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browse around the blog, the internet, youtube, wikipedia, wherever suits your fancy, and find something related to motivation and emotion that really interests *you*....read about that topic from that first site you find, and then find 2 sites that further explain or provide examples of your topic...in your response, clearly indicate what the topic is, how it is related to motivation and emotion, what specific terminology is it about or is it an example of....be detailed in your response. provide the terms and the three links at the bottom.

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One topic I find particularly interesting is the area of exercise. I, along with many other college students, are interested in getting to the gym when our busy schedules afford us the time. We understand the benefits of exercise and know that it can be useful in relieving the many stresses that come with being in high level education. The trick is to get people motivated to do the uninteresting activity. Those who are in the gym every day are not those who need the motivation because clearly something is driving them to do so. It is the people who go once a week or every two weeks or call it quits for the month after one visit. These people, and there are many out there, including myself at times find working out to be boring. Some do it because they are unfamiliar with what to do or how to use machines. Others just don't enjoy the idea of straining the muscles only to be sore the next day. It feels like a double punishment. It is this group of people that I want to show the benefits of interval training. Interval training is quite simple really. It is the process of fast paced and slow paced movements alternating back and forth for a given period of time. Wayne L. Westcott, Ph.D provides an example in is article that explains interval running. "For example, instead of treadmill walking at a steady 3.5 mph pace for 30 minutes, you may try 5 intervals of 6 minutes each. Let's say you begin with 6 minutes of slower-paced walking at 3.0 mph to warm up. You then perform 6 minutes of faster-paced walking at 4.0 mph. Because this is a more demanding pace than you normally do, you follow-up with 6 minutes at the more relaxed 3.0 mph pace. As this permits plenty of recovery time, you can now complete another 6 minutes at the faster 4.0 mph pace. Finally, you cool-down with another 6-minute segment at the slower 3.0 mph pace." ACSM requirements say that a decent cardio workout should last about 30 minutes long. Anyone who has ever been on a treadmill knows that 30 minutes can drag on for ages. That is the secret to interval training. It taps into short-term/long-term goal setting on a smaller level. The long-term goal is 30 minutes of running. The short-term goals are the 6 minute bouts of fast paced running. When exercising 6 minutes in no problem especially when your mind is more engaged and focused on completing the short-term goal. With this training workouts will fly by and you will feel like they were more engaging than the plain 30 minutes of mild jogging. In addition, most people tend to reap greater benefits from alternating intensities than a steady pace.
Military.com provides examples of how interval training effects different parts of the body and many inner working systems. Appetite goes down with interval training thereby relieving many of the physiological and psychological needs of hunger. Stress levels are managed by decreasing cortisol levels. The metabolism gets an enormous boost which provides for faster recovery from injury, workouts, and overall daily functioning to keep us in a stable mind. These benefits are felt almost immediately and can create a desire and feel good attitude about working out. This feeling of achievement is gives people the upper hand when comparing themselves against the set standard for exercise.
It is important for people to see improvement rapidly because of our, "gotta have it now," society. Interval training can be that little fix people need to keep hitting the gym. Medicinenet.com reports that some athletes can feel a difference in endurance and speed in as little as two workouts. This success early will give people the much needed motivation to keep going even though it usually hurts. Even better yet, a study of subjects who did interval training every day for two weeks, the oxygen capacity increased, but anaerobic capacity did not. The investigators suggested that this was due to overtraining and exhaustion from daily interval sessions. This fits well into busy student schedules or those who want to ease into working out every day of the week. These websites and hundreds of others like it can provide several benefits of interval training and, in my opinion, is one the best types of workouts to stay highly motivated when it gets tough to stick with it.

http://www.healthy.net/Health/Article/Interval_Training_More_Motivation_and_Better_Results/338

http://www.military.com/opinion/0,15202,191403,00.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/interval_training/page3.htm

Terms Used: goal setting, short-term goals, long-term goals, physiological needs, psychological needs, achievement,

Music is something we all have in common, no matter what the genre. It’s a powerful thing; the rhythms move us, the words inspire us, and the harmonics stimulate us to release powerful emotions. We are so moved by this art form because it induces physical and psychological changes within us to evoke positive and negative reactions. One of the most respected forms of music came from the classical era (from baroque to romantic), with composers including Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. An impact this music had can be demonstrated with Albert Einstein, because he did poorly in school until he learned the violin, which he continued to use when working out equations later in his physics career. That shouldn’t be surprising since baroque was defined by its continuous rhythm, balanced harmony, and structured changes, which were made by mathematical order. Rhythm is particularly important, because it affects our natural body rhythms to relax our heart rate while increasing alertness (to concentrate easier) and affects the amplitude and frequency of our brain waves (to learn better). The 60 beats per minute pattern also activates both sides of the brain while studying (information on the left and music on the right) to concentrate and reconsolidate information better. However, the carefully structured order is absolutely critical for the mentioned bodily reactions.

Many studies have been done to research the benefits of classical music on the body, and have resulted in numerous benefits. It may be used in hospitals to reduce pain by calming the patient, releasing endorphins, and distracting the brain. Its effect on relaxing the heart and brain has also been shown to reduce high blood pressure and boost immune health by reducing cortisol (stress hormone). Probably the most amazing effect shown in hospitals is a study done in which classical music improved stroke patients’ attention span and verbal memory, demonstrating the effects on the brain as well. Other brain effects include increases in emotional, spatial, and mathematical intelligence. It can also be useful in our typical everyday lives by inducing relaxation or sleep, stimulating creativity (from right side activation and dopamine release), and ward off energy depleting emotions (such as anxiety or depression).

One particular study put classical music to the test as a treatment for low to medium depressed patients using traditional psychotherapy as a control. After eight weeks, the results showed the classical music was significantly more successful in treating the depressed patients. One of the proposed explanations was the classical music produced dopamine, which decreased anhedonia. This isn’t to say music should replace mental health techniques, but it could be used in additional to current treatments.

The effects of classical music relate to motivation and emotion on many levels. It directly influences physiological functions by stimulating chemicals (such as dopamine, endorphins, and hormones not mentioned in the book) and brain areas. From the descriptions above, classical music likely stimulates the prefrontal cortex for motivation, VTA and nucleus accumbens to release dopamine, hippocampus for memory, anterior cingulate for mood, reticular formation for arousal, and corpus callosum for communication between the left and right hemispheres. This can help maintain physiological needs by maintaining homeostasis by regulating sleep and stress. Music also nurtures psychological needs. Our choice in music reflects our values in a given environment (rock for intense lifting, gospel for divine worship, classical for stress relief), which demonstrates autonomy through motivation (internal locus of control), willingness to participate (volition), and perceived choice (we listen to what works for us in that situation). Our musical tastes also often give us connections with other people (relatedness). Finally, social needs can be nurtured by music as well. For instance, I used to listen to Bach before big wrestling matches in high school to calm my nerves, which indirectly contributed to my achievements. Music can also help nurture intimacy (putting Marvin Gaye on the radio to set the mood for a date) and power (blasting fight songs on the speakers at a football game to intimidate the visiting team). My point is music has direct physiological effects, which further contribute to psychological and social effects. Furthermore, music is a way to get people interested in things (be it a band in church, background music setting a commercial’s mood, or pump up music to get you to run) to increase intrinsic motivation, because it has a way of changing our moods.

Terms: endorphins, cortisol, hormone, energy-depleting emotions, dopamine, prefrontal cortex, VTA, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, anterior cingulate, reticular formation, corpus callosum, psyiological needs, homeostasis, psychological needs, autonomy, internal locus of control, perceived choice, relatedness, achievements, intimacy, power, intrinsic motivation


http://www.cerebromente.org.br/n15/mente/musica.html
http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0197455610000857

One of my biggest interests and hobbies is working out. I love the feeling of carelessness and striving to achieve what I thought I may never be able to do. Exercising is a thing that many people have some type of relationship with, either its negative or positive. I think there is always the ability to turn the negative relatinship to a positive one by tyring to focus on the good "high" feeling after doing a satisfying workout. Everyone who runs or goes to the gym or does any type of workou needs motivation. I workout 6 days a week and for me I have to find some way of motivating myself and some days it is harder than others. However, for me, I exercise in the morning and it gives me the boost and energy that I need for the rest of my day. So exercising is motivating to help me be productive and not lazy during the day. I identify with being a runner and someone who exercises daily, so because of that role that I have taken on, I find that when I skip a workout there is dissonance. This is how identity can be motivating so you can feel good about yourself and not cause dissonant behavior.
Exercising has many benefits, not only does it help control weight and muscle it is a mood booster. When I have had a bad day or really need to blow off steem I go for a long run or do a kickboxing class. Physical activity helps release dopamine so you start to feel good about yourself and the situation that has caused you problems, doesnt seem so awful anymore. Exercise also gives an energy boost. Whenever I know I have a long day ahead, I make sure to get in a good morning workout becuase it will give me that extra push to finish something, plus I will be feeling better about myself with the dopamine release. It helps you to feel less groggy during the day.
Beachbody.com has a program called Insanity. This home workout program is made through max interval training and causes someone to seriously work hard. You create a goal to complete all two months to see how much your body changes. This type of workout is take someone to the next level. It is 2 months and has a calender that specifies how far you will go. Every two weeks you take a fitness test to self-regulate yourself to make sure you are doing better to reach that goal of endurance and fitness. During the workouts, Shaun T. is the instructer and he provides constant praise to keep one going through all these crazy exercises. This type of workout helps one to get in shape and feel better about themselves. The six statments that represent well-being. By working out and seeing yourself change and hit your goal can help create a positive attitude and increase autonomy. Working out will become your choice and will also increase how you feel about your personal growth and purpose in life. You start to create new goals and continue to grow and expand as your body gets more fit and endurance increases.
In womenshealthmag.com they talk about how working out can dcrease depression levels and chances of having to take medication for high levels of glucose. As I mentioned before, exercise is an energy boost. Many women on this site said they are now able to run around with their children and feel happy about themselves and with their lives. This is an example of self-esteem and how satisfied one is with their life.
Exercising is related to motivation becuase some people need to get healthy and some people want to start exercising to feel better and relieve some excess stress. Once exercising becomes a habit and result are seen in a person, it will be easier to stay motivated and continue to keep up the regiman.

Terms: Identity, Dissonance, Dopamine, Self-regulate, goal setting, autonomy, positive attitude, personal growth, purpose in life, self esteem

http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/insanity.do
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676/NSECTIONGROUP=2
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/reasons-to-work-out?cat=15574&tip=15579

One topic I find to be interested is rock climbing. It is a physically and mentally demanding sport. Hanging out at the rock wall is a great way to meet people and become familiar with clubs and events happening at UNI. There are many benefits that go along with rock climbing, however, maintain motivation to keep up the hard work can be rather difficult. After a hard night of climbing, you are going to be sore the next day. You may think to yourself, “How can I possibly climb AGAIN tonight?” So, you might skip it for a night. When this behavior become regular, it is hard to get back in the swing of things because it has become unimportant. It is also common for the staff at the rock wall to rearrange routes in order to make the rock wall more appealing and offer new challenges. This may also deter people away, especially if they had a favorite route. I look at it as more encouraging because it provides the opportunity to heighten ones competence of rock climbing.

The first article states a quote by Jim Erickson, “Historically, ultimate climbs have tended to be achieved by dubious means”. The term “dubious means” points to the justifications we make to keep our motivations high. For example, if you were climbing a mountain, route, etc. that has been challenging to you for quite some time, when your foot slips and you can’t seem to recover from the stumble. Once you are back on the ground, the distance to the top will look minuscule. “Does our motivation come from checking climbs off our tick list? In other words, does it come from being able to climb certain grades, achieving certain end-result goals, or climbing better or harder than our buddy? If so, we’ll only be highly motivated if we achieve those things. Our motivation will depend on things we can’t control. This puts us at the mercy of the external situation. When we plateau—hit that barrier where it is difficult to continue to progress—we won’t be achieving those grades or end goals. Therefore, it will become increasingly difficult to stay motivated. When we have less chance of achieving the grades and end goals we’ll lose interest and motivation unless we justify our effort, as in the climbing example above, and claim the redpoint anyway. This attitude will take us only so far until it is all too obvious to our scheming and deceptive mind that we are lying.”

