Chapter 11: Motivation and Emotion
BRIEF CHAPTER OUTLINE
Models of Motivation
The Drive Reduction
The Optimal Arousal
The Hierarchical Model
Hunger: Survival of the Individual
The Biology of When We
The Psychology of What
The Motive to be Thin and the Tendency Toward Obesity
Sex: Survival of the Species
Human Sexual Response
The Biology of Sexual
Culture and Sexual
Gender and the Drive for
The Needs to Belong and to Excel
The Need to Belong:
The Need to Excel:
Types of Affect
Emotions, Basic Emotions, and the
Dimensions of Affect
Emotions as Evolutionary Adaptations
as a Process
in the Emotion Process
Psychology in the Real World:
Social and Emotional Learning in Schools
Breaking New Ground: The
Universality of Facial Expressions of Emotion
Culture Impacts Emotion Expression
and the Brain
Making Connections in Motivation and Emotion: Living a Satisfied Life
EXTENDED CHAPTER OUTLINE
- Motivation is
the urge to move toward one’s goals.
- Needs, drives, and incentives all contribute to
are states of cellular or bodily deficiency that compel drives (i.e.,
they are biological).
- Examples include the needs for water, food, and
are the perceived states of tension that occur when our bodies are
deficient in some need. The deficiency creates a drive to alleviate the
state (e.g., drink, eat, or breathe).
- In this way, needs and drives push us.
- Motivated behaviors,
therefore, result from needs and drives.
- An incentive is
any external object or event that motivates behavior.
- Drives come from the body, whereas incentives come
from the environment.
Models of Motivation
- Evolutionary theory looks at internal drives to
explain why people do what they do.
- Biologically speaking, the purpose of any living
organism is to reproduce. The
major motives, then, all involve basic survival and reproduction needs:
hunger, thirst, body-temperature regulation, oxygen, and sex.
- Generally, we are unaware of the reasons for
behavior related to these drives. We know only that we do something
because it feels good and that we stop doing something if it feels bad.
Drive Reduction Model
- When our physiological systems become out of
balance or depleted, we are driven to reduce this depleted state (Hull,
1943; Weisinger et al., 1993; McKinley et al., 2004).
- We are driven to maintain homeostasis—psychological balance—around an optimal set point (the ideal fixed
setting of a particular physiological system)
detectors tell the brain
about the body’s current state and any changes that cause it to deviate
from the set point. If our bodily states move too far from the set point,
these mechanisms motivate us to take action.
Optimal Arousal Model
- We seek out stimulation and function best at an
“optimal level of arousal.” The Yerkes-Dodson
law states that both low arousal and high arousal lead to poor
performance, whereas moderate levels of arousal lead to optimal
performance (Yerkes & Dodson, 1908).
- Humans are motivated to be in situations that are
- Sensory deprivation research involves having a
person lie down on a bed or in a sensory deprivation (salt water) tank. Findings indicate that people cannot remain
in sensory deprivation for more than 2 to 3 days. When people stayed for only a few days,
“pathology of boredom” developed (Heron, 1957). People began to
hallucinate, their cognitive ability and concentration suffered, and
they developed childish emotional responses (Cheetham et al., 2007;
Finnerty et al., 1999).
Pointer: When the brain
is deprived of sensory stimulation, the brain region that processes that
kind of sensory information shrinks.
- Psychologists argue that needs such as curiosity,
learning, interest, beauty-aesthetics, competence, challenge, flow
states, and optimal experiences are motivated by the desire to be
optimally aroused (Berlyne, 1960; Csikszentmihalyi, 1991; Deci &
Ryan, 1985; Silvia, 2006).
- The essence of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is that needs range from the most basic
physiological necessities to the highest, most psychological need for
growth and fulfillment.
- At the lowest level are physiological needs (e.g., food, water, oxygen, and adequate
- The next level are safety needs (e.g., physical security, stability,
dependency, protection, and freedom from threats such as war, assault,
- At the third level are the love and belongingness needs (e.g., desire for friendship,
sex, a mate and children, and to belong to a family or social group).
- The fourth level is the need for esteem – to appreciate oneself and one’s
worth and to be appreciated and respected by others.
- The top level in the hierarchy is the need for self-actualization – the full realization of one’s
potentials and abilities in life.
What are some of the qualities of self actualizing people (see Chapter
Hunger: Survival of the
- The rate at which we consume energy is our metabolism. When our energy has
been depleted, hunger drives us to replenish our store of energy by
Pointer: Hunger involves
internal biological processes interacting with external, environmental
Biology of When We Eat
- Internal signals from the body control when we have
the desire to eat or stop eating.
reduction perspective: being hungry depends on how much food we have
consumed recently and how much energy is available for organ function.
biological components: the stomach, the blood, the brain, and
hormones and neurochemicals.
- Stomach “growling” results from gastric secretions
that are activated by the brain when we think of, see, or smell food.
Hunger can also cause the stomach to contract. These contractions
correspond with hunger pangs but they do not cause hunger.
- The most important source of energy for the body
is cellular glucose (a simple
sugar in the blood that provides energy for cells throughout the body
and brain). Our glucose level is monitored by the hypothalamus and, when
it drops, the hypothalamus triggers the need to obtain food.
- In fact, the hypothalamus regulates all basic
physiological needs, including hunger.
- At least four major hormones stimulate appetite:
neuropeptide Y (NPY), orexin, ghrelin, and melanin (Williams et al.,
- At least four hormones suppress appetite: insulin,
leptin, peptide YY (PYY), and cholecystokinin (CCK; Williams et al.,
Endocannabinoids and its relative, marijuana, are used medically to
treat cancer patients who are on chemotherapy, because they stimulate
appetite (see Chapter 6).
