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Transcript of Motivation
Life is sexually transmitted. And like hunger, sexual arousal depends on the interplay of internal and external stimuli.
four stages of the sexual response cycle
(increased blood flow)
(excitement peaks, breathing, pulse and
blood pressure rates continue to increase)
(body gradually returns to unaroused
Stress and Health
Stress is the process by which we perceive and respond to certain events
(called stressors) that we appraise as
are described as a mix of:
consciously experienced thoughts
Stress and Disease
Elevated blood pressures
is just one of the factors that
increase the risk of coronary disease
, the closing of the vessels that nourish the heart muscle.
So what is motivation?
Motivation is a physiological need or psychological desire that energizes and directs our behavior
The physiological aim of
drive reduction theory
(the idea a physiological need creates an aroused state that drives the organism to reduce the need) is
maintenance of a steady internal state
We are both pushed by our "need" to reduce drives, and "pulled" by incentives (positive or negative stimuli that lure or repel us).
But we are much more than homeostatic systems.
Curiosity is one of the most powerful motivators
, and is responsible for the majority of our authentic learning, however the drive to explore the unfamiliar does not fill physiological need.
However, some needs do take priority over others.
Once our lower-level needs are met, we are prompted to satisfy our higher-level needs
. These priorities are known as Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
are often due to our body's response to
falling glucose levels
. When our blood sugar drops below a certain level, our brain will trigger hunger as a way of getting our blood sugar back up.
is largely responsible for these
Activity along the sides of the hypothalamus, the
brings on hunger
. If electrically
there, well-fed animals will
begin to eat
. Conversely, if the area is
, even starving animals will have
no interest in food
Activity in the lower mid-hypothalamus, the
the area, and an animal will
and the animal's stomach and intestines will process food more rapidly, causing it to become extremely
Hunger-triggering hormone secreted by hypothalamus
Secreted by fat cells (causes brain to increase metabolism and decrease hunger when abundant)
Secreted by the stomach, sends out "I'm full" signals to the brain
Digestive tract hormone, sends out "I'm not hungry" signals to the brain
Secreted by pancreas, controls blood glucose
Secreted by empty stomach, sends "I'm hungry" signals to the brain
Body chemistry and environmental factors together influence not only when we feel hungry, but also what we hunger for
. Have you ever craved starchy, carbohydrate-laden food when stressed or depressed? It may be due to the fact that
carbs help boost levels of serotonin
Our preferences for sweet and salty tastes are both genetic and universal
. Other taste preferences are conditioned, and culture actually affects taste as well.
Taste preferences can also be adaptive
. For example, the spices most commonly used in hot-climate recipes (where food spoils more rapidly) inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Situations also control our eating.
For example, we tend to eat more when we are eating with others. This is due to
; when the
presence of others tends to amplify our natural behavior tendencies
is similar, in the sense that
influences how much we eat.
Anorexia nervosa (anorexia)
- an eating disorder in which a person
diets and becomes significantly underweight
, yet, still feeling fat,
continues to starve
Bulimia nervosa (bulimia)
- an eating disorder characterized by
episodes of overeating
, usually high-calorie foods,
followed by vomiting, laxative use, fasting, or excessive exercise
. Often marked by weight fluctuations within or above normal ranges.
an eating disorder characterized by episodes of excessive eating followed by remorse
(but not purging, fasting, or excessive exercising).
Societal and cultural norms shape beauty standards.
Hunger, Motivation, and Learning
Obesity and Weight Control
is a term used to describe
having too much body fat
. It is
not necessarily the same as being overweight
, which means weighing too much, because a person may be overweight from extra muscle, bone, or water, as well as from having too much fat.
BMI is a measurement of the relative percentages of fat and muscle mass in the human body
, in which mass in kilograms is divided by height in meters squared and the result used as an index of obesity. However, there are some flaws in using this as a health measurement.
Our society is what is known as "fat phobic," which is
a social phenomenon that causes obese people
to be discriminated against when looking for jobs
and other facets of their lives.
Due to this,
has actually been associated with
lower psychological well being
, as well as a
25% increase in depression and anxiety
we have roughly 30-40 billion fat cells
. They can range from
relatively empty, to relatively full
In an obese person, fat cells may
swell to two or three times their normal size
, and then divide (or trigger other cells to divide) to reult in up to 75 billion fat cells.
Once the number of fat cells increases due to genetic predisposition, early childhood eating patterns, or adult overeating, it never decreases.
