Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

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Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

How can gender influence emotion? Provide an example from personal experience or observation. 150-200 words

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Gateway THEME Our behavior is energized and directed by motives and emotions.

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9781285519517, Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior with Concept Maps and Reviews, Thirteenth Edition, Coon/Mitterer – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy once commented, “Music is the shorthand of emotion.” So true, as any American-born, Grammy Award–winning glam rocker with a wicked fashion sense could tell you. But there is more to motivation and emotion than getting you all gaga about an upcoming concert. The words motivation and emotion both derive from the Latin word movere (to move). Even getting out of bed in the morning can be difficult if you are unmotivated. And if you are unaware of your emotions, you will be vulnerable to health problems, such as depression or addiction. Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

In this chapter, you will learn how motives provide the drumbeat of human behavior and emo- tions color its rhythms. As we will see, both play complex roles in our daily lives. Even “simple” motivated activities, such as eating, are not solely under the control of the body. In many instances, external cues, expectations, learning, cultural values, and other factors influence our motives and emotions. Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

Let’s begin with basic motives, such as hunger and thirst, and then explore how emotions affect us. Although emotions can be the music of life, they are sometimes the music of death as well. Read on to find out why. Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

Gateway QUESTIONS 10.1 What is motivation and are there different types

of motives? 10.2 What causes hunger, overeating, and eating

disorders? 10.3 What kinds of biological motives are thirst, pain

avoidance, and the sex drive? 10.4 How does arousal relate to motivation? 10.5 What are learned and social motives and why are

they important?

10.6 Are some motives more basic than others? 10.7 What happens during emotion? 10.8 What physiological changes underlie emotion,

and can “lie detectors” really detect lies? 10.9 How accurately are emotions expressed by the

face and “body language”? 10.10 How do psychologists explain emotions? 10.11 What does it mean to have “emotional



Motivation and Emotion

9781285519517, Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior with Concept Maps and Reviews, Thirteenth Edition, Coon/Mitterer – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

Chapter 10332

Motivation—Forces That Push and Pull

Gateway Question 10.1: What is motivation and are there different types of motives? What are your goals? Why do you pursue them? When are you satisfied? When do you give up? These are all questions about motivation, or why we act as we do. Let’s begin with a basic model of motivation and an overview of types of motives. Motivation refers to the dynamics of behavior—the ways in which our actions are initiated, sustained, directed, and terminated (Deckers, 2010; Franken, 2007). Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

Can you clarify that? Yes. Imagine that Stefani Joanne is study- ing biology in the library. Her stomach begins to growl and she can’t concentrate. She grows restless and decides to buy a snack from a vending machine. The machine is empty, so she goes to the cafeteria. Closed. Stefani Joanne drives to a nearby fast food outlet, where she finally eats. Her hunger satisfied, she resumes studying. Notice how Stefani Joanne’s food seeking was initiated by a bodily need. Her search was sustained because her need was not immedi- ately met, and her actions were directed by possible sources of food. Finally, achieving her goal terminated her food seeking. Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

A Model of Motivation Many motivated activities begin with a need, or internal defi- ciency. The need that initiated Stefani Joanne’s search was a short- age of key substances in her body. Needs cause a drive (an ener- gized motivational state) to develop. The drive was hunger, in Stefani Joanne’s case. Drives activate a response (an action or series of actions) designed to push us toward a goal (the “target” of moti- vated behavior). Reaching a goal that satisfies the need will end the chain of events. Thus, a simple model of motivation can be shown in this way:


Aren’t needs and drives the same thing? No, because the strength of needs and drives can differ (Deckers, 2010). For example, it is not uncommon for older people to suffer from dehydration (a bodily need for water) despite experiencing a lack of thirst (the drive to drink) (Farrell et al., 2008).

Now, let’s observe Stefani Joanne again. It’s a holiday weekend and she’s home from school. For dinner, Stefani Joanne has soup, salad, a large steak, a baked potato, two pieces of cheesecake, and three cups of coffee. After dinner, she complains that she is “too full to move.” Soon after, Stefani Joanne’s aunt arrives with a straw- berry pie. Stefani Joanne exclaims that strawberry pie is her favorite and eats three large pieces! Is this hunger? Certainly, Stefani Joanne’s dinner already satisfied her biological needs for food.

How does that change the model of motivation? Stefani Joanne’s “pie lust” illustrates that motivated behavior can be energized by the “pull” of external stimuli, as well as by the “push” of internal needs. Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

Incentives The “pull” of a goal is called its incentive value (the goal’s appeal beyond its ability to fill a need). Some goals are so desirable (straw- berry pie, for example) that they can motivate behavior in the absence of an internal need. Other goals are so low in incentive value that they may be rejected even if they meet the internal need. Fresh silkworms, for instance, are highly nutritious. However, it is doubtful that you would eat one no matter how hungry you might be. Regardless, because they are also easy to grow and produce few waste products, silkworms may become the preferred food on long space voyages (Yang et al., 2009). (Attention, aspiring astronauts: Are you ready for silkworms and motion sickness?). Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

Usually, our actions are energized by a mixture of internal needs and external incentives. That’s why a strong need may change an unpleasant incentive into a desired goal. Perhaps you’ve never eaten a silkworm, but we’ll bet you’ve eaten some pretty horrible leftovers when the refrigerator was bare. The incentive value of goals also helps explain motives that don’t seem to come from internal needs, such as drives for success, status, or approval (• Figure 10.1). Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

(b) Low-incentive value goal

Need Drive Response

(a) High-incentive value goal

Need Drive Response

• Figure 10.1 Needs and incentives interact to determine drive strength (above). (a) Moderate need combined with a high-incentive goal produces a strong drive. (b) Even when a strong need exists, drive strength may be moderate if a goal’s incentive value is low. It is important to remember, however, that incentive value lies “in the eye of the beholder.” No matter how hungry, few people would be able to eat the pictured silkworms. Assignment: How can gender influence emotion

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9781285519517, Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior with Concept Maps and Reviews, Thirteenth Edition, Coon/Mitterer – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.

Motivation and Emotion 333

Motivation Internal processes that initiate, sustain, direct, and terminate activities.

Need An internal deficiency that may energize behavior. Drive The psychological expression of internal needs or valued goals. For

example, hunger, thirst, or a drive for success. Response Any action, glandular activity, or other identifiable behavior. Goal The target or objective of motivated behavior. Incentive value The value of a goal above and beyond its ability to fill

a need. Biological motives Innate motives based on biological needs. Stimulus motives Innate needs for stimulation and information. Learned motives Motives based on learned needs, drives, and goals. Homeostasis A steady state of body equilibrium. Circadian rhythms Cyclical changes in body functions and arousal levels

that vary on a schedule approximating a 24-hour day.

Types of Motives For our purposes, motives can be divided into three major categories:

1. Biological motives are based on biological needs that must be met for survival. The most important biological motives are hunger, thirst, pain avoidance, and needs for air, sleep, elimination of wastes, and regulation of body temperature. Biological motives are innate.

2. Stimulus motives express our needs for stimulation and information. Examples include activity, curiosity, exploration, manipulation, and physical contact. Although such motives also appear to be innate, they are not strictly necessary for survival.

3. Learned motives are based on learned needs, drives, and goals. Learned motives, which are often social in nature, help explain many human activities, such as standing for election or auditioning for America’s Got Talent. Many learned motives are related to learned needs for power, affiliation (the need to be with others), approval, status, security, and achievement.

Biological Motives and Homeostasis How important is air in your life? Water? Sleep? Food? Tempera- ture regulation? Finding a public restroom? For most of us, satisfy- ing biological needs is so routine that we tend to overlook how much of our behavior they direct. But exaggerate any of these needs through famine, shipwreck, poverty, near drowning, bitter cold, or drinking ten cups of coffee, and their powerful grip on behavior becomes evident.

Biological drives are essential because they maintain homeostasis (HOE-me-oh-STAY-sis), or bodily equilibrium (Cooper, 2008). The term homeostasis means “standing steady” or “steady state.” Optimal levels exist for body temperature, for chemicals in the blood, for blood pressure, and so forth (Franken & Dijk, 2009; Levin, 2006). When the body deviates from these “ideal” levels, automatic reactions begin to restore equilibrium (Deckers, 2010). Thus, it might help to think of homeostasis as similar to a thermo- stat set at a particular temperature.

A (Very) Short Course on Thermostats The thermostat in your house constantly compares the actual room tem- perature to a set point, or ideal temperature, which you can control. When room temperature falls below the set point, the heat is automatically turned on to warm the room. When the heat equals or slightly exceeds the set point, it is automatically turned off or the air conditioning is turned on. In this way, room temperature is kept in a state of equilibrium hovering around the set point.

The first reactions to disequilibrium in the human body are also automatic. For example, if you become too hot, more blood will flow through your skin and you will begin to perspire, thus lower- ing body temperature. We are often unaware of such changes, unless continued disequilibrium drives us to seek shade, warmth, food, or water.

Circadian Rhythms Our needs and drives can change from moment to moment. After eating, our motivation to eat more food tends to diminish, and a few minutes in the hot sun can leave us feeling thirsty. But our motivation can also vary over longer cycles. Scientists have long known that body activity is guided by internal “biological clocks.” Every 24  hours, your body undergoes a cycle of changes called circadian (SUR-kay-dee-AN) rhythms (circa: about; diem: a day) (Beersma & Gordijn, 2007; Franken & Dijk, 2009). Throughout the day, activities in the liver, kidneys, and endocrine glands undergo large changes. Body temperature, blood pressure, and amino acid levels also shift from hour to hour. These activities, and many others, peak once a day (• Figure 10.2). People are usually more motivated and alert at the high point of their circadian rhythms (Bass & Takahashi, 2010; Chipman & Jin, 2009).




Normal Time

Eight Time Zones East




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• Figure 10.2 Core body temperature is a good indicator of a person’s circa- dian rhythm. Rapid travel to a different time zone, shift work, depression, and illness can throw sleep and waking patterns out of synchronization with the body’s core rhythm. Mismatches of this kind are very disruptive (Reinberg & Ashkenazi, 2008). Most people reach a low point 2 to 3 hours before their normal waking time. It’s no wonder that both the Chernobyl and Three-Mile Island nuclear power plant acci- dents occurred around 4 A.M. Copyright © 2012 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Inc.

9781285519517, Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior with Concept Maps and Reviews, Thirteenth Edition, Coon/Mitterer – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.

Chapter 10334

People with early peaks in their circadian rhythms are “day people,” who wake up alert, are energetic early in the day, and fall asleep early in the evening. People with later peaks are “night peo- ple,” who wake up groggy, are lively in the afternoon or early eve- ning, and stay up late (Martynhak et al., 2010). Such differences are so basic that when a day person rooms with a night person, both are more likely to give their relationship a negative rating (Carey, Stanley, & Biggers, 1988). This is easy to understand: What could be worse than having someone bounding around cheerily when you’re half asleep, or the reverse?

Jet Lag and Shift Work Circadian rhythms are most noticeable after a major change in time schedules. Businesspeople, athletes, and other time zone trav- elers tend to perform poorly when their body rhythms are dis- turbed. If you travel great distances east or west, the peaks and valleys of your circadian rhythms will be out of phase with the sun and clocks. For example, you might be wide awake at midnight and feel like you’re sleepwalking during the day (return to • Figure 10.2). Shift work has the same effect, causing fatigue, irritability, upset stomach, and depression (Shen et al., 2006; Smith et al., 2011).

How fast do people adapt to rhythm changes? For major time zone shifts (5 hours or more), it can take up to 2 weeks to resynchronize. The direction of travel also affects adaptation (Herxheimer & Waterhouse, 2003). If you fly west, adapting is relatively easy; if you fly east, adapting takes much longer. When you fly east, the sun comes up earlier relative to your “home” time. Let’s say that you live in San Diego and fly to Philadelphia. If you get up at 7  a.m. in Philadelphia, it’s 4 a.m. back in San Diego—and your body knows it. If you fly west, the sun comes up later. In this case, it is easier for people to “advance” (stay up later and sleep in) than it is to shift backward.

Adjusting to jet lag is slowest when you stay indoors, where you can sleep and eat on “home time.” Getting outdoors speeds adapta- tion. A few intermittent 5-minute periods of exposure to bright light early in the morning are also helpful for resetting your circa- dian rhythm (Dodson & Zee, 2010; Duffy & Wright, 2005). Bright light affects the timing of body rhythms by reducing the amount of melatonin produced by the pineal gland. When melato- nin levels rise late in the evening, it’s bedtime as far as the brain is concerned.

Changes in melatonin levels are thought to partly explain winter depressions that occur when people endure several months of long dark days. See Chapter 14, pages 494–495.


How does this affect those of us who are not world travelers? There are few college students who have not at one time or another “burned the midnight oil,” especially for final exams. At such times, it is wise to remember that departing from your regular schedule usually costs more than it’s worth. You may be motivated to do as much during 1  hour in the morning as you could have done in 3 hours of work after midnight. You might just as well go to sleep

2 hours earlier. In general, if you can anticipate an upcoming body rhythm change, it is best to preadapt to your new schedule. Pread- aptation refers to gradually matching your sleep–waking cycle to a new time schedule. Before traveling, for instance, you should go to sleep 1  hour later (or earlier) each day until your sleep cycle matches the time at your destination.

Knowledge Builder Overview of Motivation

RECITE 1. Motives __________________, sustain, _________________, and

terminate activities. 2. Needs provide the _______________________ of motivation,

whereas incentives provide the ______________________. Classify the following needs or motives by placing the correct letter in the blank. A. Biological motive B. Stimulus motive C. Learned motive

3. _____ curiosity 6. _____ thirst 4. _____ status 7. _____ achievement 5. _____ sleep 8. _____ physical contact

9. The maintenance of bodily equilibrium is called thermostasis. T or F? 10. Desirable goals are motivating because they are high in

a. secondary value b. stimulus value c. homeostatic value d. incentive value

1 1. The term jet lag is commonly used to refer to disruptions of a. the inverted U function b. circadian rhythms c. any of the

episodic drives d. the body’s set point

REFLECT Think Critically

1 2. Many people mistakenly believe that they suffer from “hypoglycemia” (low blood sugar), which is often blamed for fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and other symptoms. Why is it unlikely that many people actually have hypoglycemia?


Motives help explain why we do what we do. See if you can think of something you do that illustrates the concepts of need, drive, response, and goal. Does the goal in your example vary in incentive value? What effects do high and low incentive-value goals have on your behavior?

Mentally list some biological motives you have satisfied today. Then list some stimulus motives and learned motives. How did each influence your behavior?

Answers: 1. initiate, direct 2. push, pull 3. B 4. C 5. A 6. A 7. C 8. B 9. F 10. d 11. b 12. Because of homeostasis: Blood sugar is normally maintained within narrow bounds. Although blood sugar levels fluctuate enough to affect hunger, true hypoglycemia is an infrequent medical problem.

Hunger—Pardon Me, My Hypothalamus Is Growling

Gateway Question 10.2: What causes hunger, overeating, and eating disorders? You get hungry, you find food, and you eat: Hunger might seem like a “simple” motive, but we have only recently begun to under- stand it. Hunger provides a good example of how internal and external factors direct our behavior. And, as we will see later, many

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Motivation and Emotion 335

Hypothalamus A small area at the base of the brain that regulates many aspects of motivation and emotion, especially hunger, thirst, and sexual behavior.

Gastric balloon

Record of breathing

Record of hunger pangs

Time record in minutes

Record of stomach contractions

For more information about the role of the hypothalamus in controlling behavior, see Chapter 2, pages 71–72.


The hypothalamus is sensitive to levels of sugar in the blood (and other substances described in a moment). It also receives neu- ral messages from the liver and stomach. When combined, these signals determine whether you are hungry (Freberg, 2010; Woods et al., 2000).

One part of the hypothalamus acts as a feeding system that initi- ates eating. If the lateral hypothalamus is “turned on” with an elec- trified probe, even a well-fed animal will immediately begin eating. (The term lateral simply refers to the sides of the hypothalamus. See • Figure 10.5.) If the same area is destroyed, the animal may never eat again.

The lateral hypothalamus is normally activated in a variety of ways. For example, when you are hungry, your stomach lining pro- duces ghrelin (GREL-in), a hormone that activates your lateral hypothalamus (Castañeda et al., 2010; Olszewski et al., 2003). (If your stomach is growlin’, it’s probably releasing ghrelin.) Ghrelin also activates parts of your brain involved in learning. This means you should consider studying before you eat, not immediately afterward (Diano et al., 2006).

How do we know when to stop eating? A second area in the hypo- thalamus is part of a satiety system, or “stop mechanism” for eating. If the ventromedial (VENT-ro-MEE-dee-al) hypothalamus is destroyed, dramatic overeating results. (Ventromedial refers to the bottom middle of the hypothalamus.) Rats with such damage will eat until they balloon up to weights of 1,000 grams or more (• Figure 10.6). A normal rat weighs about 180 grams. To put this weight gain in human terms, picture someone you know who weighs 180 pounds growing to a weight of 1,000 pounds.


• Figure 10.3 In Walter Cannon’s early study of hunger, a simple apparatus was used to simultaneously record hunger pangs and stomach contractions. (Adapted from Cannon, 1934.)

• Figure 10.4 Location of the hypothalamus in the human brain. Copyright © 2012 Wadsworth,

Cengage Learning, Inc.

of the principles that explain hunger also apply to thirst. Like almost every other human motive, our hunger levels are affected by both internal bodily factors and external environmental and social ones. To understand how this works, let’s begin with a survey of some of the internal fac- tors controlling our hunger.

