Topics: Instinct, Motivation, Ethology Pages: 5 (595 words) Published: January 9, 2014
Lecture 6: Motivation

Reading: Weiten CH 10

Immediate Sources of Motivation:

What drives the tasks we attempt on a day to day basis? (IMMEDIATE)

SO: what elicits behaviour?

Automatic behaviour = reflexes and instincts

Learnt behaviour = classical conditioning ( conditioned stimuli) & instrumental learning ( discriminative stimuli)

Stimulus Control - Habit Learning

Motivation =

Why individuals initiate choose or persist in specific actions in specific circumstance

Motivation is transient / temporary fluctuation of state ( learning is enduring ) and it is energizing

Motivation vs Learning:

Car analogy - motivation translates learning into action

4 Theories on Motivation:

Instinct Theory

How does instinct motivate behavior? Stickleback EG

- Biological state ( breeding season)
- Sign stimuli ( red belly of other males)
Action specific energy
Results in fixed action pattern

In humans:

- Freud believed humans had a strong instinct and this drove all behaviour. - Darwin believed there was continuity. Animals had the most instinct and humans the least. James believed humans were highly instinctive but the instincts were influenced by learning and experience.

Studying human instincts:

Biological basis
Cross species similarity
Cross cultural similarity?
Separated identical twin studies
Developmental studies

Non verbal communication / “instinctive behaviors”:

Study by Eibl and side viewing camera.

eyebrow raising
flirting / coy

Study conducted in a blind child showed that they had the same expressions and therefore it is thought that these expressions are instinctive.

Mate Selection - slide

Challenges with this theory:

does not explain the WHY is only descriptive way of talking about the behavior.


Behavioural Flexibility
children have an instinct to play but the TYPE of learning depends on which culture they are in.

Drive Theory

motivational forces
organise behaviour around a basic need

Organisms function best within a stable set of physiological conditions (HOMEOSTASIS) Derivation from HOMEOSTASIS produces NEED
NEED induces an internal state of tension
TENSION drives behavior to restore HOMESTASIS

Specific Drive theories:

There is a separate drive for each need - hunger, sex etc

The drive sensitizes people to stimuli important to satisfy / reduce the drive. The sensitization then motivates people to behave in a certain way

General Drive theories:

Incorporate learning. Propose that habit behavior is determined by learning



Problems with Drive Theories:

high arousal can impair performance

increasing drive can be reinforcing ( sex drive)

they don’t explain the qualitative role - how much you might like the same thing in different variants.

Non Homeostatic Drives

Harlow’s Study:

Human’s have an innate desire for comfort over food?

Sensory Deprivation:

In this study there was NO sensory stimulation. The longest someone stayed in was 3 days.

The problem of sex:
There is no immediate biological need for it ( survival does not depend on it)

But; evolutionary theories

Motivation to behave in certain ways driven by natural selection

“survival of the fittest”

Fitness to reproduce

Difference between evolutionary & drive theories; - Push & Pull

Evol =
Pushed by events which occurred in the past

Drive =
Pulled towards things

Sex Drive:

Men think about sex more than women ( in a day) as they have less “investment” - don’t have biological changes unlike women

Women are more discriminating

Problems with these theories:


4. Incentive Motivation

behavior = drive x habit

New study = drive x habit x incentive ( value of the reward )

Learning can occur in the absence of the reinforcer and the reinforcer motivates behavior...
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