Psychology of What We Eat
Pointer: Our preferences
for particular foods have a biological basis, but are shaped by
experience and cultural preferences and become psychological in nature.
- Different cultures expose children to different
flavors but exposure does not dictate preference. It takes about 8 to 10
exposures to a food before children will begin to like a food they initially
disliked (Birch & Fischer, 1996; Birch & Marlin, 1982).
- Cultures shape food preferences while people are
young. Once a person develops a preference for a kind of food, she/he is
motivated and even driven to eat that kind of food.
Motive to Be Thin and the Tendency Toward Obesity
- Fat provides a store of energy for future use. Evolutionarily
this was very important because, in hunter-gatherer societies, you never
knew where the next meal was coming from.
In modern industrialized societies this is not so much a
- Discussion: Ask students why this change is
related to obesity. You can lead
them by asking if they think fatty foods are hard to find, how portion
sizes have changed in recent times, about the cost of fatty foods in
comparison to healthy alternatives (even at local fast-food stops), and
about lifestyle changes between “then” and “now.”
- Ideas about beauty have also been changed as a
result of having more food available than is needed.
- Thinness defines attractiveness in most societies
(75% of 14- to 21-year-old girls in the U.S. claim to be on a diet).
This obsession with thinness can leads to eating disorders.
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the most common eating
disorders in the industrialized nations (see Chapter 12).
- Body mass
index (BMI) is determined by dividing weight by height to yield a
- The ideal BMI range is between 20 and 25
- Overweight individuals have a BMI between 26 and 29.
- People who are obese have a BMI above 30.
- Genes appear to be responsible for about 70% of
adult weight (Allison et al., 1994; Hamer & Copland, 1998).
- In some obese people, the gene that produces
leptin is not functioning properly (Hamer & Copeland, 1998).
- Genes also control the number of fat cells a
person has. This number is set by childhood and adolescence, and does
not change much after that (Spalding et al., 2008). Dieting does not
change the number of fat cells we have – it reduces how much fat each
Sex: Survival of the Species
- At a species level, we have sex to propagate the species. At the individual level, we have sex because
it feels good.
- Sexual behavior is any action and/or arousal
involving stimulation of the genitals, which may or may not involve
- Masters and Johnson (1966) were the first
scientists to study the human sexual response systematically and directly.
- Men and women go through four phases of sexual
arousal but do so somewhat differently.
- The four phases are excitement, plateau, orgasm,
- The major signs of the initial excitement phase are vaginal lubrication in the
female and erection in the male.
- In the second phase, plateau, excitement level remains high but is pre-orgasmic.
In men, the plateau phase might be rather short, but orgasm almost
always follows. In women, the plateau phase often lasts longer than in
men and is not necessarily followed by orgasm.
- An even more striking gender difference is the
ability of women to have multiple orgasms.
Men always have a refractory
period immediately following orgasm, in which erection is lost and
orgasm is not possible, but women may go on to have multiple orgasms.
- More recent models of female sexual arousal point
out that the initial sexual response in women involves more psychological
processes than simply arousal and desire (Basson, 2001).
- Desire and arousal do not happen spontaneously in
many women, who often require the right balance of thoughts and
feelings. These thoughts and feelings play off and feed arousal, which
in turn lead to deeper feelings of intimacy and closeness.
- Arousal continues to increase and may or may not
lead to orgasm, but arousal and excitement are still important and
meaningful even without orgasm (Basson, 2001).
Biology of Sexual Behavior
- Many brain regions involved in emotion are required
for the earlier stages of sexual arousal, prior to orgasm.
- The hypothalamus plays a crucial role in sexual
behavior. The part of the hypothalamus involved in sexual behavior is
larger in men than in women (Allen & Gorski, 2007).
- Brain activity changes during orgasm. In fact, certain
brain regions actually shut down.
- In women, achieving a real orgasm always involves
deactivation of brain regions involved with fear and anxiety in the
amygdala and hippocampus, as well as parts of the cortex involved in
- Men show brain deactivation during orgasm but to the
left amygdale (a smaller emotional region of the brain).
the major male sex hormone produced by the adrenal gland, controls sex
drive in both men and women (Morris, Udry, Khandawood, & Dawood,
1987; Persky et al., 1978).
- In women, there is some regular
cyclical activity and interest in the course of the 28-day menstrual
- Female-initiated sexual behavior peaks
around ovulation and again before and after menstruation (Bullivant et
al., 2004; Ford & Beach, 1951; Udry, Morris, & Waller, 1973).
- The strongest cyclical effect for
women occurs in relation to their fantasies involving men other than
their regular sex partner (Buss, 2003). As women approach ovulation, the
frequency and intensity of their fantasies involving sex with men other
than their partner increase (Bullivant et al., 2004).
and Sexual Behavior
- Ford and Beach (1951) identified three kinds of
societies in terms of sexual attitudes:
societies restrict sex before and outside of marriage.
societies have formal prohibitions on pre- and extramarital sex that
are not strictly enforced.
societies place few restrictions on sex.
- Thirty years later, Broude and Greene (1980)
conducted a similar study of non-Western cultures and found that for
women, premarital sex was mildly to moderately disapproved of in 30% of
the societies and strongly disapproved of in 26%. Extramarital sex was
common among men in 69% of the cultures and among women in 57% of the
and the Drive For Casual Sex
- Research consistently shows that men are more
willing and interested in casual sex than are women.