Setting goals in rock climbing is very important. Without goals one will lose interest and may be aimlessly climbing. Climbers should set goals that are clear-cut, concrete, realistic, and motivating. If you are unsure what your goal is, you won’t work towards anything. If your goal is too far-fetched, you won’t accomplish it. There should also be short-term goals and long-term goals, such as completing a particular route in one week’s time. A long-term goal may be to climb the actual North Face. The second site recommends keeping a climbing journal and reflecting on your state of being that day. Another recommendation is to have daily visualization and meditation for better sport performance. It is very important to practice visually seeing yourself completing your goal in order to believe you can do it. Practicing talking to yourself in an affirmative way can also help you achieve your climbing goals. For example, instead of say “I can” do something, speak to yourself as if you already have. Instill the belief that you have already done it because you’re awesome.

Not only is rock climbing a great work out, but it is also good for your mental health. Since your mind is focused on one thing, you become very meditative. The third site lists health benefits such as, “lowering your blood pressure, increasing serotonin and in turn boosting your mood, sleeping better and enhancing your immune system. The confidence you'll feel when reaching the top of the mountain is also a great mental health booster. Adventure vacations, in which they specifically combine rock climbing with yoga and meditation, provide the ultimate mind-body connection.” Rock climbing also helps increase flexibility, increases cardiac health, helps individuals maintain and/or lose weight, and develops greater strength in your muscles. Overall, rock climbing is great for your health. Mind, Body and Soul.

Links: http://www.rockclimbing.com/Articles/Training_and_Technique/Motivation_Justification_281.html
http://allirainey.suite101.com/climbing-techniques-focus-on-training-the-mind-a88784
http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ycn-8762203

Terms: motivation, competence, external situation, achieve, difficult, concrete, realistic, accomplish, affirmative, mental health, well-being, long-term goal, short-term goal

Running has always been a big passion in my life. I have recently made the goal to run a half-marathon before I graduate next year. After looking on the internet at half marathon training and watching some inspirational videos I found a good cite for explaining half marathon training for beginners. The site had a nice little paragraph about motivation saying “Building mental stamina is essential. It’s one thing to be motivated to begin training. It’s another to stay motivated every day. Staying motivated and developing the proper mindset is key to enjoying training and crossing the finish line with a smile on your face.” It is talking about intrinsic motivation for yourself and also possibly finding extrinsic motivation from others by training with a friend. I have decided to use extrinsic motivation because I am going to train with my friend and complete the race together. That way we can lean on each other when we are getting frustrated with training.

The cite also explains that people can have different goals that they want to accomplish. There can be finish time goals or weight loss goals. They warn you to make the ‘right’ goals. I think it is smart to make short-term goals along the way to the long-term goal of running a half marathon. I learned there is a lot of other factors that go into half-,marathon training such as: nutrition, hydration, and keeping yourself healthy to keep from injury. I will have to use good goal-setting to reach my goal in the end.

Another cite explained how to run injury free. They suggest that first-time half-marathon runners don’t make a time goal, because they can be discouraged and quit after not being able to accomplish what they want. So it is smart to just make a goal to finish. A person will have to be motivated and disciplined enough to do the training for the race and also do some pre-training such as light walks or jogs. By getting into shape it will make it easier to train for the half-marathon and help to reach physiological needs.

The last video I viewed was about a family who had a quadriplegic son and had gone through many struggles. Rick was a quadriplegic from birth and couldn’t communicate with others until older childhood years with a communication device. He told his father that he wanted to compete in a local race. So his father Dick decided he would push his son in a wheelchair for the race. It was extremely hard but since then they have competed in a multitude of marathons and the iron man challenge race. Dick says that it is Rick’s spirit that motivates him to keep going. This was such an inspiring story! If they can complete full marathons and iron man challenges I know I am capable of achieving my goal of running a half-marathon.

Terms: motivation, short-term goal, long-term goal, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, goal-setting, physiological needs, achievement

http://www.marathonrookie.com/half-marathon-training.html
http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training/half_marathon.html
http://videosift.com/video/The-inspiring-story-of-Team-Hoyt-quadriplegic-marathoners

One subject I found while cruising around on Wikipedia was the idea of Nootropics. I read the Wiki article about the drugs also refereed to as smart drugs. These are meant to improve mental functions in such areas as cognition, memory, intelligence, motivation, and attention. they are thought to work in increasing the oxygen to the brain and altering the brain's neurotransmitters. One such drug is called Adrafinil. It is over the counter and it claims to affect the central nervous system as a mild stimulate. Some of the benefits they claim are alertness for hours, increasing concentration, mood boosting and weight loss. the side effects can be irritation and aggression. This drug is banned by athletics as an illegal performance enhancing drug.

This topic related to motivation simply because it claims to increase motivation. There is little information available about the effects of these drugs and their correlation to the increase of cognitive function that they claim. The wiki article also states some herbal remedies that have shown some of the same effects with less the side effects and unknown as the Nootropics. This topic is related to chapter 3 when we discussed neurotransmitters and how they affect the brain since these also affect those chemicals. I think this topic also related to goal setting. The particular drug I mentioned is to be taken sparingly when you need the concentration and drive to achieve something. This could be a factor in goal setting for those with low intrinsic motivating to accomplish a particular task.

http://www.whatarenootropics.com/introduction-to-nootropics/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootropic

http://www.whatarenootropics.com/nootropic-list/adrafinil/

People’s Choice

A topic that I am very interested in and have yet to master is time management. I am the typical procrastinator that can’t get a project done until the night before it is due. If I try I always find myself playing games on my computer or daydreaming until it is crunch time. I searched the internet for ways to help the average person manage their time so they can actually have a life instead of always being so stressed out over things they need to get done but always get put off.

What I found was that managing your time is much the same as goal setting. First you have to know what exactly you want to get done and when. This is making your task set itself up with goal specificity. You can even break large assignments into chunks this way. The key is to know when you want to start your task by and how much you want to accomplish and how long you are willing to set down and persist at the task. This is also where implementation intentions come in. You have to plan how to avoid distractions and how to keep persisting threw those distractions. This is where I myself seem to fall short. I have all these goals to get projects done by certain times but I fail to make a plan or implementation intentions to avoid all the distractions or things that seem to make me lose focus. I may even make a goal pursuit to get started where I actually open up my computer and write a sentence or two but then I fail in the goal pursuit of persisting and finishing. When the distractions of getting a phone call or opening up a game to play happen, I fail to implement a resuming technique to help me continue.

With all the time management techniques I read they fancily just laid out goal setting. The key things my articles talked about were prioritization, managing interruptions, procrastination, and scheduling. Prioritization can be covered under simply making a goal because you know you have to get something done. Procrastination and scheduling are covered under goal specificity as well as making implementation intentions. This is the when do I want to start and how long am I going to go for part. Also with managing interruptions is in your implementation intentions when you make your persisting and finishing plans to get through distractions or get back on track when those distractions occur.

Another tip I read that I could relate to class is evaluating yourself. This can be done by self-reporting. By knowing what behavior you tend to engage in you can avoid certain distractions. You can put yourself in better environments where you know you are more likely to engage in the types of behaviors that will help you avoid distractions and get the tasks done that you are wishing to accomplish.

Terms: goal setting, goal specificity, implementation intentions, goal pursuit: getting started, goal pursuit: persisting and finishing, behavior, engagement, self report

http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm

http://www.dumblittleman.com/2009/04/15-awesome-time-management-tools-and.html

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~acskills/success/time.html

A topic that I have always been interested in is sports motivation. I find it very interesting that some people with all the talent in the world don't succeed at something but on the other hand a person who lacks those same skills succeeds at it because they work hard and have the right motivation. There is alot of information out there now about sports psychology and there are even classes that students can take to learn more about it. I do know from seeing it on T.V. that there is also a T.V. show out now about a sports psychologist. More and more teams are hiring these people to help athletes through difficult times but mainly for motivation to provide the team with a better product.

This topic is clearly related to motivation because you must have it to succeed in sports, particularly professional sports as one of the articles that I read talks about. Motivation is one thing that coaches have always tried to be masters at because if they can somehow get their players to work harder then they can provide a better team effort. There are even a ton of websites online that only have motivational quotes because motivation is so important in sports. Athletes must have the motivation to get up and do the work so they get better. You can't get better at something by not working at it. This is why a lot of athletes fail. There is some terminology that is specifically talked about in the articles that is related to motivation and emotion and which we have talked about in class. Two of the articles talk about the differences between extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Obviously dealing with sports, intrinsic motivation is the stronger of the two even though some extrinsic motivation can be helpful. The articles talk about arousal and performance as being important to the study of sports and motivation. Another topic we have talked about that was talked about in one of the articles is amotivation. You could really go through the whole book and find many different terms that could have something to do with sports and motivation. It is very interesting and will continue to grow.

http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/motivation-in-sports-psychology-35892

http://www.teachpe.com/sports_psychology/motivation.php

http://www.the-no-sugar-coach.com/sports-motivation.html

Terms: Intrinsic motivation, Extrinsic motivation, Amotivation, Arousal, Performance

Something I find very important and influential in my life is the ability to develop and sustain positive healthy relationships. This interests me because I am a very thoughtful and caring person but I have been struggling to develop relationships which will help me in the long run. I therefore not only want to motivate myself to do better with developing this with other positive people but also how I can help others to realize their potential. As a college student I have been exposed to a vast amount of people and because I am very open and willing to develop relationships with others I have been constantly used and hurt along the way.

The social context in which I am developing relationships will foreshadow how well the relationship will work out over time. In the social context of education the developing of relationships is very beneficial for future development of our educational abilities and opportunities. Due to the professional realm of these relationships these I feel are more easily developed because the motivation to fulfill the social need to achievement is very high for me. In class projects or outside conferences I am willing to challenge myself and my level of competence. Because the types of things I am referring to have some type of implementation intention I am more apt to be sure things are complete and correct. Not only am I am being judged or graded on these things, I am testing my level of competence. This may seem far from the idea of developing positive healthy relationships but through many of these interactive groups I have been able to find a person which also seems to care and have the drive to be involved. According to the first website the development of positive relationships takes time, I agree with this but when an initiation of a relationship is somewhat forced by academics it gives you something in common and starts you off well. Not only are their professional relationships but these relationships may also turn into something more.

Another social need in which we desire is intimacy and affiliation. I searched through Wikipedia about intimate relationships. Something caught my eye and that was how intimate relationships are needed in all human experiences. As we have read in Motivation and Emotion the social need of affiliation and intimacy is a main component in developing positive affective relationships. I would say that I have a high need for intimacy due to my constant involvement with extracurricular activities in high school and some during college. I then desire to be surrounded by people in the evening developing my friendships further then what I have initially experienced. I maintain these relationships because I want and need intimacy, I prefer to have face-face conversations and desire more from people in these relationships as well. I have struggled in the past with developing romantic relationships because of my high need for intimacy, I constantly wanted to be around my partner and spend time with them. His desire for a vast amount of independence and less need for intimacy pushed him away from me in the long run. He also had an extreme need for power in the relationship, he wanted me to be his partner but to not desire the true and reciprocal intimacy I desired.

I find that now what I should do is set goals for my future development of relationships. This is both a long term and short term goal for me. Personally the short term focus is because I have recently experienced a difficult breakup. The third website refers to ways in which we can develop positive healthy relationships. I can use both discrepancy reduction and discrepancy creation when reflecting on how I should move forward from this relationship development. Reduction allows me to look back and change how little time we spent alone together and how my partner and I needed to focus more on our positive aspects not our faults. Creation will allow me to develop more positive things in a relationship and show that other people they are more than their faults, their faults help make other aspects so great. As mentioned in the book and in similarly in the articles action needs to be taken with these two concepts. Development of positive relationships is needed in my life because I strongly desire intimacy and affiliation from others.

