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Flashcards in Week 8 Deck (21):

cognitive sources of motivation

- there are many cognitive mental events that can energize and direct our actions with a sense of purpose
- we rely on our cognitions when we make plans, set goals, use mental simulations, and so one
- these mental processes are causal determinants of action


making plans

- people have mental representations of the ideal states of their behaviours, environmental objects and events
- people are aware of the present state of their behaviour, environment, and events
- when there is an incongruity between one's present state and one's ideal state, people are more likely to formulate a plan to remove than incongruity
- - incongruity provides energy
- - plan provides direction
- TOTE model proposed to illustrate the cognitive mechanism underlying plans


the TOTE model

TEST: compare present state with ideal state - if incongruous
OPERATE: act on environment to realize ideal state
TEST: compare present state with ideal state - if incongruous, go back to operate, if congruous
EXIT: present state is congruity with ideal state

- people detect present-ideal inconsistencies
- people generate a plan to eliminate the incongruity
- people instigate plan-regulated behaviour
- people monitor the extent of any remaining present-ideal incongruity (feedback)



- one of the main issue with the TOTE model is that it views plans as fixed, static, and mechanical
- plans can be modified - human beings are active decision makers who either act to achieve the ideal state or change and revise an ineffective plan
- incongruity give rise to corrective motivation: it energizes the individual to pursue the most adaptive course
- current perspectives view the discrepancy between the present state and ideal state as having motivational properties
- two types of discrepancy/incongruity
- - discrepancy reduction (feedback system)
- - discrepancy creation (feed-forward system)


what is a goal?

- a goal is whatever an individual is striving to accomplish
- they generate motivation by focusing people's attention of the discrepancy between their present level of accomplishment and their ideal level of accomplishment (i.e. the goal-performance discrepancy)
- goal setting generally enhances performance
- however, the nature or type of goal being set is a key determinant for the facilitating effect of goals on performance


goal difficulty

how hard a goal is to accomplish
- the more difficult the goal, the more it energized the individual
- people exert effort in proportion to what the goal requires of them
- the value-expectancy theory
- if goals are equally attainable, we put more effort in the one that's most important and the one that's most likely to be reached
- people tend to put more effort into a more difficult foal if both are valued the same = perceived as more desirable


goal specificity

how clearly the goal is defined
- specific goals vs. ambiguous goals - action identification theory
- how people conceive an action (own or other's); you will conceive an action as very concrete or abstract
- when goal is more concrete and specific, we know exactly what to do and how to achieve it


goal congruence

the extent to which the goal reflects the self's interests, needs, values and preferences
- when a goal is self-congruent, it provides the individual with more self-determined motivation resources
- allows people to tap into their personal resources that energize and direct goal persuasion
- auto-motive theory
- even subtle exposure to goal related stimuli can automatically start the goal and guide behaviour; goal in line with personal values, interests, etc. are more likely to be automatically activated


setting a goal

- difficulty energizes and sustains behaviour: enhanced performance
- concordance energizes, sustains, and directs behaviour: enhanced performance
- specificity directs behaviour which enhances performance


feedback and goal acceptance

- to maximise performance, a performer needs both a goal and a feedback
- the feedback generates emotional consequences: satisfaction (discrepancy-creation) and dissatisfaction (discrepancy-reduction)
- when goal setting takes place in the context of an interpersonal relationship, goal acceptance becomes a critical variable that may affect performance


four factors involved in the acceptance of an externally set goal

- perceived difficulty of the imposed goal
- participation in the goal-setting process
- credibility of the person assigning the goal
- extrinsic incentives


goal proximity

short-term vs. long-term
- does not appear to have an impact on performance
- may affect persistence (long-term goals - insufficient opportunities for performance feedback and positive reinforcement)
- may affect intrinsic motivation


criticisms of goal-setting theory

- it is more about enhancing performance than it is about enhancing motivation
- works best when tasks are relatively uninteresting and require only a straightforward procedure
- goals administered in ways that are controlling, pressure-inducing, and intrusive can undermine creativity and intrinsic motivation


goal striving

- once a goal is identified, one must also generate goal-attainment strategies and specify the necessary implementation intentions; in other words, a plan of action
- mental simulations:
- - focusing one's attention on the goal itself interfered with goal attainment
- - focusing one's attention on how to accomplish the goal facilitates goal attainment
- - important distinction between goal content (outcome simulation) and the process for attaining the goal (process simultation)


implementation intention

a goal without a plan is just a dream
- an implementation intention is a plan to carry out one's goal-directed behaviour
- people often fail to attain their goals because they fail to develop specific action plans for how they will attain their goals
Setting implementation intentions is the effort to close the door on volitional problems: getting started (despite daily distraction), persisting (in spite of difficulties and setbacks), resuming (once an interruption occurs)
Main idea behind an implementation intention is to link goal-directed behaviour to a situational cue, so that the behaviour is carries out automatically


2 ways implementation intentions facilitate foal directed behaviour

- getting started: implemation intentions create habits; deciding in advance when and where one will enact their goal-directed behaviour facilitates getting started
- persisting and finishing up: implementation intentions facilitate persistence in face of difficulties; they create a close-mindedness that narrows one's field of attention to include goal-directed action, but to exclude distractions
- therefore, taking the time to plan how, when, where, and for how long one will carry out a goal-directed behaviour improves the performer's change of realizing the goal


3 main moderators of implementation intentions

- commitment: goal should be self-concordant and needs to be in a state of activation
- self-efficacy: belief in one's capabilities to organize and execute the courses of action required to produce given attainments
- personal attributes: socially prescribed perfectionism, conscientiousness


steps within the goal-setting process

1. specify the objective to be accomplished
2. define goal difficulty
3. clarify goal specificity
4. specify the time span when performance will be assessed


steps within the goal-striving process

5. check on goal acceptance (goal congruence)
6. discuss goal-attainment strategies
7. create implementation intentions
8. provide performance feedback


goal disengagement

- knowing when to stop is an essential part of effective goal pursuit; some goals may be unattainable for various reasons
- goal disengagement is the reduction of effort and goal commitment


3 possible options when faced with an unattainable goal

- maintaining effort and maintaining commitment to the goal: potential for psychological distress
- giving up effort and maintaining commitment to the goal; potential for psychological distress
- giving up effort and giving up commitment to the goal; only option that has potential for psychological well-being; taking up a new or alternate goal