Motivation and Emotion

Motivation and Emotion


In terms of psychology, there is a clear and distinct difference between motivation and emotion (Talamo, 2012). While motivation is the coherent energized state toward the desire to achieve something, emotions are the feelings encompassed in the reaction of different hormones in our bodies (Talamo, 2012). For example, the hormone dopamine is responsible for the emotions of love, affection etc. (Compton & Hoffman, 2013). Despite the disparities presented in their individual definitions, it is important to note that there, are distinct similarities between the two concepts that allows them to be considered as a pair rather than individually (Compton & Hoffman, 2013).

Question 1

            Motivation can simply be defined as the reasons behind certain behaviors or characters (Nevid, 2012). The reasons referred to as motives, may be either internal or external. Internal motives may be considered the individual’s morals, ethical code and general character (Nevid, 2012). Others such as emotion may also suffice. External motives, or external events, are so many that they are actually defined in the context of the situation. Overall, they may be reasons behind behavior (Compton & Hoffman, 2013). Internal motives, as stated above, constitute the individual’s mental makeup (Compton & Hoffman, 2013). The elements include key character traits, ethics, moral code, and emotion. The factors are more widespread in individuals since the way one was brought up constitutes their character (Reeve, 2015). Internal motives hence can be thought to reside within us since our very own existence.

External motives, as already explained depend on the context of the event (Reeve, 2015). For example, if an individual whose parents are killed files a lawsuit, then seeking revenge is the external motivator. Someone else who is in a different situation other than individual who is seeking a lawsuit cannot feel the motivation (Deckers, 2010). Given the obvious distinction between the two, a conviction prevails that a person’s choices are related to the internal motivations rather than the external (Reeve, 2015). A person will always act according to their character, even in light of the external motivation (Compton & Hoffman, 2013). If the individual stated above, received teachings that it is never correct to revenge or to pay back others for their misdeeds, he or she may reason that revenge is not what the deceased family member would have wanted, hence may opt out of seeking it. However, the individuals may proceed to file a lawsuit to ensure that no one else suffers the same fate. Overall, the individuals will make judgments according to their characters (Deckers, 2010).

Once, I worked with someone, we had made an agreement in which I was to correct the grammatical mistakes in the various reports he was required to submit by his company since he was not well versed in English. Once I finished with a dozen of the reports, I requested for payment and the individual adamantly failed to return my calls nor reply my texts. I gave up trying to reach him. Some days later, he accidentally sent some money to my PayPal account via mobile. I do not understand what the problem was on his end. He pleaded that I return the money. The external motivation for keeping the money was the fact that it would serve as a lesson to him on the workings of Karma. However, since, that was not the person I was raised to be, I returned each cent to his account followed by a kind reminder for him to be careful next time.

Despite the external motivation being so strong, in the end, I reverted to my roots, my foundation, hence I believe internal motivations will always surpass the external ones; one cannot afford to go against his or her character no matter the prevailing circumstance.

Question 2

Human beings are characterized with a physical and a psychological makeup (Talamo, 2012). The physical make up constitutes the biological functions that all serve to keep an individual alive and running (Schutz & Pekrun, 2007). The psychological and the physical components of an individual are all connected since it is the work of the psychological (neurological center) to coordinates the events of the physical body and hence by doing so, allow it to collect information that may give the neurological center insights on how to function (Schutz & Pekrun, 2007). This shows that a physical function or habit may become lodged into the psychological center and by doing so, become an unstoppable habit (Schutz & Pekrun, 2007). Hunger is a physical and biological need. It occurs when human beings are in need of food for the various physiological processes and needs (Nevid, 2012). In a typical scenario, a person may reside from a poor background where constant hunger was the order of the day. Meals were unheard of and the little moments that there was enough to eat were greatly treasured

The once poor individual has now made it in life and wants to enact a program that aims to feed the hungry people of society. His or her motivation is to make sure that no other unfortunate children go through what they went through at such a small age, this is a clear and well elaborate description on how a common biological function may translate into a psychological motivator. The above case is due to feelings of sympathy and empathy hence qualifying it as an internal motivator. Another common biological need is the need to sleep. Ever since I was young, I had the habit of oversleeping. The scenario would allow me to attend middle school classes late. In a period of about one week, I would always arrive at school late more times than early, the reverse was never plausible. Due to this irregularity, my parents were always being summoned to talk about my condition and how it would affect my overall classroom performance. The occurrence led to my suspension from school for a period of two weeks. The happening jotted me to realize the seriousness of my case; I began sleeping exercises that served to smoothen out my sleeping patterns. The motivator was external since I wanted to maintain a plausible reputation in school; it was an external motivator that had originated from a physiological need. Therefore, the above two situations contemplate of how an external physiological need may be the initiator of a psychological motive. As already stated above, the physiological and the psychological parts of the human psychological system are greatly connected such that one may lead to the other (Schutz & Pekrun, 2007).

