Motivation and emotion/About

Motivation and emotion - About

The Ngunnawal peoples are acknowledged as traditional custodians of the land on which the University of Canberra Bruce campus is located. We respect their continuing culture and contribution to Canberra and the region.

This unit covers theories of motivation (such as brain processes, extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, goal-setting, and the self) and emotion (including biological and cognitive perspectives, core emotions, and emotional regulation) and considers their application to everyday life.

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the major principles of motivation and emotion;
  2. Integrate theories and current research towards explaining the role of motivation and emotions in human behaviour; and
  3. Critically apply knowledge of motivation or emotion to an indepth understanding of a specific topic in this field.

The learning outcomes mapped to the weighted assessment items:

Outcome Topic dev. Book chap. Multimedia Quizzes
1. Identify the major principles of motivation and emotion
2. Integrate theories and current research towards explaining the role of motivation and emotions in human behaviour
3. Critically apply knowledge of motivation or emotion to an indepth understanding of a specific topic in this field

This unit fosters these University of Canberra graduate attributes:

  1. Professional:
    1. communicate effectively;
    2. display initiative and drive, and use their organisation skills to plan and manage their workload;
    3. employ up-to-date and relevant knowledge and skills;
    4. use creativity, critical thinking, analysis and research skills to solve theoretical and real-world problems;
  2. Global citizen:
    1. adopt an informed and balanced approach across professional and international boundaries;
    2. communicate effectively in diverse cultural and social settings;
    3. make creative use of technology in their learning and professional lives;
  3. Lifelong learner:
    1. adapt to complexity, ambiguity and change by being flexible and keen to engage with new ideas;
    2. evaluate and adopt new technology.

The graduate attributes are mapped to the assessment items as shown in this table:

Category Attribute Topic dev. Book chap. Multimedia Quizzes
1. Professional Communicate effectively
1. Professional Display initiative and drive
1. Professional Knowledge and skills up-to-date
1. Professional Solve problems via thinking
2. Global citizen Informed and balanced
2. Global citizen Communicate diversely
2. Global citizen Creative use of technology
3. Lifelong learner Engage in new ideas
3. Lifelong learner Adopt new technology

Through this unit, many skills are likely to be developed which can be incorporated into resumes and professional portfolios such as:

  • Demonstrated ability to use professional knowledge to address applied psychological problems.
  • Confidence in written and verbal communication of ideas using collaborative, online platforms.
  • Capacity to learn new technologies for addressing novel problems.

If you don't feel confident declaring such skills by the end of the unit then they could be considered targets for further skill development (e.g., through internship).

Consider including your submissions for the unit's major project assessment items (i.e., the book chapter and multimedia) as work examples (artefacts) in your e-portfolio.


  1. Psychology 101 OR 11399 Understanding People and Behaviour AND
  2. Psychology 102 OR Foundations of Psychology OR
  3. Permission of unit convener.

This unit is flexible:

  • Weekly lecture online and recorded
  • Weekly tutorial on-campus, online, and recorded
  • No on-campus attendance required
  • No exam
Week Module Lecture Reading
Quiz Tutorial Assessment
01 1 - Introduction 01 - Introduction UO, 01 1 01 - Topic selection -
02 02 - Historical development and assessment skills 02 02 - Wiki editing -
03 2 - Needs 03 - Brain and physiological needs 03, 04 2 03 - Physiological needs Topic selection
Mon 9am 14/8
04 04 - Extrinsic motivation and psychological needs 05, 06 04 - Psychological needs Quiz 1
Mon 9am 21/8

Topic development
Fri 9am 25/8

05 3 - Goals and self 05 - Implicit motives and goals 07, 08 3 05 - Functionalist theory and self-tracking -
06 06 - Mindsets, control, and the self 09, 10, 11 06 - Learned optimism Quiz 2
Mon 9am 4/9
07 4 - Emotion 07 - Nature of emotion 12 4 07 - Core emotions -
08 Mid-semester break - - Quiz 3
Mon 9am 18/9
09 08 - Aspects of emotion 13 08 - Measuring emotion -
10 5 - Individual emotions 09 - Individual emotions 14 5 09 - 20 emotions -
11 10 - Unconscious motivation 16 10 - Time perspective Quiz 4
Mon 9am 9/10

Book chapter
Mon 9am 9/10

12 6 - Growth 11 - Growth psychology 15 6 11 - Positive psychology
13 12 - Interventions and review 17 12 - Review Quiz 5
Mon 9am 23/10
14 - - - - - Multimedia presentation
Mon 9am 30/10
15 - - - - - Quiz 6
Mon 9am 6/11
  • See timetable 2023
  • Enrol in a tutorial group (live virtual, live on-campus, or live asychronous/recorded)

Engagement by attending lectures and tutorials is strongly recommended but not compulsory.