Internal Factors in Hunger Don’t feelings of hunger originate in the stomach? To find out, Walter Cannon and A. L. Washburn (1912) decided to see whether stom- ach contractions cause hunger. In an early study, Washburn trained himself to swallow a balloon, which could be inflated through an attached tube. (You, too, will do anything for science, right?) This allowed Cannon to record the movements of Washburn’s stomach (• Figure 10.3). When Washburn’s stomach contracted, he reported that he felt “hunger pangs.” In view of this, the two scien- tists concluded that hunger is nothing more than the contractions of an empty stomach. (This, however, proved to be an inflated conclusion.)

For many people, hunger produces an overall feeling of weak- ness or shakiness rather than a “growling” stomach. Of course, eating does slow when the stomach is stretched or distended (full). (Remember last Thanksgiving?) However, we now know that the stomach is not essential for feeling hunger. Even people who have had their stomachs removed for medical reasons continue to feel hungry and eat regularly (Woods et al., 2000).

Then what does cause hunger? Many different factors combine to promote and suppress hunger (Ribeiro et al., 2009). The brain receives many signals from parts of the digestive system, ranging from the tongue and stomach to the intestines and the liver.

Brain Mechanisms What part of the brain controls hunger? Although no single “hunger thermostat” exists, a small area called the hypothalamus (HI-po- THAL-ah-mus) is especially important because it regulates many motives, including hunger, thirst, and the sex drive (• Figure 10.4).

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Chapter 10336

A chemical called glucagon-like peptide 1  (GLP-1) is also involved in causing eating to cease. After you eat a meal, GLP-1 is released by the intestines. From there, it travels in the bloodstream to the brain. When enough GLP-1 arrives, your desire to eat ends (Hayes, De Jonghe, & Kanoski, 2010). As you might imagine, GLP-1 pills show promise in the treatment of obesity (Raun et al., 2007). By the way, it takes at least 10 minutes for the hypothalamus to respond after you begin eating. That’s why you are less likely to

overeat if you eat slowly, which gives your brain time to get the message that you’ve had enough (Liu et al., 2000).

The paraventricular (PAIR-uh-ven-TRICK-you-ler) nucleus of the hypothalamus also affects hunger (• Figure 10.5). This area helps keep blood sugar levels steady by both starting and stopping eating. The paraventricular nucleus is sensitive to a

Corpus callosum

Lateral hypothalamus

Paraventricular nucleus

Ventromedial hypothalamus

• Figure 10.5 This is a cross-section through the middle of the brain (viewed from the front of the brain). Indicated areas of the hypothalamus are associated with hunger and the regulation of body weight. Copyright © 2012 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Inc.

Your Brain’s “Fat Point”Brainwaves

Like a thermostat, your brain maintains a set point in order to control your weight over the long term. It does this by monitor- ing the amount of fat stored in your body in specialized fat cells (Ahima & Osei, 2004; Gloria-Bottini, Magrini, & Bottini, 2009).

Your set point is the weight you maintain when you are making no effort to gain or lose weight. When your body weight goes below its set point, you will feel hungry most of the time. On the other hand, fat cells release a substance called leptin when your “spare tire” is well inflated. Leptin is carried in the blood- stream to the hypothalamus, where it tells us to eat less (Williams et al., 2004).

Can you change your fat set point? Good question. Your leptin levels are partly under genetic control. In rare cases, mice (and

we humans) inherit a genetic defect that reduces leptin levels in the body, leading to obesity. In such cases, taking leptin can help (Williamson et al., 2005).

For the rest of us, the news is not so encouraging because there is currently no known way to lower your set point for fat, since the number of fat cells remains unchanged throughout adult life (Spalding et al., 2008). To make matters worse, radical diets do not help (but you knew that already, didn’t you?). They may even raise the set point for fat, resulting in diet-induced obesity (Ahima & Osei, 2004). You may not be able to lose weight by resetting your hypothala- mus, but psychologists have studied more effective approaches to weight loss. We will examine some later in this chapter.

• Figure 10.6 Damage to the hunger satiety system in the hypothalamus can produce a very fat rat, a condition called hypothalamic hyperphagia (Hi-per-FAGE- yah: overeating). This rat weighs 1,080 grams. (The pointer has gone completely around the dial and beyond.) (Courtesy of Neal E. Miller, Rockefeller University.)

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The mouse on the left has a genetic defect that prevents its fat cells from producing normal amounts of leptin. Without this chemical signal, the mouse’s body acts as if its set point for fat storage is, shall we say, rather high.


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9781285519517, Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior with Concept Maps and Reviews, Thirteenth Edition, Coon/Mitterer – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.

Motivation and Emotion 337

Set point The proportion of body fat that tends to be maintained by changes in hunger and eating.

substance called neuropeptide Y (NPY). If NPY is present in large amounts, an animal will eat until it cannot hold another bite (Williams et al., 2004). Incidentally, the hypothalamus also responds to a chemical in marijuana, which can produce intense hunger (the “munchies”) (Di Marzo et al., 2001).

In addition to knowing when to start eat- ing, and when meals are over, your brain also controls your weight over long periods of time (see “Your Brain’s ‘Fat Point’”).

The substances we have reviewed are only some of the chemical signals that start and stop eating (Geary, 2004; Turenius et al., 2009). Others continue to be discovered. In time, they may make it possible to artificially control hunger. If so, better treatments for extreme obesity and self-starvation could follow (Bat- terham et al., 2003).

External Factors in Hunger and Obesity As we have seen, “hunger” is affected by more than just the “push” of our biological needs for food. In fact, if internal needs alone controlled eating, many fewer people would overeat (Stroebe, Papies, & Aarts, 2008). Nevertheless, in 2006, roughly 65 percent of adults in the United States were overweight and more than one third were obese (extremely overweight) (Centers for Disease Control, 2008; Flegal et al., 2010; • Figure 10.7). (See “What’s Your BMI?”) Childhood obesity has also shown a dramatic rise. As

a result, obesity is overtaking smoking as a cause of needless deaths (Freedman, 2011). Let’s consider some external influences on hun- ger and their role in obesity, a major health risk and, for many, a source of social stigma and low self-esteem.

What’s Your BMI? (We’ve Got Your Number.)Discovering Psychology

From the standpoint of fashion, you may already have an opinion about whether you are overweight. But how do you rate from a medical perspective? Obesity is di- rectly linked to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and prema- ture death. But how heavy do you have to be to endanger your health? A measure called the body mass index (BMI) can be used to as- sess where you stand on the weight scale (so to speak). You can calculate your BMI by using the following formula:


1your weight in pounds2

1height in inches2 1height in inches2 � 703

To use the formula, take your height in inches and multiply that number by itself (square the number). Then divide the result into your weight in pounds. Multiply the re- sulting number by 703 to obtain your BMI. Fo r e x a m p l e, a p e r s o n w h o we i g h s 220 pounds and is 6 feet 3 inches tall has a BMI of 27.5.

1220 pounds2 175 inches2 175 inches2

� 703 � 27.5

Now, compare your BMI to the following scale:

Underweight less than 18.5 Normal weight 18.5 to 24.9 Overweight 25 to 29.9 Obesity 30 or greater

If your BMI is greater than 25, you should be concerned. If it is greater than 30, your weight may be a serious health risk. (There are two exceptions: The BMI may overesti- mate body fat if you have a muscular build, and it may underestimate body fat in older persons who have lost muscle mass.) Losing weight and keeping it off can be very chal- lenging. However, if you’re overweight, low- ering your BMI is well worth the effort. In the long run, it could save your life.











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1971- 1974

1976- 1980

Overweight and Obese in America: An Epidemic

1988- 1994

2005- 2006

2007- 2008

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• Figure 10.7 A near epidemic of obesity has occurred in the United States during the last 20 years, with over 65 percent of all Americans now classified as overweight or obese. (Adapted from Centers for Disease Control, 2008; Flegal et al., 2010.)

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Chapter 10338

External Eating Cues Most of us are sensitive to the “pull” of external eating cues, signs and signals linked with food. For example, do you tend to eat more when food is highly visible and easy to get? In cultures like ours, in which food is plentiful, eating cues add greatly to the risk of over- eating (Casey et al., 2008). Many college freshmen gain weight rapidly during their first 3 months on campus (the famous “Frosh 15”). All-you-can-eat dining halls in the dorms and nighttime snacking appear to be the culprits (Kapinos & Yakusheva, 2011). The presence of others can also affect whether people overeat (or undereat), depending on how much everyone else is eating and how important it is to impress them (Pliner & Mann, 2004).

Taste The availability of a variety of tasty foods can also lead to overeat- ing and obesity in societies in which such foods are plentiful. Nor- mally, tastes for foods vary considerably. For example, if you are well fed, leptin dulls the tongue’s sensitivity to sweet tastes (Kawai et al., 2000). If you have noticed that you lose your “sweet tooth” when you are full, you may have observed this effect. Actually, if you eat too much of any particular food, it will become less appeal- ing. This probably helps us maintain variety in our diets. However, it also encourages obesity. If you overdose on hamburgers or French fries, moving on to some cookies or chocolate cheesecake certainly won’t do your body much good (Pinel, Assanand, & Lehman, 2000).

It is easy to acquire a taste aversion, or active dislike, for a par- ticular food. This can happen if a food causes sickness or if it is merely associated with nausea (Chance, 2009). A friend of one of your authors once became ill after eating a cheese Danish (well, actually, several) and has never again been able to come face to face with this delightful pastry.

If you like animals, you will be interested in an imaginative approach to an age-old problem. In many rural areas, predators are poisoned, trapped, or shot by ranchers. These practices have nearly wiped out the timber wolf, and in some areas the coyote faces a

similar end. How might the coyote be saved without a costly loss of livestock?

In a classic experiment, coyotes were given lamb tainted with lithium chloride. Coyotes who took the bait became nauseated and vomited. After one or two such treatments, they developed bait shyness—a lasting distaste for the tainted food (Gustavson & Gar- cia, 1974; Nakajima & Nagaishi, 2005). If applied consistently, taste aversion conditioning might solve many predator–livestock problems.

Bait shyness is similar to human aversion conditioning, which is used to help people control bad habits, such as smoking, drinking, or nail biting. See Chapter 15, pages 521–522, to explore this connection.


If getting sick occurs long after eating, how does it become associ- ated with a particular food? A good question. Taste aversions are a type of classical conditioning. As stated in Chapter 6, a long delay between the conditioned stimulus (CS) and the unconditioned stimulus (US) usually prevents conditioning. However, psycholo- gists theorize that we have a biological preparedness to associate an upset stomach with foods eaten earlier. Such learning usually protects us from eating unhealthy foods.

Taste aversions may also help people avoid severe nutritional imbalances. For example, if you go on a fad diet and eat only grape- fruit, you will eventually begin to feel ill. In time, associating your discomfort with grapefruit may create an aversion to it and restore some balance to your diet.

Emotional Eating Is it true that people also overeat when they are emotionally upset? Yes. People with weight problems are prone to overeat when they are anxious, angry, or sad (Macht & Simons, 2011). Furthermore, obese individuals are often unhappy in our fat-conscious culture. The result is overeating that leads to emotional distress and still more overeating (Davis & Carter, 2009).

Cultural Factors Learning to think of some foods as desirable and others as revolt- ing also has a large impact on what we eat. In North America, we would never consider eating the eyes out of the steamed head of a monkey, but in some parts of the world they are considered a deli- cacy. By the same token, vegans and vegetarians think it is barbaric to eat any kind of meat. In short, cultural values greatly affect the incentive value of foods.

Dieting A diet is not just a way to lose weight. Your current diet is defined by the types and amounts of food you regularly eat. Some diets actually encourage overeating. For instance, placing animals on a “supermarket” diet leads to gross obesity. In one classic experi- ment, rats were given meals of chocolate chip cookies, salami, cheese, bananas, marshmallows, milk chocolate, peanut butter,

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States, having tripled in prevalence since 1980 (Ogden et al., 2010). In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama launched “Let’s Move,” her national program to confront this problem head on.


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Motivation and Emotion 339

Taste aversion An active dislike for a particular food. Bait shyness An unwillingness or hesitation on the part of animals to eat a

particular food. Biological preparedness (to learn) Organisms are more easily able to

learn some associations (e.g., food and illness) than others (e.g., flashing light and illness). Evolution then places biological limits on what an animal or person can easily learn.

Anorexia nervosa Active self-starvation or a sustained loss of appetite that has psychological origins.

and fat. These pampered rodents overate, gaining almost three times as much weight as rats that ate only laboratory chow (Scla- fani & Springer, 1976). (Rat chow is a dry mixture of several bland grains. If you were a rat, you’d probably eat more cookies than rat chow, too.)

People are also sensitive to dietary content. In general, sweetness, high fat content, and variety tend to encourage overeating (Lucas & Sclafani, 1990). Unfortunately, North American culture provides the worst kinds of foods for people who suffer from obesity. For example, restaurant and fast food tends to be higher in fat and calo- ries than meals made at home (Kessler, 2009). “Supersized” meals are another problem. Food portions at restaurants in the United States are 25 percent larger, or more, than they are in France. Far fewer people are obese in France, most likely because they simply eat less. The French also take longer to eat a meal, which discour- ages overeating (Rozin et al., 2003).

An added problem faced by people who want to control their weight concerns “yo-yo” dieting.

The Paradox of Yo-Yo Dieting If dieting works, why are hundreds of “new” diets published each year? The answer is that although dieters do lose weight, most regain it soon after they stop dieting. In fact, many people end up weighing even more than before (Freedman, 2011). Why should this be so? Dieting (starving) slows the body’s rate of metabolism (the rate at which energy is used up). In effect, a dieter’s body becomes highly efficient at conserving calories and storing them as fat (Pinel, Assanand, & Lehman, 2000).

Apparently, evolution prepared us to save energy when food is scarce and to stock up on fat when food is plentiful. Briefly starving yourself, therefore, may have little lasting effect on weight. “Yo-yo dieting,” or repeatedly losing and gaining weight, is especially dan- gerous. Frequent changes in weight can dramatically slow the

body’s metabolic rate. As noted earlier, this may raise the body’s set point for fat and makes it harder to lose weight each time a person diets and easier to regain weight when the diet ends. Frequent weight changes also increase the risk for heart disease and prema- ture death (Wang & Brownell, 2005). To avoid bouncing between feast and famine requires a permanent change in eating habits and exercise.

To summarize, eating and overeating are related to internal and external influences, diet, emotions, genetics, exercise, and many other factors. People become obese in different ways and for differ- ent reasons. We live in a culture that provides inexpensive, good- tasting food everywhere, and have a brain that evolved to say “Eat whenever food is available.” Nevertheless, many people have learned to take control of eating by applying psychological princi- ples (see “Behavioral Dieting”).

Eating Disorders Under the sheets of her hospital bed, Krystal looks like a skele- ton. Victims of anorexia, who are mostly adolescent females, suf- fer devastating weight losses from severe, self-inflicted dieting (Cooper, 2005). If she cannot overcome her anorexia nervosa (AN-uh-REK-see-yah ner-VOH-sah: self-starvation), Krystal may die of malnutrition.

Singer Jennifer Hudson has been a life-long dieter who tried many different diets and experienced weight swings. As a spokeswoman for a national weight- loss program, Jennifer lost about 80 pounds. Will she maintain her weight loss over time?

Anorexia nervosa is far more dangerous than many people realize. This haunting Italian anti-anorexia poster shows 68-pound model Isabelle Caro, who suffered from anorexia for years up until her death in 2010 at age 28. Many celebrities have struggled with eating disorders, including Karen Carpenter (who died of starvation- induced heart failure), Paula Abdul, Kirstie Alley, Fiona Apple, Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), Princess Diana, Tracey Gold, Janet Jackson, and Mary-Kate Olsen.

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Chapter 10340

Do anorexics lose their appetite? Although a compulsive attempt to lose weight causes them to not seek or desire food, they usually still feel physical hunger. Often, anorexia starts with “normal” dieting that slowly begins to dominate the person’s life. In time, anorexics suffer debilitating health problems. From 5 to 8 percent (more than 1 in 20) die of malnutrition (Polivy &

Herman, 2002). ■ Table 10.1 lists the symptoms of anorexia nervosa.

Bulimia nervosa (bue-LIHM-ee-yah) is a second major eating disorder (Bardone-Cone et al., 2008; Koda & Sugawara, 2009). Bulimic persons gorge on food, then vomit or take laxatives to avoid gaining weight (see ■ Table 10.1). As with anorexia, most victims of

Behavioral DietingDiscovering Psychology

As we have noted, dieting is usually fol- lowed by rapid weight gain. If you really want to lose weight, you must overhaul your eating and exercise habits, an approach called behavioral dieting (Freedman, 2011; Roizen & Oz, 2006). Here are some helpful behavioral techniques:

1. Get yourself committed to weight loss. Involve other people in your ef- forts. Programs such as Overeaters Anonymous or Take Off Pounds Sensi- bly can be a good source of social sup- port (Mitchell et al., 2010).

2. Exercise. No diet can succeed for long without an increase in exercise. To lose weight, you must use more calories than you take in. Burning just 200 extra calories a day can help prevent rebound weight gains. Add activity to your rou- tine in every way you can think of. Stop saving steps and riding elevators. Buy a step counter to track the number of steps you take every day. Walking 10,000 steps per day will burn between 2,000 and 3,500 calories a week (de- pending on your weight). The more fre- quently and vigorously you exercise, the more weight you will lose (Jeffery & Wing, 2001).

3. Learn your eating habits by observ- ing yourself and keeping a “diet diary.” Begin by making a complete, 2-week record of when and where you eat, what you eat, and the feelings and events that occur just before and after eating. Is a roommate, relative, or spouse encouraging you to overeat? What are your most “dangerous” times and places for overeating?

