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Remembering, Feeling, and Thinking Worksheet

Motivation, Emotion, and Behavior

Motivation, emotion, and behavior are crucial components of the study of psychology as their relationship explains the nature of human actions. According to Simpson and Balsam (2016), motivation is an arousal process of a person to pursue a specific goal that involves an individual’s experience and current state. In other words, motivation energizes the processes of initiating, responding, and maintaining. It consists of activational and goal-directed components, where the latter is the fundamental element of deliberative behaviors. Miller (2016) reveals that emotions are “automatic reactions to self-relevant stimuli that are evaluated as promoting or obstructing an individual’s intentions and goals” (p. 260). It means that individuals usually acquire emotions following the specific actions that were undertaken to meet the goal, or from the outcomes of such goal-oriented behaviors. For instance, when a person sees a loved one, it may evoke the feeling of love because the organism releases the hormone oxytocin as a response. Behavior is the action that an individual exerts in reaction to internal or external stimuli (under certain circumstances), it can be conscious and unconscious.

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Every behavior should have a motive behind it that drives a person to strive exactly for a particular goal. In general, both motives and emotions can influence and energize behavior, while emotions and motives have a strong interconnection between them. Motivation stimulates individuals to act in a particular way, while emotions emerge from the drive and actions. It means that emotions are capable of reinforcing or decreasing motivation taking into consideration the failure or success of those actions. Moreover, emotions usually play the role of a punishment or reward for deliberate behavior, as people usually tend to pursue behavior that will bring a positive emotion (Simpson & Balsam, 2016). They usually choose goals that seem more reachable, and that potentially will make them feel better or satisfied. Emotions influence behavior through motivation, while motives are the most important drivers of behavior. For instance, an office worker, who recently received the increased wage, is in an excellent mood, which, together with his recent positive experience, motivates him to work even harder than before to earn another premium. However, such emotions as aggression can directly impact a human savior.

Theories of Emotion

The list of the most popular theories of emotion consists of the Cannon-Bard theory, the Lazarus theory, the James-Lange theory, and the Schacter-Singer theory. Moreover, all theories of emotion can be divided into three major groups: evolutionary, appraisal, and psychological constructionism theories (Niedenthal & Ric, 2017). In general, appraisal theorists focus their study on the causes of emotions, evolutionary theories deal with innate emotional capacities, and psychological constructionism investigates how experience affects the integration of emotion’s components. The Cannon-Bard theory presents the neurobiological approach and states that the stimulus drives the thalamus to inform the brain what results in a physiological reaction, such as trembling and sweating and causes emotions (Niedenthal & Ric, 2017). In other words, this theory assumes the simultaneous but independent occurrence of emotional experience and physiological arousal.

On the contrary, the James-Lange theory affirms that individuals under particular circumstances will experience emotions only following physiological reactions in response to a stimulus. The theory asserts that after the reaction, people tend to label it as different types of emotions. For instance, when a person encounters a bear, he/she might start to tremble and breathe rapidly, and only thendoess his person realize that it is fear.

The Schacter-Singer theory analyzes both Cannon-Bard and James-Lange theory to suggest that physical arousal plays the primary role and occurs first. Nevertheless, they state that this kind of reaction is the same for various emotions. Following the arousal in response to the stimuli, the person should label it cognitively to feel a particular emotion. It means that this theory believes in the conscious experience he emotions. The Lazarus cognitive-mediational theory states that in order to feel emotion, the appraisal of the stimulus is needed (Niedenthal & Ric, 2017). In this case, appraisal plays the role of mediator between the emotional response and stimulus. The theory claims that appraisal is often unconscious, immediate, and occurs earlier than cognitive labeling.

The least valid theory of emotion is the James-Lange theory. It is outdated and significantly criticized for assuming that various arousal patterns will lead to different emotions and for the assumption that physical responses are needed to experience emotions truly. The most valid theory is the Lazarus appraisal theory because it adds the cognition component to the “traditional” sequence that covers such situations that other theories could not address. Moreover, this theory introduces two types of appraisals that propose a logical explanation of physical arousal and emotional reactions mechanisms. During the primary appraisal, a person seeks to estimate the nature of the event (threat or challenge), while the secondary appraisal is needed to find out potential options to cope with the stressor.

Thinking, Intelligence, and Creativity

Thinking is a cognitive behavior by which an individual receives information and deals with it to model the world in accordance with his/her plans and desires. It requires the cerebral manipulation of ideas, concepts, and information. Intelligence is a collection of distinct knowledge and abilities that help people to learn from experience, adapt to the environment, and solve problems (Spielman, 2017). Fluid intelligence is about the natural ability to tackle abstract challenges and solve problems, while crystallized one consists of acquired knowledge that can be retrieved later. Howard Gardner presented the multiple intelligences theory, which states that the majority of people have at least eight types of intelligence at the same time (Spielman, 2017). It means that individuals are better at doing some particular assignments while failing to accomplish other tasks. Creativity can be treated as the highest form of intelligence because it utilizes individual skills and acquired knowledge in order to create something entirely new. This process requires divergent thinking that usually results in unique solutions to a specific problem.

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Those three notions have a strong association between them as one is needed to excel in the other. Thinking is the natural ability of the human brain that helps to use and enrich intelligence, while creativity is an advanced facet of intelligence that requires unique ideas. Innovation is possible only if an individual receives and analyzes existing information (thinking), defines main problems and prospects using experience (intelligence), and applies a creative approach (creativity) that will assist in solving a given problem.

Creativity, as the advanced element of intelligence, illustrates the person’s level of intelligence and thinking processes. When somebody comes up with a successful and creative solution, it means that this individual’s thinking and analytical skills are on a high level. However, in terms of intelligence level, it is not always true that creative people have any general superiority over others. For instance, they may have exceptional fluid intelligence and mediocre crystallized intelligence, while other people are great only in convergent thinking that helps them to provide well-established solutions to the problem. Creativity generally shows that a person tends to divergent thinking and effectively uses experience and “intintelligencen which he/she excels.

References

  1. Miller Jr, H. L. (Ed.) (2016). The Sage eencyclopedia of theory in psychology. New York, NY: Sage.
  2. Niedenthal, P. M., & Ric, F. (2017). Psychology of emotion (2d ed.) New York, NY: Routledge.
  3. Simpson, E. H., & Balsam, P. D. (Eds.) (2016) Behavioral neuroscience of motivation. Basel, Switzerland: Springer.
  4. Spielman, R. M. (2017) Psychology. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

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