Ch 11: Emotions and Motivation

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Chapter 11, Emotion and Motivation, describes how our emotions and motivations influence our thoughts and actions. Emotions; mental states or feelings associated with our evaluation of our experiences; influence us to respond in specific ways, and to make decisions in our everyday lives. Chapter 11 discusses emotions, how we express them, where emotions originate from, and how cultures view emotions. It explains the various theories (cognitive, James-Lange, somatic marker, Cannon-Bard, two-factor) of how emotion and action coincide. The general consensus is that the James-Lange theory, that emotions result from bodily actions, seems to be the most accepted in the psychology world.

This chapter also discusses happiness, and the misconceptions based on general opinions. The misconceptions are that happiness is determined by what happens to us, money makes us happy, happiness decreases with age, and people from the West Coast are happiest. All of these assumptions are inaccurate. What makes people the happiest (which could be due to correlation of success) include: marriage, friendships, attending college, religious beliefs, political affiliation, exercise, gratitude, giving to others, and having a life that flows smoothly. With affective forecasting, a technique we use to predict the happiness of ourselves and others, we are consistently wrong. Instead, it is better to get to know someone in order to determine their happiness, which is important within motivation. Happiness is a strong motivation, which is a drive that leads us in certain directions. A general consensus is that our motivations generally coincide with Maslow's hierarchy (above) , though this is just a generalization, or a rough template. The basics of chapter 11 describe emotions, happiness, motivations, love, hatred and the importance of emotions and motivations in our daily lives.

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I just have a question. How do you determine how happy a person is, and what it is that makes them that way? If it isn't things that happen to us that make us happy, how can you explain the good feeling somebody gets when they get complimented, or when a person holds the door for them? I think that marriage, religion, exercise, all those things do provide happiness, but also, the lack of happiness makes those things happen.If were not happy, we tend to go out and fix whats making us not happy. Also, are you saying that we don't know ourselves when we are happy? I'm pretty sure the best way of finding out if someone is happy is asking them, "Are you happy with your life?"

I strongly believe that all of our actions are heavily supported by our emotions. And these emotions are derived from internal and external motives, such as personal goals (internal) or relationships (external). How we interact and react to our environment allows for us to construct particular emotions, thoughts and beliefs towards a specific idea; essentially using multiple sectors of our brains to make decisions. I am also a huge advocate for the power of influence, whether it may be positive or negative. Every interaction with a human being is a learning opportunity, and relationships are essentially the currency of power.

I believe that happiness is a very subjective concept especially when trying to systematically measure it. I consider myself a very happy person, yet there are sometimes when I am in a foul mood and am miserable. I am in no way saying that I am the only one that experiences these things but I believe some people are more susceptible to mood swings than others, and that could skew the surveys.

I agree that it's important for everyone to realize that there aren't certain "things" that will make us happy, whether it be money or moving to the west coast, or having a nice car. I think it's important for everyone to realize this because there are some who place all of their effort into achieving something like that and once they do, are shocked to find that it isn't enough to truly be happy.

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This page contains a single entry by skogs012 published on February 1, 2012 7:50 PM.

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