4. Learn to weaken your personal eat- ing cues. When you have learned when and where you do most of your eating, avoid these situations. Try to restrict

your eating to one room, and do not read, watch TV, study, or talk on the phone while eating. Require yourself to interrupt what you are doing in order to eat.

5. Count calories, but don’t starve your- self. To lose weight, you must eat less, and calories allow you to keep a record of your food intake. If you have trouble eating less every day, try dieting 4 days a week. People who diet intensely every other day lose as much as those who diet moderately every day (Viegener et al., 1990).

6. Develop techniques to control the act of eating. Whenever you can, check for nutritional information and buy grocer- ies and meals lower in calories and fats. Begin to take smaller portions. Carry to the table only what you plan to eat. Put all other food away before leaving the kitchen. Eat slowly, sip water between bites of food, leave food on your plate, and stop eating before you are com- pletely full. Be especially wary of the extra large servings at fast-food restau- rants. Saying “supersize me” too often can, indeed, leave you supersized (Mur- ray, 2001).

7. Avoid snacks. It is generally better to eat more small meals a day than fewer large ones because more calories are burned (Roizen & Oz, 2006). (No, we

don’t mean high-calorie snacks in addi- tion to meals.) If you have an impulse to snack, set a timer for 20 minutes and see if you are still hungry then. Delay the impulse to snack several times if possible. Dull your appetite by filling up on raw carrots, bouillon, water, coffee, or tea.

8. Chart your daily progress. Record your weight, the number of calories eaten, and whether you met your daily goal. Set realistic goals by cutting down calo- ries gradually. Losing about a pound per week is realistic, but remember, you are changing habits, not just dieting. Diets don’t work!

9. Set a “threshold” for weight control. Maintaining weight loss can be even more challenging than losing weight. It is easier to maintain weight losses if you set a regain limit of 3 pounds or less. In other words, if you gain more than 2 or 3 pounds, you immediately begin to make corrections in your eating habits and amount of exercise (Kessler, 2009).

Be patient. It takes years to develop eat- ing habits. You can expect it to take at least several months to change them. If you are unsuccessful at losing weight with these techniques, you might find it helpful to seek the aid of a psychologist familiar with behav- ioral weight-loss techniques.

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Motivation and Emotion 341

Behavioral dieting Weight reduction based on changing exercise and eating habits, rather than temporary self-starvation.

Bulimia nervosa Excessive eating (gorging) usually followed by self- induced vomiting and/or taking laxatives.

bulimia are girls or women. Approximately 5  percent of college women are bulimic, and as many as 60 percent have milder eating problems. Bingeing and purging can seriously damage health. Typi- cal risks include sore throat, hair loss, muscle spasms, kidney dam- age, dehydration, tooth erosion, swollen salivary glands, menstrual irregularities, loss of sex drive, and even heart attack.

Men and Eating Disorders Eating disorders are on the rise among men. More and more men are experiencing muscle dysmorphia, excessive worry about not being muscular enough (Mosley, 2009). Currently, one third of men say they want less body fat and another third want more muscles (McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2004). As a result, many men are altering what they eat and exercising excessively. Some are going too far: About 10 percent of anorexics and 25 percent of bulimics are now males (Weltzin et al., 2005).

Causes What causes anorexia and bulimia? People who suffer from eating disorders are extremely dissatisfied with their bodies (Crisp et al., 2006). Usually, they have distorted views of themselves, exagger- ated fears of becoming fat, and low self-esteem. Many overestimate their body size by 25 percent or more. As a result, they think they are disgustingly “fat” when they are actually wasting away (• Figure 10.8) (Polivy & Herman, 2002).

Many of these problems are related to the idealized body images presented in the media (Levine & Harrison, 2004). Some websites even go so far as to celebrate anorexia and bulimia (referred to by

“fans” as “Ana” and “Mia”) (Borzekowski et al., 2010; Tierney, 2008). Girls who spend a lot of time reading fashion magazines or visiting these websites are more likely to have distorted body images and unrealistic ideas about how they compare with others (Martinez-Gonzalez et al., 2003).

The popularity of fitness, exercise, and sports has also contrib- uted to eating disorders. Today, more people are changing their diets in search of a lean, muscular look. People engaged in sports that require low body fat or extreme weight loss (such as wrestling, gym- nastics, pole vaulting, high jumping, and even cycling) are particu- larly likely to develop eating disorders (Weltzin et al., 2005).

People with eating disorders appear to be trying to gain some measure of control. Anorexic teen girls are usually described as “perfect” daughters—helpful, considerate, conforming, and obedi- ent. They seem to be rewarded by seeking perfect control in their lives by being perfectly slim (Castro et al., 2004; Keating, 2010). People suffering from bulimia are also concerned with control (Bardone-Cone et al., 2008). Typically, they are obsessed with thoughts of weight, food, eating, and ridding themselves of food. As a result, they feel guilt, shame, self-contempt, and anxiety. Vom- iting reduces their anxiety, which makes purging highly reinforcing (Powell & Thelen, 1996).

Treatment Most people suffering from eating disorders will not seek help on their own. This is especially true for men, because eating disorders are still widely perceived to be a female problem (Weltzin et al.,

Recognizing Eating Disorders

Anorexia Nervosa

• Refusal to maintain body weight in normal range. Body weight below 85 percent of normal for one’s height and age.

• Intense fear of becoming fat or gaining weight, even though underweight.

• Disturbance in one’s body image or perceived weight. Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body weight. Denial of seriousness of abnormally low body weight.

• Absence of menstrual periods (may be removed from DSM-5).

• Purging behavior (vomiting or misuse of laxatives or diuretics).

Bulimia Nervosa

• Recurring binge eating. Eating within an hour or two an amount of food that is much larger than most people would consume. Feeling a lack of control over eating.

• Purging behavior (vomiting or misuse of laxatives or diuretics). Excessive exercise to prevent weight gain. Fasting to prevent weight gain.

• Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body weight.

■ TABLE 10.1

Adapted from American Psychiatric Association, 2000, 2010.

Actually most attractive to men

Perceived current weight

Perceived ideal weight

Perceived as most attractive to men

2 3 4 5

• Figure 10.8 Women with abnormal eating habits were asked to rate their body shape on a scale similar to the one you see here. As a group, they chose ideal figures much thinner than what they thought their current weights were. (Most women say they want to be thinner than they cur- rently are, but to a lesser degree than women with eating problems.) Notice that the women with eating problems chose an ideal weight that was even thinner than what they thought men prefer. This is not typical of most women. In this classic study, only women with eating problems wanted to be thinner than what they thought men find attractive (Zellner, Harner, & Adler, 1989).

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Chapter 10342

2005). Typically, it takes strong urging by family or friends to get victims into treatment.

Treatment for anorexia usually begins with giving drugs to relieve obsessive fears of gaining weight. Then, a medical diet is used to restore weight and health. Next, a counselor may help patients work on the emotional conflicts that led to weight loss. For bulimia, behavioral counseling may include self-monitoring of food intake. A related cognitive-behavioral approach focuses on changing the thinking patterns and beliefs about weight and body shape that perpetuate eating disorders (Byrne & McLean, 2002; Cooper, 2005; Goldstein et al., 2011).

Culture, Ethnicity, and Dieting Women with eating disorders are not alone in having body image problems. In Western cultures, many women learn to see them- selves as “objects” that are evaluated by others. As a result, they try to shape their bodies to the cultural ideal of slimness through diet- ing (Fredrickson et al., 1998).

Just looking at a fashion magazine tends to leave women less satisfied with their weight and anxious to be thinner (Simpson, 2002). However, women from some cultural backgrounds appear to be less susceptible to the glorification of slimness. For example, Asian American college students are only half as likely to diet as other college women are (Tsai, Hoerr, & Song, 1998). Within the African American and Pacific-Islander communities, there is a general preference for a fuller and shapelier figure. In these groups, a larger body size is associated with high social status, health, and beauty (Flynn & Fitzgibbon, 1998; Ofosu, Lafreniere, & Senn, 1998). Clearly, what constitutes an attractive body style is a matter of opinion.

Biological Motives Revisited— Thirst, Sex, and Pain

Gateway Question 10.3: What kinds of biological motives are thirst, pain avoidance, and the sex drive? Most biological motives work in ways that are similar to hunger. For example, thirst is only partially controlled by dryness of the mouth. If you were to take a drug that made your mouth constantly wet, or dry, your water intake would remain normal. Like hunger, thirst is regulated by separate thirst and thirst satiety systems in the hypothalamus. Also like hunger, thirst is strongly affected by learn- ing and cultural values.

Thirst You may not have noticed, but there are actually two kinds of thirst (Thornton, 2010). Extracellular thirst occurs when water is lost from the fluids surrounding the cells of your body. Bleeding, vom- iting, diarrhea, sweating, and drinking alcohol cause this type of thirst (Franken, 2007). When a person loses both water and miner- als in any of these ways—especially by perspiration—a slightly salty liquid may be more satisfying than plain water.

Why would a thirsty person want to drink salty water? The rea- son is that before the body can retain water, minerals lost through perspiration (mainly salt) must be replaced. In lab tests, animals greatly prefer saltwater after salt levels in their bodies are lowered (Strickler & Verbalis, 1988). Similarly, some nomadic peoples of the Sahara Desert prize blood as a beverage, probably because of its saltiness. (Maybe they should try Gatorade?)

A second type of thirst occurs when you eat a salty meal. In this instance, your body does not lose fluid. Instead, excess salt causes fluid to be drawn out of cells. As the cells “shrink,” intracellular thirst is triggered. Thirst of this type is best quenched by plain water (Thornton, 2010).

The drives for food, water, air, sleep, and elimination are all similar in that they are generated by a combination of activities in the body and the brain, and they are influenced by various external factors. However, the drive to avoid pain and the sex drive are more unusual.

Pain How is the drive to avoid pain different? Hunger, thirst, and sleepi- ness come and go in a fairly regular cycle each day. Pain avoidance, by contrast, is an episodic (ep-ih-SOD-ik) drive. That is, it occurs in distinct episodes when bodily damage takes place or is about to occur. Most drives prompt us to actively seek a desired goal (food, drink, warmth, and so forth). Pain prompts us to avoid or eliminate sources of discomfort.

Some people feel they must be “tough” and not show any dis- tress. Others complain loudly at the smallest ache or pain. The first attitude raises pain tolerance, and the second lowers it. As this sug- gests, the drive to avoid pain is partly learned. That’s why members of some societies endure cutting, burning, whipping, tattooing, and piercing of the skin that would agonize most people (Chang, 2009) (but apparently not devotees of piercing and “body art”). In general, we learn how to react to pain by observing family members, friends, and other role models (McMahon & Koltzenburg, 2005).

Tolerance for pain and the strength of a person’s motivation to avoid discomfort are greatly affected by cultural practices and beliefs, such as this penitent at a Hindu ceremony.

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Motivation and Emotion 343

Extracellular thirst Thirst caused by a reduction in the volume of fluids found between body cells.

Intracellular thirst Thirst triggered when fluid is drawn out of cells due to an increased concentration of salts and minerals outside the cell.

Episodic drive A drive that occurs in distinct episodes. Sex drive The strength of one’s motivation to engage in sexual behavior. Estrus Changes in the sexual drives of animals that create a desire for

mating; particularly used to refer to females in heat. Estrogen Any of a number of female sex hormones. Androgen Any of a number of male sex hormones, especially testosterone. Non-homeostatic drive A drive that is relatively independent of physical

deprivation cycles or bodily need states.

The Sex Drive Sex is unlike other biological motives because sex (contrary to any- thing your personal experience might suggest) is not necessary for individual survival. It is necessary, of course, for group survival.

The term sex drive refers to the strength of one’s motivation to engage in sexual behavior. In lower animals, the sex drive is directly related to hormones. Female mammals (other than humans) are interested in mating only when their fertility cycles are in the stage of estrus, or “heat.” Estrus is caused by a release of estrogen (a female sex hormone) into the bloodstream. Hormones are impor- tant in males as well. In most animals, castration will abolish the sex drive. But, in contrast to females, the normal male animal is almost always ready to mate. His sex drive is aroused primarily by the behavior and scent of a receptive female. Therefore, in many species, mating is closely tied to female fertility cycles.

How much do hormones affect human sex drives? Hormones affect the human sex drive, but not as directly as in animals (Crooks & Baur, 2011). The sex drive in men is related to the amount of androgens (male hormones such as testosterone) pro- vided by the testes. When the supply of androgens dramatically increases at puberty, so does the male sex drive. Likewise, the sex drive in women is related to their estrogen levels (Hyde & DeLama- ter, 2011). However, “male” hormones also affect the female sex drive. In addition to estrogen, a woman’s body produces small amounts of androgens. When their androgen levels increase, many women experience a corresponding increase in sex drive (Van Goozen et al., 1995). Testosterone levels decline with age, and vari- ous medical problems can lower sexual desire. In some instances, taking testosterone supplements can restore the sex drive in both men and women (Crooks & Baur, 2011).

Human sexual behavior and attitudes are discussed in detail in Chapter 11. For now it is enough to note that the sex drive is largely non-homeostatic (relatively independent of bodily need states). In humans, the sex drive can be aroused at virtually any time by almost anything. Therefore, it shows no clear relationship to deprivation (the amount of time since the drive was last satisfied). Certainly, an increase in desire may occur as time passes. But recent sexual activity does not prevent sexual desire from occurring again. Notice, too, that people may seek to arouse the sex drive as well as to reduce it. This unusual quality makes the sex drive capable of motivating a wide range of behaviors. It also explains why sex is used to sell almost everything imaginable.

The non-homeostatic quality of the sex drive can be shown in this way: A male animal is allowed to copulate until it seems to have no further interest in sexual behavior. Then, a new sexual partner is provided. Immediately, the animal resumes sexual activ- ity. This pattern is called the Coolidge effect after former U.S. Presi- dent Calvin Coolidge. What, you might ask, does Calvin Coolidge have to do with the sex drive? The answer is found in the following story.

While touring an experimental farm, Coolidge’s wife reportedly asked if a rooster mated just once a day. “No ma’am,” she was told, “he mates dozens of times each day.” “Tell that to the president,” she said, with a faraway look in her eyes. When President Coolidge

reached the same part of the tour, his wife’s message was given to him. His reaction was to ask if the dozens of matings were with the same hen. No, he was told, different hens were involved. “Tell that to Mrs. Coolidge,” the president is said to have replied.

Knowledge Builder Hunger, Thirst, Pain, and Sex

RECITE 1. The hunger satiety system in the hypothalamus signals the body

to start eating when it receives signals from the liver or detects changes in blood sugar. T or F?

2. Maintaining your body’s set point for fat is closely linked with the amount of __________ in the bloodstream. a. hypothalamic factor-1 b. ventromedial

peptide-1 c. NPY d. leptin 3. A cancer patient has little appetite for food several weeks after the

nausea caused by chemotherapy has ended. Her loss of appetite is probably best explained by a. increased NPY in the brain b. a conditioned taste

aversion c. the aftereffects of yo-yo dieting d. a loss of extracellular hunger

4. People who diet frequently tend to benefit from practice: They lose weight more quickly each time they diet. T or F?

5. In addition to changing eating habits, a key element of behavioral dieting is a. exercise b. well-timed snacking c. better eating

cues d. commitment to “starving” every day 6. Bingeing and purging are most characteristic of people who have

a. taste aversions b. anorexia c. bulimia d. strong sensitivity to external eating cues

7. Thirst may be either intracellular or ___________________________ _______.

8. Pain avoidance is a(n) _________________________ drive. 9. Sexual behavior in animals is largely controlled by estrogen levels in

the female and the occurrence of estrus in the male. T or F?

REFLECT Think Critically

1 0. Kim, who is overweight, is highly sensitive to external eating cues. How might her wristwatch contribute to her overeating?


Think of the last meal you ate. What caused you to feel hungry? What internal signals told your body to stop eating? How sensitive are you to external eating cues? How were you influenced by portion size? Have you developed any taste aversions?

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Chapter 10344

Stimulus Motives—Skydiving, Horror Movies, and the Fun Zone

Gateway Question 10.4: How does arousal relate to motivation? Are you full of energy right now? Or are you tired? Clearly, the level of arousal you are experiencing is closely linked with your motivation. Are there ideal levels of arousal for different people and different activities? Let’s find out.

Most people enjoy a steady “diet” of new movies, novels, music, fashions, games, news, websites, and adventures. Yet stimulus motives, as we noted earlier, which reflect needs for information, exploration, manipulation, and sensory input, go beyond mere entertainment. Stimulus motives also help us survive. As we scan our surroundings, we constantly identify sources of food, danger, shelter, and other key details. The drive for stimulation is already present during infancy. By the time a child can walk, there are few things in the home that have not been tasted, touched, viewed, handled, or, in the case of toys, destroyed!

Stimulus motives are readily apparent in animals as well as humans. For example, monkeys will quickly learn to solve a mechan- ical puzzle made up of interlocking metal pins, hooks, and latches (Butler, 1954) (• Figure 10.9). No food treats or other external

rewards are needed to get them to explore and manipulate their sur- roundings. The monkeys seem to work for the sheer fun of it.

Arousal Theory Are stimulus motives homeostatic? Yes. According to arousal theory, we try to keep arousal at an optimal level (Franken, 2007; Hancock & Ganey, 2003). In other words, when your level of arousal is too low or too high, you will seek ways to raise or lower it.