Terms: intimacy, affiliation, discrepancy reduction, discrepancy creation, goal setting, power, high intimacy, social context, motivation, emotion, plan of action

http://www.homehighlight.org/humanities-and-science/psychology/twelve-principles-for-developing-positive-relationships.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intimate_relationship
http://www.datehookup.com/content-building-a-positive-relationship.htm

Something that I’ve been recently interested in is meditation. After practicing yoga for a couple of years, I’ve heard a lot about the benefits that meditation can bring to the body as well as the mind. Meditation is a great way to understand the mind and to clear unnecessary thoughts and negative feelings. In fact, the purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. Practicing may change one’s perception of how one understands suffering in the world. More importantly, one understands that anger, jealousy, and other states that disturb our inner peace are just delusions – and can be changed by the power of the mind. Thus, we can control our mind by practicing meditation. If we can control our brain from feeling one way to another, then we must be acting on our self-concept. If at first be believe we are depressed, then practice meditation for a few months then feel happier, we have changed our self-schema. From a motivational standpoint, meditation is an intrinsic motivation for many people. This may explain the positive moods associated with meditation because intrinsic motivation leads to feelings of self-actualization, less anxiety and depression, and greater self-esteem. By quieting the mind, we are able to dip into and understand who we are, which affects our perception of our identity. This will give rise to new identity-confirming behaviors of who the person believes they are. This will also reduce the amount of cognitive dissonance. From an emotional standpoint, meditation is the situational event that leads to cognitive processes and biological processes. These process then give rise to positive feelings, sense of purpose, and bodily arousal. After learning about these benefits, I became interested in exactly how meditation affects the brain. Even though Buddhist meditation says that the brain and mind are separate entities, there still lies evidence that meditation does have an impact on the human brain, in a good way.
One example of this evidence I found came from Scienceworldreport.com, by a study done from researchers at UCLA. They found that meditating for years thickens the brain and strengthens the connections between brain cells. They also recently found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification (folding of the cortex) that may allow the brain to process information faster. The more folds the better at processing things such as making decisions and forming memories. One of the researchers, Eileen Luders, stated, "Meditators are known to be masters in introspection and awareness as well as emotional control and self-regulation, so the findings make sense that the longer someone has meditated, the higher the degree of folding in the insula." (Science world report, 2012). According to the textbook, self-regulation is the self-monitoring and observational process in which a person keeps track of the quality of his or her performance (Reeve, 289). This is an important concept of the self that meditation practice may improve. Meditators experience emotional control by controlling the mind. They can control the negative emotions such as fear, anger, disgust, sadness, and threat. Therefore, this explains that emotion is indeed a largely cognitive phenomena that can be voluntarily changed. Meditation (stimuli), invokes mind/emotional control (cognition), which affects the processes of the brain in certain areas (biological), which can then be scientifically observed. http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/2029/20120316/evidence-builds-meditation-strengthens-brain-ucla-researchers.htm
Another example I found that confirms meditation is beneficial to physical and mental health was at this website - http://buddhist-meditation-techniques.com/7-buddhist-meditation-benefits/ . It states that meditation reduces stress, chronic pain, mental health, improves concentration, removes feelings of suffering, gain awareness in the now, live with compassion, and achieve nirvana – a permanent inner peace. These can all be explained further with topics in motivation and emotion. For this example, I will refer to the topics in chapter 15 of the textbook. I found an interesting comparison between meditation and humanistic psychology, which is about discovering human potential and encouraging it’s development. This perspective strives towards self-realization, which is the main purpose of meditation. Humanistic psychology also strives away from pleasing others and instead please yourself, which is another underlying purpose of practicing meditation. Self-actualization is a process that can achieve autonomous self-regulation, which according to Eileen Luders, long-term meditators are masters of. More evidence that the above site that listed the benefits of meditation is correct, is the fact that meditators are fully functioning individuals. Parallel to humanistic psychology, fully functioning individuals live in close and confident relationship to the organismic valuation progress, trusting the inner direction (Reeve, pg. 431). This person lives moment-to-moment awareness, another benefit of mediation that was described.

TERMS: intrinsic motivation, self-actualization, self-esteem, identity, introspection, self-regulation, cognitive, humanistic psychology, self-realization, fully-functioning individual
1. Introduction to Buddhism: An Explanation of the Buddhist Way of Life by G. Y. Gyatso (2008) Tharpa Publications, NY
2. http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/2029/20120316/evidence-builds-meditation-strengthens-brain-ucla-researchers.htm
3. http://buddhist-meditation-techniques.com/7-buddhist-meditation-benefits/
4. Reeve, J (2009). Understanding Motivation and Emotion. 5th ed. New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

One topic that I am interested in time management, because I work with the softball team, I am sometimes busy 4 hours a day in the afternoon, and to top that off I am one of the world’s worst procrastinators. I tend to start a project early, but I don’t get very far until it gets right down to the deadline to finish it, though I feel like I do my best work when I am pressured for time.

I started looking on Wikipedia on the time management page and then went to a couple other sites. What I learned was that it is important to make a list and then organize it in ABC fashion, while using A for the most urgent, B for most important to you, and C for neither important nor urgent. Another important thing is to make a weekly list of what you want to accomplish and when you want to get it accomplished. It is important to set goals that you want to achieve, but you also have to hold yourself accountable to achieve those goal s you set. Sometimes you have to use extrinsic motivation, like for example, I use wanting to watch a basketball game as an extrinsic motivator, and I set a task I need to complete, and if that task isn’t complete I have to finish it before I watch the game. Another thing that goal setting prevents is burn out. If you try to do all your work in one night, you will burnout quickly; setting goals allows you to do work in smaller segments.

Terms Used: goal setting, accountable, extrinsic motivation, burnout

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_management

http://www.time-management-guide.com/

http://www.timethoughts.com/time-management.htm

The Internet has created an interconnectedness that spans across the world. It has created the opportunity for communicating and staying constant contact with other much easier. In recent years the use social networking sites has become very popular with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. These social networking sites have become intertwined into our society and our lives so easily. It is impossible for me to write a paper without checking my Facebook and Twitter at least 20 times. This brings up the question, why do we use these social networking sites?

The first website expanded on a study that focused on the two main reasons we use social networking sites. These two reasons were: the need to belong (relatedness), and the need for self-presentation. The study also showed that these websites can give the individual the power over how much of their lives that they want to make public (giving them autonomy), and they gave a description of what almost sounds like these social networking sites give the individual using it a sense of competence. It is not competence in the usual sense, but many conversations that happen between people now start with “did you see on Facebook…” The person log in to stay competent with what is going on in this new “social world”. This site also described individuals with low self-esteem to spend more hours a day online. This could be for many different reasons, but it is very important to keep in mind that these individuals the self-esteem is a byproduct of the triumphs and failures that they have had in their lives. They may not have many friends outside of the social networking sites world so they retreat to these sites to feel relatedness. This site also said that a study in China found that in a collectivist culture, Facebook usage did correlate with higher levels of self-esteem. I found this to be a bit contradicting with what we have learned in class.

Another study’s findings stated that Facebook friends actually project positive of negative feelings through their status updates. The researchers found through viewing individuals status updates and marked them with either positive words or negative words. They found that the friends of that individual would have 7% more positive words and 1% fewer negative words if the first individual shared a positive status. The opposite was also found to be true. This indicates that individuals are intrinsically motivated to receive the good feelings that come along with participating and interacting on these websites.

The third study focuses more on the friendship that comes from it which plays off of the first website that was discussed in this blog post in relations to relatedness. Researchers pointed out that an individual may have a friend of a friend in real life, but when it comes to Facebook, a friend may have another friend that is not the first individuals “friend of friend”. It discusses that the actual chance of knowing a “friend of friend” on Facebook falls between 12% and 42%. They also found that people are less willing to friend others that have fewer friends than them on Facebook.

Terms: relatedness, autonomy, competence, self-esteem, motivation, intrinsic motivation

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/study_why_do_people_use_facebook.php
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/study_why_do_people_use_facebook.php
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/study_a_friend_of_a_friend_in_real_life_but_not_on.php

Lately, I have had a reoccurring thought over how technology is affecting us all, whether it is socially, mentally, physically, etc. A main thought that has usually come to mind when contemplating about this is whether or not it affects our ability to speak publicly and talk out loud about problems that seem to pick at us. It is usually easier to confront someone about a problem when you are not face to face with that individual and can tell them what you are feeling over a text or Facebook message. It seems that most communication going on today is expressed through technological devices and I can’t seem to get the question out of my head, “How is this affecting how we speak publicly and deal with our problems upfront?” After browsing around the internet, I found a couple of writers wondering the same exact thing.

Aliza Sherman wrote an article called “How Social Media is Affecting the Way We Speak and Write”. She talks about how e-mail used to be seen as ‘evil’ because it was destroying the importance of letter writing, but argues if instead of destroying it, it might be just changing the style of writing. Not only does she believe that this is changing the way we write, but also the way we speak to others. She says many people ‘dive their noses’ into their mobile devices, and can be seen as being anti-social. Tying in motivation and emotion, I agree with Aliza that technology is changing the way we communicate among each other. I think it is overly rude when someone is texting and I am trying to speak to them, turning it into more of an exchange relationship rather than a communal one. This can hinder relatedness with an individual as well as competence to seek out new friendships and meet new people. http://gigaom.com/collaboration/how-social-media-is-affecting-the-way-we-speak-and-write/

In her article “Social Networking Hurts the Communication Skills of College Students”, Megan Puglisi obviously argues that social networks that have been created to increase our communication skills are actually degrading it. Students motivation to complete assignments goes way down, which she proves by saying “College students who used Facebook while studying, even just having it in the background, earned grades 20 percent lower on average than non-users in 2010.” This shows that when trying to be goal striving, one can possibly lose intrinsic motivation to complete an assignment and actually process the information due to having Facebook or Twitter open in the background on their computer as well as their mobile devices sitting in their lap. It’s sad that it probably takes good will power to actually put away those devices just to complete an important assignment. http://www.thedaonline.com/opinion/social-networking-hurts-the-communication-skills-of-college-students-1.1689315

Another area that would come too thought over this topic is the idea of love and relationships being affected by online dating sites. According to Jeffries, “Last millennium 72% of us met our partners at school or university, at work or in networks of family or friends”. This percentage is rising, but Jeffries argues that it is not a positive uprising, but rather a more convenient way of meeting ‘prince charming’, or ‘princess charming’. People are able to get online, learn everything about someone within about fifteen minutes at the most, and take it from there. The problem is losing the motivation to meet someone in person (as mentioned before, degrading communication skills) as well as possibly throwing out romance. The faster a relationship moves, it is more likely that it will end sooner. (Keeping in mind that almost 60% of marriages end in divorce, possible correlation between the two statistics?) This could mean that many people who have a high need for intimacy or affiliation could use these internet dating sites to fulfill those needs, but only for a short while. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/06/is-online-dating-destroying-love

Terms: relatedness, competence, intrinsic motivation, will power, motivation, intimacy, affiliation, anti-social, goal striving, exchange relationship, communal relatioship

To be quite honest my brain wasn't in the most creative mode today when working on this assignment (2 tests this week!). So I decided to browse through the topics listed on this blog and see what caught my eye. The first topic I noticed was music. Music has always been a big part of my life whether it was chorus, being a band geek (no longer!), or just casually listening to music on my own. I stumbled upon the blog post called "The 4 Ways Sound Affects Us." This talked about a video featuring Julian Treasure, the chairman of Sound Agency which is a firm that advises businesses on how to use sound to their advantage. Basically, how does music make a person feel? Sound affects a person physiologically, cognitively, behaviorally, and psychologically. Physiologically loud sounds raise cortisol (stress hormone) levels in a person's brain, which in turn raises their heart beat and anxiety levels. Psychologically music effects a person's emotional state which can affect their competence (need to interact effectively with the environment) and relatedness (need to establish close emotional bonds and attachments with other people). Cognitively humans have a limited ability to take in multiple stimuli at once. Having a noisy workplace can decrease productivity. Lastly, music can change how we behave. When listening to intense rock music in the car it might be harder to drive the speed limit. People tend to prefer pleasant sounds over unpleasant sounds. I thought this was interesting because it was totally logical, but I never thought about in this way. Businesses really can use music to A) get a person's attention and B) promote productivity in many ways.

Another article I found elaborating on this topic some more was called "Sound, Words, and Your Health: The Body's Symphony of Sound and Vibration." This author took on a different aspect of sound and vibrations in our daily lives. She divulged the history of vibrations and how different scientists came to physically see the different patterns of sounds and vibrations. She says that human cells respond the same way as sand to vibrations. There are also different ways to surround yourself with the sound you want. First, create a no-fly zone getting rid of all unwanted volume. Second, simplify your sound space by leaving the radio or TV off. Lastly, watch and listen for valuable feedback from yourself, friends, children, partner, etc. You learn to watch how expressions and body language changes. This is another example of motivation because you are simply working to literally quiet your life. This can become a goal you set and try to accomplish. If noise stresses you out then work to diminish it. This particular goal with feedback defines the goal standard to gauge whether you are below or above certain markers along the way. It is documenting your progress toward your goal attainment.