- Clark and Hatfield (1989, 2003) had student
assistants simply approach attractive members of the opposite sex on
campus and ask them one of three questions: “Would you go out with me
tonight?”; “Would you come back to my apartment tonight?”; and “Would
you go to bed with me tonight?” Three-quarters of the men responded that
they were willing to have sex with a stranger of the opposite sex, but
not one woman was willing to do so!
investment theory argues that the cost of having sex is different for
men and women. For men, the only assured contribution to parenthood is
the act of sex itself. If a woman becomes pregnant, however, her
contribution includes nine months of carrying the fetus, a good portion
of which might involve pregnancy sickness; then there is the painful
labor and delivery; and finally, there is approximately 18 years of
caring for the child.
orientation is our disposition to be attracted to either the opposite
sex (heterosexual), the same sex (homosexual), or both sexes (bisexual).
- Kinsey, Pomeroy, and Martin (1948) argued that sexual
orientation exists on a continuum, from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively
- Between 1% to 5% of the adult male population and
1% to 3.5% of the adult female population classify themselves as
predominantly homosexual (LeVay & Hamer, 1994; Tarmann, 2002).
- For men, sexual orientation tends to be
“either/or,” producing a dip between 2 and 4 on Kinsey’s 7-point scale
(the “bisexual” range). For women, however, there is a more gradual
decrease from exclusively heterosexual to exclusively homosexual, with
more women identifying themselves as bisexual than men (Diamond, 2008;
Hamer & Copeland, 1998; Rahman, 2005).
orientation depends on both biological and social factors.
- Research has revealed that individuals exposed to
relatively high levels of testosterone in the womb are more likely to be
attracted to women, whereas those exposed to relatively low levels of
testosterone are more likely to be attracted to men.
- The hypothalamus is substantially smaller in gay
men than in straight men – it’s about the size of women’s.
- Genetic studies of identical and fraternal twins
indicate that, in men, 50% of sexual orientation is determined by
genetics. For women, environmental factors such as being raised in the
same household seem to have a strong influence on sexual orientation.
- Social-environmental theories argue that sexual
orientation is a social construction.
For example, child play, early peer relations, differences in how
parents treat boys and girls, and gender identity are important factors
in the development of sexual orientation.
- Environmental theories are consistent with
biological ones. Biology could start the development of sexual
orientation, which in turn would be strengthened or discouraged by
Needs to Belong and to Excel
- Need for
affiliation is the need for social contact and belonging.
- Need for
achievement is the need to excel, achieve, and to be competitive with
Need to Belong: Affiliation
- Humans are inherently social creatures who depend
on others (most clearly at the beginning and ends of life).
- Being rejected can be one of the more painful
experiences in life. Baumeister and Leary (1995) reviewed evidence that
lack of belongingness and being rejected can lead to health problems, developing
eating disorders, depression, and aggression. It can also lead to physical pain.
Humans need to connect. Infant attachment with a caregiver is
crucial to healthy development (see Chapter 5).
- CONNECTIONS: Connecting with others in our
social world is so important that social exclusion physically hurts and
activates pain regions in the brain involved in physical pain (see
Need to Excel: Achievement
- Some people compete with other people and others compete
more with themselves simply to do the best they can.
- McClelland and Atkinson (1985) emphasized that
achievement motivation is a desire to do things well and overcome
difficulties and obstacles. Those
obstacles can only be measured in terms of one’s goals.
- Atkinson (1964) argued that the tendency to achieve
success is a function of three things:
to succeed is the extent to which you really want to be successful.
of success is an individual’s evaluation of the likelihood of
succeeding at a task.
value of the success. This stems
from two factors.
- Success at the task has to be important to you.
- The more difficult the task and the lower the
odds of succeeding at it, the more it will mean to you if you do
- Basic drives differ from emotions in important ways.
- Drives are linked with very specific needs;
emotions are not (Tomkins, 1962; 1981).
- Emotions can override biological drives (Tomkins,
are triggered by situations that are relevant to our personal goals,
physical safety, or well-being.
refers to a variety of emotional phenomena, including emotions, moods,
and affective traits.
are brief, acute changes to experience and physiology that result from a
response to a meaningful situation in the person’s environment.
We tend to remember emotional events better than non-emotional events
(see Chapter 7).
are transient changes in affect that fluctuate throughout the day or
over several days. They are experienced physiologically and psychologically
and they tend to last longer than most emotions (Ekman, 1984; Davidson,
1994; Hedges, Jandorf, & Stone, 1985).
traits are enduring aspects of our personalities, which set the
threshold for the occurrence of particular emotional states (Ekman,
1984; Lazarus, 1991; Rosenberg, 1998).
Basic Emotions, and the Dimensions of Affect
emotions are emotions common to all humans and a product of our
evolutionary past. They are anger,
fear, disgust, happiness, sadness, and surprise.
- Basic emotions are categories or groups of related
emotions (they are an emotion
- Emotions can also be considered states that vary in
their degree of pleasantness and arousal.
emotions (e.g., pride, humiliation, embarrassment, etc.) are emotions
that occur as a function of how well we live up to our expectations, the
expectations of others, or the rules set by society.
- Two kinds of pride:
pride is the pride we feel in some sense of accomplishment.
pride is a more general sense of pride in oneself.
- Pride’s expression involves body movements, a low
intensity smile, and head tilted upward with slightly expanded chest.
involves some laying bare of the self or aspect of the self, without
intending to let others in.
- There is a distinct self-consciousness to
embarrassment, as if people have violated some social rule and been
caught in the act.
- People often get giggly when embarrassed, and act
as if they want to make amends for some sort of social transgression
(Keltner, 1995; Tangney et al., 1996).
- The facial expression of embarrassment serves to
appease and placate those who have seen one’s mistake.
as Evolutionary Adaptations
- From an evolutionary perspective, emotions are
- Emotions bring our physiological systems together
to help us deal efficiently with critical situations (Levenson, 1988;
Mauss et al., 2005; Rosenberg & Ekman, 1994).
- The broaden
and build model postulates that positive emotions broaden our
cognitive perspective, making our thinking more expansive and enabling
the acquisition of new skills.
