Vaughan Motivation Emotion Lecture2003


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Motivation and Emotion Vaughan Bell

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Outline Motivation Intrinsic / Extrinsic Motivators Homeostasis Festinger’s Cognitive Dissonance Theory Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Emotion Role of arousal: James-Lang and Cannon-Bard Role of appraisal: Arnold Neural pathways to emotion Psychopathology

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“One week after Day of the Dead celebrations, the skulls of relatives are brought in to the church to be blessed and decorated. Believers say they can read the future in the cigarette ashes that fall on the floor.” - Associated Press, Nov 8th 2003 Motivation: ‘People are Strange’ From the bafflingly complex to more basic desires. One of the central questions in psychology: What motivates behaviour ?

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Some Useful Concepts The following are concepts used to describe some different properties of motivators.

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Instrinsic / Extrinsic Motivators Intrinsic motivator: Some behaviours have directly rewarding results that satisfy immediate drives. e.g. food when hungry, entertainment when bored. i.e. they seem worth doing for their own sake. Extrinsic motivator: Externally imposed motivation, not related to the satisfaction of immediate desires. e.g money. Not structured by the immediate consequences of behaviour, but by outside encouragement.

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Drive and Incentive Theories Drive theories stress internal factors in motivating behaviour, often tied to physiological processes, such as thirst, sex, aggression. i.e. they might exist regardless of the immediate state of the outside world. Incentive theories stress the influence of external objects or events. i.e. something external stimulates a desire in us. e.g. the smell of baking bread may induce hunger where none was previously present.

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Notes on Concepts It is worth remembering that these descriptive and are not mutually exclusive categories. For example, they may interact: smell of bread (incentive) enhancing previously existing hunger (drive) promise of reward for studying (extrinsic) may kick start an interest (intrinsic) in a subject that would otherwise be ignored. Although some may be more physiologically motivated than others.

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Homeostasis We are motivated to maintain a constant internal state that promotes survival. i.e. constant temperature, blood glucose, fluid levels, sex drive. Some homeostatic behaviours are automatic (sweating, shivering). Others realise themselves psychologically as drives or desires, such as hunger or thirst. The hypothalamus is heavily involved in these aspects of homeostasis

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Hypothalamus Reminder for Vaughan: MRicro Refs X: 119, Y: 139, Z: 88

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Hypothalamus and Motivation The hypothalamus has glucoreceptors (hunger) thermoreceptors (temperature) and osmoreceptors (fluids) among others. Changes at these receptors can trigger drives, regardless of the state of the rest of the body. i.e. heating the hypothalamus alone will motivate cooling behaviour, even if the body is cool already. Mechanick et al (1986) reported on 15 patients showing hypothalamic function after radiotherapy. 14 had disturbances of personality, libido, thirst, appetite, or sleep.

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Hypothalamus and Motivation In a controversial postmortem study LeVay (1991) reported that a small section of the hypothalamus differed between gay and straight men. The causal link is far from clear although this does suggest a complex role for the hypothalamus in motivating sexual behaviour.

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Cognitive Dissonance Festinger and Carlsmith (1957) argued for an additional motivator. They were interested in what would happen if a person is forced to do something contrary to a belief or opinion that they held. For example, a person may not like the boss but might make complementary comments about him or her to safeguard her job. According to Festinger and Carlsmith this causes a psychological tension, or cognitive dissonance and we are motivated to reduce this tension.

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Cognitive Dissonance In other words, something has to give. Dissonance reduction can take the form of: Changing cognitions Adding cognitions Altering importance of cognitions Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli borrowed an expensive book from an MP who disliked him. In an effort to balance the dislike of Disraeli and the action of lending him a book... The MP had to convince himself he liked Disraeli.

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Dissonance and Arousal Festinger (1957) argued that dissonance results in discomfort similar to a physiological drive state. Elkin and Leippe (1986) measured skin conductance (a measure of arousal) and asked people to write essays arguing against their beliefs. They found a marked increase during this period. Arousal is useful and may motivate us to make changes when we find something uncomfortable. Although, for peak performance there is an optimal arousal level.

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Arousal and Peak Performance

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Hierarchy of Needs Abraham Maslow was one of the founders of psychological humanism and his theories became influential, partly as a reaction to a physiological and computational psychology. He was concerned with how needs were prioritised. He realised that certain needs whilst important, were typically only tackled when other needs were satisfied first. He created a hierarchy to explain these priorities.

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Physiological needs: hunger, thirst etc Safety needs: feel safe, secure, out of danger. Belongingness and love: contact with other and acceptance Esteem needs: achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition Cognitive needs: know, learn, understand Aesthetic needs: Symmetry, beauty, order Self actualization: self fulfilment, realise potential

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Pleasure Theories Cabanac et al (2002) argued that the maximisation of pleasure is the basis on which we prioritise needs. The corollary being that pleasure (as well as displeasure or pain) has evolved for this purpose. Cabanac has conducted experiments with various motivators, such as money, pain, comfort, taste. In all of these he has concluded that pleasure is the “common currency” which allows motivations to ‘communicate’. In essence a personal economics of decision making.

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James-Lange Theory Explaining emotions has been one of the longest running themes in psychology. William James (1884) published the first widely accepted theory, known as the James-Lange theory. James argued that the body reacts to certain situations (like danger) with bodily responses (increase breathing, heart rate etc). According to James, different emotions are the result of our body reacting in different ways. So our emotions are just our perception of a bodily response.

