PSY MOD 6 Check understanding


Directions: Read the prompts below and write your answer.  The response to each question should be at least two paragraphs in length.  Each paragraph must be five to seven sentences in length.

  1. Define motivation and emotion.
  2. Explain the biological and psychological aspects of both motivation and emotion.
  3. What are the levels in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?
  4. Define sex, gender, sexual motivation, and sexual orientation.
  5. What are examples of external and internal (social and biological) factors that affect gender identity and sexual orientation?
  6. Describe Solomon’s opponent-process theory of motivation and analyze his explanation of craving diverse things, such as parachute jumping, drugs, and dysfunctional lovers.
  7. Identify and summarize the principles behind the different personality theories.
  8. How are personality types and disorders assessed?
  9. What ethical issues are involved when considering theories of personality?


Directions: Read the prompts below and write your answer.  The response to each question should be at least two paragraphs in length.  Each paragraph must be five to seven sentences in length.

  1. Question 1

Motivation can be defined as internal and external forces that direct behavior in individuals. Motivation can also be defined as the driving forces that stimulate desires and needs among individuals and causes them to take action. Various motivation factors among individuals help in activating, directing and sustaining goal-oriented behavior. Motivation is characterized by three key components which include activation of behavior, persistence towards achieving a particular goal, and intensity in pursuing a goal. Motivation can either be intrinsic or extrinsic in nature.

On the other hand, emotion can be defined as a complex psychological state that arises from a subjective experience that leads to a physiological response and expressive response. Emotions arise from physical and psychological aspects that impact behavior of individuals. Emotions are complex and linked to behaviors expressed by individuals. Emotion is closely connected with personality, mood, disposition, motivation and temperament of an individual. Various components are associated with emotions such as instrumental behavior, cognitive processes, expressive behavior, and subjective experience.

Question 2

Part of motivated behavior can be directly linked to biological instincts. These biological instincts include love, fear, cleanliness, and among others that are important to organisms. Another biological aspect of motivated behavior can be found in drives and needs. All organisms have basic biological drives such as hunger, thirst, need for sleep, sex, and others. The psychological aspects of motivation involve the influence of thoughts on behavior. For instance, the smell of food may induce thoughts that drive behavior to seek food even though one was never hungry.

Emotion is partly biological in nature. The experience of emotion occurs following the activation of the autonomic nervous system and the brain. The autonomic nervous system include regulation of the heart, body muscles and lungs or breathing rate. The endocrine system activates glands to release various hormones depending on the state of emotions. On the other hand, some emotional responses are psychological in nature. For instance, an event may elicit a particular emotion on an individual which is psychological in nature.

Related: Intelligent Types

Question 3

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs contains five levels of needs which explain innate human desires and wants. These are the physiological needs level, safety needs, love/belonging, esteem needs and self-actualization at the top of the hierarchy. Physiological needs are the basic human needs for survival purposes. Example includes food, shelter, clothing, and sex. These must be fulfilled first. Safety needs are in the second level. Safety needs include personal security, health, financial security, and safety against other adverse impacts.

After safety needs are fulfilled, individuals seek love or belongingness. This includes the need for friendship, intimacy and family. Human beings need to feel accepted among social groups. Human beings also express esteem needs. This is the need to be respected and to have self-respect. Often, people engage in hobbies or professions for recognition. The last level is self-actualization which is realized when a person realizes his full potential. It is important to note that the fulfillment of these needs may at times overlap one another.

Question 4

Sex can be defined as the biological difference of being either male or female. These differences may be chromosomal, nature of sex organs, or hormonal profiles. Sex is thus described the same in all cultures. On the other hand, gender refers to the social roles societies ascribe to particular individuals based on their sex. Gender can also be seen as the social constructs or activities that societies deem appropriate for men and women. Thus, gender differs across various communities.

Sexual motivation is also known as sex drive. Sexual motivation is defined as the desire to gratify sexual needs by engaging in sexual activity or other activities such as sublimation. Sexual motivation represents the need for human beings to seek pleasure. Sexual orientation is used to describe patterns of sexual attraction among individuals. Sexual orientation describe an individual’s sexual identity with respect to the type of persons they are attracted to, which may lead various relationships such as homosexuality and heterosexuality.