Negative emotions promote a narrow, vigilant way of looking at the
- When people are in positive moods they perform
poorly on tasks of selective attention that require a narrow focus
compared to people in sad or neutral moods, and they perform better on
tasks that require a broader attentional focus (Rowe, Hirsch, &
- Positive emotions also enhance attention to
visual information in the outer edges of a visual display, compared to
the center (Wadlinger & Isaacowitz, 2006).
Emotion as a Process
- Emotions create changes in experience, thought,
physiology, and behavior.
- An emotion begins with an antecedent event, a situation that may lead to an emotional
- The person evaluates the event to determine whether
it is potentially harmful or beneficial. Depending on the results of that
appraisal, he or she may experience an emotional response.
- The emotional response, in turn, produces changes in
physiology, behavior and expressions, and subjective experience of the
- Once we generate emotions, we sometimes attempt to
modify them, regulate them, or make them go away, which in turn involves
new appraisals and new responses.
Pointer: Our appraisal of
events leads to emotional experiences, which in turn influence how we
respond to new situations.
in the Emotion Process
is the evaluation of a situation with respect to how relevant it is to
one’s own welfare (Lazarus, 1991). Most of the time it occurs outside of
- Emotions occur only in response to events that have
relevance to us at that moment.
- The type of appraisal that occurs determines the
type of the emotion generated.
regulation refers to the cognitive and behavioral efforts people use
to modify their emotions.
- One example of emotion regulation is reappraisal, in which people
reevaluate their views of an event so that a different emotion results.
is the deliberate attempt to inhibit the outward manifestation of an
Psychology in the Real World: Social and Emotional Learning in Schools
- Psychologists and educators argue that the
development of skills for recognizing and regulating emotions is just as
important to success in life as is academic achievement.
- These social-emotional learning (SEL) programs
constitute an important application of the psychology of emotion to the
(Providing Alternative THinking Strategies), a program developed by
Greenberg and Kusché (1998), gives teachers a detailed curriculum for
improving children’s emotional awareness and regulation skills and
enhancing their social competence.
exercise: Children are told
about a turtle that gets into trouble with other turtles in interpersonal
and academic situations because he does not stop to think. He gets some
help from “wise old turtle,” who tells him that when he just can’t handle
his anger and feels aggressive, he should go into his shell and consider
what the best way to respond might be.
- Children learn to time themselves out when they
get upset by “playing turtle” and thinking about what to do next.
- PATHS leads to improvements in social and emotional
skills in high-risk children, reduction of aggressive behaviors in both
normal and special-needs children, fewer depressive symptoms in
special-needs kids, and improvements in classroom functioning (Conduct
Problems Prevention Research Group, 1999a, 1999b; Kam, Greenberg, &
- Head Start
has also applied the theory and
methods of emotion research to decrease behavior problems in schools, and
initial results are promising (Izard, Trentacosta, King, & Mostow,
- A large-scale meta-analysis of more than 300 studies
shows that SEL programs significantly improve children’s academic
performance (Weissberg & Durlak, 2005). Specifically, children who
participate in these programs have better attendance, less disruptive
classroom behavior, like school more, and have higher GPAs.
responses include physiological, behavioral/expressive, and
- Emotions create physiological changes (e.g.,
increases in heart rate and rate of respiration).
The autonomic nervous system both activates and relaxes physiological
systems (see Chapter 3).
- Once elicited, emotions engage the ANS almost
- For emotions that are concerned with survival
and protection from harm, such as fear, the sympathetic branch of the ANS is activated.
- Positive emotions engage the parasympathetic branch of the
ANS. They apparently serve to return the body to a more relaxed, responsive
state (Levenson, 2003).
- Emotions create expressive changes, such as facial expressions and changes in vocal
intonation and volume, as well as behavioral tendencies toward
particular types of action (Frijda, 1986).
- Humans are predisposed to respond to faces.
- Newborn babies mimic the facial expressions of
- At 5 months, babies can discriminate between
different types of facial expressions of emotion.
- By one year of age, infants rely on the faces of
their caregivers to convey important information about how they might
- The facial
action coding system (FACS) is a widely used method by which coders
score all observable muscular movements that are possible in the human
face (Ekman & Friesen, 1978).
- The most recognizable facial expression of
emotion is the smile of genuine happiness.
- A smile that both pulls up the lip corners
diagonally and contracts the band of muscles that circle the eye to
create crow’s feet and raise the cheeks is known as a Duchenne smile. A Duchenne
smile is a genuine smile that expresses true enjoyment.
- The voice is very sensitive to emotional
fluctuations because the vocal cords are innervated by the autonomic
- The major vocal indicators of emotional arousal
are changes in the frequency of vocal sounds (pitch) and vocal fold
Changes in Emotion
experience of emotion is the quality of our conscious experience
during an emotional response.
- This is what we refer to when we talk about how
an emotion “feels.” It draws from the experience of body changes as
well as the numerous effects of emotions on cognitions, as emotions
can activate associations with images and memories of significant
- The James-Lange
theory of emotion says that it is our perception of the
physiological changes that accompany emotions that creates the
subjective emotional experience.
Breaking New Ground: The Universality of Facial Expressions of
See separate section for detailed explanation.