What do you mean by arousal? Arousal refers to activation of the body and nervous system. Arousal is zero at death, low during sleep, moderate during normal daily activities, and high at times of excitement, emotion, or panic. Arousal theory assumes that we become uncomfortable when arousal is too low (“I’m bored”) or when it is too high, as in fear, anxiety, or panic (“The dentist will see you now”). Most adults vary music, parties, sports, conversa- tion, sleep, surfing the Web, and the like, to keep arousal at moder- ate levels. The right mix of activities prevents boredom and over- stimulation (Csikszentmihalyi, Abuhamdeh, & Nakamura, 2005).

Sensation Seekers Do people vary in their needs for stimulation? Arousal theory also suggests that people learn to seek particular levels of arousal (Lynne-Landsman et al., 2011). Where would you prefer to go on your next summer vacation? Your back yard? How about a week with your best friends at a cottage on a nearby lake? Or a shopping and museum trip to New York City? Better yet, how about cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa? If the shark adven- ture attracts you, you are probably high in sensation seeking and would be interested in a vacation that includes activities like bungee-jumping, scuba diving, skiing, skydiving, and white water rafting (Pizam et al., 2004).

Sensation seeking is a trait of people who prefer high levels of stimulation (Gray & Wilson, 2007). Whether you are high or low in sensation seeking is probably based on how your body responds to new, unusual, or intense stimulation (Zuckerman, 2002). People

A friend of yours seems to be engaging in yo-yo dieting. Can you explain to her or him why such dieting is ineffective? Can you summarize how behavioral dieting is done?

If you wanted to provoke extracellular thirst in yourself, what would you do? How could you make intracellular thirst occur?

Answers: 1. F 2. d 3. b 4. F 5. a 6. c 7. extracellular 8. episodic 9. F 10. The time of day can influence eating, especially for externally cued eaters, who tend to get hungry at mealtimes, irrespective of their internal needs for food.

• Figure 10.9 Monkeys happily open locks that are placed in their cage. Because no reward is given for this activity, it provides evidence for the existence of stimulus needs.

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Motivation and Emotion 345

Arousal theory Assumes that people prefer to maintain ideal, or comfortable, levels of arousal.

Yerkes-Dodson law A summary of the relationships among arousal, task complexity, and performance.

Test anxiety High levels of arousal and worry that seriously impair test performance.

high in sensation seeking tend to be bold and independent, and value change. They also report more sexual partners, are more likely to smoke, and prefer spicy, sour, and crunchy foods over bland foods. Low sensation seekers are orderly, nurturant, and giv- ing, and enjoy the company of others.

Exciting lives aside, there is a dark side to sensation seeking (Dunlop & Romer, 2010). High sensation seekers are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors such as substance abuse and casual unprotected sex (Gullette & Lyons, 2005; Horvath et al., 2004).

Levels of Arousal Is there an ideal level of arousal for peak performance? If we set aside individual differences, most people perform best when their arousal level is moderate. Let’s say that you have to take an essay exam. If you are feeling sleepy or lazy (arousal level too low), your performance will suffer. If you are in a state of anxiety or panic about the test (arousal level too high), you will also perform below par. Thus, the relationship between arousal and performance forms an inverted U function (a curve in the shape of an upside-down U) (• Figure 10.10) (Hancock & Ganey, 2003).

The inverted U tells us that at very low levels of arousal, you’re not sufficiently energized to perform well. Performance will improve as your arousal level increases, up to the middle of the curve. Then, it begins to drop off as you become emotional, fren- zied, or disorganized. For example, imagine trying to start a car stalled on a railroad track, with a speeding train bearing down on you. That’s what the high-arousal end of the curve feels like.

Is performance always best at moderate levels of arousal? No, the ideal level of arousal depends on the complexity of a task. If a task is relatively simple, it is best for arousal to be high. When a task is more complex, your best performance will occur at lower levels of arousal. This relationship is called the Yerkes-Dodson law (see • Figure 10.10). It applies to a wide variety of tasks and to mea- sures of motivation other than arousal.

For example, at a track meet, it is almost impossible for sprinters to get too aroused for a race. The task is direct and simple: Run as fast as you can for a short distance. On the other hand, a golfer making a tournament-deciding putt faces a more sensitive and complex task. Excessive arousal is almost certain to hurt his or her

performance. In school, most students have had experience with “test anxiety,” a familiar example of how too much arousal can lower performance.

Coping with Test Anxiety Then is it true that by learning to calm down, a person would do bet- ter on tests? Usually, but not always. To begin with, some arousal is healthy; it focuses us on the task at hand. It is only when arousal interferes with performance that we refer to anxiety. Test anxiety is a mixture of heightened physiological arousal (nervousness, sweat- ing, pounding heart) and excessive worry. This combination— arousal plus worry—tends to distract students with a rush of upset- ting thoughts and feelings (Eysenck et al., 2007; Stipek, 2002).

Also, studies show that students are typically most anxious when they don’t know the material (Cassady, 2004). Not studying while remaining calm simply means you will calmly fail the test. Here are some suggestions for coping with test anxiety.

Preparation Hard work is the most direct antidote for test anxiety. Many test- anxious students simply study too little, too late. That’s why improving your study skills is a good way to reduce test anxiety (Cassady, 2004).

One of the best ways to avoid test anxiety is to improve your study skills. If test anxiety is a problem for you, it would be wise to return to the Introduction in this book and review the learning and test-taking skills described there.


The best solution is to overprepare by studying long before the “big day.” Well-prepared students score higher, worry less, and are less likely to panic (Kaplan, 2008; Santrock & Halonen, 2010).

(c) Complex task

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Learning, Inc.

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Chapter 10346

Relaxation Learning to relax is another way to lower test anxiety (Bradley et al., 2010; Powell, 2004). You can learn self-relaxation skills by look- ing at Chapter 13, where a relaxation technique is described. Emo- tional support also helps (Stöber, 2004). If you are test anxious, discuss the problem with your professors or study for tests with a supportive classmate.

Rehearsal To reduce nervousness, rehearse how you will cope with upsetting events. Before taking a test, imagine yourself going blank, running out of time, or feeling panicked. Then, calmly plan how you will handle each situation—by keeping your attention on the task, by focusing on one question at a time, and so forth (Watson & Tharp, 2007).

Restructuring Thoughts Another helpful strategy involves listing the upsetting thoughts you have during exams. Then you can learn to combat these wor- ries with calming, rational replies ( Jones & Petruzzi, 1995; Olpin & Hesson, 2010). (These are called coping statements; see Chap- ter 13 for more information.) Let’s say you think, “I’m going to fail this test and everybody will think I’m stupid.” A good reply to this upsetting thought would be to say, “If I prepare well and control my worries, I will probably pass the test. Even if I don’t, it won’t be the end of the world. My friends will still like me, and I can try to improve on the next test.”

Students who cope well with exams usually try to do the best they can, even under difficult circumstances. Becoming a more confident test taker can actually increase your scores because it helps you remain calm. With practice, most people can learn to be less testy at test-taking time.

Learned Motives—The Pursuit of Excellence

Gateway Questions 10.5: What are learned and social motives and why are they important? Many motives are acquired directly. It is easy enough to see that praise, money, success, pleasure, and similar reinforcers affect our goals and desires. But how do people learn to enjoy activities that are at first painful or frightening? Why do people climb rocks, jump out of airplanes, run marathons, take saunas, or swim in fro- zen lakes? For an answer, let’s examine a related situation.

When a person first tries a drug such as heroin, he or she feels a “rush” of pleasure. However, as the drug wears off, discomfort and craving occurs. The easiest way to end the discomfort is to take another dose—as most drug users quickly learn. But in time, habitu- ation takes place; the drug stops producing pleasure, although it will end discomfort. At the same time, the after effects of the drug grow more painful. At this point, the drug user has acquired a powerful new motive. In a vicious cycle, heroin relieves discomfort, but it guarantees that withdrawal will occur again in a few hours.

Opponent-Process Theory Psychologist Richard L. Solomon (1980) offers an intriguing expla- nation for drug addiction and other learned motives. According to his opponent-process theory, if a stimulus causes a strong emotion, such as fear or pleasure, an opposite emotion tends to occur when the stimulus ends. For example, if you are in pain and the pain ends, you will feel a pleasant sense of relief. If a person feels pleasure, as in the case of drug use, and the pleasure ends, it will be followed by craving or discomfort (Vargas-Perez, Ting-A-Kee, & van der Kooy, 2009). If you are in love and feel good when you are with your lover, you will be uncomfortable when she or he is absent.

What happens if the stimulus is repeated? Solomon assumes that when a stimulus is repeated, our response to it habituates, or gets weaker. Like almost every first-timer, our intrepid extreme skydiver Henry (who we met in Chapter 1) was terrified during his first jump. But with repeated jumps, fear decreases, until finally the sky- diver feels a “thrill” instead of terror (Roth et al., 1996). In contrast, emotional after effects get stronger with repetition. After a first jump, beginners feel a brief but exhilarating sense of relief. After many such experiences, seasoned skydivers, like Henry, can get a “rush” of euphoria that lasts for hours after a jump. With repetition, the pleasurable after effect gets stronger and the initial “cost” (pain or fear) gets weaker. The opponent-process theory thus explains how skydiving, rock climbing, ski jumping, and other hazardous pursuits become reinforcing. If you are a fan of horror movies, car- nival rides, or bungee jumping, your motives may be based on the same effect. (Notice, too, the strong link between motivation and emotion in such examples. We will return to this idea later.)

Social Motives Some of your friends are more interested than others in success, achievement, competition, money, possessions, status, love, approval, grades, dominance, power, or belonging to groups—all of which are social motives or goals. We acquire social motives in complex ways, through socialization and cultural conditioning (Deckers, 2010). The behavior of outstanding artists, scientists, athletes, educators, and leaders is best understood in terms of such learned needs, particularly the need for achievement.

The Need for Achievement To many people, being “motivated” means, like Lady Gaga, being interested in achievement (Wigfield & Eccles, 2002). In a later chapter, we will investigate aggression, helping, affiliation, seeking approval, and other social motives. For now, let’s focus on the need for achievement (nAch), which is a desire to meet an internal standard of excellence (McClelland, 1961). People with a high need for achievement strive to do well any time they are evaluated (Steinmayr & Spinath, 2009).

Is that like the aggressive businessperson who strives for success? Not necessarily. Needs for achievement may lead to wealth and prestige, but people who are high achievers in art, music, sci- ence, or amateur sports may excel without seeking riches. Such people typically enjoy challenges and relish a chance to test their

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Motivation and Emotion 347

Opponent-process theory States that strong emotions tend to be followed by an opposite emotional state; also the strength of both emotional states changes over time.

Social motives Learned motives acquired as part of growing up in a particular society or culture.

Need for achievement (nAch) The desire to excel or meet some internalized standard of excellence.

Need for power The desire to have social impact and control over others.

abilities (Puca & Schmalt, 1999). (See “True Grit” for more information about the characteristics of people high in achieve- ment motivation.)

Power The need for achievement differs from the need for power, which is a desire to have impact or control over others (McClel- land, 1975; Wirth, Welsh, & Schultheiss, 2006). People with strong needs for power want their importance to be visible: They buy expensive possessions, wear prestigious clothes, and exploit relationships. In some ways the pursuit of power and financial success is the dark side of the American dream. People whose main goal in life is to make lots of money tend to be poorly adjusted and unhappy (Kasser & Ryan, 1993).

The Key to Success? Psychologist Benjamin Bloom (1985) found that the first steps toward high achievement begin when parents expose their children to music, swimming, scientific ideas, and so forth, “just for fun.” At first, many of the children had very ordinary skills. One Olympic

True GritDiscovering Psychology

So you want to be a success. To best achieve your goals, would it be better to be naturally talented or determined? (Yes, we know you would definitely prefer to have it both ways. So would we.) It probably will not surprise you to learn that, in general, drive and determination, not great natural talent, lead to exceptional success (Bloom, 1985; Duckworth et al., 2007).

How can this be? When people high in need for achievement (nAch) tackle a task, they do so with perseverance, passion, and self-confidence (Duckworth et al., 2007; Munroe-Chandler, Hall, & Fishburne, 2008).

They tend to complete difficult tasks, they earn better grades, and they tend to excel in their occupations. College students high in nAch attribute success to their own ability, and failure to insufficient effort. Thus, high nAch students are more likely to renew their efforts when they perform poorly. When the going gets tough, high achievers get going.

How self-confident are you? Achieving elite performance may be reserved for the dedicated few. Nevertheless, like elite ath- letes, you may be able to improve your moti- vation by increasing your self-confidence (Hanton, Mellalieu, & Hall, 2004). It is easier to

perform an activity or reach a goal with per- severance and passion when you believe you can be successful.

When you tackle an important task, how many of the items on the following list can you check off? To enhance self-confidence, you would be wise to do as many as possible (Druckman & Bjork, 1994; Munroe-Chandler, Hall, & Fishburne, 2008):

• Set goals that are specific and challeng- ing but attainable.

• Visualize the steps you need to take to reach your goal.

• Advance in small steps. • When you first acquire a skill, your goal

should be to make progress in learning. Later, you can concentrate on improving your performance compared with other people.

• Get expert instruction that helps you master the skill.

• Find a skilled model (someone good at the skill) to emulate.

• Get support and encouragement from an observer.

• If you fail, regard it as a sign that you need to try harder, not that you lack ability.

Self-confidence affects motivation by in- fluencing the challenges you will undertake, the effort you will make, and how long you will persist when things don’t go well. You can be confident that self-confidence is worth cultivating.

The Williams sisters possess high achievement motivation. They have become professional tennis champions by playing with perseverance, passion, and self-confidence.

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Chapter 10348

swimmer, for instance, remembers repeat- edly losing races as a 10-year-old. At some point, however, the children began to actively cultivate their abilities. Before long, parents noticed the child’s rapid progress and found an expert instructor or coach. After more successes, the youngsters began “living” for their talent and prac- ticed many hours daily. This continued for many years before they reached truly out- standing heights of achievement.

The upshot of Bloom’s work is that tal- ent is nurtured by dedication and hard work (Beck, 2004). It is most likely to blos- som when parents actively support a child’s special interest and emphasize doing one’s best at all times. Studies of child prodigies and eminent adults also show that inten- sive practice and expert coaching are com- mon ingredients of high achievement. Elite performance in music, sports, chess, the arts, and many other pursuits requires at least 10 years of dedicated practice (Ericsson & Charness, 1994; Ross, 2006). The old belief that “talent will surface” on its own is largely a myth.

Motives in Perspective—A View from the Pyramid

Gateway Question 10.6: Are some motives more basic than others? Are all motives equally important? Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of human needs, in which some needs are more basic or powerful than others. (As you may recall from Chapter 1, Maslow called the full use of personal potential self-actualization.) Think about the needs that influence your own behavior. Which seem strongest? Which do you spend the most time and energy satisfy- ing? Now look at Maslow’s hierarchy (• Figure 10.11).

Note that biological needs are at the base of the pyramid. Because these needs must be met if we are to survive, they tend to be prepotent, or dominant over the higher needs. That’s why, when you are really hungry, you can think of little else but food. Maslow believed that higher, more fragile needs are expressed only after we satisfy our biological needs. This is also true of needs for safety and security. Until they are met, we may have little interest in higher pursuits. For instance, a person who is feeling threatened might have little interest in writing poetry or even talking with friends. For this reason, Maslow described the first four levels of the hierar- chy as basic needs. Other basic needs are for love and belonging (family, friendship, caring) and esteem and self-esteem (recogni- tion and self-respect).

All the basic needs are deficiency motives. That is, they are acti- vated by a lack of food, water, security, love, esteem, or other basic

needs. At the top of the hierarchy we find growth needs, which are expressed as a need for self-actualization. The need for self-actual- ization is not based on deficiencies. Rather, it is a positive, life- enhancing force for personal growth (Reiss & Havercamp, 2005). Like other humanistic psychologists, Maslow believed that people are basically good. If our basic needs are met, he said, we will tend to move on to actualizing our potentials.

How are needs for self-actualization expressed? Maslow also called the less powerful but humanly important actualization motives meta-needs (Maslow, 1970). Meta-needs are an expres- sion of tendencies to fully develop your personal potentials. The meta-needs are:

1. Wholeness (unity) 2. Perfection (balance and harmony) 3. Completion (ending)

Self- actualization

Esteem and self-esteem

Love and belonging

Safety and security

Physiological needs: air, food, water, sleep, sex, etc.

Esteem and self-esteem

Love and belonging

Safety and security

Physiological needs

Basic Needs

Self-actualization as expressed through meta-needs: wholeness, perfection, completion, justice, richness, simplicity, aliveness, beauty, goodness, uniqueness, playfulness, truth, autonomy, meaningfulness

Growth Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

• Figure 10.11 Maslow believed that lower needs in the hierarchy are dominant. Basic needs must be satis- fied before growth motives are fully expressed. Desires for self-actualization are reflected in various meta-needs (see text). Copyright © 2012 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Inc.

Wheelchair athletes engage in vigorous competition. Maslow considered such behavior an expression of the need for self-actualization.

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Motivation and Emotion 349

Hierarchy of human needs Abraham Maslow’s ordering of needs, based on their presumed strength or potency.

Basic needs The first four levels of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy; lower needs tend to be more potent than higher needs.

Growth needs In Maslow’s hierarchy, the higher-level needs associated with self-actualization.

Meta-needs In Maslow’s hierarchy, needs associated with impulses for self-actualization.

Intrinsic motivation Motivation that comes from within, rather than from external rewards; motivation based on personal enjoyment of a task or activity.

Extrinsic motivation Motivation based on obvious external rewards, obligations, or similar factors.