Lastly, this article, "Noise Pollution: A Modern Plaque" discussed the harmful effects of noise on our health. It talked about hearing impairments, interference with spoken communication, sleep disturbances, cardiovascular disturbances, mental health disturbances, impaired task performance, and negative social behavior. The disturbances I was most interested in were sleep disturbances and cardiovascular disturbances. Noise can interrupt sleep and we all know that without a good night's sleep a person can suffer physiologically and mentally from deprivation. If a person lives by a noisy highway that prevents them from sleeping well it can cause increased blood pressure, increased pulse amplitude, and fatigue. This could cause the orbitofrontal cortex (an approach oriented brain structure dealing with values and choices) to falter. When this occurs a person may make wrongful choices that could harm them. This could also affect the amygdala (brain structure, avoidance oriented structure) causing a negative related mood. When dealing with the cardiovascular system noise can affect the endocrine system and autonomic nervous system. It could possibly lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. There are many advantages of music/noise as well as (health) disadvantages. One must always be careful with it to ensure a long physiological and psychological well-being.

TERMS: psychological needs, physiological needs, social needs, cortisol, competence, relatedness, goal setting, feedback, goal attainment, orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala

http://www.psychologicalscience.com/motivation_emotion/2010/02/the-4-ways-sound-affects-us.html

http://www.practicalspirituality.info/sound-words-and-your-health.html

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/554566_3

Since I no longer compete in organized sports, I have looked for new ways to challenge and motivate myself to stay in good physical shape. Running and lifting weights are intrinsically fun for me but after awhile you start to look for something that will provide a better challenge and bigger thrill. I have recently found this in the form of training for assault courses. The first one I will compete in is the Gladiator Assault challenge. What is this exactly one may ask. From their website, “Gladiator Assault Challenge is the Midwest's premier test of endurance, speed, agility, strength, mental stamina and your ability to withstand a crazy party afterward. The Gladiator Assault Challenge obstacle course is a series of challenging physical obstacles an individual or team must navigate. The 5 - 7 mile course will challenge you with running, climbing, jumping, crawling and balancing elements with the aim of testing overall endurance.” As soon as my buddy made me aware of this, I knew it was for me.

I am intrinsically motivated to engage in physical activity because I find in fun. I like to challenge myself physically and compete with others. To add additional motivation to exercise, I am choosing to compete in assault challenges. They will provide extrinsic motivation by putting me in front of others to demonstrate my abilities. If I show up to one of these events out of shape, the consequence will be the embarrassment of not being able to complete the course. If I show up in great condition, I will be rewarded by beating all of my friends on the assault challenge. I found the website for the first assault challenge I am doing motivating enough just by looking at it. Seeing pictures of people competing motivated me because I could imagine myself being there as well. I get the feel good neurotransmitter dopamine release when exercising. I also get this release by just imaging myself competing in the challenge.

For further motivation I looked for other sites that are similar to gladiator assault challenge as well as websites with advice for training for these challenges. This led me to the next site, Warrior Dash, which offered advice on training for these types of events. Both of these assault course challenges offer addition motivation incentives beyond the competition. They appeal to the psychological need of relatedness and the social need of affiliation. They bring you together with like-minded individuals who share the interest of physical activity and competition. You are able to form teams with your friends to compete against other teams. At the end of each of these assault course challenges, a social environment is set up where everyone can drink, eat, and listen to music together after the competition is over.

The final site I looked at was the training room online. It is a site that gives all sorts of tips and advice on how to train for these types of competitions. This site was motivating in that it offers me new ways to train allowing me create new long and short term goals. I can set specific performance goals and augment these goals through the feedback I get when progressing through my workouts. Through the training for the competition and the competition itself I get a sense of achievement. The task it moderately difficult and involves competing helping me meet this social need of achievement.

I believe these assault course challenges are the perfect motivation for people like me who loved competing in sports and are in need of something to replace their prep days of playing football or running track. It is a unique and practical approach for physical competition. You are motivated to do both your personal best as well as beat others giving you a great sense of achievement. For me, this satisfies my psychological needs of competence and relatedness as well as my social needs of achievement and affiliation. It is also a great tool to use as a measure in both short and long term goal setting.


http://www.gladiatorassault.com/
http://warriordash.com/info.php#
http://www.trainingroomonline.com/

Terms: Motivation, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, neurotransmitters, dopamine, relatedness, affiliation, goals, feedback, competence, psychological needs, social needs

Something that I feel like I have been interested in lately is procrastination. As a college student I hear my peers often mention that they are cursed with the ability to leave everything until the last minute, and I too have a knack for procrastinating. Therefore I was wondering why people continually procrastinate and they don’t seem to have the motivation to put a stop to it even though they partially have goals set up for them (deadlines, page/word requirements, source limits, etc). Plus if people are upset and stressed due to their bad habit, why continue doing it?

The first article I looked at suggested that people procrastinate because they have confidence issues, and that procrastinators may believe that they are incapable to complete the task at hand. One of the researchers who had input in the article goes onto say that procrastination can be broken down into a mathematical formula which states, “The formula predicts procrastination based on a person's expectation of finishing a task, the task's importance, the person's desire to complete the task, and how soon the task needs to be done.” Thus, it sounds like the issue that people have with procrastination is due to goal specificity, goal difficulty, and self-efficacy. If a person has a low sense of self-efficacy they loose faith in their abilities and may prevent them from setting goals. Depending on experiences a person has they may have experienced failure and they didn’t build of the feedback that they received. Which makes them feel bad and has a negative effect on their behavior and self. Plus, if a person feels that their self-concept is a procrastinator they are likely to continue supporting the procrastinating behavior to maintain that self-concept.

As for procrastination when it comes to goal specificity and goal difficulty the first article mentioned the time the task need to be completed. The second article also supported the idea that procrastination may come from there being no specified goal and it depended on the difficulty of the task. The second article also mentions that people are more likely to complete a goal that is concrete rather than abstract. For people to best accomplish their goals they need to have their goals clearly stated, and precise. If people are allowed too much leeway and their goal is vague they will put off the task that they need to complete. Also depending on the goal’s difficulty people are likely to be drawn to a goal where they are somewhat challenged, but if they feel that it is beyond their ability it deters them from accomplishing the goal.

The third article states the procrastination may happen for various reasons such as fear of failure, perfectionism, and fear of success. The idea behind the fear of failure may be associated with the issue of feeling like you put forth effort, but continuously fail which then makes a person feel anxious and they continue on procrastinating. Then once they have confirmed their self-concept by failing they rationalize their failure and accept it, or pass on the blame to the need for more time. The fear of success is similar to the fear of failure because they choose to procrastinate due to the pressure of having to continue looking successful and the idea that they may have to work on harder tasks. So instead they choose to look ill equipped and avoid the pressures of succeeding. The last reason behind procrastination is perfectionism, which causes a person to feel like whatever they do it is never good enough so they waste time worrying about their work, which leads them to feel overwhelmed and irritated with what they see to be as impossible standards. It’s for these reasons and the one I mentioned above that people have issues striving for their goals (goal striving) because they are so controlled by these problems, which then hinder their ability to start or even persist until their goal(s) have been met so they are still under the influence of procrastination.

Terms used: motivation: motivation, goal specificity, goal difficulty, self-efficacy, goal, setting goals, feedback, behavior, self, self-concept, goal striving, persist

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/01/12/health/webmd/main2357678.shtml

http://www.economist.com/node/12971028

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-age-anxiety/201103/why-do-you-procrastinate

One thing that has always been a huge part of my life, since I was extremely young has been exercise. Ever since I could have the option to be put in sports or some type of athletic event I did it. I was not the typical girl who participated in gymnastics, tap, ballet, or baton twirling; even though these are all things I attempted, I was more into volleyball, baseball (yes I was on an all boys team), soccer, basketball, and track. I would say in middle school and high school there was a lot of extrinsic motivation. If we won a game then we would get a trophy, or we would move onto the next round of the tournament. There was also intrinsic motivation as well, but I think I would have to say that came more into play when I got into college, because I did not have something constantly pushing me. Currently I am not on any type of athletic team, and going into college I had short as well as long term goal to stay in as good as shape as I was, without being involved in some type of team. I wondered how I was going to do it, and hopefully not gain the ‘freshman 15.’ Last year, when I lived in the dorms I was concerned I was not working out enough, yet it was my fault considering I did not want to take my lazy butt to the WRC, so I found a website that I still use today, which is what I came upon on while doing this assignment. It is called sparkpeople.com, and it has a bunch of workouts and motivational tools that you can do in a dorm room where you do not have as much space. It sounds kind of corny, but honestly it was a very helpful key, and a good motivation. At the top of the website it says “The freshman 15 is an elective, not a requirement.” I thought this was pretty clever and have looked at it like that ever since. Although I found enough motivation to get my butt to the gym, run outside or do workout videos, motivation was definitely a key in that! I would say I have the spirit, drive, power and will to keep on pushing myself. Also, all of this came with the need for me to stay in shape. Although I would say I am in pretty good shape, some of my family has a history of heart disease, high cholesterol, and blood pressure. This drove me to have the physiological need as well as psychological need to stay in shape.

Another site that I found also relates to the motivation of exercise. My boyfriend recently started doing the workout videos called ‘Insanity.’ So I happened to do a couple of them when he wasn’t using them; and holy cow they kicked my butt! While I was doing the video, the guy on the video was talking to whole time. He was using motivational words, and trying to get you pumped up! This was really nice considering sometimes it is really easy to stop doing the workout especially if you are not receiving encouraging words or feedback from others. Also, I got on the website to look up the background of the video, and see what ‘results’ people have had from doing the videos. There were also fitness calendars you could print off, as well as healthy meal choices. In addition, it tried to encourage you to make goals, yet to make realistic goals that are possible to achieve! The website also said that if you send in a before and after picture after the 60 days of the workout videos, you will receive a shirt that says ‘I earned it!’ This could be considered a reward that you would receive for trying your best and having the motivation to complete the workout. I personally have not done many of these videos, but my boyfriend has and he has seen great results, and this video would definitely act as a positive reinforcer in the fact that he is seeing results, so he is going to continue to do the workouts.

The third website I found while searching the web on the topic if exercise was about why exercise is a good thing for college students. The website gives a nice list of the reasons college students especially benefit from exercising. The first one was pretty obvious, relieving stress, and honestly I totally agree. After a rough week, I love taking my anger out on the treadmill. Another interesting reason related to some of the biological terms we have talked about this semester. Exercising can just make you feel good as well. It states that the body naturally produces hormones, and neurotransmitters while exercising, and this can increase endorphin and dopamine levels. Also, exercising can make you feel in control of the situation. You have the control to work out as much as you want, and it’s all up to you. You levels of autonomy would increase, as well as your relatedness. Most of the time I enjoy working out alone, but sometimes it is nice to have someone else with you, such as a close friend.

TERMS: intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, drive, will, power, motivation, psychological need, physiological need, short term goal, long term goal, feedback, reward, positive reinforcer, endorphin, dopamine, autonomy, relatedness.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=629

http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/insanity.do

http://www.youniversitytv.com/news-sports/5010-the-benefits-of-exercise-while-in-college

The area I always find interesting is lifting and running, a favorite past time and hobby I like perform when given the opportunity. The one thing I like to do while I partake in these activities is listen to music. Everyone does it, if it be rock, classical, pop, or techno, it motivates us all in different ways regardless of the sport of exercise. I have always found it interesting how listening to the music could give a person (me) a different mindset when performing, if it be a faster tempo while running, lifting a few pounds extra, or even feeling more energetic. Also how it can be used as a motivational tool.
In the articles I choose they talk about the effects music has on athletes, how listening to music can potentially affect the performance of an athlete by giving the individual a small but significant boost, in an event or training. There happen to five areas in which music has an influence: dissociation, arousal regulation, synchronization, acquisition of motor skills, and attainment of flow. I won’t be talking about all of the five but a selective few.
We have all felt that boost we get when listening to our favorite song, that feeling of invincibility and nothing can touch you. During that little high you are able to focus more specifically on that self-set standard (mastery goal), blocking out any physical fatigue. This is known as dissociation, which allows for that good feeling due to a dopamine release. It is this dopamine release that can make training, running, or task in general seem fun and easier, putting at ease any high cortisol levels that might cause stress or tension. The next area is in arousal regulation, when music is used to arouse or calm down emotional and psychological feelings. When athletes use up beat music to get pumped before an event or more calming slow music to settle down.
The effects of music on motivation and emotion reflect on many levels. From being an external stimulus it influences physiological functions in the body like; the release of dopamine which actives goal-directed approach response that effects the muscular/motor system through the nucleus accumbens. Choosing the music we want to listen to demonstrates environmental values (loud rock to get psyched up or soft and slow to calm down) which also shows autonomy from an internal locus of control. Although my point of view for this blog was from an athletics point of view, music also has psychological effects that can be traced back to relatedness, intimacy, and social needs.
Terms: dissociation, arousal regulation, dopamine release, mastery goal, external stimulus, goal-directed approach response, nucleus accumbens, environmental values, autonomy, internal locus of control, relatedness, intimacy, social needs.
http://www.thesportjournal.org/article/music-sport-and-exercise-update-research-and-application
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33418663/ns/health-fitness/t/why-music-makes-exercise-easier/#.T2t2dcX2ark
http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-240-466--13768-0,00.html

I chose to look at motivation in children’s reading habits. I’m interested in this because reading is a foundation to appropriate language skills. Language skills in turn result in being more successful in school, work, and social life. However, for a lot of young individuals reading is considered boring or uninteresting. So, in order to build this important skill, what can parents and educators do to motivate children into reading?