Making Connections: Living a
See separate section for detailed
achievement motivation: a desire to do things well and overcome
difficulties and obstacles.
action tendencies: particular
behavioral impulses that accompany certain emotions.
affective traits: stable predispositions toward certain types of
emotional responses; they are enduring aspects of our personalities that set
the threshold for the occurrence of particular emotional states.
antecedent event: part of the emotion process; this is a situation
that may lead to an emotional response.
appraisal: the evaluation of a situation with respect to how
relevant it is to one’s own welfare; it drives the process by which emotions
basic emotions: a set of emotions that are common to all humans;
includes anger, fear, disgust, happiness, sadness, and surprise.
broaden and build model: Fredrickson’s model for positive emotions,
which posits that they widen our cognitive perspective and help us acquire
useful life skills.
culturally relative: the idea that behavior varies across cultures
and can only be understood within the social laws, rules, or norms of the
culture in which they occur.
display rules: learned norms or rules, often taught very early,
about when it is appropriate to show certain expressions of emotion and to whom
one should show them.
drives: the perceived states of tension that occur when our bodies
are deficient in some need.
Duchenne smile: a smile
that expresses true enjoyment. These smiles involve both the muscles that pull
up the lip corners diagonally and those that contract the band of muscles
encircling the eye to create crow’s feet and raise the cheeks.
emotion regulation: the
cognitive and behavioral efforts people use to modify their emotions.
emotional response: includes the physiological, behavioral/expressive,
and subjective changes that occur when emotions are generated.
emotions: brief, multifaceted changes to experience and physiology that result from a response to a
meaningful situation in the person’s environment.
example of a response-focused strategy for regulating emotion involving the
deliberate attempt to inhibit the outward manifestation of an emotion.
facial action coding system (FACS): a widely used method for
measuring all observable muscular movements that are possible and observable in
the human face.
glucose: a simple sugar in the blood that provides energy for cells
throughout the body, including the brain.
homeostasis: the process by which all organisms work to maintain
physiological equilibrium or balance around an optimal set point.
incentive: simply any
external object or event that motivates behavior.
James-Lange theory of emotion: says that our perception of the
physiological changes that accompany emotions create the subjective emotional
Life satisfaction: the overall evaluation we have of our lives; it
is an aspect of subjective well-being.
moods: affective states that operate in the background of
consciousness, which tend to last longer than most emotions.
motivation: the urge to move toward one’s goals; it gives us an
energetic push toward accomplishing tasks.
needs: states of cellular or bodily deficiency that compel drives.
neuro-cultural theory of emotion: Ekman’s theory that accounts for
the fact that certain aspects of emotion, such as the facial expressions and
physiological changes, are similar in all humans, whereas others, such as how
people appraise situations and regulate their emotional expressions in front of
others, vary from one culture to another.
reappraisal: an antecedent-focused emotion regulation strategy, in
which one reevaluates how one has viewed an event so that a different emotion
self-actualization: the full realization of one’s potentials and
abilities in life. According to Maslow, this motive sits atop the hierarchy of
self-conscious emotions: occur as a function of how well we live up
to our expectations, the expectations of others, or the rules set by society.
set point: the ideal fixed setting of a particular physiological
system, such as internal body temperature.
sexual behavior: actions and arousal involving stimulation of the
genitals, which may or may not involve orgasm.
sexual orientation: our disposition to be attracted to either the
opposite sex (heterosexual), the same sex (homosexual) or both sexes
subjective experience of emotion: the changes in the quality of our
conscious experience that occur during emotional responses.
subjective well-being: consists of life satisfaction, domain
satisfactions, and positive and negative affect.
universal: we use this term to refer to a behavior that is common
to all human beings and can be seen in cultures all over the world.
Yerkes-Dodson law: the
idea that both low arousal and high arousal lead to poor performance, whereas
moderate levels of arousal lead to optimal performance, depicted visually as a
graph between performance (y-axis) and arousal (x-axis) that has an inverted-U
CONNECTION: What are some of the qualities of self actualizing
people? (See Chapter 15.)
- Suggested Site: This site on Maslow’s theory outlines
some of Maslow’s concepts of self actualizers: http://www.abraham-maslow.com/m_motivation/Self-Actualization.asp. Have students come up with their own
list and use the information on this site to help guide the
discussion. You can then ask them
which people throughout history would likely be labeled as
“self-actualized.” Common examples
are Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., etc.
CONNECTION: Endocannabinoids and its relative, marijuana, are used
medically to treat cancer patients who are on chemotherapy because they
stimulate appetite (see Chapter 6).
- Discussion: Ask students their opinion on whether marijuana should be
legalized. Direct the conversation
around the medical pros and cons of the drug (see http://medicalmarijuana.procon.org/
CONNECTION: Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the most
common eating disorders in the industrialized nations (see Chapter 12).
CONNECTION: Humans need to connect. Infant attachment
with a caregiver is crucial to healthy development (see Chapter 5).
- Discussion: Remind students about Harlow’s research on attachment (you can use this
video clip as a refresher: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsA5Sec6dAI)
and ask students how people with different attachment patterns might vary
in their need to belong.
with others in our social world is so important that social exclusion
physically hurts and activates pain regions in the brain involved in physical
pain (see Chapter 14).
CONNECTION: We tend to remember emotional events better than
nonemotional events (see Chapter 7).
CONNECTION: The autonomic nervous system both activates and relaxes
physiological systems (see Chapter 3).
- Discussion: Students may have a hard time
differentiating the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Tell them to imagine that they are
driving down the road in a rain storm when they suddenly see break lights
from the car in front of them. Ask
them to explain their reaction.
Typically, their hear rate increases, they hold their breath, their
mouth gets dry. These are all the
result of their sympathetic nervous system. Their body is having “sympathy” for their
situation and preparing them to react (slam on the breaks, brace for
impact, etc.). Now, have them
imagine how they would feel when they are able to avoid the accident. Their heart rate slows, their breathing
returns to normal, etc. This is the
parasympathetic nervous system.
Like a “parachute,” it calms the free fall and returns you to a
Breaking New Ground: The Universality of Facial Expressions of
prefrontal cortex maintains information in working memory, coordinates thoughts
and actions in accordance with internal goals, orchestrates future planning,
regulates social behavior, and is involved in the expression of certain aspects
of personality (see Chapter 3).