4. Justice (fairness) 5. Richness (complexity) 6. Simplicity (essence) 7. Aliveness (spontaneity) 8. Beauty (rightness of form) 9. Goodness (benevolence) 10. Uniqueness (individuality) 11. Playfulness (ease) 12. Truth (reality) 13. Autonomy (self-sufficiency) 14. Meaningfulness (values)

According to Maslow, we tend to move up through the hierarchy of needs, toward the meta-needs. When the meta-needs are unful- filled, people fall into a “syndrome of decay” marked by despair, apathy, and alienation.

Maslow provided few guidelines for promoting self-actualization. However, some suggestions can be gleaned from his writings. See Chapter 12, pages 417–418, for more about self-actualization.


Maslow’s point is that mere survival or comfort is usually not enough to make a full and satisfying life. It’s interesting to note, in this regard, that college students who are concerned primarily with money, personal appearance, and social recognition score lower than average in vitality, self-actualization, and general well-being (Kasser & Ryan, 1996).

Maslow’s hierarchy is not well documented by research, and parts of it are questionable. How, for instance, do we explain the actions of a person who fasts as part of a social protest? How can the meta-need for justice overcome the more basic need for food? (Perhaps the answer is that fasting is temporary and self-imposed.) Despite such objections, Maslow’s views are a good way to under- stand and appreciate the rich interplay of human motives (Kenrick et al., 2010; Peterson & Park, 2010).

Are many people motivated by meta-needs? Maslow estimated that few people are motivated primarily by needs for self-actualization. Most of us are more concerned with esteem, love, or security. Per- haps this is because rewards in our society tend to encourage confor- mity, uniformity, and security in schools, jobs, and relationships. (When was the last time you met a meta-need?)

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation Some people cook for a living and consider it hard work. Others cook for pleasure and dream of opening a restaurant. For some people, mountain biking, gardening, writing, photography, or jew- elry making is fun. For others the same activities are drudgery they must be paid to do. How can the same activity be “work” for one person and “play” for another?

According to self-determination theory, when you freely choose to do something for enjoyment or to improve your abilities, your moti- vation is usually intrinsic (Hagger & Chatzisarantis, 2010; Niemiec, Ryan, & Deci, 2009). Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act

without any obvious external rewards (Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008). We simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials. In contrast, extrinsic motivation stems from external factors, such as pay, grades, rewards, obligations, and approval. Most of the activities we think of as “work” are extrinsically rewarded (Baard, Deci, & Ryan, 2004).

Turning Play into Work Don’t extrinsic incentives strengthen motivation? Yes, they can, but not always. In fact, excessive rewards can decrease intrinsic motiva- tion and spontaneous interest. For instance, in one classic study, children who were lavishly rewarded for drawing with felt-tip pens later showed little interest in playing with the pens again (Greene & Lepper, 1974). Apparently, “play” can be turned into “work” by requiring people to do something they would otherwise enjoy (Patall, Cooper, & Robinson, 2008). When we are coerced or “bribed” to act, we tend to feel as if we are “faking it.” Employees who lack initiative and teenagers who reject school and learning are good examples of those who have such a reaction (Niemiec, Ryan, & Deci, 2009).

Creativity People are more likely to be creative when they are intrinsically motivated. On the job, for instance, salaries and bonuses may increase the amount of work done. However, work quality is affected more by intrinsic factors, such as personal interest and freedom of choice (Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi, 2003). People who are intrinsically motivated usually get personally involved in tasks, which leads to greater creativity (Ruscio, Whitney, & Ama- bile, 1998). Psychologist Teresa Amabile lists the following as “creativity killers” on the job:

• Working under surveillance • Having your choices restricted by rules • Working primarily to get a good evaluation (or avoid a bad

one) • Working mainly to get more money

Time pressure also kills creativity. Employees are less likely to solve tricky problems and come up with innovative ideas when they work “under the gun.” When a person is intrinsically

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Chapter 10350

motivated, a certain amount of challenge, surprise, and complex- ity makes a task rewarding. When extrinsic motivation is stressed, people are less likely to solve tricky problems and come up with innovative ideas (Amabile, Hadley, & Kramer, 2002; Hennessey & Amabile, 2010).

Should extrinsic motivation always be avoided? No, but extrinsic motivation shouldn’t be overused, especially with children. In gen- eral, (1) if there’s no intrinsic interest in an activity to begin with, you have nothing to lose by using extrinsic rewards; (2) if basic skills are lacking, extrinsic rewards may be necessary at first; (3) extrinsic rewards can focus attention on an activity so that real interest will develop; and (4) if extrinsic rewards are used, they should be small and phased out as soon as possible (Buckworth et al., 2007; Cameron & Pierce, 2002).

At work, it is valuable for managers to find out what each employee’s interests and career goals are. People are not motivated solely by money. A chance to do challenging, interesting, and intrinsically rewarding work is often just as important. In many situations it is important to encourage intrinsic motivation, espe- cially when children are learning new skills.

Inside an Emotion— How Do You Feel?

Gateway Question 10.7: What happens during emotion? Picture the faces of terrified people fleeing a big disaster like the 2010 Haiti earthquake and it’s easy to see that motivation and emotion are closely related. Emotions shape our relationships and color our daily activities. What are the basic parts of an emotion? How does the body respond during emotion? Emotion is charac- terized by physiological arousal, and changes in facial expressions,

People who are intrinsically moti- vated feel free to explore creative solutions to problems. (right) Dean Kaman, inventor of the Segway per- sonal transportation device. (below) “The Uncatchable,” an entrant in The Great Arcata to Ferndale World Championship Cross Country Kinetic Sculpture Race. ©

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Knowledge Builder Stimulus Motives, Learned Motives,

Maslow, and Intrinsic Motivation RECITE 1. Exploration, manipulation, and curiosity provide evidence for the

existence of _____________________ motives. 2. Sensation seekers tend to be extroverted, independent, and value

change. T or F? 3. Complex tasks, such as taking a classroom test, tend to be disrupted

by high levels of arousal, an effect predicted by a. sensation seeking b. the Yerkes-Dodson law c. studies

of circadian arousal patterns d. studies of the need for achievement

4. Two key elements of test anxiety that must be controlled are ____________________ and excessive _____________________.

5. According to opponent-process theory, when a stimulus is repeated, our response to it gets stronger. T or F?

6. People high in nAch show high levels of perseverance, passion, and ____________ . a. control b. intelligence c. self-confidence d. sensation seeking

7. The highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of motives involves a. meta-needs b. needs for safety and security c. needs for love

and belonging d. extrinsic needs 8. Intrinsic motivation is often undermined in situations in which

obvious external rewards are applied to a naturally enjoyable activity. T or F?

REFLECT Think Critically

9. Many U.S. college freshmen say that “being well-off financially” is an essential life goal and that “making more money” was a very important factor in their decision to attend college. Which meta- needs are fulfilled by “making more money”?


Does arousal theory seem to explain any of your own behavior? Think of at least one time when your performance was impaired by arousal that was too low or too high. Now think of some personal examples that illustrate the Yerkes-Dodson law.

Are you high or low in your need for stimulation? Do you think you are high or low in nAch? When faced with a

challenging task are you high or low in perseverance? Passion? Self-confidence?

Which levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs occupy most of your time and energy?

Name an activity you do that is intrinsically motivated and one that is extrinsically motivated. How do they differ?

Answers: 1. stimulus 2. T 3. b 4. arousal, worry 5. F 6. c 7. a 8. T 9. None of them.

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Motivation and Emotion 351

Emotion A state characterized by physiological arousal, changes in facial expression, gestures, posture, and subjective feelings.

Adaptive behaviors Actions that aid attempts to survive and adapt to changing conditions.

Physiological changes (in emotion) Alterations in heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, and other involuntary responses.

Adrenaline A hormone produced by the adrenal glands that tends to arouse the body.

Emotional expressions Outward signs that an emotion is occurring. Emotional feelings The private, subjective experience of having an emotion. Primary emotions According to Robert Plutchik’s theory, the most basic

emotions are fear, surprise, sadness, disgust, anger, anticipation, joy, and trust (acceptance).

Mood A low-intensity, long-lasting emotional state.

gestures, posture, and subjective feelings. As mentioned earlier, the word emotion derives from the Latin word meaning “to move.”

What “moves” during an emotion? First of all, your body is physically aroused during emotion. Such bodily stirrings are what cause us to say we were “moved” by a play, a funeral, or an act of kindness. Second, we are often motivated, or moved to take action, by emotions such as fear, anger, or joy. Many of the goals we seek make us feel good. Many of the activities we avoid make us feel bad. We feel happy when we succeed and sad when we fail (Kalat & Shiota, 2012).

Emotions are linked to many basic adaptive behaviors, such as attacking, fleeing, seeking comfort, helping others, and reproduc- ing. Such behaviors help us survive and adjust to changing condi- tions (Freberg, 2010). However, it is also apparent that emotions can have negative effects. Stage fright or “choking” in sports can spoil performances. Hate, anger, contempt, disgust, and fear dis- rupt behavior and relationships. But more often, emotions aid survival. As social animals, it would be impossible for humans to live in groups, cooperate in raising children, and defend one another without positive emotional bonds of love, caring, and friendship (Buss, 2008).

A pounding heart, sweating palms, “butterflies” in the stomach, and other bodily reactions are major elements of fear, anger, joy, and other emotions. Typical physiological changes take place in heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration, and other bodily stirrings. Most are caused by activity in the sympathetic nervous system and by the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline, which the adrenal glands release into the bloodstream.

Emotional expressions, or outward signs of what a person is feeling, are another ingredient of emotion. For example, when you are intensely afraid, your hands tremble, your face contorts, your posture becomes tense and defensive, and your voice changes. In general, these expressions serve to tell others what emotions we are experiencing (Hortman, 2003).

Emotional feelings (a person’s private emotional experience) are a final major element of emotion. This is the part of emotion with which we are usually most familiar.

Primary Emotions Are some emotions more basic than others? Yes. Robert Plutchik (2003) has identified eight primary emotions. These are fear, sur- prise, sadness, disgust, anger, anticipation, joy, and trust (accep- tance). If the list seems too short, it’s because each emotion can vary in intensity. When you’re angry, for instance, you may feel anything from rage to simple annoyance (• Figure 10.12).

As shown in • Figure 10.12, each pair of adjacent primary emo- tions can be mixed to yield a third, more complex emotion. Other mixtures are also possible. For example, 5-year-old Tupac feels both joy and fear as he eats a cookie he stole from Mom’s cookie jar. The result? Guilt—as you may recall from your own childhood. Like- wise, jealousy could be a mixture of love, anger, and fear.

A mood is the mildest form of emotion (• Figure 10.13). Moods are low intensity emotional states that can last for many hours, or even days. Moods often affect day-to-day behavior by

preparing us to act in certain ways. For example, when your neigh- bor Roseanne is in an irritable mood she may react angrily to almost anything you say. When she is in a happy mood, she can easily laugh off an insult. Happy, positive moods tend to make us

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• Figure 10.12 Primary and mixed emotions. In Robert Plutchik’s model, there are eight primary emotions, as listed in the inner areas. Adjacent emotions may combine to give the emotions listed around the perimeter. Mixtures involving more widely separated emotions are also possible. For example, fear plus anticipation produces anxiety. (Adapted from Plutchik, 2003.)

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Chapter 10352

more adaptable in several ways. For example, when you are in a good mood, you are likely to make better decisions, and you will be more helpful, efficient, creative, and peaceful (Compton, 2005; Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005).

Like our motives, our moods are closely tied to circadian rhythms. When your body temperature is at its daily low point, you are more likely to feel “down” emotionally. When body tempera- ture is at its peak, your mood is likely to be positive—even if you missed a night of sleep (Boivin, Czeisler, & Waterhouse, 1997).

Emotion and the Brain Emotions can be either positive or negative. Ordinarily, we might think that positive and negative emotions are mutually exclusive. But this is not the case. As Tupac’s “cookie guilt” implies, you can

have positive and negative emotions at the same time. How is that possible? In the brain, positive emotions are processed mainly in the left hemisphere. In contrast, negative emotions are processed in the right hemisphere (Hofman, 2008; Simon-Thomas, Role, & Knight, 2005). In one study, people watching their favorite soccer team play well showed activity in both hemispheres but showed activity only in the right hemisphere when they were losing (Park et al, 2009). The fact that positive and negative emotions are based in different brain areas helps explain why we can feel happy and sad at the same time. It also explains why your right foot is more tick- lish than your left foot! The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and processes positive emotions (Smith & Cahusac, 2001). Thus, most people are more ticklish on their right side. If you really want to tickle someone, be sure to “do it right.”

Scientists used to think that all emotions are processed by the cerebral cortex. However, this is not always the case. Imagine this test of willpower: Go to a zoo and place your face close to the glass in front of a rattlesnake display. Suddenly, the rattlesnake strikes at your face. Do you flinch? Even though you know you are safe, Joseph LeDoux predicts that you will recoil from the snake’s attack (LeDoux, 2000).

LeDoux and other researchers have found that the area of the brain called the amygdala (ah-MIG-duh-la) specializes in producing fear (• Figure 10.14). (See Chapter 2 for more information.) The amygdala receives sensory information very directly and quickly, bypassing the cortex (Walker & Davis, 2008). As a result, it allows us to respond to potential danger before we really know what’s happen- ing. This primitive fear response is not under the control of higher brain centers. The role of the amygdala in emotion may explain why people who suffer from phobias and disabling anxiety often feel afraid without knowing why (Fellous & Ledoux, 2005).

People who suffer damage to the amygdala become “blind” to emotion. An armed robber could hold a gun to a person’s head and the person wouldn’t feel fear. Such people are also unable to “read” or understand other people’s emotional expressions, especially as conveyed by their eyes (Adolphs, 2008). Many lose their ability to relate normally to friends, family, and coworkers (Goleman, 1995).

Later, we will attempt to put all the elements of emotion together into a single picture. But first, we need to look more closely at bodily arousal and emotional expressions.

Physiology and Emotion— Arousal, Sudden Death, and Lying

Gateway Questions 10.8: What physiological changes underlie emotion, and can “lie detectors” really detect lies? An African Bushman frightened by a lion and a city dweller frightened by a prowler will react in much the same way. Such encounters usually produce muscle tension, a pounding heart, irritability, dryness of the throat and mouth, sweating, butterflies in the stomach, frequent urination, trembling, restlessness, sensi- tivity to loud noises, and numerous other body changes. These reactions are nearly universal because they are innate. Specifically,









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• Figure 10.13 Folklore holds that people who work or attend school on a weekly schedule experience their lowest moods on “Blue Monday.” Actually, moods tend to be generally lower for most weekdays than they are on weekends. The graph shown here plots the average daily moods of a group of college students over a 5-week period. As you can see, many people find that their moods rise and fall on a 7-day cycle. For most students, a low point tends to occur around Monday or Tuesday and a peak on Friday or Saturday. In other words, moods are shaped by weekly schedules. (Adapted from Larsen & Kasimatis, 1990.)


Cerebral cortex

Frontal lobe

Occipital lobe

• Figure 10.14 An amygdala can be found buried within the tem- poral lobes on each side of the brain (see Chapter 2). The amygdala appears to provide “quick and dirty” processing of emotional stimuli that allows us to react involuntarily to danger. Copyright © 2012 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Inc.

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Motivation and Emotion 353

Amygdala A part of the limbic system (within the brain) that produces fear responses.

Autonomic nervous system (ANS) The system of nerves that connects the brain with the internal organs and glands.

Sympathetic branch A part of the ANS that activates the body at times of stress.

Parasympathetic branch A part of the autonomic system that quiets the body and conserves energy.

Parasympathetic rebound Excess activity in the parasympathetic nervous system following a period of intense emotion.

day of the month than any other day. Because of the extra stress due to the fear that they will die on an “unlucky day,” their chance of dying actually increases (Phillips et al., 2001).

Second, the parasympathetic rebound to sympathetic arousal can also be severe enough to cause death. In times of war, for instance, combat can be so savage that some soldiers literally die of fear (Moritz & Zamchech, 1946). Apparently, such deaths occur because the parasympathetic nervous system overreacts to the sympathetic arousal, slowing the heart to a stop. Even in civilian

Eyes Narrow pupil, stimulate tears Dilate pupil, inhibit tears

Mouth Increase saliva Decrease saliva

Skin Vessels dilate, increase blood flow Vessels constrict, skin cold and clammy

Hair Relaxed Stands on end

Sweat Glands Inhibited, palms are dry Perspiration, palms are wet

Heart Heartbeat slows Speed up heartbeat

Lungs Bronchi narrow, breathing relaxed Bronchi dilate to take in more oxygen

Liver Releases bile for digestion Releases blood sugar for quick energy

Stomach and Intestines Increases digestion and movement Decreases digestion, diverts blood to muscles



they are caused by the autonomic nervous system (ANS)—the neural system that connects the brain with internal organs and glands. As you may recall from Chapter 2, activity of the ANS is automatic rather than vol- untary (Freberg, 2010).

Fight or Flight The ANS has two divisions, the sympa- thetic branch and the parasympathetic branch. The two branches are active at all times. Whether you are relaxed or aroused at any moment depends on the relative activity of both branches.

What does the ANS do during emo- tion? In general, the sympathetic branch activates the body for emer- gency action—for “fighting or flee- ing.” It does this by arousing some body systems and inhibiting others (• Figure 10.15). Sugar is released into the bloodstream for quick energy, the heart beats faster to supply blood to the muscles, digestion is temporarily slowed, blood flow in the skin is restricted to reduce bleeding, and so forth. Such reactions improve the chances of surviving an emergency.