The first site I looked at gave numerous tips on how to motivate children into reading out of intrinsic motivation; meaning how to make the child actually want to read for fun, pleasure, enjoyment etc. The way the article suggests going about creating intrinsic motivation is by approaching reading as something to be enjoyed. To start off, give the child books that are colorful and well illustrated. This creates some sort of positive reinforcer if the child keeps coming back to reading because of the illustration. The article focuses on praising the child for their efforts, while also remembering to not bribe, or reward. As we discussed in chapter 5 rewards only help create extrinsic motivation. The key to kids being better readers is for them to want to read through intrinsic motivation. Also discussed in chapter 5 is giving those who are unmotivated to perform “boring” tasks is to give them rationale. With a very young child obviously this strategy isn’t ideal. However, when you get to middle school and high school level of adolescents who are still reluctant to read this theory might hold some strength. Informing teens of the benefits to reading could promote some intrinsic motivation. For example, reminding them that getting good grades in their younger years will help them accomplish long term goals such as college admittance. Helping the children with an implementation plan to expand their reading habits could greatly improve their chances of making it into their dream college. Providing reading lists and having the children set their own goals of when to be completed with a book will give them something to work towards. Not only is this now increasing intrinsic motivation in reading, but also training them in using goal setting strategies. The article does mention to not set unrealistic goals. It’s important to have the child involved in the goal setting to make it more personal and to ensure that is it achievable.

Reading can also benefit a child’s need for competence. By motivating children to read using the methods provided in the article, the child will start to see results in their performance in the classroom. They will be able to better participate in discussions, be more confident when called on, and feel a connectedness to their peers.

The websites I visited were the following:
http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/children-who-can-read-but-dont.htm
http://www.readingrockets.org/article/33920/
http://www.kidsread.net/Motivate.htm
Terms: intrinsic motivation, reinforcer, rewards, extrinsic motivation, long term goal, competence,

So the thing I wanted to find some more information on what motivates people to exercise. I keep trying to get myself to do it regularly, but I get bored quickly and it seems there are other things I would rather be doing. I know there are people that love doing it though and wouldn’t miss working out a day. I want that motivation so I read some more about it.
I learned that first of all to get started that it has a lot to do with goal setting, which I of course knew, but I learned a few more things. There has to be more to it because regardless of all the known benefits of exercise, there are many people, including myself, who just cant find the motivation. If the motivation is found to start, what keeps people motivated? I can start any workout program, but how come at the end of the program or if I stop for a little bit, I take an overly long break?
In reading I learned a person’s sense of self-perception plays a major role in whether she/he will start an exercise program. Regardless whether they have been told by a medical professional or some other major reason to exercise, this still may stop them from even trying. Another thing that may stop them is that they feel they are incompetent when it comes to exercise. Someone has to not only have the intrinsic motivation it takes to start exercising, but also to feel competent about themselves and exercise.
There are many reasons why someone may want to exercise, so there are many reasons why someone would start. They may want to be healthy when they get older, so they exercise young, it may be to get stronger, to lose weight, to feel good, to have something they enjoy doing, etc. Regardless of the reason to start, research consistently shows that positive feedback (from exercise professionals), reinforcement (that exercise is worthy and beneficial) and social support (from significant others) will improve a person’s self-perception to initiate an exercise program These are also some extrinsic motivators. I know that one thing that works for me is hearing from someone who maybe doesn’t know that I have been working out that I am looking like I have been. I get the feeling that someone who knows I have been working out sometimes just say it because they know. For me, one of the biggest extrinsic motivators was when my neighbor asked me if I have been working out or losing weight. She doesn’t see me often and had no idea so this worked for me. one thing that for some may be an extrinsic motivator but for me is not at all is a scale. When I start working out I usually gain weight at first, and this is discouraging for me. I know its muscle I am gaining but I am not working out everyday to gain weight, I need to see the numbers go down.
There are many factors that go into the motivation for someone to continue exercising. Demographic and biological factors; men are more involved than women in physical activity. Moreover, being overweight and/or obese consistently proves to be negatively associated with exercise adherence.
Psychological, cognitive and emotional factors include things like a person’s physical self-efficacy, if they don’t have confidence that they can exercise and continue to do so, they probably wont.
One thing I learned that I thought was cool, was that Interestingly, watching others exercise also helps to motivate people to continue with their own exercise plan.
I think my issue on continuing to exercise for me is that I over-estimate my expectancy, and I read that this makes people more likely to drop out, so it is extremely important to set realistic goals that are attainable.
In short, the things that motivate someone to stick with an exercise plan include confidence (Self-efficacy) Benefits (Reward), Positive feedback (reinforcers, external motivators) and convenience. I need to make sure I have all of these working in my favor, so far so good this time around. Its important to set goals, and then to get feedback on these goals, start small, not just on the long term goal setting.

http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/ExerciseMot.pdf

http://www.fitnessforweightloss.com/what-motivates-people-to-stick-with-an-exercise-program/

http://www.upmc.com/healthatoz/pages/healthlibrary.aspx?chunkiid=14141

Terms used: Self perception, intrinsic motivation, competence, extrinsic motivation, goal setting, reinforcement, self-efficacy, rewards, feedback, long term goal setting.


I have always been interested in being fit. There are numerous benefits that come with having a healthy body. There are roadblocks that prevent people from accomplishing this goal. I have struggled with finding motivation to exercise in the past.

I researched motivation and exercise. I found a webmd article that pointed out 10 little things that can help you “gain” motivation for exercising. One of the central points was that you must be realistic with your goals. Chapter 9 talked about just that and how you can strengthen your success with a solid plan. Greg Landry's article furthered this strategy. Basically the articles talked about having an encouraged behavior. It goes something like this: Exercising more is an encouraged behavior (exercise three times a week for 2 hours each time) . That person would need to expect that they can adequately perform the action. This would lead to more willingness to put forth effort and persist in facing difficulties that may arise.

The three articles all pointed out the negative things we do to ourselves to hamper our ability to reach our goal. They went like this: in contrast, a negative behavior stemming from self-efficacy would be that the person would not expect that they can adequately perform the required task (exercise three times a week for 2 hours each time). This would lead to less engagement. This would mean a slack in effort and a settling for mediocre outcomes and early quitting.

Terms: Motivation, Emotion, success, strategy, encouraged behavior, willingness, negative behavior, self-efficacy, required task, engagement, mediocre.

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/exercise-motivation

http://zenhabits.net/31-ways-to-motivate-yourself-to-exercise/

http://top7business.com/?Top-7-Keys-To-Motivation-For-Exercise!&id=460

Recycling hasn’t been one of my strong points in the past, nor is it really one for me currently. However, I have made strides in my recycling habits. It’s a lot harder to recycle effectively while in college just for the sheer reason that there is so much other stuff going on in our lives. After I graduate and have a place of my own though, I’m going to try a lot harder to recycle more. Recycling is an interest of mine because I happen to love nature and hate to see the destruction of the earths’ natural resources. Thousands of trees are cut down constantly, destroying many homes for various wildlife. Not only the many environmental issues are a concern, but we are running out of room for landfills. I’m not a “tree hugger” in any sense, but I do believe we should take care of our planet. We only get one earth, we should not trash it. Sure, we can think that we won’t be around when pollution starts to cause direct effects to us, so then we shouldn’t worry about it. If we don’t though, the burden will be left with our children and their children and so on. If everyone would just do a little, it all could make a big difference.

The first website I visited is a government run site. EPA or Environmental Protection Agency is the name of the site and has a section on recycling. The page I visited describes how to recycle and the different benefits that recycling offers. Some of these benefits are conserving natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals; also, recycling prevents excess pollution and saves priceless energy. The steps that the EPA lists on how a product is recycled is as follows: 1.) Collection and processing 2.) Manufacturing 3.) Purchasing recycled products.

Treehugger.com was the next site I found myself researching at. First off, this site is for the extreme recycling activists. People who follow this website are pretty intense about their beliefs and go to great measures to make use of everything they can. Not really my kind of site, but they do have some good information on recycling. The certain page I was at gets pretty deep with recycling information. This information includes everything from tips to statistics. The main thing that the author of this article wanted to emphasize was the three R’s of recycling. The three R’s are reduce, reuse, and recycle. They want people to reduce the amount of materials/goods they consume/use on a daily basis and to reuse products instead of throwing them away after the initial use. The product doesn’t have to be reused for the same purpose, you can change its purpose to something else and use it that way. Lastly, is recycle. Recycle is the last step. After you have reduced and reused, then you recycle it. They also advise to buy recycled products.

The final website I visited listed many different ways to recycle in different places. It gives the formal definition of recycling and mentions many different environments that recycling is important in. These environments are but not limited to, the workplace, schools, and homes. The website also points out the governments’ role in the recycling world.
Motivation and emotion definitely has strong ties within recycling. For people to recycle they have to have some sort of intrinsic motivation to do so. People who just don’t care or have no desire to recycle need to be extrinsically motivated. The best way to motivate people to recycle is to educate them on what the effects of not recycling are. Once they see and understand what it’s doing to the environment they should be concerned and want to take some sort of action. If people would make a simple, easy short term goal, I think they would be surprised on how much they could actually recycle and possibly accomplish some sort of long term goal. It’s also a good idea to encourage others to recycle. Many people can recycle their used goods together, saving resources like gas in the process. This arrangement also creates affiliation which will result in a greater influence for someone to continue their recycling endeavors. Not only is recycling good for the environment, it’s actually very beneficial to the recycler. Recycling creates a sense of accomplishment and boosts self-esteem. People tend to feel good after they recycle because they have made a small difference in the world they live in. Now, if only we could get everyone on the recycling train, then we could make a BIG difference.

Terms: Motivation, Intrinsic motivation, Extrinsic motivation, Short-term goal, Long-term goal, Affiliation, Self-esteem

http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/rrr/recycle.htm

http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-recycling.html

http://www.benefits-of-recycling.com/whatisrecycling.html

A topic that really interests me is working out and staying active. I like to stay busy and involved and I love staying fit. Working out is one of my hobbies and it's a great stress reliever. Anytime I feel overwhelmed I go workout.

I would say that I have a pretty good hobby that I can benefit from in the long run. Not only is working out a good stress reliever but it's also very good for your health. One of my phobias in life is getting fat. I never want to become obese and in our country obesity is on the rise. I would say that I use staying in good physical shape as my motivation to work out and stay healthy. I wish being healthy would be other people's intrinsic motivation as well.

Working out is very much related to motivation because people who lack motivation to work out most likely have unhealthy habits. I feel that when people work out they have higher self esteem, and can gain many other rewards, as well. Exercise can improve your longevity and your life. There aren't really any negative side effects that you get from exercising.

Regular exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. Like I stated above, most of our country is overweight and just working out for 30 minutes a day, to start, puts you on the right track to reducing heart disease. Heart disease is one of the biggest threats in our country. I wish our country had a long term goal of reducing heart disease and a short term goal of getting people to be more active. I may be in good physical shape but I still like use working out as a intrinsic motivation because I want to try and be cancer free and heart disease free for the rest of my life. I never want to have to suffer from either of those. From my knowledge, one of the greatest ways to stay away from both of those diseases' would be to exercise and eat right.

Like I've mentioned before I enjoy working out. I like to try new things to challenge my body. One article I read was about cross training and body building. I played four sports in high school and two sports at a community college, so I would say that I have more muscle than the average female and I actually like it, so I enjoy to lifting weights. I like to gain strength and speed so after reading about the cross fit exercises and work outs I think I really want to try this type of work out.