- Discussion: Remind students about the case of
Phineas Gage and his change in behavior following his accident with a
CONNECTION: When you see
another person you care about get hurt physically, it creates the same activity
in the insula that you experience with feelings of your own physical pain (see
Making Connections in Motivation and Emotion: Living a Satisfied Life
- Life satisfaction
is the overall evaluation we have of our lives.
well-being includes satisfaction in different domains, such as career
and social networks and the balance between positive and negative affect
Motivation and Happiness
- Going back to Maslow’s hierarchical model of motivation,
both basic needs and the higher-level needs contribute to life
- Basic Needs
- Basic needs must be met for a person to be relatively
satisfied with life, but more money does not lead to greater happiness.
- Industrialized countries have higher levels of
well-being than non-industrialized countries.
- At a national level, in the early stages of a
country’s development out of poverty, increased income makes people a
bit happier with their lives. After a relatively modest level of
income, however, money makes little difference and may even be a
hindrance to happiness.
- At the individual level, having more money does
make people slightly happier, but this is only true for those driven by
- Diet and weight also relate to overall happiness
in various ways.
- First, having a healthy diet is
associated with high life satisfaction, but being overweight is
associated with low life satisfaction.
- Long-term weight loss is related to increases in life
- Set point
theory of well-being proposes that people’s
overall sense of happiness and well-being is stable and more or less
set by genetic and stable personality factors.
- Having a satisfying sex life can be a source of overall
happiness and well-being for people, just as problems in one’s sex life
can lead to overall problems in one’s well-being.
- Subjective well-being and sexual satisfaction
were highest in European and European-based cultures.
- For gay men, sexual satisfaction and overall
life satisfaction were positively correlated, but this was not true
- Higher Needs
- Once a person or a country crosses the
$12,000/per person/year GNP, close relationships and valuing family,
friends, and people matter most for overall levels of happiness (Headey,
- People who value non-competitive goals, such as spending
time with a spouse, children, and friends tend to become happier and
more satisfied with life over time.
- People who most value
competitive achievement goals, such as career advancement and material
gains, actually decrease in happiness over time.
- People who are curious and interested in
exploring novel and challenging situations tend to be happier than
people who would rather stick with what they know and not challenge
themselves with new tasks and experiences (Diener et al., 1999;
Gallagher & Lopez, 2007; Headey, 2008).
Emotions, Happiness, and
Meaning in Life
- Positive emotions can act as a buffer against
long-term negative emotions.
- If we bring some degree of life satisfaction and
positive emotions with us as we go through our more trying and tragic life
experiences, we are more likely to emerge happier and healthier than if we
- Similarly, people who find meaning in their lives in
general and even in negative and tragic experiences are likely to be
happier in life than those who do not see meaning and purpose in life’s
difficult and unpleasant experiences (King et al., 2006).
Nature-Nurture Pointer: When
the brain is deprived of sensory stimulation, the brain region that processes
that kind of sensory information shrinks.
Nature-Nurture Pointer: Hunger
involves internal biological processes interacting with external, environmental
Discussion: Ask students about
their experiences with their parents taking them to dinner. Mom and Dad take them out and, chances are,
they order vast quantities of food so that they can take home the leftovers. After dinner, when they are very full, they
go home and what is the first thing they do?
They look in the refrigerator to see if the “food fairy” (or their
roommate) has delivered anything new.
Why does this happen? Because
that is their social, environmental cue.
Come home. Look in the refrigerator.
Nature-Nurture Pointer: Our
preferences for particular foods have a biological basis, but are shaped by
experience and cultural preferences and become psychological in nature.
Discussion: Ask students about
their favorite foods. When did they
first try them? How many times did they
try them before the food became a favorite?
Ask if there are any foods that they hated when they initially tried
them but now they love.
Nature-Nurture Pointer: Sexual
orientation depends on both biological and social factors.
Discussion: Sexual orientation has
been a source of discrimination for some time.
Ask students to discuss who is most likely to be prejudiced – someone
who believes that sexual orientation is biological or someone who believes it
is a choice.
Nature-Nurture Pointer: Our
appraisal of events leads to emotional experiences, which in turn influence how
we respond to new situations.
Discussion: Ask students to
imagine they are walking down a street late at night by themselves. Suddenly, they hear footsteps behind
them. The steps grow louder and
faster. How do they feel? If they appraise the event as dangerous, this
will lead to the emotional experience of fear, which might lead them to run
away or scream. If they then realize
that it is a jogger out for a run, they may feel relief and slow their pace.
Breaking New Ground: The Universality of Facial Expressions of
When and how we express emotion is a function of both biological and
Discussion: Ask students how these
research findings might be related to emotIcons used when IM’ing, blogging,
etc. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070404162321.htm
for more details.
Brain Injury and Consciousness
Nature-Nurture Pointer: Brain
injury can affect many different aspects of consciousness.
Discussion: Talk to students about the
case of Terri Schiavo. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8225637/)
and ask them if they felt that it was right for her to be removed from life
Breaking New Ground: The Universality of Facial Expressions of
In the late 1960s, Paul Ekman went to a remote
culture to find out whether facial expressions of emotion were universal or
Culturally Determined or Universal?
Anthropologists proposed that facial expressions
of emotion were culturally relative; that is, expressions varied across
cultures and could only be understood within the social laws, rules, or norms
of the culture in which they occurred.
However, there was also a high level of
consensus on the meaning of facial expressions of emotion across numerous
cultural groups in several studies supported.
This consensus supported Darwin’s
(1872) assertion that the facial expressions of certain “basic” emotions are universal;
that is, common to all human beings.
