The first takeaway from this week’s reading is that there are two types of motivation – extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation refers to the needs that arise from the outside, as when a student goes to college to satisfy his or her parents’ demands (Spielman et al., 2020). In contrast, intrinsic motivation means the needs emerging from internal factors, such as the individual’s genuine desire to become a well-rounded person (Spielman et al., 2020). These types of motivation are interrelated since extrinsic motivation can reduce intrinsic one (Spielman et al., 2020). However, it usually happens when the extrinsic reward is expected by the individual.
The second takeaway is that emotions and motivation for particular behaviors are influenced by biological factors. For example, the limbic system is responsible for processing emotional information and integrating it with cognition (Spielman et al., 2020). Hunger and sexual excitement that lead to corresponding eating and sexual behaviors also occur under the influence of biological factors. Thus, the way the human body functions has a great impact on emotions and motivation, especially in the case of physiological needs.
The third takeaway is that emotions are responses to external stimuli. Emotions have several components: subjective experiences, physiological arousal, cognitive appraisal, and expression (Spielman et al., 2020). They are different from the mood because they are intentional and consciously experienced (Spielman et al., 2020). There are different theories of emotions, but Lazarus’ cognitive-mediational theory seems to explain emotions the best. According to this theory, cognitive appraisal of an external stimulus determines what emotion the person will experience.
This week’s reading also mentions the concept of arousal and its influence on individuals’ performance. It is said that performance is maximized when the level of arousal is optimal (Spielman et al., 2020). This information has led me to the question of how I can improve my achievement. More specifically, what steps a person should take to reach an optimal level of arousal necessary for maximizing performance?
Spielman, R. M., Jenkins, W. J., & Lovett, M. D. (2020). Psychology 2e. OpenStax.