Psychology: Motivation and Emotion

Topics: Motivation, Obesity, Psychology Pages: 6 (2107 words) Published: August 18, 2013
Through the application of motivation and emotion, the effectiveness of weight loss programs increase. This prevalence of success is attributable to many theories, including the Drive Theory, Attribution Theory and Self Efficacy, which counteract weight gain and facilitate weight loss. Studies, including those conducted by Klesse et al. (2012), indicate this susceptibility and demonstrate their effectiveness.  This essay will illustrate the roles of the psychological principles of emotion and motivation in increasing and facilitating weight loss in programs; demonstrate their effectiveness through the analysis of research; interconnect the psychological principles of motivation and emotion; and finally relate concepts of motivation and emotion to various weight loss programs             Motivation is goal oriented behaviour, which combines the desire to attain a goal, with the energy required to achieve it. There are two types of motivation; autonomy and control, and in order to examine weight loss they need to be differentiated.             Autonomy is related to the “perceived origin of one’s action or its locus of causality” (Deci, Ryan 2008). It is the extent to which a behaviour or action is personally endorsed with a sense of choice, as opposed to being associated with a need to comply due to feelings of pressure or tension. The application of autonomous motivation would actively increase the effectiveness of weight loss programs, as the individual would have the desire to perform and henceforth get positive results. Autonomous motivation is strongly interrelated with the theory of self-determination. Self-Determination Theory, suggests that an individual accepting a regulation for change as their own is far more effective and important, than simply complying with the demands for change. In the context of weight loss programs, this theory suggests that more positive consequences of weight loss behaviours are produced by self-determined forms of motivation, and not from controlling forms.              This theory has been correlated with various studies, including Silva et al. (2011), whereby overweight women were analysed in a cohort study, which aimed to determine the severity of the impact of a self-determination theory based intervention. The study concluded that the self-determination intervention resulted in significant behaviour changes relating to weight loss.             Similarly, another theory that corresponds with autonomous motivation is the Self-Efficacy Theory. Reeve (2009) suggests that self-efficacy refers to an individual’s judgements about their capabilities to organise and execute actions required to achieve outcomes and cope with situations based on the skills they have and the circumstances they face.   The application of self-efficacy to increase the effectiveness of weight loss programs has been illustrated in various studies. Palmeria et al. (2007) concluded that self-efficacy was the single best correlate of a reduction in weight amongst participants (overweight woman) in their weight management program. Similarly, a study conducted by Teixeira at el. (2006) found that along with eating restraint and exercise, self-efficacy significantly projected short-term weight loss.             Therefore, the application of autonomous motivation has significant influence on an individual’s weight loss program results, as it allows the individual to be held accountable for his or her actions, and henceforth strive to modify the inconsistent or dissatisfying behaviours and actions. Contrasting autonomous motivation is the concept of controlled motivation. Controlled motivation pertains to the idea that an individual does a task due to external sources of pressure. This source of pressure comes from two subsequent controlled motivations; the external motivation; whereby an individual does an activity in order to receive a reward or to avoid punishment, and introjected motivation; which involves...
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