It is widely accepted that affective influences such as emotion and motivation create strong behaviors that leans towards set goals. However, the need to characterize these influences properly require more work. But one should still make an effort in order to give these influences and their contribution to changing behaviors the very right description.
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The question remains whether emotions and motivations naturally affect behavior. Evidence, (Hall & Goertz, 2013) suggests that emotions and motivations influence behaviors systematically, yet investigations of these are often conducted independently of the other. Here, this paper analyzes various motivational and emotional accounts to create new fruitful research suggestions on the relationship between motivation, emotion, and behavior.
The relationship between motivation, emotion, and behavior
The complex and sophisticated nature of humans characterize the deployment of behavior to meet a certain goal. Humans pursue emotionally and motivationally meaningful lives, yet they do not understand that these influences determine goals around which their behaviors are centered (Hall & Goertz, 2013). Motivation and emotion are broad constructs, whose effects on behavior remain understudied. Emotion is a construct that includes several subcomponents that define the relationship between humans and the environment. Autonomous reactions and cognitions make up emotions. In contrast, motivation defines the desire by an individual to more into action (Hall & Goertz, 2013).
Motivation strives for positive incentives because it clamors for good motives. The internal state of motivation pushes a person to move towards a goal that can only be inferred by noting specific behavior. Extrinsic motivation achieves external rewards, such as farming to make money, while intrinsic refers to rewards such as singing for oneself for faith or religious reasons. Therefore, motivation is a result of external and internal desires that relate to the behavior of a person towards meeting a certain goal
Relationship between motivation and behavior
How people begin moving toward a behavior varies as emotions pull them towards showing their feelings. Emotions react to external stimuli with different intensities and persistence, while behavior entails psychological changes that guide thought processes (Petri & Govern, 2012). Therefore, the intensity of motivation commences goals, which defines a person’s actions. The type of emotion an individual exhibits depends on behaviors that the individual performs are a given time. Active behaviors without a rewarding stimulus may end in angry emotions, while passive behaviors tend to draw sadness.
These emotional aspects determine the consummatory behavior of individuals. According to Petri and Govern (2012), motivation desires actions based on internal and external sources. Moving towards specific actions require that people believe in the knowledge they possess to complete a task. In contrast, without motivation, no degree of knowledge makes any difference. Thus, motivation pushes a person towards carrying out a certain behavior to satisfy a given need. For instance, when a person is hungry, he is motivated to satisfy the behavior by eating. The need or desire for food motivates a person towards carrying out a behavior meant to satisfy hunger, showing that their varying emotions pull them towards showing their feelings.
Relationship between emotion and motivation
Psychological definitions that postulate emotions and motivation are uncommon, even as both lead to goal-directed behaviors (Petri & Govern, 2012). Motivations specifically associate with a relative goal, while emotions are impulsive and may not link to any specific goals. Emotion-specific motivations are understandable as they manifest the re-prioritization of goals, which are a result of emotions indicating motivational statuses (Petri & Govern, 2012).
The link between emotions and motivation, which this study identifies, makes it safe to conclude that emotion involves several processes. The processes in the construct provide values, which are linked to internal and externally experienced states. Although motivation has several components, it results in behaviors, which carry goals with hedonistic value. Therefore, while the emotional status of an individual arises out of motivational goals, there exists a possibility that it is irrelevant to a specific goal. These findings affirm that psychological definitions postulating emotion and motivation may or may not create goal-directed behaviors.
Jealousy in Adulthood
Jealousy is an example of a behavior that creates personal miseries with extensive results to the society. For instance, it may result in negative consequences such as relationship dissolution, abuse of spouses or murder (Hart & Legerstee, 2010). It also has a positive side, which motivates behaviors to protect relationships or to stay wary of threats. Therefore, jealously motivates behaviors intended to keep spouses from possible dangers.
Although the nature of emotional underpinnings giving rise to jealously is undebated, it has component of emotions such as fear and anger. Hart and Legerstee (2010) state that the emotions occurring out of a single incident may change with time, as situations change. The motivational state to protect a relationship does not arise out of the emotional features of jealously such as anger or fear (Hart & Legerstee, 2010). The threat of a usurped relationship affects the sexual and romantic nature of a relationship to benefit an individual. For instance, sibling jealousy ensures that children receive the time or affection allocated to each child. In this case, jealously that motivates behavior intends to protect the sibling’s relationship from a possible usurped attention.
From a social cognitive perspective, theorists have emphasized on the role of motivation in eliciting jealousy. First, the involvement of a spouse with the other is threatening, because of the potential loss of rewards that are linked to the relationship (Hart & Legerstee, 2010). The finite benefits associated with interpersonal relations, for instance, money or resources, or intangible infinite rewards such as affection may be limited with time.
Therefore, a relationship is bound to get rock if the benefits allotted to a spouse are given to another person. This also explains why a newborn child elicits jealousy, because the attention that belonged to a single child is spread to all of children equally. Similar processes define the feelings that fathers exhibit when a new child is born. Since these relationships challenge self-definition, motivation elicits jealousy that may be associated with the potential loss of rewards that are linked to the relationship.
Although motivation and emotion are presumably related, their investigations have been clouded by the independent focus on behavior. The present study however illuminates the relationship between the construct of motivation and emotion with behaviors. The study presents jealously as a behavior to give more meaning to the study on the link between jealousy, emotions, and behavior. This study affirms that indeed, affective influences such as emotion and motivation create strong behaviors that lean towards set goals. The study adds depth to the questions of whether manipulating emotions and motivations naturally affect behavior. The results of this study show that emotions and motivations affect behavior, creating new fruitful findings on the relationship between the three constructs.
Hall,N. G. & Goertz, T. (2013). Emotion, Motivation, and Self-Regulation: A Handbook for Teachers. Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing.
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Hart, S. L. & Legerstee, M. (2010). Handbook of Jealousy: Theory, Research, and Multidisciplinary Approaches. London, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd.