January 2012 Archives

Chapter 11: Emotions and Motivations

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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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