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James-Lange Theory Crucially, in this theory each emotion is linked to a unique physiological response. So fear feels different to love because our body responds differently in fear-inducing and love-inducing situations.

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Cannon-Bard Theory Walter Cannon (1929) was studying ‘emergency reactions’ like fear, hunger, and pain. He noted that the autonomic nervous system was activated in many emotions and believed the ANS to be activated in a uniform way. This must be in anticipation of action, rather than as a reaction to it. Also, we often feel the emotion before the ANS kicks in, suggesting James must be wrong.

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Cannon-Bard Theory We also know that certain physiological states can affect more than one response. Dutton and Aron (1974) asked men to tell a story to an attractive woman whilst either standing on a safe or unsafe bridge. Stories from the unsafe bridge had a higher sexual content, due to arousal from danger causing more sexual thought.

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Appraisal Theories Arnold (1960) was concerned with the missing piece of the puzzle. What causes the reaction in the first place ? For Arnold, their must be some sort of appraisal process which allows us to analyse a situation. This produces an action tendency (bear → run) The feeling of which is the outcome of this process. According to Arnold this is unconscious as it happens, but we should be able to reflect back on the appraisal process afterwards to examine what happened.

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Arnold (1960) Appraisal is now considered a central process in emotion theories (e.g. Neil Frude’s lecture on aggression). But only recently have the conscious and unconscious pathways to emotion been investigated.

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Neural Pathways to Emotion The amygdala is now recognised as an important site for emotion processing in the brain.

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Neural Pathways to Emotion Joseph LeDoux (1998) has gathered considerable evidence for two pathways in the processing of fear. The fast route, quick, inaccurate, life saving: Sight → Thalamus → Amygdala The slow route, precise, complex, sluggish: Sight → Thalamus → Visual cortex → Amygdala One allows for instant action and is relatively inaccurate so is liable to false positives. Whilst the other is more precise and can reduce fear response if the situation is deemed to be safe after all.

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Neural Pathways to Emotion

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Primary / Secondary Emotions Many people argue for a distinction between primary and secondary emotions. Primary emotions are probably innate and universal and usually include the likes of fear, rage, happiness, joy, surprise, disgust (Ortony and Turner, 1990) Secondary emotions are more complex and likely to be acquired or learnt (Damasio ,1994) and include the likes of optimism, love, humiliation, hope. Damasio links secondary emotion particularly with the orbitofrontal cortex (just behind the eyes).

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Damasio et al (1994) Phineas Gage suffered severe emotional disturbance after damage to his OFC in 1848.

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Damasio on Emotions Damasio (1994) makes the distinction between feelings and emotions. He would argue that emotions are just certain bodily reactions to mental states… …but feeling of an emotion requires reflection and comparison with the thoughts that accompany the experience. i.e. arousal in itself will not be an emotions unless there is a context to reflect on (e.g. Schacter and Singer, 1962)

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Damasio on Emotions Damasio argues that this bodily feedback may be the basis of ‘gut feelings’ in decision making. However, it is not a popular theory with everyone. Rolls (1996) calls it a “weakened version of the James-Lange theory of emotion from the last century” !

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Emotion and Psychopathology Phillips et al (2003) have reviewed research investigating the function of neural pathways for emotion in different psychiatric illnesses. They argue that specific impairments have a direct causal link with specific symptoms. However, emotion may be involved in disorders which at first sight may not seem to have an obvious emotional pathology.

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Capgras Delusion The delusion that (usually) a spouse or family member has been replaced by an identical looking impostor. “Mrs. D, a 74-year old married housewife, recently discharged from a local hospital after her first psychiatric admission, presented to our facility for a second opinion. At the time of her admission earlier in the year, she had received the diagnosis of atypical psychosis because of her belief that her husband had been replaced by another unrelated man. She refused to sleep with the imposter, locked her bedroom and door at night, asked her son for a gun, and finally fought with the police when attempts were made to hospitalise her. At times she believed her husband was her long deceased father. She easily recognised other family members and would misidentify her husband only.” - From Passer and Warnock (1991)

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Capgras Delusion Ellis et al (1997) measured skin conductance response (emotional arousal) when people with Capgras viewed familiar faces. Despite being able to consciously distinguish between familiar and unfamiliar faces… …they showed no difference in emotional arousal between them. Suggesting that people with Capgras have an impaired unconscious emotional response to familiar people. This may be why they believe them to be impostors (“They look like them but I feel as if they are not”).

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Conclusions Motivation can be conceptualised in different ways: Intrinsic / Extrinsic, Drives / Incentives. Homeostasis and the hypothalamus are involved in many physiologically related motivations. Cognitive Dissonance theory argues that we are motivated to reduce tension between beliefs and actions. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs attempts to explain how we prioritise motivations. Cabanac has argued that pleasure is the ‘common currency’ of motivation that allows for prioritisation.

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Conclusions James-Lange argued that emotions arise from physiological responses to situations. Cannon-Bard argued that physiological responses arise from emotions. Arnold pointed out the need to understand appraisal processes in emotion. Two neural routes to fear response have been reported. More complex (secondary) emotions may also take a more complex route, particular through the OFC. Impairment to these routes may play an important role in psychopathology.

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