Terms: motivation, intrinsic motivation, self esteem, rewards, long term goals, short term goals.

A topic that I find interesting that relates to motivation is drug addiction. After college, I want to become a police officer and drugs are a large part of their job. Another reason that I find drug addiction to be an interesting topic of discussion is because my uncle was addicted to cocaine when he was younger. He has told me horror stories of his addiction and the hell that he went through trying to sober up.

An addiction is a specific biological disorder of the reward systems of the brain that permanently alters the survival system and thus the motivational priorities. The reason why drug addicts have trouble quitting is because the drugs alter the composition of the brain’s pleasure centers. Nearly every drug has an effect on the production of dopamine, which produces a sensation of reward. When an increase in dopamine is stopped, you experience a feeling of depression. The drug’s chemical composition also affects numerous physiological systems including: heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and respiration.

Most people know the difference between depressants and stimulants and their effect on motivation is pretty self-explanatory. Depressants such as alcohol, barbiturates, and heroin facilitate relaxation and decrease any excess in endorphins, which have the same basic effect as dopamine. Stimulants on the other hand increase dopamine by blocking its absorption. This causes a heightened alertness and excess energy. Examples of stimulants are: amphetamines, nicotine, and cocaine. Both forms of drugs (depressants and stimulants) have a great effect on the motivation of the user.

When an addict is attempting to sober up, nothing seems to be intrinsically or extrinsically motivating to them. According to my uncle, even sex loses its appeal. The addiction has essentially changed your motivation. If you once found fishing to be pleasurable, the drug has now replaced it. You no longer receive any form of satisfaction for doing any of the things that you previously enjoyed.

A depressing story that my uncle shared with me was when his first son was born. Most people would be proud that they brought a child into the world and thus have a large sense of intrinsic motivation. They would work their ass off to give their child the best life possible and have no problem working so hard because of the satisfaction that they receive. My uncle on the other hand was nowhere to be found during the childbirth. Apparently, he was at a friend’s house getting a fix and had no problem with it. Throughout the first few years of parenting, he was jumping from one job to the other and working for crack money. Cocaine had replaced everything that should have been important in his life.

Addiction, motivation, dopamine, endorphins, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_addiction
http://www.ehow.com/about_5449616_physiological-effects-drugs-abuse.html
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=54633

I decided to look at time management. I am very interested in stress and what causes it. In my various jobs, I have noticed that for college students, poor time management is a large stressor in their lives. Since going to college, my time management has improved greatly and I actually do fairly well with it.

For a lot of students, their time management issues stem from their needs for achievement, competence, and perhaps power. If students didn’t have those needs, they wouldn’t care about being at work on time or getting that assignment turned in by the due date. But how do you improve time management? The best way to help time management is through goal-setting. The first website I went to actually said to “take a look at our goal-setting resources.” In order to realize you have a goal, you have to notice a discrepancy between your present state and your ideal state. In the case of time management, the ideal state is the assignment is completed but the present state is that it isn’t complete. When you go to the goal-setting link on that first website, they have a section specifically about defining your goal to make it specific. As we learned in class, an effective goal must be difficult and specific.

As college students, we usually have more than one thing due at a time. The second website I found discussed prioritizing your tasks as being an essential part of time management. The third website I found also had prioritizing the tasks as the most important thing to do. Your entire to-do list is your big goal. However, you prioritize that list and complete the items one at a time beginning with the most pressing. In prioritizing your “big goal” (to-do list), you are creating the basis for an action plan and focusing your goal by having the specific order of when you will be completing each task. When you complete each task, you are getting positive feedback that you are making progress on your big goal. If some of those tasks are bigger assignments, the website suggests breaking time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks and I usually suggest putting those smaller tasks for that assignment on the to-do list. You receive positive feedback when you cross those tasks off of your to-do list. This also plays into what the text taught us. We learned from the text that long-term goals should be broken down into several short-term goals. This is the same general concept we are using when we break the large goal (to-do list) into more manageable smaller goals (tasks on the to-do list).

I looked at many websites and most gave similar thoughts on time management. However, the three that I chose gave the most concise and thorough information that I felt could help anyone improve their time management skills.

First Website: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm

Second Website: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/time-management/wl00048

Third Website: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/inside-the-classroom/8-ways-to-take-control-of-your-time

Terms Used: Achievement, Competence, Power, Needs, Goal-Setting, Goal, Discrepancy, Present State, Ideal State, Specific, Difficult, Feedback, Long-term Goals, Short-Term Goals

One subject that I have always found interesting is tattoos. I grew up in a very conservative small town where body art was very rare. The first person I knew to get a tattoo was my oldest brother. He got a tattoo on the back of his neck of a skull with snakes coming out of the eye sockets. Right after he showed me, I asked him why he got that tattoo. He looked at me and said, “Why not?” Since then, I have been somewhat obsessed with asking people with tattoos what made them choose to get inked.

During my research, I found that tattoos were most likely used as a form of medicine and healing. The first example of tattooing was found on an ice man who had lines and dots around his ankles, knees, and spine. It is thought that the tattoos would help relive joint pain. Today, I think that some people still use tattoos as a form of healing. Most tattoos have a story of struggle and triumph, or of loss and love.

I also read an article on Psychology Today that suggested tattoos are a form of self-injury. Having just gotten my second tattoo, I can vouch that well it was being done, I repeatedly thought, “why am I paying this women to stab me?” I however, think that most tattoos are not started with the purpose of self-injury. I was not motivated by the need to prove myself to my tough older brother and show him that I could stand the pain.
Although I would like to think that the decision to get a tattoo is determined by the self, I understand that many tattoos are done after a large amount of peer pressure. A very good local example would be the UNI men’s cross country team. I have a very hard time believing that all those guys decided to get a panther tattooed on their upper thigh without some social pressure from the rest of the team.

The different pressures that can lead to people getting tattoos are also pressures that can keep people from getting tattoos. It is often suggested that any tattoos be covered during an interview or formal event. People with tattoos are also often judged and openly rejected and insulted. The first time one of my friends saw my ink, he looked me in the eye and called me trashy.

Even with the negative stigma, and the pain, the number of people with tattoos is rising. One researcher said that an estimated 25% of people under the age of 30 have at least one tattoo. So what makes people risk the pain and social rejection that comes with being one of the inked? I have heard a variety of answers to this question, including “it’s a family tradition”, “It’s about my mom”, and my favorite, “I don’t really talk about it.”

Although I can’t say what motived anyone else to get a tattoo, I can say that I, personally was driven by the idea of my possible self and what my tattoo was encouraging me to be, the drive to have something preeminent in my life, and the reinforcement of my favorite big brothers approval. I was both intrinsicly and extrinsicly motivated. Someday, I may look down at my foot and respond with, “I really don’t talk about it.”, but until then, I am proud that I had the motivation to get my tattoo.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/tattoo.html

http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Magazine/August-2009/The-Psychology-of-Tattoos/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scarred-soul/200912/tattoos-and-piercings-self-injury

Terms: motivation, possible self, possible self, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, drive

Something that really interests me is triathlons. A triathlon consists of swimming, biking, and running, and it is various distances based on the type, sprint, olympic, half, and full (Ironman). I have personally done 2 sprint triathlons and I will hopefully be doing another in August. A triathlon is not something you can just wake up one morning and decide to do, but it something that takes time and effort which requires a lot of motivation.

One of the sites that I looked at talked about how the mind is so important when it comes to triathlons. It is even said that the most important part to finishing the race is having a positive attitude, which involves having high self-efficacy. The body can become very fatigued and someone without strong willpower and motivation will quit, but with mental determination an individual can push through and finish. Goal setting is another key issue. It is different for everyone. One person may set the goal just to finish, another to beat their personal record, or to beat another competitor. For me my goal is always to finish. I also set mini goals along the way. For example I tell myself before the swim that I am just going for a swim and don’t think about the biking and running. Then when I get on the bike, it is just a bike ride and so on. This mental breakdown of the mini goals help me to see it as 3 small things instead of one long race.

I looked at an article that discussed a woman and her preparation for the Madison Ironman. She had the goal for herself to be in ironman shape since she came from a sedentary family and she wanted to be different. She had previously quit exercising, so she knew she needed to meet with someone to help her along, so she met with a sports psychologist. This helped her to mentally prepare for her ironman, so that intrinsically she desired to do this ironman. Her coach helped her motivate herself by visualizing the race and seeing it in a positive way. Unfortunately, an injury just before the race made it so she could not bike and run, she still achieved her goal to be in ironman shape, and she did complete the swim of the ironman. This story just showed how important the mental aspect is when it comes to motivation for triathlons.

The last site that I looked at was “10 Reasons to do a Triathlon”. This gave 10 reasons why someone would be motivated to do a triathlon. There were some physiological reasons listed like the release of endorphins that come with exercise, better overall health, lower stress and then the accomplishment of weight loss. Some of the reasons were external motivation and social needs motivations such as bragging rights and meeting friends. These would likely be appealing to someone who is high in external motivation. These reasons might be what someone needs to encourage and motivate themselves to be pushed physically.

Some things that have motivated me is my desire to be in shape which is an intrinsic motivation. I want to be in shape and be healthy. A good way for me to be motivated to work out is to have a goal, and a goal for me is doing a triathlon each summer. I am also motivated by wanting to prove people wrong. I am often viewed as a quiet small girl, not someone who most people would think of as athletic. Most people are very surprised when I tell them that I am a triathlete and surprised in my athletic ability. I think this stems from not wanting to be stereotyped or conforming to stereotypes. I want to be my own person, and not overlooked.

Terms: motivation, goals, willpower, self-efficacy, intrinsic, physiological, social needs, achieved, endorphins,

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/sports-training/the-psychology-of-triathlons.html
http://www.uwhealth.org/news/sports-psychology-helps-triathlete-find-right-frame-of-mind/31169
http://www.truefitnessblog.com/archives/10-reasons-to-do-a-triathlon

I decided to read about food cravings and how to get motivated enough to get past them when you are trying to eat healthier. This happens to be a topic that is interesting to me right now as I just decided to start eating healthy. After my fourth day in, I want a hamburger. And chicken strips. And chips. TLC has a show called “How Stuff Works”. I read an article from TLC about food cravings and how they work. They pointed out that there are gender differences in food cravings. Women have more cravings than men. Women crave sweets, while men crave burgers and fries. This article talked about ghrelin, a hunger hormone that we had discussed in class. When we don’t have enough food in our bodies, our sugar and insulin levels decrease, which causes ghrelin to be released. Ghrelin sends a message to the hypothalamus, which releases neuropeptide Y. Neuropeptide Y stimulates hunger. Once we get enough food, leptin is released, causing less neuropeptide y to be released. We generally crave high calorie, high fat foods. This is because those foods release opioids into our system. Opioids bind to receptors in the brain, causing feelings of pleasure. A study was conducted where participants were told to think of their favorite foods while undergoing an fMRI. The active parts of their brains were the hippocampus (memory), insula (emotion control), and caudate (dopamine reward system). This is a milder version of what happens when someone is addicted to drugs.
Now that I learned what causes food cravings, I decided to try to find ways to keep my motivated to eat healthy, so I don’t slip up. I found an article from Women’s Health Magazine that offered 7 tips for working past food cravings. The first tip was to break a long-term goal (ex: to eat healthy for 3 months) into a smaller goal (ex: eat healthy for 7 days). This is supposed to help you think of a small slip up as a more devastating blow to your goal. They also suggested that you not only monitor your weight, you monitor how it makes you feel. They said you should also monitor acne, heartburn, etc. This is supposed to give you more than just the motivation to look good in a swimming suit. The article also said that you should follow a cheat meal with five healthy meals and snacks, so that you are eating right at least 80% of the time. Other suggestions included eating breakfast as a rule, throwing away leftover junk food from before the diet, and distinguish a craving from actual hunger.
I found another article that sites a dietitian at a university in Maryland that said 75% of all snacking is caused by stress, boredom, and depression. Linda Spangle has written books about emotional eating. She suggests that when you crave something chewy (like a steak) or crunchy (like chips) you are “head eating”. “Head eating” is feeding because of stress, anger, or frustration. When you are hungry and don’t know what you want, it is usually “heart hunger”. “Heart eating” is when you feed because of loneliness, depression, and boredom (emptiness feelings). This is when you crave comfort foods like pasta, ice cream, candy, mashed potatoes, and alcohol. This article helped me realize that I often crave food because I am bored. I also realized that it is not my new healthy eating goal that had me craving hamburgers, chicken strips, and chips, it was in fact my emotions. At that time, I was sitting on the couch by myself, thinking of the massive amount of schoolwork that I needed to do. I was stressed and bored when I first started writing this blog post. I have noticed that sometime later, after focusing on this assignment, I am no longer craving food right now.
All of this information about food cravings ties in with motivation and emotion in that our body motivates us to eat and crave food. Our emotions also cause these cravings. It really tied into the class during the needs section, although a craving is not a need. It reinforced how the body experiences hunger. This explained to me how the mind tricks the body into thinking it is hungry when it really isn’t. The techniques to get past food cravings mentioned goals, and that it is not effective to focus on the whole goal. It suggests that the individual focus on smaller steps of the goal. This is exactly what the book described as successful behavior.