Question 3

            External events such as praise and recognition really do play a huge role in building self-esteem. According to Nevid (2012), the self-determination theory asserts that the determination a person exhibits may result from external factors (extrinsic) or internal factors (intrinsic). The motivation that comes from reward and praise are purely extrinsic. Compton and Hoffman (2013) assert that the extrinsic motivation is only effective while continuously administered, in short, that strong athlete or smart student is likely to recede if the constant recognition and praise are suddenly stopped. While it fosters hard work and goal achievement, it might lead to deviation from the path of success when dropped (Schutz & Pekrun, 2007). That highlights both the positive and negative effects extrinsic motivation have (Schutz & Pekrun, 2007).

When I was little, I used to excel in my studies, I would get much recognition and praise from teachers at school. This all changed when a transfer student joined our class and attained the top position. All the recognition, praise, and motivation shifted to him, while I received little if any. This greatly killed my morale and I never was the same again. My grades drastically dropped and I had never reached the top again. This is because I had thought that everyone had lost faith in me since I allowed my previously secured top position to be taken by someone else. In conclusion, extrinsic motivation is advantageous but disadvantageous when it suddenly stops after being issued many times before.

Question 4

The contingency theory asserts that learning will only take place if there is a stimulus, which must provide the subject information that an expected event will occur (Schutz & Pekrun, 2007). For example, when I was young, I used to love to play in the rain. In one of these ordeals, I was hit with a terrible cold that lasted for three weeks. Hence the external environmental factor (rain) was the stimulus and it made me learn that the expected event (getting a cold) was possible if I played in it. If the stimulus had not provided me the information (getting a cold), I would not have learned. Cognition refers to all process involved in the gaining, learning, and application of newly acquired information. It includes processes such as thinking, knowing, judging comparison and so on (Reeve, 2015).

Whenever I watch YouTube tutorial on how to solve a problem on my personal computer, I am actually applying cognition. I am first acquiring the information; next, I am interpreting it according to my own understanding and finally, I am applying it for the purpose of fixing my computer. Behavior is defined as how one acts or the actions one does when in the presence of others. (Reeve, 2015) I like to shift everyone’s attention toward me whenever we are spending time with friends. My friends call it my ‘self-centered behavior’ hence it can be concluded that attention seeking is part of my behaviors.

Question 5

The need for achievement is basically the desire for accomplishment. Human beings are social creatures who always strive to fit in and be identified with a certain ethnic group (Evans, 2015). Achievements are the factors, which demarcate the boundaries between those who are able and the ones who are not capable. Since everyone wants to be associated with a capable person, the quest for achievement is inevitable (Reeve, 2015). In a typical society, a politician that has made huge realization during his or her political career are more likely to be preferred than that who has not (Nevid, 2012). Even women like men who have made many achievements in their lifetime since it is an illustration of an individual who is abled bodied and hence able to handle the events of a family.

When I was young, my brother I were in constant competition with each other, we were in the quest for the favor of our parents who seemed to hinge on achievement. The sibling who would get the highest grades was showered with praise and recognition while the other will be criticized to work harder to be at the same level as the thriving sibling. To our parents, achievements seemed to be the only fuel to their favor hence we thrived to achieve. This is a clear explanation on why achievement is so important to humans.

            Question 6

The advantages that lie between in the process of setting short-term goals are significant (Talamo, 2012). For starters, the goals are achievable in a short time, this rules out the possibility of getting stuck along the way or straight up just giving up before achieving the goal (Reeve, 2015). Achieving the short-term goals hence provides the basis of the motivation for achieving other similar goals (Reeve, 2015). This increase performance levels. A disadvantage of setting short-term goals is the stagnancy it brings (Evans, 2015). One may not make any significant progress in a significant amount of time hence building on the feeling that one is wasting valuable time. (Nevid, 2012) asserts that a large portion of the population is interested in achieving long-term goals in the shortest time possible hence short term goals are in the end considered to be a waste of valuable terms (Evans, 2015).

Long-term goals are advantageous in many ways. Compton and Hoffman (2013) claim that it allows an individual to see the bigger picture. It allows one to have a straightforward objective. Short-term goals may make one to deviate from the bigger picture but long-term goals serve to keep one focused. A major disadvantage that is associated with long-term goals is the fact that they are so far-fetched such that to some extent, they are considered to be unrealistic (Reeve, 2015). People tend to deviate from trying to achieve them since most require a significant amount of time and resources to achieve. The scenario diminishes motivation and performance (Reeve, 2015).


Motivation and emotion hence are closely related although they may seem to be far-fetched and having no correlation. Motivation can bring good, as well as bad results, depending on how it is used. It plays an important role mainly toward the desire for achievement which in turn fosters the need to achieve goals. Motivation is hence an important part of human development.


Compton, W. & Hoffman, E. (2013). Positive psychology: the science of happiness and flourishing. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation: biological, psychological, and environmental. Boston, Mass: Allyn & Bacon.

Evans, P. (2015). Motivation and emotion. Hove U.K. New York: Psychology Press.

Nevid, J. (2012). Essentials of psychology: concepts and applications. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Reeve, J. (2015). Understanding motivation and emotion. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Schutz, P. & Pekrun, R. (2007). Emotion in education. Amsterdam Boston: Elsevier Academic Press.

Talamo, L. (2012). Cracking the AP psychology exam. New York Framingham, MA: Random House, Inc. Princeton Review.

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