On a diet, fat cells may shrink, but their number does not
once we become fat, we require less food to maintain our weight
than we did to attain it. The reason for this is that
fat has a lower metabolic rate
(which means it takes less food energy to maintain).
The specifics of our genes often predispose the size of our jeans
(how well our hunger hormones work, the number of our fat cells, how efficiently we burn calories or convert extra calories to fat, etc.), however,
environmental and activity factors also play a large role
Sex hormones have two effects: They
direct the physical development
of male and female sex characteristics, as well as
activate sexual behavior
Men and women have both these types of sex hormones, but in differing levels
. These hormones also fluctuate throughout different times of the month, or even day.
The Psychology of Sex
Although we will not die without sex,
hunger and sexual motivations have several similarities
. Both depend on internal physiological factors, and both are influenced by cultural expectations, as well as external and imagined stimuli.
Many studies confirm that people become aroused when they see, hear, or read erotic material. However, it has been found that
over-exposure to sexually explicit material can have adverse effects
(rape culture, increased objectification and violence against women, as well as dissatisfaction with own partner).
What do you notice?
The brain is our most significant sex organ
, which means that much of it is (of course) in our head. For instance,
people who have no genital sensation
due to certain types of spinal injuries
can still feel sexual desire
genital arousal accompanies all types of dreams
(even the ones with no sexual content).
The Nitty Gritty
So why teenage pregnancy?
A sample of animals who exhibit gay behavior
The Need To Belong
Social bonds increased our ancestor's survival rate
, and therefore served as a powerful survival impulse.
- Survival was also enhanced by
- People who feel
supported by close relationships are also happier, are in better health, and at a lower risk for psychological disorders
Much of our social behavior aims to increase our belonging
(our social acceptance and inclusion).
To avoid rejection, we generally conform to group standards and seek to make favorable impressions
. We often do this by
monitoring our behavior
, hoping to create the right impressions.
Societies everywhere control behavior with the threat of ostracism or shunning others.
Theories of Emotion
First comes a distinct physiological response, and then
(as we observe that response)
comes the experienced emotion
How Our Bodies Respond:
performance peaks at lower levels of arousal for difficult tasks and at higher levels for easy or well-learned tasks
, it is best when physiological arousal is
when dealing with everyday situations.
Yellow shows the regions of increased sensation while blue areas represent decreased feelings. People feel happy from head to toe, anger can literally make someone feel hot-headed and depression leaves people feeling numb.
Emotions manifest themselves as sensations in the body
. While anxiety is often accompanied by a tight feeling in the chest, love may elicit a warm feeling throughout the body. But now, a new study from researchers in Finland reveals that
perceptions of these sensations are consistently similar around the world, suggesting an underlying biological basis
Happiness is the only emotion where a person feels an increase in sensation all over, while sadness, including heartache draws their attention to their heart and head.
People feel an increase of sensation in their chest when they are proud, while shame and disgust draw attention to a person's digestive system and their head
Aside from our bodily responses, emotions differ much more in the brain circuits that they use. For example, brain scans and EEG recordings show a
tendency for negative emotions to be linked to the right hemisphere, and positive emotions to the left
(this may be due to the rich supply of dopamine receptors in teh left frontal lobe).
However, in shown that
sometimes our arousal response to one event spills over into our response to the next event
(the spillover effect). This means that
a stirred up state can be experienced as one emotion or another one entirely depending on how we interpret and label it
But cognition does not always precede emotion!
Like speedy reflexes that operate apart from the brain's thinking cortex,
some emotions take the "low road" via neural pathways to the necessary parts of the brain for instant emotional reaction, while others take the "high road" through the cortex for analysis
This is why some emotional responses do not require conscious thinking. Although
our emotional life tends to operate via the automatic, speedy low road
, we still need to
the situation that is causing these emotions.
Although we are constantly experiencing emotion, we are not always choosing to express it. However,
hard to control facial muscles often reveal signs of emotions we may be trying to conceal
Which is the real smile?
Despite our brain's emotion detecting skills, we tend to find it difficult to detect deceiving expressions
...Which is a bit strange since we as humans
tend to lie so often.
Paul Ekman: Human Lie Detector
We tend to read fear and anger from the eyes, and happiness from the mouth.
Due to their socially conditioned
women have a slight "natural" edge in detecting lies and decoding others' emotions
. However, men trained in social cues are just as good
Which one is female?
Although telltale signs of emotion generally cross cultures, our display rules may be different.