Tomkins showed people numerous photographs of
European Americans posing emotions and asked them to decide which emotion the
person in the picture may have been feeling. They obtained pretty strong
evidence of agreement on the emotional meaning of those expressions (Tomkins
& McCarter, 1964).
Ekman and Friesen showed Tomkins’ pictures to
people in the U.S., Japan, Argentina,
and found a high degree of consensus on the meanings of a core set of facial
expressions of emotion (Ekman & Friesen, 1969).
One problem with these studies on emotion
recognition, however, is that they each relied on people in literate,
industrialized cultures. Ekman knew he needed to collect data from preliterate
people, who were isolated from Western cultural influence if he wanted to show
that consistency in certain facial expressions of emotion were recognized
universally and not a product of culture.
Evidence of Universality in
Ekman showed members of the Fore tribe from Papua New Guinea
pictures of facial expressions of emotion and find out which emotions, if any,
they saw in those faces.
He asked people to make up stories to explain
why the person in picture would make such a face. To Ekman’s dismay, the New
Guineans found it very difficult to make up stories about the pictures, so he
was not able to get a large sample of data. The data were promising (and were
published) but they did not yield the high consensus he’d expected (Ekman,
Sorenson, & Friesen, 1969).
Ekman returned to New Guinea and this time presented
stories about emotional situations to New Guineans and showed them a set of
three photographed faces per story. The participants were asked which of the
three faces matched the story. When he used this method, the degree of
consensus improved greatly over that in the previous study (Ekman &
The one exception was that the New Guineans had
some difficulty distinguishing fear when it was shown with photographs of
surprise and sadness.
Emotion Research After the
Findings on Universality
By the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s,
emotion became one of the most widely studied topics in all of psychology (Rosenberg, 2005).
Ekman and his colleagues developed the objective
coding system of the face, FACS.
Ekman (1972) proposed the neuro-cultural
theory of emotion, which accounted for both universality and cultural
differences. It puts forth the fact that certain aspects of emotion, such as
the facial expressions and physiological changes of basic emotions, are similar
in all humans, whereas other aspects, such as how people appraise situations
and regulate their emotional expressions in front of others, vary from one
culture to another.
How Culture Impacts Emotion
Display rules are learned norms or rules,
often taught very early, about when it is appropriate to show certain
expressions of emotion and to whom one should show them.
The first empirical support for display rules
came from a study comparing disgust expressions in American and Japanese
students (Ekman, 1972; Friesen, 1972).
Both groups viewed a film showing a very graphic
medical procedure, but in two different conditions: one in the presence of an
authority figure and the other alone. When alone, both groups felt perfectly
comfortable expressing the obvious response: disgust. When in the presence of
an authority figure, however, the Japanese students did not show disgust, and
they masked their responses with non-Duchenne (fake) smiles. American students,
however, showed about the same level of disgust in both conditions.
People posing with fear faces actually see
better in terms of tests of peripheral vision and quickness of eye movements.
Nature-Nurture Pointer: When and
how we express emotion is a function of both biological and cultural forces.
Emotion and the Brain
Affective neuroscience studies which
structures and systems are involved in the emotion process.
There is no main emotion center in the brain,
but there are some key areas for emotion processing – most notably, the amygdala
and the prefrontal cortex.
The amygdala: The amygdala has
connections with the hypothalamus (controls the ANS); the hippocampus (plays a
crucial role in memory); the thalamus (which contains nuclei that receive
information from the sense organs); and the cerebral cortex. The amygdala has a
specialized function for noticing fear-relevant information (Öhman, 2002;
Phelps & LeDoux, 2005).
People with damaged amygdalas do not show normal
physiological reactions under fear conditioning. They tend to trust faces that
most people find to be untrustworthy, and have trouble recognizing facial
expressions of fear, especially in the eyes (Adolphs et al., 1994, 2005;
Adolphs, Tranel, & Damasio, 1998; Phelps & LeDoux, 2005).
Other regions of the amygdale are more involved
in anger and rage (Panksepp, 2000). In fact, tumors of the amygdala have been
found in violent criminals, such as Charles Whitman, who climbed the tower at
the University of
Texas in 1966 and, in a
90-minute shooting spree, killed 19 people and wounded 38.
The Prefrontal Cortex: The
amygdala is more involved in determining whether a situation merits an
emotional response at all, while the prefrontal cortex may be more involved in
determining options for response or reappraisal. The prefrontal cortex plays a
role in the appraisal and reappraisal of emotion, and damage to left prefrontal
cortex results in depression.
CONNECTION: The prefrontal cortex
maintains information in working memory, coordinates thoughts and actions in
accordance with internal goals, orchestrates future planning, regulates social
behavior, and is involved in the expression of certain aspects of personality
(see Chapter 3).
Other Brain Regions in Emotion:
The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) is active when people
either recall or imagine emotional experiences.
The left prefrontal cortex is more involved in
positive emotions than the right.
Nerve fibers that run through the hypothalamus
to a nearby brain region appear to be a pleasure or reward center.
The insula is the brain structure most involved
in interoception – the perception of sensations arising within the body.
CONNECTION: When you see another person
you care about get hurt physically, it creates the same activity in the insula
that you experience with feelings of your own physical pain (see Chapter 14).
Gender and Emotion
Women do outperform men in accurately
recognizing facial expressions of emotion.
Men’s and women’s ratings of their emotional
experience are very similar. The sexes differ most in how they describe their
emotional experiences in words and in the frequency of smiling.
Women talk more about emotions than men do.
Studies of facial behavior during emotional
experiences find no consistent differences between men and women, but women generally
smile more often than men.
The similarities between the sexes in terms of
emotion and the brain are far more impressive than the differences, but exposure
to pictures of animal or human attacks provokes greater amygdala activation in
men than in women.
Additional Discussion Topics
students what motivates them. Is it food?
