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Chapter 11 Goal-Congruent (Positive) Emotions

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1 Chapter 11 Goal-Congruent (Positive) Emotions
Human Motivation Chapter 11 Goal-Congruent (Positive) Emotions

2 Goal-Congruent Emotions
Facilitate and sustain the attainment of personal goals Positive emotions Example: Happiness Defined in two ways: rate how good/positive person feels at given moment; series of questions of how people evaluate their lives both affectively/cognitively (subjective well-being) Myths of happiness: life is difficult and few people are happy, money makes people happy, we cannot become happier. o     

3 Happiness The Biological Component:
About half the variance of subjective well-being is the result of heritability Positively related to the personality trait of extraversion and negatively related to neuroticism. Positively related to good social relationships. Positive emotions linked to an active left prefrontal cortex, and negative emotions linked to the right prefrontal cortex. Pursuit of happiness in universal quality of humans.

4 Happiness The Learned/Cognitive Components:
A result of learning to conquer fear and make plans, our ancestors were less under the direction of fight-flight response; they came to experience positive emotions more of the time. Likely provided the incentive/motivation to think and plan. Results in avoiding pain and helping achieve goals. Comes from doing things that are satisfying in themselves (intrinsic motivation); occurs most strongly when person has finished a flow activity.

5 Happiness and Coping Coping: sometimes the best we can do is make reasonable progress toward dealing with external demands as well as goals. Even in state of ambiguity, people can and do experience happiness. Four main qualities linked to happiness: extraversion, optimism, self-esteem, and personal control.

6 Happiness and Coping The Biological Component:
Many of our daily interactions can be characterized as moving between fear and happiness (coping) Once learning occurs, decrease in epinephrine and drop in arousal; norepinephrine remains high. Positive affect is often triggered as result of successful coping, leads to increase in dopamine levels.

7 Happiness and Coping The Learned/Cognitive Component:
We learn faster in subsequent situations; develop generalized belief or expectation such that if we were able to cope in one situation, we can cope in other situations -> self-efficacy. Positive affect/emotions facilitate approach or continued behavior. Positive affect is highly adaptive; motivates and rewards behaviors that lead individual to explore; gives more accurate/better knowledge about environment. People who are resilient in the face of adversity are good at triggering positive emotions.

8 The Question of Uncertainty and Coping
Uncertainty- lack of certainty how we should deal with new situation; unable to fully understand something of to fully know the outcome of an act. One of the major reasons we experience stress is that we don’t have a coping response available. From evolutionary perspective, when there is no certainty, survival is threatened; people need to know about their environment and how to effectively interact with it (coping) Often we refrain from doing what will lead to happiness because of the fear/uncertainty.

9 The Question of Uncertainty and Coping
Fear alerts us to threats to our survival. Uncertainty leads to high arousal Uncertainty alerts us that we are not fully prepared to deal with our environment and typically elicits anxiety. The most common regret is that of inaction. Commons reasons that people fail to take action is that they are anxious of afraid.

10 The Question of Uncertainty and Coping
The Biological Component: Behavioral coping: To deal with unpredictability, humans typically engage in behaviors that will make things more predictable. Norepinephrine is released in large amounts, and our mood improves; occurs especially when animals learn about a situation. Epinephrine levels remain high, indicating the stress of uncertainty in dealing with new situations.

11 The Question of Uncertainty and Coping
The Learned/Cognitive Component: People get significantly more satisfaction from exercising a coping response when the task is difficult than when it is easy; reward value higher. Personal control appears to be a powerful source of motivation for humans; inability to control is often source of stress. People can reframe/reinterpret a negative situation by adopting a positive perspective; leads individuals to experience positive emotions and cope better. Mistakes may produce momentary pain, but regrets tend to outweigh any memory of failure.

12 Self-Efficacy Theory and the Dual Route to Anxiety Control
Self-efficacy: people’s beliefs in their capabilities to mobilize the motivation, cognitive resources, and courses of action needed to exercise control over given events. Determines what challenges people undertake, how much effort they will expend, how long they will persevere, and how much stress and despondency they will endure. People avoid threatening situations; they fear that they will be unable to cope (behaviorally/cognitively) Cognitive coping: people operate under the belief that they can manage their thinking or cognitions.

13 Optimism and Hope Optimism: generalized expectancy that good, as opposed to bad, outcomes will generally occur when one is confronted with problems across important life domains. When people see desired outcomes as attainable, they are inclined to continue to exert efforts to attain those outcomes. Optimists and hopeful people tend to view all desired outcomes as attainable; tend to persist; tend to put forth more effort.

14 Optimism and Hope The Biological Component:
Evolutionary perspective: it was biologically adaptive for our ancestors to develop a sense of optimism; carry them through adverse circumstances, including injury. Leads to release of endorphins- pain reducing and euphoric benefits. Optimism is a positive/active emotion- makes us turn to our environment for resources we need.

15 Optimism and Hope The Learned/Cognitive Component:
Optimism and hope may merely be ways that people have learned to think about the world. Pessimism is a risk factor for poor achievement and a predictor of depression. Optimistic people are healthier than pessimistic people: improved immune response, reduction in negative mood, better health promoting behaviors. Optimists are more inclined to consider their coping alternatives.

16 The Concept of Hope Hope in conceptualize in terms of two major elements: Pathway thinking: conceptualizing one or more routes to a desired goal. Agentic thinking: thoughts that have to do with initiating movement along one’s chosen path. Hopeful people believe they can attain goals (agency) and generate alternatives (pathways). Higher hope is related to better outcomes in academics, athletics, physical health, psychological adjustment, and psychotherapy; hopeful people tend to set more goals, more difficult goals, and are more likely to attain high goals.

17 The Role of Early Experience: The Question of Attachment
Parent-child interaction influences wide range of adaptive emotions such as happiness, optimism, and self-worth; also influences adaptive behaviors such as coping with stress and self-regulation of motivation. A secure parent-child bond encourages the child to explore, develop feelings of confidence, and learn how to interact socially.

18 Three Parent-Child Attachment Styles
Secure attachment: sensitivity and responsiveness to child’s need for contact. Children characterized by self-confidence and emerging independence. Anxious/ambivalent attachment: inconsistency in meeting the child’s need for contact. Children tend to be inhibited, dependent, and have low self-confidence. Avoidant attachment: avoidance or rejection of child’s need for contact. Children tend to explore, but behavior motivated more by desire to avoid mother.

19 The Role of Early Experience: The Question of Attachment
The Biological Component: Infants evolved a number of mechanisms to securely bond with parents/caretakers: crying, smiling, and hugging. Two fundamental social motives: the need to follow or exceed expectations and the need to be loved. Responsible for flexibility we observe in behavior. Securely attached children explore more and are better able to cope with a variety of life distresses.

20 The Role of Early Experience: The Question of Attachment
The Learned/Cognitive Component: Humans learn to reduce fears/anxieties be becoming securely attached. Need for attachment in children is a prototype for need for attachment in adults. Securely attached adults have highest interest in jobs, experience greater job satisfaction, lowest in terms of being fearful of evaluation; appear to be intrinsically motivated; more inclined to seek social support (which tends to lead to quicker recovery).

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