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/family/food-craving4.htm
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss-4?cat=11743
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=56502&page=2

Terms: Ghrelin, hypothalamus, leptin, neuropeptide Y, long-term goal, short-term goal

The topic I chose to focus on is one that always amazes me, that of celebrities who give to good causes and do great amounts of charity work for the disadvantaged. One has to wonder, what motivates these good Samaritans? Is it merely the thought of doing a good deed, giving to a good cause, purely intrinsic rewards? Maybe. Or maybe not.

One specific celebrity I know that many have either read about or at least heard about is Angelina Jolie. This woman has given time, money, traveled to third-world countries and personally volunteered in order to make a difference in the lives of many. Jolie was first exposed to the plight of the disadvantaged while she was filming the movie “Tomb Raider”, and has been involved with various charities since 2001, according to the website, http://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/2-angelina-jolie, associating with and contributing to around 24 organizations worldwide. A big step taken was her adoption of children from poor countries. The numerous actions taken by Jolie to help others in need show extreme intrinsic motivation on her part. She possesses the autonomy needed to be able to do with her vast fortune what she chooses, and she chooses to donate millions of dollars of her own free will. I suppose there may be reinforcement involved with stars who give to the needy and those less fortunate; that of recognition by the press and media, and the immense appreciation of those she has helped.

Other celebs who have gave of themselves in monetary form range from talk show host David Letterman, donating over 30K dollars to the Special Olympics, to the late Elvis Presley, who gave to Goodwill Homes, according to the USAToday website. One celeb who unfortunately had an obvious extrinsic motivation for his monetary contributions was the late Christopher Reeve, who donated nearly 6.4 million to research to find a cure for paralysis. Nevertheless, his contributed funds were not selfishly given, as they help many others with the same ailments. Another example of extrinsic rewards at play in these donations made, however, involve the fact that the USAToday website retrieved some of its information regarding the stars from the IRS. As we all are aware, donations to charity organizations are tax-deductible most of the time, so these celebs get “paid back” in a way, for their thoughtfulness. This may not be a factor for every situation, but it is a reward nonetheless. We cannot say what anyone’s true intentions are, but just the fact that people in the high positions they are in, with all of the money they possess think to give at all to those less fortunate is truly wonderful to me. For instance, the late Elizabeth Taylor gave millions to AIDS research and education programs, according to the internet website, http://www.usatoday.com/life/2001-12-18-celebrity-donations-chart.htm, so selflessness was apparent in various situations involving caring celebrities as well.

There are many celebs with hearts of gold, from music sensations, young and old (John Legend, Annie Lennox, Bono), to actors/actresses (George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Ellen DeGeneres), to former and present presidents of our United States (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama). Whether or not their intentions are completely genuine, and not extrinsically motivated by outside reward, they are taking the initiative and effort to give of their time, their money, and themselves to help others who may not be able to help themselves.

http://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/2-angelina-jolie
http://www.usatoday.com/life/2001-12-18-celebrity-donations-chart.htm
http://www.examiner.com/celebrity-charity-in-national/top-10-celebrities-and-charities-that-they-support

TERMS: intrinsic reward, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, autonomy, reinforcement

Expectancy (or VIE) theory, developed by Victor Vroom, states that individuals choose to engage in certain behaviors based on their perception of both the probability and desirability of potential outcomes. The formula that describes the theory is:

MF = E x ∑(I + V),

where:

MF: Motivational Force
E: Expectancy
I: Instrumentality
V: Valence.

According to the theory, the individual chooses the behavior with the strongest Motivational Force (MF), based on beliefs that: 1) the individual can successfully engage in the behavior (E); 2) the likelihood that the behavior will produce the desired outcome (I); and 3) the value that the individual places on that outcome.

The multiplication sign indicates that E must be a non-zero number for there to be any MF whatsoever; however, to me the formula also suggests that, even if E (and possibly I) approaches zero, a strong enough V (i.e., reward) can still yield a not-insignificant MF.

Example: Jane knows the odd against winning the lottery are astronomical; however, she still buys her tickets religiously out of a belief that the potential jackpot would solve all of her financial woes.

Given that this is a cognitive theory of motivation, however, it is important that the individual: 1) believes that they are capable of performing the behavior successfully (E); 2) believes that performing the behavior successfully will result in the desired outcome (I); and 3) believes that the outcome is something of value (V).

From an M&E standpoint, the upshot of this is that, in order to motivate people to do something, you should: 1) show them a desirable outcome (i.e., a reward); 2) explain the means (i.e., the behavior necessary) for them to get it; and 3) demonstrate to them that they are capable of successfully engaging in said behavior.

Example: While explaining an incentive program for employees, Amanda talks about the bonuses for high-level performance; explains the steps necessary to reach said level of performance; and cites past performance numbers to convince the employees that the performance goal is achievable.

According to the VIE theory, if the expected reward is seen as both desirable and achievable, motivation to perform the behavior will increase.

I think that this is a cognitive theory rather than a behavioral theory because the behavior is based before-the-fact on the expectation of a reward rather than after-the-fact on the attainment of a reward. This also suggests that the individual must believe in the good faith of the organization to follow through with the reward after the individual’s successful performance.

Wikipedia: Expectancy theory
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expectancy_theory

Changing Minds: Expectancy Theory
http://changingminds.org/explanations/theories/expectancy.htm

Management Study Guide: Expectancy Theory of Motivation
http://www.managementstudyguide.com/expectancy-theory-motivation.htm

Terms: Expectancy theory, VIE theory, Motivational Force, Expectancy, Instrumentality, Valence, behavior, value, reward, outcome, performance, good faith, cognitive theory, behavioral theory

My biggest concern lately has been to lose weight. Since coming to college, I have gained an inexcusable amount of weight and I am at a point where I have become very unhappy with my body image. But while I would like to lose weight, implementing behavioral changes is very difficult. That is why I chose to focus on motivation for implementing a new health plan.

The three articles that I looked at covered a number of topics that we have discussed in class. In “Make Over Your Motivation”, it mentions a number of concepts from the course. The first point the article mentions is starting your goals off small, or ensuring that you are setting the goal difficulty at a reasonable level. It also mentions for week one that your goals should be self-prescribed rather than from outside sources to ensure goal acceptance. The recommend wording goals as “want to” rather than “should”. For week two, the article recommends getting support from friends. It also mentions the biological benefits from exercise, such as boosting the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin. Another motivational strategy that they suggest is picturing a new you, or a possible self. This strategy invokes personal striving that motivates an individual to decrease the discrepancy between their present self and their “ideal” self. Because the individual creates these goals for themselves, this process is called discrepancy creation. Week three of this article is devoted to getting support from family and friends, which is important because it relates to our psychological need for relatedness and our social need for affiliation. Week four mentions some very important motivational principles. The article asks you to think back to your progress and whether or not you need to make adjustments to the goal difficulty. By analyzing the feedback or results from the previous weeks, either by how you feel psychologically or by the number on a scale, the person can determine the effectiveness of their plan and they can self-regulate. The second tip is to make exercise apart of your self-schema by calling yourself a “runner” or “swimmer”. This makes you internalize the goals and behaviors that you have created. Perhaps the most important tip is to plan for real-life interruptions, or implementation intentions. The article states, “slip-ups are inevitable; it’s how you respond that matters”. The article suggests making a Plan B for the days that you do not go to the gym (even if that consists of a few exercises in your living room). The last tid-bit of advice that they give you is to believe in yourself! Self-efficacy is really important in determining persistence of a behavior. Therefore, by having confidence in your own abilities, you will feel empowered to stick with the plan.

While my main article was the most helpful, the other two do mention the importance of rewarding yourself if you follow through with your workout plan. It is important to reinforce those behaviors, even if it is something as little as a new top or a new pair of shoes.

So all in all, this class has provided me with everything I need to know about motivating myself to lose weight. Now it is up to me to find my drive or agency so that I can put my plans into action and make this weight loss goal a reality.

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/spirit/reach-your-goals/make-over-your-motivation/

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/tips/motivation/think-yourself-slim/

http://www.greatist.com/happiness/11-ways-to-keep-new-years-resolutions/

Terms: goal difficulty, goals, goal acceptance, serotonin, possible self, possible self, personal striving, discrepancy, discrepancy creation, psychological need, relatedness, social need, affiliation, feedback, self-regulate, self-schema, internalize, implementation intentions, self-efficacy, persistence, empowerment, reinforcement, drive, agency

One thing that really interests me is dance. Everyone can dance; whether it is a slight movement of the hips and arms or full out leaps and turns. But a lot of people choose not to dance because they think that they are not good or will make a fool out of themselves. The people who choose to dance, uses their autonomy, because they find dance interesting. Also, dancers have to choose if a dance company fits them or a different would be better for them.
Many dancers have a goal of being the best and dancing for a famous company, winning championships, or performing on Broadway. But to get to that point, dancers have to be motivated. Dancers have short term goals and long term goals. Short term goals could be getting the solo in their company's dance or winning a local dance competition. Long term goals would be, as I stated earlier, dancing with a famous company, winning dance championships, or performing on Broadway. Almost all dancers at one point have to deal with the incongruities of their ideal state and their present state. The setbacks of getting injured or not getting the part. Many dancers can be motivated by verbal persuasion from their dance teachers and other dancers. Also dancers are motivated by feedback, either positive or negative. Dancers who get positive feedback will work harder to maintain that level or so they continue to get positive feedback. Dancers who get negative feedback will feel they need to work harder to prove to themselves and others that they are good.
People who dance for a living are motivated by intrinsic motivation. They love dance. When they dance, they feel free, creative, they feel fulfilled in their lives, and they want to learn new moves and become better. People dance also are motivated by extrinsic motivation., especially if they dance in competitions. Dancers that dance in competition are driven by the high score that the judges give them, the praise, the title, the fame, or the reward of a trophy or a medal saying how well they did.
Dance is a good place to find relatedness. In dance classes you meet new people and make friends. In dance, people normally socialize. In ballroom dancing, there are partners, so you have to talk to your partner to have a good connection while dancing.
Dance is difficult, especially when you learn a new move or a hard combination. One's competence is questioned while dancing, because dance takes flexibility, strength, and endurance. When a dancer is able to stretch to where they want to, leap high in the air, lift their partner, and dance for hours, they feel competent with their abilities. One of the greatest feelings is to be able to perform a dance perfectly, knowing that you did your best and your work and hardships paid off.
TERMS: autonomy, motivation, goal, short term goal, long term goal, ideal state, present state, verbal persuasion, feedback, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, reward, relatedness, competence

http://www.networkdance.com/dance-ballet-articles/Importance-of-motivation-for-dancers/7
http://www.danceway.com/article2006_4.html
http://dance.about.com/od/danceandyourhealth/tp/Health-Benefits.htm

The topic that lays closely to my heart and deals greatly with motivation and emotion is stroke recovery. Stroke survivors go through many different stages of emotion after a stroke occurs. Often times the emotions that stroke survivors experience include but are not limited to; confusion, shock, anger, hope, determination, helplessness, depression, despair, happiness, feelings of being blessed or lucky, achievement, excitement, pity, etc.

According to the Hope guide for stroke survivors there are 5 stages to the grieving process for a survivor. The first stage is shock. This usually happen in the hospital and results in helplessness. The second stage is denial. Being able to cope with such extreme and new disabilities is extremely hard to accept. The third stage is reaction. This usually is realization of the impact of the disability and often time causes psychological changes. The forth stage is mobilization. This is often where the person wants to get better and wants to learn how to get better. And the final stage is acceptance. Acceptance and finally coming to terms with the impact of the disability and it usually brings about emotions like hopefulness and gratefulness.

