PURPOSE of Emotions : Motivation (Part 1)

music 5

how much my feelings make me do things

Previous: For Decisions #2



f. To MOTIVATE Actions
DEF: MOTIVATION is the driving force behind the push to achieve goals (internal & external factors that cause & direct behavior), and it’s our emotions (Es) that prepare us to take those actions.
The urge to act is hardwired to specific emotions, which are automatically built in & produce physical sensations – muscles tensed or relaxed, blood vessels dilated or contracted…. These sensations signal us either to urgently do something or stay in a comfortable state

ACTIVE : In all motivation theories, ‘goals’ are very important. One form of goal setting is expressed in a Feedback Loop concerned with how people self-regulate in pursuit of their goals. A Self-regulation System tries to keep some condition fixed, even in the face of various kinds of disturbances from outside.
D = a Reference Value, either as a goal or standard you want & an undesired state to avoid, OR where behavior is adjusted so that discrepancy between input & goal is reduced.
A = an input sensations coming in, to tell you how far you are from achieving the goal or avoiding the anti-goal.
B = an output, behavioral or motor activity to move closer to the goal
C = a mental comparison, the conscious or unconscious appraisal of how near you are to the goal (MORE…. Emotions & Motivation“)

AVOIDANCE: By nature we’re motivated to take specific actions in order to experience pleasant emotions & minimize the probability of feeling unpleasant ones. (7 Negative feedback loops)
EXP: As a kid in school, what made you decide to raised a hand to answer a question? It depended on which felt safer / better: the pleasure & recognition of answering it right, or avoiding the embarrassment of getting it wrong
EXP: You might participate in social activities or hobbies that provide a sense of happiness, contentment, or excitement. On the other hand, you’ll probably avoid situations that could lead to boredom, sadness, or anxiety.

RISK: Action requires risk, & the willingness to take risks is rooted in our Es, which are themselves based on moral convictions – those values that do move us, not those that ought to move us.
When confronted with a new experience, opportunity or danger – we wonder: Should I be courageous? withdraw? hedge my bets? What’s an appropriate risk?
To make sense of an unexpected experience we need to interpret what it means:
Is it good for us, bad for us or irrelevant?  Our values —-> generate —-> the emotions that inspire up to act.

Es for solutionsOBSTACLES: Emotions can help us overcome obstacles in our life. EXP:
anxiety when you’re about to take a test – although uncomfortable – helps motivate you to study to do your best
• anger can motivate you to protest injustices,  & help override the fear you might feel at a demonstration or rally
• guilt may keep you sticking to a diet or finishing a work assignment.
It’s not to say that we should feel guilty, just that it’s what prompts some to follow through with a difficult project or goal

LIMITATIONS:  Es cannot fix problems – we can’t ‘anger’ something into a solution. We also need free will. Sometimes we can have a strong desire for something but then don’t create an action-plan to go after it. Es may be a driving factor in wanting to change, but they have to be combined with a desire to act, in order to become motivation.
And once we have the motivation, there has to be actual carry-through, the signals sent to our muscles that allow us to move. However, if Es are too overwhelming, they will prevent us from taking any action at all.

NEXT: Motivation #2

One thought on “PURPOSE of Emotions : Motivation (Part 1)

  1. Wow great post and I thought i’m such a lazy one Now i understand there is no fuel for action But where did it go ?


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