Term Paper: There Are Three Places Where I Sited

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There are three places where I sited the textbook but did not know the

title.

1. The instinct theory, or as some experts currently call it, Fixed

Action Patterns, is a theory of motivation based on the fact that

universally humans will react to certain releasers in a specific manner.

A releaser is a triggering event for the reaction. Some experts think that

we as human react instinctively to these releasers, hence the term Instinct

Theory. An instinct or fixed action "resemble reflexes in that they are

innate, display little variability from individual to individual, or from

day to day in the same individual, and often are reliably elicited by a

particular kind of event" (Chance, 1994, p. 8). According to Chance, some

experts would say that humans have no instinctive, or fixed action patters

that are innate, especially in regards to motivation. These same experts

point to the fact that much of the behavior elicited by humans is inherited

not instinctive. Inherited behavior can be defined as behavior developed

through the centuries and handed down from generation to generation, most

of the time not through any physical passage but through observation and

interaction. Another theory would be the Need Theory.

According to the Need Theory human behavior can be based on the fact

that humans recognize their own needs and behave in a way that will best

fulfill those needs. Abraham Maslow first presented a Needs Theory,

stating that; "based on his observations as a humanistic psychologist, that

there is a general pattern of needs recognition and satisfaction that

people follow in generally the same sequence" (Gawel, 1997). Maslow

believed that what motivated an individual to take a specific action was if

a motivator was in place in order to fulfill a need.

A good example of this is when a student is having difficulty understanding

certain aspects of a particular subject, realizes that help is needed, and

seeks such help from a teacher or parent. A sticking point in regards to

this theory is that often times the student will not seek the help

necessary, instead the student disregards, or ignores the problem.

Therefore, the need is not met. Other theories, such as; the learning

theory of behavior state that humans adapt to circumstances based on a

learned behavior. For example, several studies have shown that humans can

be taught how to become aggressive. "Wilson (1978) concludes...the more

violent forms of human aggression are not the manifestations of inborn

drives...but are based on the interaction of genetic potential and

learning" (Chance, 1994, p. 20). Studies have shown that a generally

peaceful people can be taught to be fierce soldiers. The learned behavior

may go entirely against the instinct of the individual but it still

produces the desired results. The Cognitive Theory used in describing how

students are motivated describes the individual's knowledge of what is a

motivating factor and what is not. The individual displays a conscious

intellectual knowledge of the motivating factors and the resulting behavior

is elicited from those factors. One study concludes; "Much human behavior

is regulated by forethought embodying cognized goals, and personal goal

setting is influenced by self-appraisal of capabilities" (Bandura, 1989, p.

1175). Bandura states that we use our intelligence in the process of

understanding motivation and make choices based on that understanding.

Bandura's thoughts differ from the humanistic theory that states that

evidence shows humans are more likely to be motivated by intrinsic values.

One study showed that there is "evidence that well-being and relationship

quality are also better when people orient toward intrinsic values such as

intimacy, community and growth" (Sheldon, 2001, ab). Each theory has its

proponents and its detractors, but all, at least to some degree, have

components that make sense in applying a particular theory to answer the

question of what truly motivates humans to accomplish what they accomplish

and take the actions they take.

2. "Children and adults do not inherit obesity, they simply inherit the

tendency. How they learn to eat and live with this tendency determines

whether they will grow up to be fat or lean" (Sears 2004). This statement,

if true, would likely mean that obesity would never become a problem if

children were taught the correct way to eat, and how to live a lean

lifestyle. Obviously, that would be a huge undertaking, and probably not a

feasible short-term goal, therefore, obesity will probably remain as a

problem for decades to come.

With the exception of the 'inherited' tendency to become overweight

theories that could play a role in an individual's attempt to maintain a

certain weight most theories would certainly have to concern themselves

with what motivates humans. There are societal barriers that overweight

people face everyday especially if they adhere to the Humanistic Theory of

motivation.

The humanist wishes to promote intimacy, experience productive

relationships and participate fully in society. The Humanistic Theory

states that humans are going to be much happier if they achieve the

realization of intrinsic values.

"Studies have shown that obese children are more likely to develop a

poor self-image and low self-esteem. They are prone to social isolation

and, because they compete poorly in athletics, often choose more sedentary

activities, which further increases their weight" (Sears 2004). It seems

like a vicious cycle, especially when viewed from a humanistic viewpoint.

Today's media seems to promote those people who look good, and are not

overweight. This carries over into society as a perception that somehow

overweight people are somehow 'less than' lean people. This perception as

viewed from an overweight person could lead to stress, dysphoria, anxiety

and depression. The humanistic theory would purport to a social happiness

that an overweight person might not be able to achieve, most likely due to

the very factors that contributed to the circumstance to begin with. The

motivation to be accepted by society, to achieve intimacy and to have

loving and sound relationships is a strong motivation. It would seem much

more likely to foster results than the cognitive theory would in this

particular instance. The cognitive theory states that the individual has

an intellectual knowledge that motivates action.

In the case of obesity intellectual knowledge is not likely to achieve

weight loss, whereas being in a loving relationship, or being a productive

and accepted member of society would be much more likely a motivating

factor.

3. Recent studies have shown that completion of a difficult task is

affected primarily by the arousal motivation level experienced by the

individual attempting to accomplish the task. One such study states;

"Measures indicated, as expected, high effort expenditure only under the

condition of an identity-relevant +difficult task, whereas the participants

in all other conditions expended significantly less effort. By contrast,

the analysis yielded no effects on self-reported activation and feeling

states" (Gendolla 1998 p. 111).

A real-life scenario to illustrate specifically what Gendolla's study

presented could be when a teenage male is called upon to participate in a

competitive game in which his team is losing at halftime. The problem

facing his team is that the other team is a better, bigger, stronger,

faster and more disciplined team. Motivation in sports is very essential

and the more difficult a task is, would possibly warrant even more

motivation. The coach can therefore assist the players in overcoming

cognitive ideals, humanistic values, and the needs of the players by

emphasizing the emotional aspect of playing against a much better team.

Emotional arousal at this point overcomes knowledge that the other team is

bigger and better, overcomes player's needs, and overcomes the individual's

sense happiness being achieved through a sense of community.

Emotion plays the key role in this scenario, and by emphasizing the

difficulty of the task, such emotion plays an even more important role in

arousing the players innate motivational force. The player's desire to win

is based almost entirely on the fact that the player has had his

motivational force aroused, and now will attempt to complete a very

difficult feat.

Applying a theory in this case would probably by the Fixed Reaction

theory. On its face this might seem ludicrous, however, a young, teenage

male will likely respond immediately to an arousal speech even if he knows

that the task is likely impossible. He may even react in that fixed

pattern because the task is a likely impossible one to achieve. Young,

female teenagers are likely to react in an entirely different manner. A

real-life scenario featuring a young lady in front of a group of peers

giving a speech on why the audience should vote for her. She is running

against a teenage male. During the speech she attempts to arouse the

audience by giving an impassioned speech at times expressing anger at the

current circumstances. The teenage male also expresses anger but is not

nearly as impassioned as the female. The male wins the election. Applying

the Humanistic Theory in this scenario would say that both individuals were

striving to improve the community, or improve their chances of being… [END OF PREVIEW]

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