Non-engagement is likely to make successful completion of the assessment more difficult because:

  • Lectures discuss content which is assessed in the quizzes.
  • Tutorials develop skills directly related to the major project (topic development, book chapter, and multimedia presentation) assessment exercises.

If you are unable to attend your scheduled tutorial, attend a tutorial at a different time or access the online recording.

This table estimates the time required to complete the major activities in this unit. Plan to allocate approximately 10 hours per week over 15 weeks.

The required textbook is "Understanding motivation and emotion" by Johnmarshall Reeve, published by Wiley.

Reeve, J. (2018). Understanding motivation and emotion (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. The School Locker. Google Books. Instructor companion site. UC Library. ISBN: Paperback 978-1-119-36760-4, E-text 978-1-119-36765-9. Rent e-text.

Access options include:

Earlier editions can be used, but lectures and quizzes are based on the 7th edition.


An audio headset is recommended for:

A camera/webcam is useful for:

IT skills


Required IT skills (wiki editing and multimedia recording) will be taught in the unit.


  1. UCLearn
  2. Wikiversity
  3. Twitter: #emot24

The major project takes a deep dive into a specific topic of interest, while quizzes assess breadth of knowledge. The major project provides a capstone experience scaffolded into four stages:

This project applies psychological science to real-world problems to produce useful open educational resources. Showcase this work in your your resume and e-portfolio.



Item Weight Due Late submissions Extensions Description Time involved
(150 hrs)
Topic selection 0% Week 03 Mon 9am 14 Aug 2023 Not accepted Not available Ungraded early assessment exercise. Create a Wikiversity account. Sign up to a major project topic. Ask clarifying questions etc. 1 hour
Topic development 10% Week 04 Fri 9am 25 Aug 2023 Not accepted Not available; withdrawal before Census Date recommended Develop plan for book chapter. Overview. Headings. Key points. Figure. Learning feature. Resources. References. User page. Social contribution. 14 hours: 4 hrs to learn "how" (incl. 2 x 1 hr tutorials), 5 hrs research, 5 hrs preparation
Book chapter 45% Week 11 Mon 9am 09 Oct 2023 Up to 7 days (-5% per day) Available with documentation Author an online book chapter up to 4,000 words about a unique motivation or emotion topic. Includes a social contribution component. 60 hours: 15 hrs to learn "how" (incl. 10 x 1 hour tutorials), 18 hrs research, 28 hrs preparation
Multimedia presentation 20% Week 14 Mon 9am 30 Oct 2023 Up to 7 days (-5% per day) Available with documentation Record and share a 3 minute online multimedia presentation focusing on key problems and answers provided by psychological science. Same topic as book chapter. 12 hours: 3 hrs to learn "how", 6 hrs preparation, 3 hrs to record & publish.
Quizzes 25% 1 - Week 04 Mon 9am 21 Aug 2023

2 - Week 06 Mon 9am 04 Sep 2023

3 - Week 08 Mon 9am 18 Sep 2023

4 - Week 11 Mon 9am 09 Oct 2023

5 - Week 13 Mon 9am 23 Oct 2023

6 - Week 15 Mon 9am 06 Nov 2023

Not accepted Available with documentation 6 equally-weighted 10-item, 10-minute, multiple-choice, online quizzes. One quiz per module. Based on textbook readings. 63 hours: 24 hrs lectures (12 x 2 hrs), 34 hrs reading (17 chs x 2 hrs), 3 hrs completing quizzes (6 x 10 mins)
The electronic communication channels for this unit are via the UCLearn site:

general announcements from teaching staff

discuss, ask questions, ask for feedback, share ideas etc.

Come along to

In addition, use the:
hashtag on Twitter

Wikiversity talk pages,
every page has its own discussion page

or get in touch with the
Teaching team


Reach out and join in:


Previous students have generally indicated high levels of satisfaction with this unit, with several students reporting that this was the best unit of their degree. For example, one student wrote:

Many students also find the major project challenging. For example, one student wrote:

So, get involved in tutorials to help build your skills. And seek help for any questions you have.

For more details about student evaluation, see evaluation.

  1. Assessment
  2. Discussion
  3. Pearls of wisdom
  1. Evaluation
  2. Staff
  1. Lectures
  2. Readings
  3. Schedule
  4. Tutorials
  5. Unit outline
  6. Wikiversity
  1. Unit description (7124)
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