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Motivation - Book Report/Review Example

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In the book "Psychology in Action" Karen Huffman manages to achieve a very challenging task of combining all the most important psychological theories and concepts within a coherent text, which offers a very good learning opportunity for different kinds of readers…
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Motivation Book Report/Review
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Download file to see previous pages Let us overview the most important areas of the authors discussion of this twofold theme.
The chapter consists of four general parts. The first one outlines main theories and concepts of motivation. In this part of the chapter the author makes readers acquainted with the group of biological theories, which claim that human motivation has some inborn genetic roots. For instance, the so-called drive-reduction theory views tensions, created by the organisms processes of homeostasis, as those instigating us to satisfy basic needs, and consequently leading to the emergence of specific types of corresponding behavior. In this section of the chapter, aside from other biological theories of motivation, the author also offers an application section that would be of great use for students aiming to overcome test anxiety. Then Huffman goes on to provide accounts of the psychosocial group of theories, which, among other things, focus on the external influences produced by the environment we live in, and the biopsychosocial theory, which combines elements of both psychological and biological approaches to the study of human motivation.
The second part of the chapter is devoted to the issue of the correspondence between motivation and behavior. We learn from this section that the study of motivation is in essence the investigation about the causes of our behavior, while the notion of emotion reflects our corresponding subjective feelings. That is why the motivation and emotion are so closely tied. More specifically, this part of the chapter closely examines such manifestations of human behavior as hunger and eating, arousal, and achievement, involving the human striving for success. Equally to the previous part of the chapter, this one as well includes a practical part in the form of an exercise to test ones achievement motivation.
Having introduced into the scope of the discussion the important notion of emotion, the next part of the chapter more narrowly concentrates on the concepts and theories of emotion. From this section readers will learn about the three fundamental components of all emotive forms - the cognitive (our thoughts, expectations, and beliefs), the physiological (respiration, changes in heart rate, perspiration, etc.), and the behavioral component (such as gestures and facial expressions). Then the author presents the four leading theoretical accounts of the ways in which emotions are activated, namely James-Lange theory, which equates our emotions with our physical sensations, Cannon-Bard theory, which traces the origin of feelings to certain patterns of the cortex and the autonomic nervous systems stimulation, the Facial Feedback hypothesis, which claims that these are our facial movements that evoke various emotions, and the Two-Factor theory by Schachter, in which it is proposed that the actual physical arousal and our cognitive characterization of this arousal cooperate to create emotions. As a practical example for this section, Huffman attempts to tackle the urgent issue of whether abused children are indeed comparatively more alert to negative emotions.
The fourth part of the chapter is dedicated to the fostering in readers and students of critical thinking in relation to the topic of motivation and emotion. This is done through the discussion of some real-life manifestations of our motivational and emotional experiences. For ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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