Another part of stroke recovery that is important for survivors is goal setting. Stroke survivors usually lose most control over their lives if they have a massive stroke and gaining their independence back is crucial to their emotional health. Stroke survivors need to set up long term goals of what they want to achieve overall from their recovery process. Once they develop their long term goals, they need to set up their short term goals along the way to be about to make stepping stones to eventually achieve their long term goals. The most important part of goal setting is making sure the goals are reasonable to accomplish for the individual, as everyone's recovery is different.

One of the important things for a stroke survivor to gain after their stroke is self-advoacy. Self-advoacy is essential for self worth and self esteem after a stroke. when regaining self-advoacy, it is important for survivors to learn what their needs and wants are. Survivors usually have several emotional, physical, and and financial needs they need to achieve.

One of the most important social needs that survivors eventually reach out to achieve is the need for relatedness. Survivors often want to feel like other are struggling in the same ways they are. This is why support groups have been made for people that have suffered major medical complications. Everyone wants to feel like they belong to a group and communicating with other survivors assists stroke survivors to feel accomplished and understood in their process of recovery. Overall, stroke recovery fits in with many of the concepts we have learned over the semester.

URLS:
1.http://www.stroke.org/site/DocServer/hope_full.pdf?docID=921
2.http://www.stroke.org/site/DocServer/hope2.pdf?docID=522
3.http://www.strokesurvivorblog.com/

Terms: emotion, motivation, helplessness, depression, achievement, denial, cope, acceptance, goal setting, long term goals, achieve, short term goals, accomplish, self-advoacy, self worth, self esteem, needs, wants, emotional needs, physical needs, social needs, relatedness.

I think one thing many people struggle with is eating healthy. Often we become busy with our jobs, school and just life in general and put less emphasis on eating nutritious food. I used to eat healthy all the time but living in a dorm has made that difficult for me to keep up with. I find nutrition and eating healthy interesting because what we consume affects our skin, weight and general health.
We eat to satisfy a physiological need, eating is essential for well-being and growth. Most people tend to over eat due to emotional needs. Individuals eat more when they experience cravings. In college it’s incredibly hard to resist eating pizza at 2 am or grabbing the ever so convenient fast food. It’s hard to be motivated to eat healthy when convenience is all that matter sometimes.
College students as me usually gain weight because it’s hard to live a healthy life style. It’s so easy to just eat what’s around us or what’s cheap. In some cases people are just not educated on how to eat healthy. The article I read ‘Healthy Eating: Hunger vs. Cravings” talks about how you should eat until you’re full but not deprive your body of certain foods because this could make you crave them more.
Setting goals when it comes to eating healthy is very possible. It is possible to eat healthy while in college or while living a busy life style you just have to set goals and have motivation. When you set specific goals of where you want to be it is easier to achieve. In the shape article I read there are specific meal plans and simple meals to make that could be used as goal specificity. You also want to set a goal difficulty, you want to make sure when you plan how you will change your diet, will not be too easy or too difficult that you’ll lose interest. You want to see that you’re making progress. It’s good to set short term goals and build up to long term goals. For example start off by changing the type of eggs you eat like whole eggs to egg whites, making small changes first will then work up to long-term goals for example eating only organic or vegetarian. When eating healthy I find it easier to eat healthy when you receive incentives such as praise people notice how you’ve lost weight or how your skin is glowing.


http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/cooking-ideas
http://life.familyeducation.com/foods/nutrition-and-diet/44294.html
http://kelseytallis.hubpages.com/hub/How-To-Eat-Healthy-in-College-or-in-Life

Key terms: physiological need , emotional needs, plans, goal specificity, short-term goals, long-term goals.

I was interested in mental retardation and the effects that it has on an individuals’ social and psychological needs in terms of motivation and emotion. I found a study by searching mental retardation on the rod library site. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-3148.2011.00652.x/abstract;jsessionid=345B3340B149D6A876770362E6E4C29A.d01t01?systemMessage=Wiley+Online+Library+will+be+disrupted+24+March+from+10-14+GMT+%2806-10+EDT%29+for+essential+maintenance. This study looked at how individuals with mental disabilities dealt with stress caused by interpersonal conflicts. It states that people with mental retardations (not specifically down’s syndrome, but simply and IQ below 70 with various learning disabilities.
My topic is mental retardation and how social and psychological needs vary for individuals who have learning impairments. This is related to motivation and emotion as different individuals are motivated to learn and interact with others differently based on their cognitive levels of development. Another example that I looked at (does not have a URL because it’s a book that I read) is a book entitles “Retarded isn’t Stupid Mom!” by Sandra Kaufman. Sandra raises a daughter who is mentally retarded meaning that her IQ is below 70 and she has a learning disability. The entire book is about struggling with her daughter Nicole. Nicole is constantly trying to struggle to gain her psychological and social needs. However, she was different from others which made this more difficult. She was constantly struggling to have autonomy over her life. However, everyone else kept trying to force her to fit into the mold of a “normal” child. Additionally, they didn’t permit her to do anything on her own or make her own decisions. By the time she got to her 20’s she wanted to prove her abilities to have control/autonomy over her own life and competence in her actions that she moved out of her parent’s house, even though she couldn’t handle her own finances, relationships, etc. Still her desires to meet this needs gave her the motivation to not only move out of her parent’s house, but also the determination to make everything work. By the end of the book she proved her competence by gaining control over her finances and getting a job even though the doctors told her mother that she would never advance past the mental capacity of a 5 year old. She also formed and intimate relationship and got married to a man, became affiliated with many other people like herself, have control over her life and her own decisions/autonomy, learned to relate to others and their feelings, and felt a sense of power for doing what everyone told her was impossible. This shows that mentally retarded people have the same motivations and emotions for achievement of the basic psychological and social needs, they are just more simple and achieved differently.
This last clip is more of a stretch because it doesn’t necessarily look at mental retardation, but rather it looks at a polar opposite. I chose this clip so that I could reflect the importance of intelligence in emotions and motivations that individual’s have to meet their social and psychological needs. Individual’s intelligence levels affect how much autonomy they are permitted by society around them. In my example of Sandra Kaufman’s book, she raises a mentally retarded daughter. Because of her daughter’s retardation she doesn’t allow her much autonomy and tries to control and structure every part of her life. However, when you are extremely smart in the polar opposite direction, your level of autonomy is extremely high as you are able to control and self montitor all of your actions and find a way around nearly everything in society. The clip is an example of how everyone has different levels of intelleginece and different motivations to know different facts based on their intelligence. Leonard and Sheldon typically view Penny as incompetent, however, she is fully competent only in different subject matter. She is more motivated to know more social facts of information that would increase her affiliation with other and socially make her more accepted. However, the boy have and extremely high level of intelligence and competence find a lower desire to meet there need for affiliation or acceptance. Interestingly the study of interpersonal conflict that I mentioned first found that people of normal or higher intelligence have more conflict with individuals with whom they have an intimate connection, on the other hand, individuals who have lower levels of intelligence have more conflicts with individuals outside of their social sphere or intimate groups of affiliation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpRkj6SwhvI&feature=relmfu

We all need to fulfill our basic needs.

Terms: psychological needs, social needs, motivation, emotion, mental retardation, interpersonal conflicts, autonomy, affiliation, intimacy, power, relatedness, competence, achievement.

A topic I am interested in is how people are able to make themselves happy without antidepressants. I believe there are ways to become happier through motives. I went to Google to find some ways to become happy. The webpage I went to listed things to do from physical, emotional, and to enlightening. Some of the physical included exercise, dance, sing, and find a hobby. All these things could be motivators if the individual finds them fun. I’m sure any “fun” physical activity would be fine, because the point being made is to do something you enjoy. Enjoyment makes people happy. With the emotional aspect it lists, forgive yourself, celebrate others success, believe in yourself, and be thankful. With these being accomplished one would have a less stressful environment and more confidence within themselves. The enlightening part would assist in new challenges and events in life. Volunteering for charity, meditate, watch a comedy show, and look at happy photos all would just brighten up my day. With all this, a person could make a goal to accomplish the whole 50 items on the list, and in the end if they don’t find themselves even a little more motivated to continue to make happiness on their own, I would be surprised. They could change their way of thinking and produce positive self-schemas for themselves.
I went to youtube next, and watched a video about how to make yourself happy. The first tip was that people are already happy, they just don’t believe it. This falls into the self-schema that they think they are never happy so they say and act like they aren’t. This is also a great example of hope. If you just start believing you are happy, you will be happy. The others deal with self concept. They soon realize that if they stop all the negative thoughts, they will see that they are good people. If one likes themselves for who they are, they are more likely to have the motivation to accomplish what they want.
The third part I will discuss is a web page, also about making selves happy. It firsts says to boost energy, fulfilling the physical needs. The emotional and social needs aspect would be met also if people used the tips to “reach out to friends” and “rid yourself of nagging tasks.” Affiliation and power would be met there.
If people take these tips and find a way to motivate themselves, they won’t need to take antidepressants. They will gain the knowledge to overcome challenging goals in their lives and realize the power and potential they have to do it on their own.
http://www.healthmoneysuccess.com/994/50-ways-to-make-yourself-happy/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5nAdEgH0Ms
http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2007/04/seven_tips_for_.html

Terms used: motives, goals, self-schemas, hope, self concept, needs, social needs, affiliation, power

The subject I chose to write about is Tai Chi. I have been taking Tai Chi classes for a couple of years now and wanted to learn more about its health benefits. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese art form that offers many health benefits that most of us are unaware of, and I found a lot of those benefits from the Mayo Clinic website. One of the health benefits of Tai Chi includes reducing stress. Tai Chi consists of fluid patterns of movement that coordinated with breathing to help you achieve a sense of inner calm. It is sometimes called “meditation in motion,” because it promotes serenity through gentle movements, connecting the mind and body. The concentration required for Tai Chi forces you to live in the present moment, and allows you to let go of distressing thoughts. This allows for greater awareness, calmness, and an overall sense of well-being.
In addition to relieving stress, Tai Chi has many other health benefits. Since Tai Chi is a low-impact, weight-bearing, and aerobic exercise it has been known to improve strength, conditioning, coordination, and flexibility. Tai Chi is good for people of all ages, but it is less strenuous on the body so elderly individuals find great benefits from it. Tai chi has been known to reduce pain and stiffness; it also increases balance which can reduce the risk of falls. This is another huge benefit for elderly individuals.
One of the very interesting facts I found on the webmd.com website was that Tai Chi has been found to reduce the risk of shingles, a viral disease that causes a painful skin rash and blisters. Studies have found that Tai Chi prompted an immune response to the varicella-zoster virus similar to that prompted by the varicella vaccine. When combined with the vaccine, researchers found that Tai Chi helped create an even greater level of immunity to the virus.
A study done at the Oregon Research Institute performed a study on people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. They divided up the groups in to three parts where one group did resistance training, one group did extensive stretching, and another practiced Tai Chi. They performed these exercises for an hour each day and after six months the group that did Tai Chi performed better on a number of measures related to balance, strength, movement control, stride length and reach than that of the other two groups being studied. It is still unclear as to why Tai Chi helps people with Parkinson’s disease. It is thought that practicing Tai Chi trains the parts of the brains that control balance and movement to adapt more quickly in response to the motor control challenges of Parkinson’s.
These are just a few of the health benefits of Tai Chi that I found. More benefits include lowering high blood pressure, improving the immune system, increasing survival time after a stroke, decreasing symptoms of fibromyalgia, and improving, cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic and digestive function.
There are many reasons people can be motivated to take Tai Chi. In relating it to the self-concordance model, Tai Chi could be a person’s self-concordance goal, since it would come from the person’s core self’s needs, interests, and preferences. Because this would be a self-concordance goal, greater agency or effort would be generated and sustained, and the likelihood of subsequent goal attainment would be more likely. This would be an intrinsic goal, because it would have to be set out of strong interest, whether it is from an interest in the art itself or the interest in its benefits with someone suffering from Parkinson’s or high blood pressure. Since goal attainment is more likely, the need satisfying experience will likely occur as well. This experience will be to a greater degree than those with self-discordant goals and this in turn increases well-being.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/tai-chi/SA00087
http://www.webmd.com/balance/health-benefits-tai-chi-qigong
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/tai-chi-benefits-patients-with-parkinsons/
Terms: self-concordance model, self-concordance goal, agency, intrinsic goal, self-discordant goals, goal attainment, well-being

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