The parasympathetic branch reverses emotional arousal. This calms and relaxes the body. After a period of high emotion, the heart is slowed, the pupils return to normal size, blood pressure drops, and so forth. In addition to restoring balance, the parasym- pathetic system helps build up and conserve the body’s energy.

The parasympathetic system responds much more slowly than the sympathetic system. That’s why a pounding heart, muscle ten- sion, and other signs of arousal don’t fade for 20  or 30  minutes after you feel an intense emotion, such as fear. Moreover, after a strong emotional shock, the parasympathetic system may overreact and lower blood pressure too much. This can cause you to become dizzy or faint after seeing something shocking, such as a horrifying accident.

Sudden Death Strong emotions can kill you in two ways. The first can occur if the sympathetic system becomes too active, resulting in excessive stress. For older persons or those with heart problems, stress-related sym- pathetic effects may be enough to bring about heart attack and collapse. For example, five times more people than usual died of heart attacks on the day of a major 1994 earthquake in Los Angeles (Leor, Poole, & Kloner, 1996). Similarly, in Asia, the number “4” is considered unlucky, and more heart patients die on the fourth

• Figure 10.15 The parasympa- thetic branch of the ANS calms and quiets the body. The sympathetic branch arouses the body and prepares it for emergency action. Copyright © 2012 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Inc.

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Chapter 10354

life this is possible. In one case, a terrified young woman was admitted to a hospital because she felt she was going to die. A backwoods midwife had predicted that the woman’s two sisters would die before their 16th and 21st birthdays. Both died as pre- dicted. The midwife also predicted that this woman would die before her 23rd birthday. She was found dead in her hospital bed the day after she was admitted. It was 2 days before her 23rd birth- day (Seligman, 1989). The woman was an apparent victim of her own terror.

Lie Detectors You undoubtedly know that criminals are not always truthful. But what you may not know is that up to 25 percent of all wrongful convictions include false confessions as evidence (Kassin, 2005). If you can’t count on someone’s word, what can you trust? The most popular method for detecting falsehoods measures the bodily changes that accompany emotion. However, the accuracy of “lie detector” tests is doubtful, and they can be a serious invasion of privacy (Lykken, 2001; National Academy of Sciences, 2003).

What is a lie detector? Do lie detectors really detect lies? The lie detector is more accurately called a polygraph, a word that means “many writings” (• Figure 10.16). The polygraph was invented in 1915 by psychologist William Marston, who also created the comic book character Wonder Woman, a superhero whose “magic lasso” could force people to tell the truth (Grubin & Madsen, 2005). Although popularly known as a lie detector because the police use it for that purpose, in reality the polygraph is not a lie detector at all (Bunn, 2007). A suspect is questioned while “hooked up” to a polygraph, which typically records changes in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and the galvanic skin response (GSR). The GSR is recorded from the hand by elec- trodes that measure skin conductance, or, more simply, sweating. Because the device records only general emotional arousal, it can’t tell the difference between lying and fear, anxiety and excitement (Iacono, 2008).

So an innocent but nervous person could fail a polygraph test? Yes. A woman named Donna was arrested for violating a restraining order against Marie. Even though she claimed she was having lunch instead of harassing Marie, she failed a polygraph test (Geddes, 2008). Put yourself in her place, and it’s easy to see why. Imagine the examiner asking, “Did you drive up to Marie, curse at her, and then drive away?” Because you know Marie, and you already know what you have been charged with, it’s no secret that this is a critical question. What would happen to your heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and perspiration under such circumstances? Psycholo- gist David Lykken (1998, 2001) has documented many cases in which innocent people were convicted on the basis of polygraph evidence.

To minimize this problem, skilled polygraph examiners might use the guilty knowledge test (Hakun et al., 2009). A series of multiple-choice questions are asked; one answer is correct. For example, one question might be: “Was the gun that killed Hensley a: a) Colt; b) Smith & Wesson; c) Walther PPK; or d) Luger? A guilty person who knew which gun she had used may show an

elevated response to the correct answer. Since an innocent person couldn’t know which gun was involved, she could only respond similarly to all four alternatives (Iacono, 2008).

Although proponents of lie detection claim it is 95  percent accurate, errors may occur even when questioning is done properly (Grubin & Madsen, 2005). But in one study, accuracy was dra- matically lowered when people thought about past emotional experiences as they answered irrelevant questions (Ben-Shakhar & Dolev, 1996). Similarly, the polygraph may be thrown off by self- inflicted pain, by tranquilizing drugs, or by people who can lie without anxiety (Waid & Orne, 1982). Worst of all, the test is much more likely to label an innocent person guilty rather than a guilty person innocent. In studies involving real crimes, an average of one innocent person in five was rated as guilty by the lie detector (Lykken, 2001). For such reasons, the National Academy of Sci- ences (2003) has concluded that polygraph tests should not be used to screen employees.

Despite the lie detector’s flaws, you may be tested for employ- ment or for other reasons. Should this occur, the best advice is to remain calm; then actively challenge the results if the machine wrongly questions your honesty.

Isn’t there a better way to detect lies? Possibly. Harassment charges against Donna were dropped when a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan revealed she was indeed telling the truth. Brain scans like fMRI directly measure brain activity, thus bypassing the traditional approach of measuring indirect signs of emotional arousal (Hakun et al., 2009; Lefebvre et al., 2007). For example, researchers have found that different brain areas are involved in telling a lie (Abe et al., 2007). Psychiatrist Daniel Langleben (2008) theorizes that a



Blood pressure

Heart rate

• Figure 10.16 (above) A typical polygraph measures heart rate, blood pressure, res- piration, and galvanic skin response. Pens mounted on the top of the machine record bodily responses on a moving strip of paper. (right) Changes in the area marked by the arrow indicate emotional arousal. If such responses appear when a person answers a question, he or she may be lying, but arousal may have other causes.

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Motivation and Emotion 355

Polygraph A device for recording heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, and galvanic skin response; commonly called a “lie detector.”

Galvanic skin response (GSR) A change in the electrical resistance (or inversely, the conductance) of the skin, due to sweating.

Guilty knowledge test Polygraph procedure involving testing people with knowledge only a guilty person could know.

liar must inhibit telling the truth in order to lie. Thus, extra brain areas must be activated to tell a lie, which can be seen in brain images when people are lying (see Chap- ter 2).

Even if new methods are used, the key problem remains: How can we avoid falsely classifying liars as truth tellers and truth tellers as liars? Until that can be done with acceptable accuracy, any new technique may have no more value than the polygraph does.

observed that angry tigers, monkeys, dogs, and humans all bare their teeth in the same way. Psychologists believe that emotional expressions evolved to communicate our feelings to others, which aids survival. Such messages give valuable hints about what other people are likely to do next (Kalat & Shiota, 2012). For instance, in one study, people were able to detect angry and scheming faces faster than happy, sad, or neutral faces (• Figure 10.17). Presum- ably, we are especially sensitive to threatening faces because they warn us of possible harm (Tipples, Atkinson, & Young, 2002.)

Facial Expressions Are emotional expressions the same for all people? Basic expressions appear to be fairly universal (• Figure 10.18). Facial expressions of fear, anger, disgust, sadness, surprise, and happiness (enjoyment) are recognized around the world (Smith et al., 2005). Expressions of

Knowledge Builder Emotion and Physiological Arousal

RECITE 1. Many of the physiological changes associated with emotion are

caused by secretion of the hormone a. atropine b. adrenaline c. attributine d. insulin

2. Emotional ___________________ often serve to communicate a person’s emotional state to others.

3. Awe, remorse, and disappointment are among the primary emotions listed by Robert Plutchik. T or F?

4. Emotional arousal is closely related to activity of the _________________________ nervous system.

5. Preparing the body for “fighting or fleeing” is largely the job of the a. paraventricular nucleus b. sympathetic branch c. GSR d. left

hemisphere 6. The parasympathetic system inhibits digestion and raises blood

pressure and heart rate. T or F? 7. What body changes are measured by a polygraph?

REFLECT Think Critically

8. Can you explain why people “cursed” by shamans or “witch doctors” sometimes actually die?


How did your most emotional moment of the past week affect your behavior, expressions, feelings, and bodily state? Could you detect both sympathetic and parasympathetic effects?

Make a list of the emotions you consider to be most basic. To what extent do they agree with Plutchik’s list?

What did you think about lie detectors before reading this chapter? What do you think now?

Answers: 1. b 2. expressions 3. F 4. autonomic 5. b 6. F 7. heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, galvanic skin response 8. In cultures in which there is deep belief in superstitions like magic or voodoo, a person who thinks that she or he has been cursed may become uncontrollably emotional. After several days of intense terror, the stress of sympathetic arousal may produce a heart attack. Regardless, a parasympathetic rebound is likely. If the rebound is severe enough, it can also lead to physical collapse and death.

Expressing Emotions—Making Faces and Talking Bodies

Gateway Questions 10.9: How accurately are emotions expressed by the face and “body language”? Next to our own feelings, the expressions of others are the most familiar part of emotion. Are emotional expressions a carryover from human evolution? Charles Darwin thought so. Darwin (1872)

Angry Sad Happy Scheming Neutral

• Figure 10.17 When shown groups of simplified faces (without labels), the angry and scheming faces “jumped out” at people faster than sad, happy, or neutral faces. An ability to rapidly detect threat- ening expressions probably helped our ancestors survive. (Adapted from Tipples, Atkinson, & Young, 2002.)

• Figure 10.18 Is anger expressed the same way in different cultures? Masks that are meant to be frightening or threatening are strikingly similar around the world. Most have an open, downward-curved mouth and diagonal or triangular eyes, eyebrows, nose, cheeks, and chin. (Keep this list in mind next Halloween.) Obviously, the pictured mask is not meant to be warm and cuddly. Your ability to “read” its emotional message suggests that basic emotional expressions have uni- versal biological roots (Adolphs, 2008).

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Chapter 10356

contempt and interest may also be universal, but researchers are less certain of this (Ekman, 1993). Notice that this list covers most of the primary emotions described earlier. Children who are born blind have little opportunity to learn emotional expressions from others. Even so, they also display basic expressions in the same way sighted people do (Galati, Scherer, & Ricci-Bitti, 1997). It’s also nice to note that a smile is the most universal and easily recognized facial expression of emotion.

There are more than a few facial expressions, aren’t there? Yes. Your face can produce some 20,000 different expressions, which makes it the most expressive part of your body. Most of these are facial blends (a mixture of two or more basic expressions). Imagine, for example, that you just received an “F” on an unfair test. Quite likely, your eyes, eyebrows, and forehead would reveal anger, and your mouth would be turned downward in a sad frown.

Most of us believe we can fairly accurately tell what others are feeling by observing their facial expressions. If thousands of facial blends occur, how do we make such judgments? The answer is that facial expressions can be boiled down to three basic dimen- sions: pleasantness–unpleasantness, attention–rejection, and activa- tion (or arousal) (Schlosberg, 1954). By smiling when you give a friend a hard time, you add an emotional message of acceptance to

the verbal insult, which changes its meaning. As they say in movie Westerns, it makes a big difference to “Smile when you say that, pardner.”

Some facial expressions are shaped by learning and may be found only in specific cultures. Among the Chinese, for example, sticking out the tongue is a gesture of surprise, not of disrespect or teasing. If a person comes from another culture, it is wise to remember that you may easily misunderstand his or her expres- sions. At such times, knowing the social context in which an expres- sion occurs helps clarify its meaning (Carroll & Russell, 1996; Kalat & Shiota, 2012). (Also, see “Crow’s-Feet and Smiles Sweet.”)

Cultural Differences in Emotion How many times have you been angry this week? If it was more than once, you’re not unusual. Anger is a very common emotion in Western cultures. Very likely this is because our culture emphasizes personal independence and free expression of individual rights and needs. In North America, anger is widely viewed as a “natural” reaction to feeling that you have been treated unfairly.

In contrast, many Asian cultures place a high value on group harmony. In Asia, expressing anger in public is less common and anger is regarded as less “natural.” The reason for this is that anger

Crow’s-Feet and Smiles SweetCritical Thinking

The next time you see an athletic con- test or a beauty pageant on television, look closely at the winner’s smile and the smile of the runner-up. Although both people will be smiling, it is likely that the winner’s smile will be authentic and the loser’s smile will be forced (Thibault et al., 2009).

We smile for many reasons: to be polite or because of embarrassment, or sometimes to deceive (Frank, 2002; Frank & Ekman, 2004). These “social smiles” are often intentional or forced, and they only involve lifting the cor- ners of the mouth. What does a genuine smile look like? A real smile involves not only

the mouth, but also the small muscles around the eyes. These muscles lift the cheeks and make crow’s-feet or crinkles in the outside corners of the eyes.

Authentic smiles are called Duchenne smiles (after Guilluame Duchenne, a French scientist who studied facial muscles). The muscles around the eyes are very difficult to tighten on command. Hence, to tell if a smile in authentic, or merely posed, look at the corners of a person’s eyes, not the mouth (Williams et al., 2001). To put it another way, crow’s-feet mean a smile is sweet.

Duchenne smiles signal genuine happi- ness and enjoyment (Soussignan, 2002). In one study, women who had authentic smiles in their college yearbook photos were con- tacted 6, 22, and 31 years later. At each inter- val, real smiles in college were associated with more positive emotions and a greater sense of competence. We can only speculate about why this is the case. However, it is likely that smiling signals that a person is helpful or nurturing. This leads to more sup- portive social relationships and, in a self- fulfilling manner, to greater happiness (Gladstone & Parker, 2002).The face on the left shows a social smile; the one on the right is an authentic, or Duchenne, smile.

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Motivation and Emotion 357

Duchenne smile An authentic smile (as opposed to a posed, false smile) involving the mouth and the small muscles around the eyes.

Alexithymia A learned difficulty expressing emotions; more common in men.

Kinesics Study of the meaning of body movements, posture, hand gestures, and facial expressions; commonly called body language.

tends to separate people. Thus, being angry is at odds with a cul- ture that values cooperation.

Culture also influences positive emotions. In America, we tend to have positive feelings such as pride, happiness, and superiority, which emphasize our role as individuals. In Japan, positive feelings are more often linked with membership in groups (friendly feel- ings, closeness to others, and respect) (Kitayama, Markus, & Kurokawa, 2000; Markus et al., 2006). It is common to think of emotion as an individual event. However, as you can see, emotion is shaped by cultural ideas, values, and practices (Mesquita & Markus, 2004).

Gender and Emotion Women have a reputation for being “more emotional” than men. Are they? Compared with women, men in Western cultures are more likely to have difficulty expressing their emotions. In fact, Western men are more likely than women to experience alexi- thymia (a-LEX-ih-THIGH-me-ah), from the Latin for “can’t name emotions.”

According to psychologist Ronald Levant and colleagues (2006, 2009), although male babies start out life more emotion- ally expressive than female babies, little boys soon learn to “toughen up,” beginning in early childhood. As a result, men have learned to curtail the expression of most of their emotions. Whereas girls are encouraged to express sadness, fear, shame, and guilt, boys are more likely to be allowed to express only anger and hostility (Fischer et al., 2004).

But does this mean that men experience emotions less than women? Levant believes that men who fail to express emotions over time become less aware of their own emotions and, hence, less able to name them (Reker et al., 2010). For many men, a learned inability to express feelings or to even be aware of them is a major barrier to having close, satisfying relationships with

others and can also lead to health problems, such as depression or addictive behaviors (Lumley, 2004; Vanheule et al., 2010). Blunted emotions may even contribute to tragedies like the mass murder at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. For many young males, anger is the only emotion they can freely feel and express.

Body Language If a friend walked up to you and said, “Hey, ugly, what are you doing?” would you be offended? Probably not, because such remarks are usually delivered with a big grin. The facial and bodily gestures of emotion speak a language all their own and add to what a person says.

Kinesics (kih-NEEZ-iks) is the study of communication through body movement, posture, gestures, and facial expressions (Goman, 2008; Harrigan, 2006). Informally, we call it body lan- guage. To see a masterful use of body language, turn off the sound on a television and watch a popular entertainer or politician at work.

What kinds of messages are sent with body language? It is impor- tant to realize cultural learning also affects the meaning of gestures. What, for instance, does it mean if you touch your thumb and first finger together to form a circle? In North America, it means

The expression of emotion is strongly influ- enced by learning. As you have no doubt observed, women cry more often, longer, and more intensely than men do. Men begin learning early in childhood to suppress crying—possibly to the detriment of their emo- tional health (Williams & Morris, 1996). Many

men are especially unwilling to engage in public displays of

emotion, in contrast to this woman, who is

grieving for victims of the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

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Chapter 10358

“Everything is fine” or “A-okay.” In France and Belgium, it means “You’re worth zero.” In southern Italy, it means “You’re an ass!” When the layer of culturally defined meanings is removed, it is more realistic to say that body language reveals an overall emo- tional tone (underlying emotional state).

The body telegraphs other feelings. The most general “mes- sages” involve relaxation or tension and liking or disliking. Relax- ation is expressed by casually positioning the arms and legs, leaning back (if sitting), and spreading the arms and legs. Liking is expressed mainly by leaning toward a person or object. Thus, body position- ing can reveal feelings that would normally be concealed. Who do you “lean toward”?

Psychologist Tanya Chartrand has identified an aspect of body language they call the “chameleon effect.” This refers to uncon- sciously imitating the postures, mannerisms, and facial expressions of other people as we interact with them (Dalton, Chartrand, & Finkel, 2010). (We change our gestures to match our surroundings, like a chameleon changes color.) Chartrand also found that if another person copies your gestures and physical postures, you are more inclined to like them (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). This implies that to make a stronger connection with others, it helps to subtly mimic their gestures (Lakin et al., 2003).