Question 5

A number of internal factors affect gender identity. Internal factors such as genes and hormones have a profound impact on gender identity. Genetic variables play a crucial role in determining gender identity among individuals. External factors also influence gender identity. These include influence of the mass media, influential people in a person’s life, and family structure. Social-learning theory asserts that children learn about gender identity through observation. Children observe and learn the behavior of others in the society.

Sexual orientation is also affected by internal and external factors. Researchers agree that nature and nurture have an important role to play development of sexual orientation. External factors such as the mass media, culture, family values, and role models play a critical role in determining the sexual orientation of an individual. Genetic factors have also been identified as important in influencing sexual orientation of individuals. Some studies suggest that brain structure varies among individuals and hence determines sexual orientation.

Related: Classical and Operant Conditioning

Question 6

Solomon’s opponent-process theory of motivation postulates that human beings experience pairs of emotions that always act to counter each other, for instance, fear and relief, happiness and sadness, pleasure and pain, and among other pairs. When an individual experiences one of the emotions, the opposite component is temporarily suppressed. This theory can explain a number of things. For example drug users experience pleasure when high which suppresses withdrawal effects which may be associated with pain.

Parachute jumping can also be used to explain the theory. A study conducted by Solomon indicated that beginners were more fearful, and experienced less pleasure on landing. However as they kept up the practice, they became less fearful and reported more pleasure on landing. In a dysfunctional relationship, individuals often experience dissatisfaction. During reconciliation, the couple experiences stronger bonds than usual and renewed closeness.

Question 7

There are different principles which underpin personality theories. One of the modern personality theory is Freud’s psychoanalytic theory. This theory is based on the principle of the unconscious thoughts. Freud believed that behaviors are shaped by unconscious thoughts or ideas in individuals. Behaviorist theories of personality are based on the principle of external stimuli and its effects on behavior of individuals.

The trait theory is based on the principle that traits are relatively stable and continuous among individuals. Another important principle is that major traits have a genetic basis among individuals. Trait theory is also based on the principle of interactionism which assumes that traits may be controlled by situational factors. Social cognitive theories of personality development are based on the principles of cognitions individuals harbor about the world.

Question 8

Personality types and disorders are assessed by conducting skilled clinical interviews. While conducting the interview, it is important to be well acquainted in DSM-IV criteria. The DSM-IV criteria takes personality disorders as separate or discrete categories. The criteria assumes that there exists distinct boundaries between abnormal and normal personalities among individuals. Five or six criteria are used to determine whether individuals’ personality types or whether they have personality disorders. Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is commonly used to analyze personality type into over 16 distinct personalities.

In the first criterion, the behavior of an individual is compared to the cultural expectations. If the behavior significantly deviates from particular areas such as cognition, affectability, or impulse control, then this may be an indicator of personality disorder. The second criterion involves analyzing the enduring pattern of behavior across social and personal situations. Other criterion analyzes important areas of functioning such as occupation or social life of an individual, and the source of the enduring pattern.

Question 9

A number of ethical issues arise when considering theories of personality. First, theories of personality involve human subjects in experiments. This is different from other experiments since it involves humans. Ethical issues involved include social concerns, legal concerns, personal concerns and the overall benefit of considering the theories. Social concerns involve the negative labels attached on individuals with particular personality traits. Individuals identified as having personality disorders are often treated unfairly. Also, the individuals being labeled can engaged in a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Personal concerns also emerge when considering theories of personality. Individuals may unwillingly be forced to reveal private information which is an invasion of their privacy. Also, distribution of test results may be harmful to individuals who participated in investigations. Legal concerns also emerge in this area. Legal concerns may come in play when researchers unfairly test a specific group of the population leading to discrimination of the group in the society. Lastly, the benefits of knowing more about the personality disorder should outweigh the costs of research, and the apparent risks associated with conducting the research on subjects.

issues are involved when considering theories of personality?

Personality and Culture


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