Chapter summary imageWhat drives us to do the things we do?

WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF EMOTION AND MOTIVATION?

  • Emotions are made up of three distinct but related parts: physiological arousal, expressive behaviour, and cognitive experience.
  • We are motivated by both dispositional forces (internal states and drives) and situational forces (external stimuli).

WHAT ARE THE DOMINANT THEORIES OF EMOTION AND MOTIVATION?

  • Theories of emotion are the James-Lange theory (physiological response precedes cognition), Cannon-Bard theory (physiology and cognition are simultaneous), Schachter-Singer two-factor theory (perception along with physiological response produces emotion), cognitive-appraisal theory (cognitive evaluation follows physiological response to produce emotion), and Plutchik’s emotion wheel (eight primary emotions combine to form more complex emotions).
  • Theories of motivation are drive-reduction theory (actions are motivated by a drive to reduce physiological need), social learning theory (actions are motivated by the expectation of achieving goals), and central-state theory (drives are created by neural systems).

WHAT PARTS OF OUR BRAIN ARE INVOLVED IN MOTIVATION AND EMOTION?

  • Emotions are processed in many parts of our brain including the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and somatosensory cortex.
  • When we are in danger, the fight-or-flight response is initiated by the sympathetic nervous system. Once the crisis is over, the parasympathetic nervous system brings the body back to its resting state.

HOW DO WE EXPLAIN THE EMOTIONS OF FEAR, ANGER, AND HAPPINESS?

  • Fear protects us by initiating a fight-or-flight response.
  • Anger is a universal emotion, but its expression is culturally specific.
  • Happiness tends to be temporary, makes people helpful, depends on our sense of success relative to others, and can be bought.

WHAT MOTIVATES PHYSIOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL BEHAVIOURS?

  • Our physiological and social needs and behaviours are subject to motivational states.
  • Hunger depends on stomach contractions, glucose levels, hypothalamic secretions of orexin, and the gustatory sense.
  • The levels of testosterone, estrogen, and other hormones in our bodies influence our sex drives. However, other social or recreational motivations may influence sexual behaviour.
  • Job security, equity, and good relationships are key for job satisfaction.
  • A feeling of belonging maximizes survival, and its absence resembles physical pain.
  • People find intrinsically rewarding work to be most satisfying.