Does body positioning or movement ever reveal lying or deception? Just as a less than genuine smile may betray a liar, so too might body language (Porter & ten Brinke, 2010). But the signs are subtle; seemingly obvious clues like shifty eyes, squirming, and nervous movements (rubbing, grooming, scratching, twisting hair, rubbing hands, biting lips, stroking the chin, and so on) are not consistently related to lying (Ekman, 2001).

On the other hand, the gestures people use to illustrate what they are saying may reveal lying. These gestures, called illustrators, tend to decrease when a person is telling a lie. In other words, per- sons who usually “talk with their hands” may be much less ani- mated when they are lying (DePaulo et al., 2003).

Other movements, called emblems, can also reveal lying. Emblems are gestures that have widely understood meanings within a particular culture. Some examples are the thumbs-up sign, the A-okay sign, the middle-finger insult, a head nod for yes, and a head shake for no. Emblems tend to increase when a person is lying. More importantly, they often reveal true feelings contrary to what the liar is saying. For example, a person might smile and say, “Yes, I’d love to try some of your homemade candied pig’s feet,” while slowly shaking her head from side to side.

Theories of Emotion—Several Ways to Fear a Bear

Gateway Question 10.10: How do psychologists explain emotions? Is it possible to explain what takes place during emotion? Theories of emotion offer different answers to this questions. Let’s explore some prominent views. Each appears to have a part of the truth, so we will try to put them all together in the end.

The James-Lange Theory You’re hiking in the woods when a bear steps onto the trail. What will happen next? Common sense tells us that we will then feel fear, become aroused, and run (and sweat and yell). But is this the true order of events? In the 1880s, William James and Carl Lange (LON-geh) proposed that common sense had it backward (Her- genhahn, 2009). According to the James-Lange theory, bodily arousal (such as increased heart rate) does not follow a feeling such as fear. Instead, they argued, emotional feelings follow bodily arousal. Thus, we see a bear, run, are aroused, and then feel fear as we become aware of our bodily reactions (• Figure 10.19).

To support his ideas, James pointed out that we often do not experience an emotion until after reacting. For example, imagine that you are driving. Suddenly, a car pulls out in front of you. You swerve and skid to an abrupt halt. Only then do you notice your pounding heart, rapid breathing, and tense muscles—and recog- nize your fear.

The Cannon-Bard Theory Walter Cannon (1932) and Phillip Bard disagreed with the James- Lange theory. According to the Cannon-Bard theory, emotional feelings and bodily arousal occur at the same time. Cannon and Bard believed that seeing a bear activates the thalamus in the brain. The thalamus, in turn, alerts the cortex and the hypothalamus for


James-Lange Theory

Emotional feelings (fear)

Emotional feelings (fear)

Emotional feelings (fear)

Emotional stimulus

Cannon-Bard Theory

Thalamus Behavior (run) Emotional stimulus

ANS arousal

Summary: Emotional arousal, behavior, and experience are released by the thalamus and are nearly simultaneous.

Schachter’s Cognitive Theory

Arousal plus label (“I am afraid.”)

Emotional stimulus

Behavior (run)

Summary: Arousal alone does not produce emotion; arousal must be labeled or interpreted.

ANS arousal Behavior (run)

Summary: After bodily arousal and behavior occur, you can feel your pounding heart, rapid breathing, flushed face, and sweating; this is what makes up the experience of emotion.

• Figure 10.19 Theories of emotion. Copyright © 2012 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Inc.

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Motivation and Emotion 359

Illustrators Gestures people use to illustrate what they are saying. Emblems Gestures that have widely understood meanings within a

particular culture. James-Lange theory States that emotional feelings follow bodily arousal

and come from awareness of such arousal. Cannon-Bard theory States that activity in the thalamus causes

emotional feelings and bodily arousal to occur simultaneously. Schachter’s cognitive theory States that emotions occur when physical

arousal is labeled or interpreted on the basis of experience and situational cues.

Attribution The mental process of assigning causes to events. In emotion, the process of attributing arousal to a particular source.

action. The cortex produces our emotional feelings and emotional behavior. The hypothalamus triggers a chain of events that arouses the body. Thus, if you see a dangerous-looking bear, brain activity will simultaneously produce bodily arousal, running, and a feeling of fear (• Figure 10.19).

Schachter’s Cognitive Theory of Emotion The previous theories are concerned mostly with our physical responses. Stanley Schachter realized that cognitive (mental) fac- tors also enter into emotion. According to Schachter’s cognitive theory, emotion occurs when we apply a particular label to general physiological arousal. We likely choose the appropriate label through a process of attribution, by deciding which source is lead- ing to the arousal (Valins, 1966).

Assume, for instance, that someone sneaks up behind you on a dark street and says, “Boo!” Your body is now aroused (pound- ing heart, sweating palms, and so on). If you attribute your arousal to a total stranger, you might label your arousal as fear; if you attribute your arousal to a close friend, you may experience surprise or delight. The label (such as anger, fear, or happiness) you apply to bodily arousal is influenced by your

past experiences, the situation, and the reactions of others (• Figure 10.19).

Support for the cognitive theory of emotion comes from an experiment in which people watched a slapstick movie (Schachter & Wheeler, 1962). Before viewing the movie, everyone got an injection, but no one was told what he or she was injected with. One third of the people received an arousing injection of adrena- line, one third got a placebo (salt water) injection, and one third were given a tranquilizer. People who received the adrenaline rated the movie funniest and laughed the most while watching it. In contrast, those given the tranquilizer were least amused. The pla- cebo group fell in between.

According to the cognitive theory of emotion, individuals who received adrenaline had a stirred-up body, but no explanation for what they were feeling. By attributing their arousal to the movie, they became happy and amused. This and similar experiments make it clear that emotion is much more than just an agitated body. Perception, experience, attitudes, judgment, and many other men- tal factors also affect the emotions we feel. Schachter’s theory would predict, then, that if you met a bear, you would be aroused. If the bear seemed unfriendly, you would interpret your arousal as fear, and if the bear offered to shake your “paw,” you would be happy, amazed, and relieved!

Misattribution We now move from slapstick movies and fear of bear bodies to an appreciation of bare bodies. There is no guarantee that we always make the correct attributions about our emotions. For example, Valins (1966) showed male college students a series of photographs of nude females. While watching the photographs, each student heard an amplified heartbeat that he believed was his own. In real- ity, students were listening to a recorded heartbeat carefully designed to beat louder and stronger when some (but not all) of the slides were shown.

After watching the slides, each student was asked to say which was most attractive. Students who heard the false heartbeat consis- tently rated slides paired with a “pounding heart” as the most attractive. In other words, when a student saw a slide and heard his heart beat louder, he attributed his “emotion” to the slide. His attribution seems to have been, “Now that one I like!” His next reaction, perhaps, was “But why?” Later research suggests that sub-

Which theory of emotion best describes the reactions of these people? Given the complexity of emotion, each theory appears to possess an element of truth.

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Chapter 10360

jects persuaded themselves that the slide really was more attractive in order to explain their apparent arousal (Truax, 1983).

That seems somewhat artificial. Does it really make any difference what arousal is attributed to? Yes. Attribution theory predicts that you are most likely to “love” someone who gets you stirred up emo- tionally (Foster et al., 1998). This is true even when fear, anger, frustration, or rejection is part of the formula. Thus, if you want to successfully propose marriage, take your intended to the middle of a narrow, windswept suspension bridge over a deep chasm and look deeply into his or her eyes. As your beloved’s heart pounds wildly (from being on the bridge, not from your irresistible charms), say, “I love you.” Attribution theory predicts that your companion will conclude, “Oh wow, I must love you too.”

The preceding is not as farfetched as it may seem. In an inge- nious classic study, a female psychologist interviewed men in a park. Some were on a swaying suspension bridge, 230 feet above a river. The rest were on a solid wooden bridge just 10 feet above the ground. After the interview, the psychologist gave each man her telephone number, so he could “find out about the results” of the study. Men interviewed on the suspension bridge were much more likely to give the “lady from the park” a call (Dutton & Aron, 1974). Apparently, these men experienced heightened arousal, which they misinterpreted as attraction to the experimenter—a clear case of love at first fright!

Love is one basis for interpersonal attraction, but there are others, such as similarity and proximity. To learn more about what brings people together, see Chapter 17, pages 576–578.


Emotional Appraisal According to Richard Lazarus (1991a, 1991b), the role of cogni- tion in experiencing emotions is not restricted to making causal attributions about why arousal has occurred. The emotions you experience are also greatly influenced by your emotional appraisal, how you evaluate the personal meaning of a stimulus: Is it good/ bad, threatening/supportive, relevant/irrelevant, and so on (León & Hernández, 1998). Some examples of emotional appraisals and the emotions they give rise to can be found in ■ Table 10.2.

Emotional appraisals have a major impact on the ability to cope with threats and stress, which may ultimately affect your health. See Chapter 13, pages 449–450.


Our discussion suggests that emotion is greatly influenced by how you think about an event. For example, if another driver “cuts you off ” on the highway, you could become very angry. But if you do, you will add 15 minutes of emotional upset to your day. By changing your attribution (“He probably didn’t mean it.”) and/or your emo- tional appraisal (“No big deal, anyway.”), you could just as easily choose to brush off the other driver’s behavior—and minimize your emotional wear-and-tear (Deutschendorf, 2009; Gross, 2001).

The Facial Feedback Hypothesis Schachter and Lazarus added thinking and interpretation (cogni- tion) to our view of emotion, but the picture still seems incom- plete. What about expressions? How do they influence emotion? As Charles Darwin observed, the face is very central to emotion— perhaps it is more than just an “emotional billboard.”

Psychologist Carrol Izard (1977, 1990) was among the first to sug- gest that the face does, indeed, affect emotion. According to Izard, emotions cause innately programmed changes in facial expression. Sensations from the face then provide cues to the brain that help us determine what emotion we are feeling. This idea is known as the facial feedback hypothesis (Hennenlotter et al., 2009). Stated another way, it says that having facial expressions and becoming aware of them influences our private emotional experience. Exercise, for instance, arouses the body, but we don’t experience this arousal as emotion because it does not trigger emotional expressions.

Psychologist Paul Ekman takes this idea one step further. He believes that “making faces” can actually cause emotion (Ekman, 1993). In one study, participants were guided as they arranged their faces, muscle by muscle, into expressions of surprise, disgust, sadness, anger, fear, and happiness (• Figure 10.20). At the same time, each person’s bodily reactions were monitored.

Contrary to what you might expect, “making faces” can affect the autonomic nervous system, as shown by changes in heart rate and skin temperature. In addition, each facial expression produces a different pattern of activity. An angry face, for instance, raises heart rate and skin temperature, whereas disgust lowers both (Ekman, Levenson, &

Appraisals and Corresponding Emotions

Appraisal Emotion

You have been slighted or demeaned


You feel threatened Anxiety

You have experienced a loss Sadness

You have broken a moral rule Guilt

You have not lived up to your ideals


You desire something another has Envy

You are near something repulsive Disgust

You fear the worst but yearn for better


You are moving toward a desired goal


You are linked with a valued object or accomplishment


You have been treated well by another


You desire affection from another person


You are moved by someone’s suffering


■ TABLE 10.2

Adapted from Lazarus, 1991b.

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Motivation and Emotion 361

Emotional appraisal Evaluating the personal meaning of a stimulus or situation.

Facial feedback hypothesis States that sensations from facial expressions help define what emotion a person feels.

Friesen, 1983). Other studies have confirmed that posed expressions alter emotions and bodily activity (Duclos & Laird, 2001; Soussignan, 2002).

In a fascinating experiment on facial feedback, peo- ple rated how funny they thought cartoons were while holding a pen crosswise in their mouths. Those who held the pen in their teeth thought the cartoons were funnier than did people who held the pen in their lips. Can you guess why? The answer is that if you hold a pen with your teeth, you are forced to form a smile. Holding it with the lips makes a frown. As predicted by the facial feedback hypothesis, emotional experiences were influenced by the facial expressions that people made (Strack, Martin, & Stepper, 1988). Next time you’re feeling sad, bite a pen!

Do people who have botox injected into their faces experience any less emotion? It can certainly be uncanny to watch celebrities whose faces have been injected with botox. And it is indeed possible they feel less emotion as a consequence. In one study, compared to nor- mal participants, participants injected with Botox showed less brain activity as they imitated angry faces (Hennenlotter et al., 2009). (Ain’t nothin’ gonna move!) It appears, then, that not only do emotions influence expressions, but expressions influence emo- tions, as shown here (Duclos & Laird, 2001):

Contracted Facial Muscles Felt Emotion Forehead Surprise Brow Anger Mouth (down) Sadness Mouth (smile) Joy

This could explain an interesting effect you have probably observed. When you are feeling “down,” forcing yourself to smile will some- times be followed by an actual improvement in your mood (Kleinke, Peterson, & Rutledge, 1998).

If smiling can improve a person’s mood, is it a good idea to inhibit negative emotions? For an answer, see “Suppressing Emotion— Don’t Turn Off the Music.”

A Contemporary Model of Emotion To summarize, James and Lange were right that feedback from arousal and behavior adds to our emotional experiences. Cannon and Bard were right about the timing of events. Schachter showed us that cognitive attribution is important. Richard Lazarus stressed

• Figure 10.20 Facial feedback and emotion. Participants in Ekman’s study formed facial expressions like those normally observed during emotion. When they did this, emotion-like changes took place in their bodily activity. (Adapted from Ekman, Levenson, & Friesen, 1983.)

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Suppressing Emotion—Don’t Turn Off the MusicThe Clinical File

According to popular media, we are sup- posed to be happy all the time (Hecht, 2007). However, real emotional life has its ups and downs. Often, we try to appear less emo- tional than we really are, especially when we are feeling negative emotions. Have you ever been angry with a friend in public? Embar- rassed by someone’s behavior at a party? Disgusted by someone’s table manners? In such circumstances, people are quite good at suppressing outward signs of emotion.

However, restraining emotion can actu- ally increase activity in the sympathetic ner-

vous system. In other words, hiding emotion requires a lot of effort. Suppressing emotions can also impair thinking and memory, as you devote energy to self-control. Thus, although suppressing emotion allows us to appear calm and collected on the outside, this cool appearance comes at a high cost (Richards & Gross, 2000). People who constantly suppress their emotions cope poorly with life and are prone to depression and other problems (Haga, Kraft, Corby, 2010; Lynch et al., 2001).

Conversely, people who express their emotions generally experience better emo-

tional and physical health (Lumley, 2004; Pennebaker, 2004). Paying attention to our negative emotions can also lead us to think more clearly about the positive and the neg- ative. The end result is better decision mak- ing, which can increase our overall happiness in the long run (Deutschendorf, 2009; Norem, 2002). Usually, it’s better to manage emotions than it is to suppress them. You will find some suggestions for managing emo- tions in the upcoming Psychology in Action section.

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Chapter 10362

the importance of emotional appraisal. In fact, psychologists are increasingly aware that both the attributions you make and how you appraise a situation greatly affects your emotions (León & Hernández, 1998; Strongman, 2003). Carrol Izard focused on facial expressions. Let’s put these ideas together in a single model of emotion (• Figure 10.21).

Imagine that a large snarling dog lunges at you with its teeth bared. A modern view of your emotional reactions goes something like this: An emotional stimulus (the dog) is appraised (judged) as a threat or other cause for emotion. (You think to yourself, “Uh oh, big trouble!”) Your appraisal gives rise to ANS arousal (your heart pounds, and your body becomes stirred up) and cognitive labeling. At the same time, your appraisal leads to adaptive behavior (you run from the dog). The appraisal also releases innate emotional expressions (your face twists into a mask of fear, and your posture becomes tense). In addition, it causes a change in consciousness that you recognize as the subjective experience of fear. (The inten- sity of this emotional feeling is directly related to the amount of ANS arousal taking place in your body.)

Each element of emotion—ANS arousal, labeling, adaptive behavior, subjective experience, and your emotional expressions— may further alter your emotional appraisal of the situation, as well as your attributions, thoughts, judgments, and perceptions. Thus, according to the facial feedback hypothesis, your facial expression may further influence your emotion. Such changes affect each of the other reactions, which again alters your appraisal and interpre- tation of events. Thus, emotion may blossom, change course, or diminish as it proceeds. Note, too, that the original emotional stimulus can be external, like the attacking dog, or internal, such as

a memory of being chased by a dog, rejected by a lover, or praised by a friend. That’s why mere thoughts and memories can make us fearful, sad, or happy (Strongman, 2003).

A Look Ahead In the Psychology in Action section of this chapter, we will look further at the impact of emotional appraisals through an examina- tion of emotional intelligence. Before we continue, you might want to appraise your learning with the exercises that follow.


Contemporary Model of Emotion

Emotional Appraisal (Danger!)

Emotional stimulus

ANS arousal + Cognitive label

Behavior (run)

Emotional expression (fearful face)

Emotional feelings (fear)

• Figure 10.21 A contemporary model of emotion. Appraisal gives rise to arousal and cognitive labeling, behavior, facial/postural expressions, and emotional feelings. Arousal, attribution, behavior, and expressions add to emotional feelings. Emotional feelings influence appraisal, which further affects arousal, behavior, expressions, and feelings. Copyright © 2012 Wadsworth, Cengage Learning, Inc.