(It usually is!) Sex? Understanding? Love?
Ask them what motivates them most. If they are having a hard time getting
started, talk to them about how clubs and organizations draw new membership. They have events that advertise free
food! How do apartments draw in new
tenants? They offer cuts in rent or a
month free. How do commercials get you
to buy products? They promise sex and
love. In other words, these
organizations appeal to our basic needs.
argument against Maslow’s hierarchy is that the same behavior could serve to
fulfill different needs for different people.
For example, sex. Sex is clearly
a physiological need but for some it can serve other functions: love, safety,
and esteem. Have students think of other
behaviors that may fulfill multiple needs on the hierarchy.
students to think about how mood affects daily behaviors – like
helpfulness. If they are in a good mood
and someone is trying to merge into their lane, what do they do? What about if someone yells for them to hold
the elevator? Generally, if you’re in a
good mood, you are more helpful (you let people into your lane and frantically
press the “open door” button or put your foot in the doorway to keep the
elevator open). If you’re in a bad mood,
though, you are less helpful (speeding up to prevent the merge and actively
pushing the “close door” button).
students how they would go about applying concepts of emotional regulation to schools
of different socioeconomical statuses.
5. Ask students what would make them happy. Winning the lottery? Finding true love? Getting straight A’s? Talk to them about the predictors of
happiness outlined in the “Motivation and Happiness” section of their textbook.
6. Ask students if they think men and women are different when it comes
to emotion. Do women feel more than men
or just differently, or is there a difference at all?
students keep a journal for a day on their different needs as they relate to
Maslow’s hierarchy. Have them document
which needs are most fulfilled at various times of the day (maybe every three
hours from when they wake up to when they go to sleep). Which needs are different behaviors aiming to
fulfill? Have them make a note of what
happens when lower-level needs demand their attention (e.g., if they are
studying and working on their esteem needs, what happens when they get hungry
students the following TAT image: http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/morris3/chapter10/medialib/lgimages/MO469FD.GIF. Have them write down a story about the
image. Ask them to share their stories
with the class. Explain that using TAT
images like this one measures achievement motivation (Tuerlinckx, De Boeck,
& Lens, 2002).
half of the class to suck on their pencil/pen for one minute. Ask the other half to bite on their pen (held
horizontally) for one minute. After the
minute has passed, ask them to indicate their mood on a scale of 1 (highly
depressed) to 10 (ecstatic). Discuss the difference. (See Strack, Martin, and Leonard ).
students the following image: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/blogs/morris/posts/27morris_ekman_cd.jpg
and ask them which person is showing a Duchenne smile.
students the following site: http://www.jaschahoffman.com/ekmanLight.jpg. This is from the South Fore of New
Guinnea. Ask them to identify the
emotions in each face. Compare their abilities to this image: http://www.columbia.edu/itc/psychology/rmk/T7/ekman.jpg. They should find both equally simple. Use this to discuss universality in emotional
- Charles Whitman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTU5lPzKvjI
- Good Will
Hunting (1997) is a good example of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
- Anorexia help commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94c43AlwLKo
- National Institute
of Mental Health –
Eating Disorders: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders/complete-publication.shtml
- “Irish Men Becoming Gym Addicts”: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/ireland/article4596896.ece
- Eating Disorders.com: http://www.eating-disorder.com/
- Mayo Clinic – Eating Disorders: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eating-disorders/DS00294
- Example of a pro-ana website: http://community.livejournal.com/proanorexia
- Phineas Gage: http://www.brainconnection.com/topics/?main=fa/phineas-gage
- Time Magazine: Target: Masters and Johnson: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,924383,00.html
- The Search for Universals in Human
Emotion: Photographs from the New Guinea Expedition - http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.jaschahoffman.com/ekmanLight.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.jaschahoffman.com/&h=2100&w=1482&sz=196&hl=en&start=4&um=1&usg=__EoPntXzEkf3zl3ycdyt2veK9O00=&tbnid=a6Nw8FqbqbXpfM:&tbnh=150&tbnw=106&prev=/images%3Fq%3DEkman%26ndsp%3D20%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DN
Atkinson, J.W. (1981). Studying
personality in the context of an advanced motivational
Psychologist, 36, 117-128.
A. J. & Church, M.A. (1997). A hierarchical model of approach and avoidance
achievement motivation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72,
Ekman, P. (1992). Are there basic
emotions? Psychological Review, 99, 550-553.
Fridlund, A. J. (1991). Evolution
and facial action in reflex, social motive, and paralanguage.
Psychology, 32, 3-100.
Furnham, A., Kirkaldy, B.D., & Lynn, R. (1996). Attitudinal
correlates of national wealth.
and Individual Differences, 21, 345-353.
Harackiewicz, J.M., Barron, K.E.,
Carter, S.M., Lehto, A.T., & Elliot, A.J. (1997). Predictors
of achievement goals in the college classroom: Maintaining interest
and making the
grade. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73, 1284-1295.
C. E. (1992). Basic emotions, relations among emotions, and emotion-cognition
relations. Psychological Review, 99, 561-565.
G.L. (2007). Practitioner’s Guide to Emotional Regulation in School-Aged Children.
W.H., Johnson, V.E., & Kolodny, R.C. (1986). Masters and Johnson on Sex and Human Loving. Boston: Little & Brown.
McClelland, D. C. (1985). How
motives, skills, and values determine what people do. American
F., Martin, L.L., & Stepper, S. (1988).
Inhibiting and facilitating conditions of the human smile: A
nonobtrusive test of the facial feedback hypothesis. Journal
of Personality and Social Psychology, 545(5), 768 – 777.
F., De Boeck, P., & Lens, W. (2002). Measuring
needs with the Thematic Apperception Test: A psychometric study. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 448-461.