What Are Motives and How Can They Be Measured?

1. Motives, Needs, and Goals: The motivational system is made up of basic urges that drive the individual, motives, and needs. Can you define these terms?

2. Projective Measures of Motives: Projective measures of motives, such as the Thematic Apperception Test, were developed because researchers assumed that many people might not understand their own motives or might be reluctant to speak openly about them. Can you describe how a projective test works and how it is scored?

3. People’s Central Motives: People are motivated by different desires and goals. Freud emphasized sex and aggression. Early in the century, Henry Murray laid out a list of between 20 and 30 motives. Can you recognize examples of Murray’s motives? Since then, three larger areas of motivation—achievement, affiliation, and power—have been examined, along with sexual motivation. Can you describe each of these?

4. Self-Report Motives: Some psychologists believe that if you ask people to report their own motivations directly, you will obtain some useful answers. Sometimes, to get such answers, it is helpful to use “forced choice” formats. Can you describe the forced-choice method and any differences in findings between self-report and projective measures?

 

How Are Motives Expressed?

5. Personal Strivings and Goals: Personal striving refers to some of the paths people take to achieve their goals. Personal projects are the routes by which people hope to achieve those goals. Striving toward some goals will make a person feel better; other kinds of goals, however, may damage psychological health. Can you distinguish between the sorts of goals that will help and the ones that will not?

6. The Achievement Motive and Personality: People with strong achievement motives often compare themselves to standards of excellence. They do well in entrepreneurial situations and on tasks they view as relevant to their performance. What else can be said about people high in this motive?

7. The Power Motive and Personality: People with a high need for power tend to engage in power-motivated behavior, such as attempting to impress others. They may also be drawn to careers such as medicine, psychotherapy, or teaching. Can you say what attracts these people to such occupations?

8. The Affiliation Motive and Personality: People with high needs for affiliation place greater value on—and more frequently engage in—relationships with others. They are not, however, necessarily well-liked in their relationships. This has led psychologists to examine the need for intimacy. Do you know the difference between affiliation and intimacy? How are these two needs expressed?

9. The Sex Drive: Very little is known about the sex drive in relation to personality beyond the facts that people vary substantially in their sexual interests. Can you describe what is known about people who are high and low in sexual motivation?

 

What Are Emotions and Why Are They Important?

10. The Motive-Emotion Connection: Motives and emotions are intertwined with one another. For example, some emotions can be paired directly with corresponding motives: anger and aggression, fear and escape, love and altruism. Beyond such direct pairing, it appears that some emotions have amplifying effects on motives, whereas others dampen motives. Can you give an example of an emotion that amplifies motives and an emotion that would dampen them?

11. Emotions as an Evolved Signal System: Emotions appear to have evolved in mammals to communicate social relations and intentions Do you know who first proposed this idea?

12. Cross-Cultural Issues: The idea that emotions are universal communications about relationships requires testing across cultures. Paul Ekman provided such tests, first among Westernized nations, and then among relatively isolated communities in New Guinea and elsewhere. Do you know the general level of agreement across cultures about basic emotion expressions?

 

What Are Emotional Traits and How Are They Expressed?

13. The Two-Factor Approach to Measuring Emotions: Mood-adjective checklists are scales in which a person indicates how much of each of a number of feelings he or she is experiencing (e.g., happy, sad, angry, peaceful, and the like). Factor analysis can provide ways of summarizing these large numbers of feelings. One good solution from factor analysis indicates that mood can be represented according to two dimensions. There are, actually, two sets of two dimensions, depending upon how one wishes to label moods. One set describes mood as falling along pleasant-unpleasant and aroused-calm dimensions. Can you describe the other set?

14. From Emotional States to Emotional Traits: There is a two-dimensional representation of emotion suggested by several research teams, and Hans Eysenck earlier found a two-dimensional representation for personality that spanned emotional-stable and extraversion-introversion axes. This led to the idea that there might be a relation between the two dimensions. Do you know what it is?

15. How Emotional Traits Are Expressed: Whatever one’s emotional style, it has consequences in a number of areas, from how people appear to others to one’s choice of occupation. Can you relate some of the more important consequences of emotion-related traits to everyday life?

 

What Are Happy People Like?

16. Natural Happiness: Some people may be born happier than others; others are “three drinks behind.” Can you name the eminent 20th-century psycho-diagnostician who proposed this notion?

17. Demographic Influences: Happiness has been studied in relation to nationality, socioeconomic status, and other variables. Mostly there is no relationship between happiness and these factors. Do you remember the one exception?

18. The Happiest Students: A recent study examined extremely happy students, selecting them according to a variety of different criteria. Can you say how they differed from the less happy students?