Knowledge Builder Emotional Expression and Theories

of Emotion RECITE 1. Charles Darwin held that emotional expressions aid survival for

animals. T or F? 2. Which three dimensions of emotion are communicated by facial

expressions? a. pleasantness–unpleasantness b. complexity c. attention–

rejection d. anger e. curiosity–disinterest f. activation 3. A formal term for “body language” is _____________________. 4. According to the James-Lange theory, emotional experience

precedes physical arousal and emotional behavior. (We see a bear, are frightened, and run.) T or F?

5. The Cannon-Bard theory of emotion says that bodily arousal and emotional experience occur _______________________.

6. The idea that labeling arousal helps define what emotions we experience is associated with a. the James-Lange theory b. Schachter’s cognitive theory c. the

Cannon-Bard theory d. Darwin’s theory of innate emotional expressions

7. Subjects in Valins’s false heart rate study attributed increases in their heart rate to the action of a placebo. T or F?

8. As you try to wiggle your ears, you keep pulling the corners of your mouth back into a smile. Each time you do, you find yourself

giggling. Which of the following provides the best explanation for this reaction? a. attribution b. the Cannon-Bard theory c. appraisal d. facial


REFLECT Think Critically

9. People with high spinal injuries may feel almost no signs of physiological arousal from their bodies. Nevertheless, they still feel emotion, which can be intense at times. What theory of emotion does this observation contradict?


Write a list of emotions that you think you can accurately detect from facial expressions. Does your list match Paul Ekman’s? Would you be more confident in rating pleasantness–unpleasantness, attention–rejection, and activation? Why?

Which theory seems to best explain your own emotional experiences? Try frowning or smiling for 5 minutes. Did facial feedback have any effect on your mood? Cover the left column of ■ Table 10.2. Read each emotional label in the right column. What appraisal do you think would lead to the listed emotion?

Answers: 1. T 2. a, c, f 3. kinesics 4. F 5. simultaneously 6. b 7. F 8. d 9. The James-Lange theory and Schachter’s cognitive theory. The facial feedback hypothesis also helps explain the observation.

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Motivation and Emotion 363

Emotional intelligence The ability to perceive, use, understand, and manage emotions.

depression, eating disorders, unwanted preg- nancy, aggression, violent crime, and poor academic performance. Thus, in many life circumstances emotional intelligence is as important as IQ (Dulewicz & Higgs, 2000).

Are there specific skills that make up emo- tional intelligence? Many elements contribute to emotional intelligence (Deutschendorf, 2009; Larsen & Prizmic, 2004; Mayer et al., 2001). A description of some of the most important skills follows:

Perceiving emotions The foundation of emo- tional intelligence is the ability to perceive emotions in yourself and others. Unlike alex- ithymic people, emotionally intelligent peo- ple are tuned in to their own feelings (Taylor & Taylor-Allan, 2007). They are able to rec- ognize quickly if they are angry, envious, feel- ing guilty, or depressed. This is valuable because many people have disruptive emo- tions without being able to pinpoint why they are uncomfortable. At the same time, emo- tionally intelligent people have empathy. They accurately perceive emotions in others and sense what others are feeling. They are good at “reading” facial expressions, tone of voice, and other signs of emotion.

Using Emotions People who are emotionally intelligent use their feelings to enhance think- ing and decision making. For example, if you can remember how you reacted emotionally in the past, it can help you react better to new situations. You can also use emotions to pro- mote personal growth and improve relation- ships with others. For instance, you may have noticed that helping someone else makes you feel better, too. Likewise, when good fortune comes their way, people who are emotionally smart share the news with others. Almost always, doing so strengthens relationships and increases emotional well-being (Gable et al., 2004).

Understanding Emotions Emotions contain useful information. For instance, anger is a cue that something is wrong; anxiety indi- cates uncertainty; embarrassment communi- cates shame; depression means we feel help- less; enthusiasm tells us we’re excited. People who are emotionally intelligent know what

causes various emotions, what they mean, and how they affect behavior.

Managing Emotions Emotional intelligence involves an ability to manage your own emo- tions and those of others. For example, you know how to calm down when you are angry and you also know how to calm others. As Aristotle noted so long ago, people who are emotionally intelligent have an ability to amplify or restrain emotions, depending on the situation (Bonanno et al., 2004).

Positive Psychology and Positive Emotions It’s obvious that joy, interest, contentment, love, and similar emotions are pleasant and rewarding. There is a natural tendency to enjoy positive emotions but to treat negative emotions as unwelcome misery. Make no mis- take, though. Negative emotions can also be valuable and constructive. For example, per- sistent distress may motivate a person to seek help, mend a relationship, or find a new direc- tion in life (Plutchik, 2003). Negative emo- tions are associated with actions that probably helped our ancestors save their skins: escap- ing, attacking, expelling poison, and the like. As useful as these reactions may be, they tend to narrow our focus of attention and limit our ideas about possible actions.

In contrast, positive emotions tend to broaden our focus (Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005). This opens up new possibilities and builds up our personal resources. For instance, emotions such as joy, interest, and contentment create an urge to play, to be creative, to explore, to savor life, to seek new experiences, to integrate, and to grow.

In short, positive emotions are not just a pleasant side effect of happy circumstances. They also encourage personal growth and social connection. Happiness can be cultivated by using the strengths we already possess— including kindness, originality, humor, opti- mism, and generosity. Such strengths are natu- ral buffers against misfortune, and they can

Emotional Intelligence—The Fine Art of Self-ControlPsychology in Action

Gateway Question 10.11: What does it mean to have “emotional intelligence”? The Greek philosopher Aristotle had a recipe for handling relationships smoothly: “Be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way.” Psychologists Peter Salovey and John Mayer call such self-control emotional intelligence, the ability to per- ceive, use, understand, and manage emotions (Salovey & Mayer, 1997). In general, being emotionally intelligent means accepting that emotions are an essential part of who we are and how we survive. Being emotionally skilled can make us more flexible, adaptable, and emotionally mature (Bonanno et al., 2004; Johnson, Batey, & Holdsworth, 2009).

People who excel in life tend to be emo- tionally intelligent (Mehrabian, 2000). If our emotions are the music of life, then emotion- ally intelligent people are good musicians. They do not stifle their emotions or overin- dulge in them. Instead, they compose them into sustaining life rhythms that mesh well with other people. They are more agreeable than people with low emotional skills (Haas et al., 2007).

Indeed, the costs of poor emotional skills can be high. They range from problems in marriage and parenting to poor physical health. A lack of emotional intelligence can ruin careers and sabotage achievement (Zam- petakis & Moustakis, 2011). Perhaps the greatest toll falls on children and teenagers (Alegre, 2011; Parker, 2005). For them, hav- ing poor emotional skills can contribute to


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Chapter 10364 Chapter 10364

first step. There are many valuable lessons to learn from paying close attention to your emotions and the emotions of others. It’s a good bet that many of the people you admire the most are not just smart, but also emotion- ally smart (Lady Gaga?). They are people who know how to offer a toast at a wedding, tell a joke at a roast, comfort the bereaved at a funeral, add to the fun at a party, or calm a frightened child. These are skills worth cul- tivating (Deutschendorf, 2009).

personal values, needs, and emotions into account. Extremely rational approaches to making choices can produce sensible but emo- tionally empty decisions. Good decisions often combine emotion with reason. In short, emotional intelligence is the ability to con- sciously make your emotions work for you.

Psychologists are still unsure how to teach emotional intelligence. Nevertheless, it’s clear that emotional skills can be learned. Accept- ing that emotions are valuable is an important

help people live more positive, genuinely happy lives (Ong, Zautra, & Reid, 2010; Selig- man, 2002). A capacity for having positive emotions is a basic human strength, and culti- vating good feelings is a part of emotional intelligence (Fredrickson, 2003).

Becoming Emotionally Smart How would a person learn the skills that make up emotional intelligence? Often, the “right” choices in life can only be defined by taking

Knowledge Builder Emotional Intelligence

RECITE 1. People who rate high in emotional intelligence tend to be highly

aware of their own feelings and unaware of emotions experienced by others. T or F?

2. Using the information imparted by emotional reactions can enhance thinking and decision making. T or F?

3. Positive emotions may be pleasant, but they tend to narrow our focus of attention and limit the range of possible actions we are likely to consider. T or F?

4. Which of the following is not an element of emotional intelligence? a. empathy b. self-control c. self-centeredness d. self-awareness

REFLECT Think Critically

5. You are angry because a friend borrowed money from you and hasn’t repaid it. What would be an emotionally intelligent response to this situation?


Think of a person you know who is smart but low in emotional intelligence. Think of another person who is smart cognitively and emotionally. How does the second person differ from the first? Which person do you think would make a better parent, friend, supervisor, roommate, or teacher?

Answers: 1. F 2. T 3. F 4. c 5. There’s no single right answer. Rather than being angry, it might be better to reflect on whether friendship or money is more important in life. If you appreciate your friend’s virtues, accept that no one is perfect, and reappraise the loan as a gift, you could save a valued relationship and reduce your anger at the same time. Alternately, if you become aware that your friend persistently manipulates other people with emotional appeals for support, it may be worth reappraising your friendship.

Chapter in Review Gateways to Motivation and Emotion

10.1 What is motivation and are there different types of motives? 10.1.1 Motives initiate, sustain, and direct activities. Moti-

vation typically involves the sequence: need, drive, goal, and goal attainment (need reduction).

10.1.2 Behavior can be activated either by needs (push) or by goals (pull).

10.1.3 The attractiveness of a goal and its ability to initiate action are related to its incentive value.

10.1.4 Three principal types of motives are biological motives, stimulus motives, and learned motives.

10.1.5 Most biological motives operate to maintain homeostasis.

10.1.6 Circadian rhythms of bodily activity are closely tied to sleep, activity, and energy cycles. Time zone travel and shift work can seriously disrupt sleep and bodily rhythms.

10.2 What causes hunger, overeating, and eating disorders? 10.2.1 Hunger is influenced by a complex interplay between

fullness of the stomach, blood sugar levels, metabolism in the liver, and fat stores in the body.

10.2.2 The hypothalamus exerts the most direct control of eating, through areas that act like feeding and satiety systems. The hypothalamus is sensitive to both neural and chemical messages, which affect eating.


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Motivation and Emotion 365

10.2.3 Other factors influencing hunger are the body’s set point, external eating cues, the attractiveness and variety of diet, emotions, learned taste preferences and taste aversions, and cul- tural values.

10.2.4 Obesity is the result of internal and external influ- ences, diet, emotions, genetics, and exercise.

10.2.5 The most effective way to lose weight is behavioral dieting, which is based on techniques that change eating patterns and exercise habits.

10.2.6 Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two prominent eating disorders. Both tend to involve conflicts about self-image, self-control, and anxiety.

10.3 What kinds of biological motives are thirst, pain avoidance, and the sex drive?

10.3.1 Like hunger, thirst and other basic motives are affected by a number of bodily factors but are primarily under the central control of the hypothalamus.

10.3.2 Thirst may be either intracellular or extracellular. 10.3.3 Pain avoidance is unusual because it is episodic as

opposed to cyclic. Pain avoidance and pain tolerance are partially learned.

10.3.4 The sex drive is also unusual in that it is non-homeostatic.

10.4 How does arousal relate to motivation? 10.4.1 Drives for stimulation are partially explained by

arousal theory, which states that an ideal level of bodily arousal will be maintained if possible.

10.4.2 The desired level of arousal or stimulation varies from person to person.

10.4.3 Optimal performance on a task usually occurs at moderate levels of arousal. This relationship is described by an inverted U function. The Yerkes-Dodson law further states that for simple tasks the ideal arousal level is higher, and for complex tasks it is lower.

10.5 What are learned and social motives and why are they important?

10.5.1 Learned motives, including social motives, account for much of the diversity of human motivation.

10.5.2 Opponent-process theory explains the operation of some learned motives.

10.5.3 Social motives are learned through socialization and cultural conditioning.

10.5.4 People high in need for achievement (nAch) are suc- cessful in many situations due to their perseverance, passion, and self-confidence.

10.5.5 Self-confidence greatly affects motivation in everyday life.

10.6 Are some motives more basic than others? 10.6.1 Maslow’s hierarchy of motives categorizes needs as

either basic or growth oriented. 10.6.2 Lower needs in the hierarchy are assumed to be pre-

potent (dominant) over higher needs. 10.6.3 Self-actualization, the highest and most fragile need,

is reflected in meta-needs. 10.6.4 Meta-needs are closely related to intrinsic motiva-

tion. In some situations, external rewards can undermine intrinsic motivation, enjoyment, and creativity.

10.7 What happens during emotion? 10.7.1 An emotion consists of physiological changes, adap-

tive behavior, emotional expressions, and emotional feelings. 10.7.2 The primary emotions of fear, surprise, sadness, dis-

gust, anger, anticipation, joy, and trust (acceptance) can be mixed to produce more complex emotional experiences.

10.7.3 The left hemisphere of the brain primarily processes positive emotions. Negative emotions are processed in the right hemisphere.

10.7.4 The amygdala provides a “quick and dirty” pathway for the arousal of fear that bypasses the cerebral cortex.

10.8 What physiological changes underlie emotion, and can “lie detectors” really detect lies?

10.8.1 Physical changes associated with emotion are caused by activity in the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

10.8.2 The sympathetic branch of the ANS is primarily responsible for arousing the body, the parasympathetic branch for quieting it.

10.8.3 The polygraph, or “lie detector,” measures emotional arousal (rather than lying) by monitoring heart rate, blood pres- sure, breathing rate, and the galvanic skin response (GSR). The accuracy of the lie detector can be quite low.

10.8.4 Newer brain imaging methods, such as fMRI, are showing great promise in lie detection.

10.9 How accurately are emotions expressed by the face and “body language”?

10.9.1 Basic facial expressions of fear, anger, disgust, sadness, surprise, and happiness are universally recognized. Facial expres- sions of contempt and interest may be universal as well.

10.9.2 Facial expressions reveal pleasantness versus unpleas- antness, attention versus rejection, and a person’s degree of emo- tional activation.

10.9.3 Social context influences the meaning of facial expressions, such as social smiles. Cultural differences in the meaning of some facial expressions also occur. Men tend to be less expressive than women.

10.9.4 The formal study of body language is known as kine- sics. Body gestures and movements (body language) also express feelings, mainly by communicating emotional tone rather than specific universal messages.

9781285519517, Introduction to Psychology: Gateways to Mind and Behavior with Concept Maps and Reviews, Thirteenth Edition, Coon/Mitterer – © Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.

Chapter 10366

10.9.5 Body positioning expresses relaxation or tension and liking or disliking.

10.9.6 Lying can sometimes be detected from changes in illustrators or emblems.

10.10 How do psychologists explain emotions? 10.10.1 Contrary to common sense, the James-Lange theory

says that emotional experience follows bodily reactions. In con- trast, the Cannon-Bard theory says that bodily reactions and emo- tional experiences occur at the same time.

10.10.2 Schachter’s cognitive theory emphasizes that label- ing bodily arousal can determine what emotion you feel. Appro- priate labels are chosen by attribution (ascribing arousal to a particular source).

10.10.3 Contemporary views of emotion place greater emphasis on the effects of cognitive appraisals. Also, our feelings and actions change as each element of emotion interacts with oth- ers. One of the best ways to manage emotion is to change your emotional appraisal of a situation.

10.10.4 The facial feedback hypothesis holds that facial expressions help define the emotions we feel.

10.10.5 Contemporary views of emotion emphasize that all the elements of emotion are interrelated and interact with one another.

10.11 What does it mean to have “emotional intelligence”? 10.11.1 Emotional intelligence is the ability to consciously

make your emotions work for you in a wide variety of life circumstances.

10.11.2 People who are “smart” emotionally are able to per- ceive, use, understand, and manage emotions. They are self-aware and empathetic; know how to use emotions to enhance thinking, decision making, and relationships; and have an ability to under- stand and manage emotions.

10.11.3 Positive emotions are valuable because they tend to broaden our focus and they encourage personal growth and social connection.

Achievement Motivation in Business Find out if people high in the need for achievement make good managers.

The Affective System Provides information about how particular parts of the brain are associated with different aspects of emotion; provides a classification of basic emotions and how emotions impact our behavior.

When a Patient Has No Story to Tell Read the case histories of sev- eral people with alexithymia.

Learn the Truth about Lie Detectors Read arguments against the use of polygraph testing.

The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals Read Charles Darwin’s original book on this topic.

What’s in a Face? Read an APA article about facial expressions.

Controlling Anger Discusses anger and some strategies for its control.

Emotional IQ Test Measure your emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence This site provides information about emo- tional intelligence and why some people may be better at handling emotions than others and offers a useful set of guidelines for doing just this.

Emotional Intelligence Links Explore a comprehensive set of links on the topic of emotional intelligence.

Web Resources Internet addresses frequently change. To find an up-to-date list of URLs for the sites listed here, visit your Psychology CourseMate.

Theories of Motivation Because no single theory can account for all aspects of biological aspects of motivation, this site examines the major approaches to understanding motivation and includes discus- sions of both the strengths and weaknesses of each theory.

Sleeplessness and Circadian Rhythm Disorder Read what hap- pens when your biological clock malfunctions and what you can do about it.

Drive Reduction Theory and Incentives in the Regulation of Food Intake Using eating behavior as an example, explore the roles of drive reduction and incentives.

Eating Disorders Website Home page of a self-help group for those afflicted with eating disorders.

Healthy Dieting Find your body mass index as you learn more about healthy dieting.

The Facts about Aphrodisiacs Find out if aphrodisiacs increase the sex drive.

Sensation Seeking Scale Find out if you are high or low in sensation seeking.

The Yerkes-Dodson Law Read more about the Yerkes-Dodson Law.


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Motivation and Emotion 367

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