I NEVER REALIZED –
how much my feelings make me do things!
Previous: For Decisions #2
2. For the INDIVIDUAL – Cont.
f. To MOTIVATE Actions
DEF: It’s the driving force being the push to achieve goals (internal & external factors that cause & direct behavior), and it’s our emotions (Es) that prepare & drive us to take those actions.
The urge to act is hardwired to specific emotions, automatically built in, which produce physical sensations – muscles tensed or relaxed, blood vessels dilated or contracted…. signaling us either to urgently do something or stay in our comfortable state
In all motivation theories, ‘goals’ are very important. One of the theories is concerned with how people self-regulate in pursuit of their goals, which includes the feedback loop, with 4 sub-functions:
A = an input , D = a reference value , C = a comparison , & B = an output. The reference value D is a goal or standard you want, OR alternately, an undesired state to avoid, to move away from as far as possible. (“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.
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’d probably avoid situations that could lead to boredom, sadness, or anxiety.
OBSTACLES: 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
COOPERATION: In spite of the many factors that discourage cooperation & maintaining social relationships (self-interest, greed, instant gratification….) people do manage to get together & stay together.
• Wanting to be emotionally connected to others can motivate us to make the effort to understand where others are coming from
• Needing to be seen & heard, emotionally & intellectually, can motivate us to put ourselves ‘out there’, not only to to express our needs but also knowledge & talents
Emotions allow us the benefits of long-term relationships with people or groups that are important to us, because they provide the reason for self-control which helps us resist temptations to act irresponsibly or to run away.
✶ This is another reason it’s imperative to have access to a wide range of Es, and that they be as cleared of damage as possible.
QUICK RESPONSE: Because Es reflect back to us reactions to our environment, they can also guide us to act in ways that are useful & appropriate to situations we run into & then have to deal with
• when you experience pleasure, excitement, joy – you can respond by coming back for more, once or as many times as possible
• if you see your two-year-old in the middle of the street with a car coming, you feel intense fear. This automatically prompts you to rush out to save him/her without having to think
NEXT: Motivation #2