Motivation and emotion/Lectures/Introduction

Lecture 01: Introduction

Nuvola apps edu languages.svg Resource type: this resource contains a lecture or lecture notes.

This is the first lecture for the Motivation and emotion unit of study.

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This lecture:

  • summarises the unit outline, including the assessment, with explanation about the topic development exercise.
  • introduces the psychological study of motivation and emotion and key conceptual frameworks.

Take-home messages:

  • The aim of this unit is to understand psychology theory and research about motivation and emotion and to apply this knowledge to a specific topic for the major project.
  • Motivation refers to the process that gives behaviour its energy, direction, and persistence.

Key questionsEdit

Etymology: The terms "motivation" and "emotion" have a common root in the Latin verb movere (to move).

There are two key questions underlying psychological study of motivation and emotion:

Why do we do
what we do?

Why do we feel

the way we feel?

The practical, applied purpose is to be able to better address the questions of:

How can we change
what we do?

How can we change

what we feel?

Key insightsEdit

  • Psychological science considers ALL behaviour to be motivated including mundane behaviour (such as drinking and eating) and less "desirable" behaviours such as avoidance, procrastination, nose-picking etc.
  • Two people doing the SAME behaviour (e.g., workout) may have DIFFERENT motivations (e.g., fitness, mood change, social engagement).
  • We have MULTIPLE motivations in any moment, but only our DOMINANT motivation gets acted upon.


  • The ultimate motivational clip - Rise and shine! (YouTube) (3:24 mins): People commonly think of motivation as involving willful focusing and channeling of personal energy towards specific goals such as physical effort required to build fitness or in sporting performance. This aspect of motivation is depicted in "motivational" books and media. For example, this video inspires us to put aside inner excuses and self-doubts, to push on through difficulty, and strive towards challenging goals. What's your favourite motivational video?


  1. Unit outline
  2. Chapter 01: Introduction (Reeve, 2018)


See alsoEdit