Cultures that encourage individuality
(like Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and North America)
display mostly visible emotions
..However, people of different cultures
differ in how much emotion they express
, which encourages people to adjust to others,
personal emotions are less visibly displayed
people infer emotion more from the surrounding cortex
. Cultural differences also exist within nations.
Fake It 'Til You Make It?
The effect of facial expressions on experienced emotions
(for example, when a facial expression of anger or happiness
feelings of anger or happiness)
10 basic emotions
found across all cultures:
- joy - surprise
- sadness - anger
- disgust - contempt
- fear - shame
- guilt - interest/excitement
The ingredients of emotion include physiology and expressive behavior, as well as our conscious experience.
Fearful expressions improve peripheral vision and speed eye movements
, thus boosting sensory input.
We may be biologically more prepared to learn some fears more quickly than others (
snakes, spiders, heights). This may be due to the fact that these fears probably
helped our ancestors survive
amygdala plays a key role in associating various emotions
with certain situations
. With an impaired amygdala, people have decreased fear responses. Genes also influence the amygdala's response to frightening situations.
Encouraging people to vent their anger
(emotional release known as
is typical in individualized cultures, but not so in cultures where people's identity is centered more on group
In this case, the collective mindset is actually the healthiest.
More often, expressing anger breeds more anger, and can prime prejudice
One's state of happiness or unhappiness colors everything
. People who are
perceive the world as
feel more confident
make decisions more easily
more cooperative and tolerant
live healthier and more energized, satisfied lives
When your mood is gloomy, life as a whole seems depressing and meaningless
. But if you let your mood
, your thinking broadens and becomes more playful and creative.
When we feel happy, we are also more likely to help others
. This is known as the
. We also feel good when we do good... One of the reasons people say happiness is contagious.
Moods across the day
The good news is that
we adapt to bad events
, but the bad news is that
positive emotions are hard to sustain.
may also have an effect on our perception of happiness as well.
The reason for this is that if our current condition
(our income, academic average, or social prestige)
, we feel an
initial surge of pleasure. However, we then adapt to this new level of achievement, come to view it as normal, and then require some
thing even better to give us another surge of happiness. This is known as the
Additionally, when we start comparing ourselves to others, we often experience
; the perception that
we are worse off relative to those we are comparing ourselves to
When short-lived, or when perceived as challenges, stressors can have positive effects
severe or prolonged stress may harm us
body's adaptive response to stress
that the Canadian scientist Selye referred to it as the
general adaptation syndrome (GAS)
Sudden activation of your
sympathetic nervous system
Temperature, blood pressure, and respiration remain high, and there is an
outpouring of hormones
If resistance is persistent, the stress may
deplete your body's reserves
. This may lead to becoming more
vulnerable to illness
(traffic, arguments, long lines, etc.) that are actually the the most significant sources of stress
Unpredictable, large-scale events
, that nearly everyone appraises as threatening
Types of Stressors
Significant Life Changes
A significant personal life change
(death of a loved one, loss of a job, leaving a home, etc.)
buildup of everyday annoyances
can lead to
, which in turn can lead to
low levels of life satisfaction
minority populations, daily pressures may be compounded by racism
, which can have both psychological and physical consequences. This kind of stress
takes a toll on the health
of many African Americans, which actually drives up blood pressure levels.
Stress-related psychophysiological illnesses
(like hypertension and some headaches)
are "mind-body" illnesses
cells that are part of the body's
. There are two types.
B lymphocytes form in the bone marrow and release antibodies
that fight bacterial infections.
T lymphocytes form in the thymus and other lymphatic tissue and attack cancer
cells, viruses, and foreign substances (even "good" ones like transplanted organs).
Your immune system can err in two directions:
reacting too strongly
(like allergies), or
not reacting strongly enough
(like allowing cancer cells to multiply).
Stress can make this worse by diverting energy from the disease-fighting immune system to the muscles and brain, rendering us more vulnerable to illness
. Because of this,
stress exacerbates the progression of diseases such as AIDS, and cancer
Why BMI is not perfect
This may cause body dysmorphia when we don't "measure up"
Two Factor Theory
In order to experience emotion, one must be
physically aroused and cognitively label the arousal
The emotion triggering stimulus is routed simultaneously to the brain's cortex (causing the subjective awareness of emotion), and the sympathetic nervous system (causing the body's arousal).
Our physiological response and experienced emotion are separate but simultaneous; one does not cause the other