Unit 8A: Motivation

AP Psychology

Motivation: a need or desire that energizes behavior and directs it toward a goal.

Motivational Theories:

Instinct/evolutionary: Motivation from natural urges and inborn needs

Drive-reduction: Motivated to return to homeostasis (body's natural equilibrium)

Optimum Arousal: Behavior to increase arousal (antithesis of Drive-reduction)

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: A pyramid of needs that need to be met; each achieved allows access to attempt to achieve the next. Created by Abraham Maslow, a humanistic psychologist from the 1970's. ~see diagram below~

Big Motivating Factor: Hunger

Ancel Keys studied the effects of semi starvation. Fed 36 male volunteers just enough to maintain their weight, and then cut their food quantity in half. Their body weight dropped dramatically to 25% below their starting weight. They became food obsessed and completely focused on hunger and disregarded most other aspects of their life.

Eating Disorders:

  • Anorexia Nervosa: starvation based disorder with a goal of losing weight.
  • Bulimia Nervosa: Binge and purge.
  • Binge Eating Disorder: Binge without purge.
  • These disorders are more common in Western Civilizations who put an unrealistic emphasis on thinness and female beauty.

Another Big Motivating Factor: Sex

The Sexual Response Cycle:

  1. Excitement
  2. Plateau
  3. Orgasm
  4. Resolution (In males, there is a refractory period in which they are unable to achieve another orgasm)

Sexual Orientation: The gender or genders to which one is attracted to. Homosexual: same sex attraction. Heterosexual: opposite sex attraction. Bisexual: attraction to both sexes.  

Ray Blanchard and Anthony Bogaert- Fraternal Birth Oder Effect: the observation that the more older brothers a man has, the greater the probability is that he will have a homosexual sexual orientation. The fraternal birth order effect is the strongest known predictor of sexual orientation, each older brother increases a man's chances of being

gay by about 33%

The Need to Belong-Our need to feel connected and identified with others

Society is organised into groups who control behavior with threat of ostracism. When excluded, people become engaged in self-defeating or antisocial (not socially acceptable) behaviors.  

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