life Events and Stress Have you ever had days like this?

    If one more thing goes wrong today, I’ll scream. I overslept this morning because my alarm did not go off. Then I tried to make it to my first class but my car wouldn’t start. Conse- quently, I was late for my psychology exam and did poorly. I received an e-mail message stating “We need to talk,” which can only mean the end of my romantic relationship. A friend borrowed a textbook and has not returned it and I need to study from it tonight. Of course this may not matter, since my boss called to say I had to fill in this evening for a sick coworker. In addition, I’ve had this lingering cold and sore throat that I cannot seem to shake. I feel as if I am in a vicious cycle: the more things go wrong, the more frustrated, tense, irritable, and sick I become, and this in turn makes things go wrong even more. Things have got to get better; they cannot get any worse. Wk4 Questions Discussion Paper

    The purpose of this first section is to examine the nature of stress, the characteristics of the life events or stressors that are responsible, and the stressor-stress relationship.

    IS B

    N 0-

    55 8-

    46 77

    0- 9

    Motivation: Biological, Psychological, and Environmental, Third Edition, by Lambert Deckers. Published by Allyn & Bacon. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc.



    154 P A R T T W O / Biological Properties of Motivation

    Demands, Strain, Coping, and Stress The previous tale of woe illustrates how life events make demands on an individual’s moti- vation and behavior. Completing projects, preparing for final exams, and considering career goals are examples of positive demands that motivate an individual to achieve them. A bro- ken printer and a car that needs repair are negative events that motivate a person to remedy them. The death of a friend, a “broken heart,” or being in a bad traffic accident are severe neg- ative events that require adjustment necessary for recovery. Background stimulation from noise, light, and overcrowding plus invisible germs motivate action that taxes the body’s adaptation energy. Action to meet the demands of life requires the appropriate resources. Does a person have enough time, tangible resources, adaptation energy, and motivation? Strain occurs when resources are not adequate for a person to achieve positive events or to avoid or escape negative events. For instance, a student runs out of time before assignments are due and a low grade results. Fixing the printer or car strains a person’s budget and means giving up buying other things. When family, friends, or counselors are not available for lis- tening and advice, the student may be unable to dispel grief or make career decisions. Strain also results, for example, when inadequate resources mean losing a romantic relationship, failing to recover from an accident, or being unable to fight off germs. Coping refers to be- havior that is motivated to meet life’s demands and their consequences. Stress results when life demands strain-coping resources either because the demand is too great or the resources are inadequate (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Stress endangers a person’s well-being and shows up as negative feelings, physiological arousal, psychophysiological disorders, illness, or maladaptive behaviors. For example, a person can feel depressed, have trouble sleeping, develop headaches, catch a cold, and drink too much alcohol trying to alleviate negative feel- ings and stress.

    Characteristics of Stress Do you eat a lot of your favorite ice cream when you feel under pressure? Have you been troubled by the inability to sleep or to slow down? Have you felt anxious or depressed lately? Do you have a cold or flu? Are you trying to fight off various low-grade infections? A “yes” to any of these questions may indicate stress, which manifests in three domains: physical or psychological symptoms and maladaptive behaviors (see Table 7.1).

  • attachment


    In all human affairs there is always an end in view—of pleasure, or honor, or advantage.

    —Polybius, 125 B.C.

    Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.

    —Seneca, 4 B.C.–65 A.D.

    ■ Whereas incentives are potential motivators, goals are actual ones. For example, a goal of reading this chapter can be to find and understand the answers to the following questions:

    1. Where do people’s goals originate?

    2. What goal characteristics are important for motivation?

    3. What factors determine whether a goal should be pursued?

    4. How do goals motivate behavior?

    5. How are goals achieved, and what happens when they are not?

    Origins of Goals “Skating takes up 70% of my time,” Michelle says. “School about 25%. Having fun and talking to my friends 5%. It’s hard. I envy other kids a lot of things, but I get a guilt trip when I’m not training” (Swift, 1998, p. 117). These are the words of Michelle Kwan, whose goal was to win a gold medal in the 1998 winter Olympics. To achieve this goal she divided her time as described above. In addition, she never took a day off, skated when tired, took no vacations, and even skated on Christmas day. She has also skated with a sore throat, runny nose, flu, and chicken pox. Michelle even turned down her father’s offer of $50 for every day she did not skate. She is a person totally committed to her goal. (Swift, 1998, p. 118)

    The purpose of this section is to describe how goals differ from incentives and the various sources that give rise to goals. Wk4 Questions Discussion Paper

    Incentives versus Goals There are many similarities between incentive motivation (discussed in the last chapter) and goal motivation. There are also differences.

    C H A P T E R



    Goal Motivation

    IS B

    N 0-558-46770-9

    Motivation: Biological, Psychological, and Environmental, Third Edition, by Lambert Deckers. Published by Allyn & Bacon. Copyright © 2010 by Pearson Education, Inc.



    C H A P T E R E L E V E N / Goal Motivation 263

    Differentiating Characteristics. When faced with choices on how to spend time and effort to obtain an outcome or incentive, the outcome or incentive that is chosen becomes the goal (Klinger, 1977). For example, Michelle Kwan’s goal was to become an Olympic skater rather than to become a successful water skier. There are other differences between incentive and goal motivation. First, goals are portrayed as larger and more important in scope than incentives. The goal of winning an Olympic gold medal, for example, also entails such aspects as personal achievement, worldwide recognition, and possibly product endorsements. Second, goals are usually more complex than incentives and have both positive and negative features to be approached and avoided, respectively. For example, in a risky investment, a person could earn a lot of money but she could also lose it. Third, goals involve the cognitive realm of motivation. A person cognitively evaluates the worth of a goal and the chances of achieving it and then formulates the necessary plans for doing so. Michelle, for instance, made long-range plans to try to achieve her goals (Swift, 1998). Fourth, a person’s goals are usually one-time events that will not be repeated. Incentives, in contrast, occur over and over. For example, the goal of a university degree happens once, while a monetary incentive occurs repeatedly in different situations. Fifth, incentives can serve as assists toward the achievement of a goal. For example, a profit-sharing incentive motivates sales personnel to achieve the company’s goal of the number of units sold for the year. Finally, it is also possible to have more than one goal. A person may work toward one goal and then shift direction and work toward another goal. Wk4 Questions Discussion Paper

    From Incentives to Goals. Consider the following alternatives facing a hypothetical student on a Saturday afternoon: