The analysis of psychological phenomena

The analysis of psychological phenomena can be approached from several perspectives. Each offers somewhat different account of why individuals act the way they do, and each can make a contribution to our perception of the total person and a deeper understanding of a person’s overt and covert behavior. Human activities involves remembering,deciding,reasoning, classifying, planning, and so on- that have traditionally been thought to belong to a group of mental processes generally falling under the label “cognition. We can think of cognitive activities in terms of tasks. We use one cognitive powers and capacities to carry out all sorts of projects from deciding what to wear to a party to “keeping tabs” on a bank account. We may use our cognitive powers to solve our problems, fro example to find the shortest route home. These tasks can be performed well or ill, correctly or incorrectly, carefully or carelessly with many intermediate possibilities. Our solutions can be more or less adequate more or less cleverly arrived at and so on.
The study of these activities and the standards to which theory are taken to conform, is cognitive psychology. The modern cognitive perspective is a reaction to the narrowness of behaviorism and the stimulus-response view which tend to neglect complex human activities like reasoning, planning, decision making, and communication. The modern study of cognition is concerned with mental processes such as perceiving, remembering, reasoning, deciding, and, problem solving.
Cognitive approach examines how we process, store, and use information and how these information influences what we attend to, perceive, learn, remember, believe, and feel. The modern study of cognition is premised on the supposition that: only by studying mental process can we fully understand what organisms do and why; and we can study mental processes in an objective fashion by focusing on specific behaviors – just as the behaviorists do, but also interpreting them in terms of underlying mental processes.

In making these interpretations, cognitive psychologists often rely on an analogy between the mind and the computer. Incoming information is processed in different ways: It is selected, compared, and combine with other or all information already in the memory, transformed, altered, rearranged, organized, and so on. For instance, the simple act of recognizing who it is when a friend phones and says “Hello” requires you unconsciously to compare her voice to samples of other peoples’ voices that you have already stored in your long-term memory.
We can use our sample problems to exemplify the cognitive perspective. When we interpret someone’s behavior, fundamentally we are engaging in the form of reasoning that is what is most likely cause of such action or conduct. Just as we may reason about why and what motivates human behavior. Cognitive approaches to motivation propose that motivation is a product of people’s thoughts, expectations, and goals- their cognition. Motivation is the emotional stimulus that causes an individual to act. The stimulus maybe a need or drive that energizes certain behaviors. (Feldman, R. 2003 p. 28). If only we fully understand what motivates us, we are more likely to achieve our personal of professional goals. The causes of motivation range from physiological events within our brain that involves cognition and the body where manifestation of covert actions are seen. Psychology have generally proposed that all human behavior is goal directed towards satisfying a felt need. As a consequence, an unsatisfied needs causes one an inner tension which could be observable physically or psychologically. Then the individual engages in some action to reduce or relieve the tension.
The individual wants to do something that will satisfy the perceive needs. For example, a thirsty man needs water, because he is driven by his thirst and is therefore motivated to drink. All humans have needs. They need to breath, eat, drink, and rest. But these needs are only part of a much larger picture. People also need to be accepted, fulfilled, recognized, and appreciated. They need to dream, aspire, desire , and acquire. These motives are all the result of how our cognition work by giving interpretation to what we desire and what the outcome of our goals maybe.
Individual’s motives are the inner states that energizes, activates or moves and directs or channels behavior towards certain goals. Motives causes individuals to reach out, to seek fulfillment, and to begin searching for gratification. (Plotnik, R. 1999 p. 331). The cognitive theory explains that we may do things to satisfy our personal beliefs or meet our personal goals. For example, John may have undertaken a life-threatening behavior that is climbing the Mount Fuji of Japan. What motivates John to endure such agony?
Cognitive theory’s concept of intrinsic motivation will explain John’s dangerous behavior; thus climbing itself was rewarding, climbing allowed him to meet his own personal goals, beliefs, and expectations. Everyone has their own personal goals, so does John. Cognitive theories of motivation draw a key distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation involves engaging in certain activities or behaviors that either reduce biological needs or helps us obtain incentives or external rewards.
While, Intrinsic motivation involves engaging in certain activities or behaviors because the behaviors themselves are personally rewarding because engaging in these activities fulfills our beliefs or expectation ( Atkinson et al. 1996 p. 335-337). These two types of motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic) were additive and could be combine to produce the highest level of motivation. These two forms of motivation may based either on enjoyment or obligation. In this context obligation refers to motivation based on what individuals thinks ought to be done.
For instance, a feeling of responsibility for a mission may lead to helping others beyond what is easily observable, rewarded of fun. Intrinsic motivation explains that people volunteer their services, spend hours on hobbies, run marathons, or work on personal projects because these activities are personally rewarding, fulfilling or challenging. Intrinsic motivation emphasizes that we do many things because of personal beliefs, expectations, or goals, rather than external incentives. The concept of intrinsic motivation provides an explanation why humans are motivated to do the things they wanted to do, or to fulfill.
Intrinsic motivation causes us to participate in an activity for our own enjoyment (like John did), rather than for any concrete, tangible reward that it will bring us. For example, when a physician works long hours because she loves medicine, intrinsic motivation is prompting her; if she works hard in order to make a lot of money, extrinsic motivation underlies her efforts. We are more apt to persevere, work harder, and produce work of higher and higher quality when motivation for a task is intrinsic rather than extrinsic (Rawsthorne & Elliot,1999) .
Most explanations on the motivations of human behavior were a combine elements of Bernard Weiner’s attribution theory, and Bandura’s work on self- efficacy and other studies relating to locus of control and goal orientation. Thus it is thought that the students are more likely to experience intrinsic motivation if they attribute their educational results to internal factors that they can control the amount of effort they put in, not ‘fixed ability’; believe they can be effective agents in reaching desired goals (e. g. the results are not determined by dumb luck. ;are motivated towards deep ‘mastery’ of a topic, instead of just rote-learning ‘performance’ to get good grades. The cognitive concept of motivation is based upon several assumptions about people and what people think and do. More specifically, the needs view of motivation seems to assume the following that; individual are aware of their own personal needs in a conscious manner. Each individual knows whether lets say the belongingness needs are personally important- as they perceived it to be, whether power needs are greater than security needs, and so forth.
People recognize urgencies and are capable of putting them down into their priority; motives are primarily internal needs and not created by environment again as how interpreted it is to be; that more people are capable of assessing activities available to them to determine that if they do well and receive rewards for their performance, the result will be the fulfillment of known and interpreted to be their internal needs; and lastly, individuals are future oriented in their motivational drives.
Instead looking to past performances and past rewards, the individuals are also concerned about existing and future unfilled needs, not the past fulfilled ones. In 1941, Miller and Dollard proposed a theory of social learning and imitation that rejected behaviourist notions of associationism in favor of drive reduction principles. It was a theory of learning, however, that failed to take into account the creation of novel responses or the processes of delayed and non-reinforced imitations.
In 1963, Bandura and Walters broadened the frontiers of social learning theory with the now familiar principles of observational learning and vicarious reinforcement. By the 1970s, however, Bandura was becoming aware that a key element was missing not only from the prevalent learning theories of the day but from his own social learning theory. Bandura (1986) advanced a view of human functioning that accords a central role to cognitive, vicarious, self-regulatory, and self-reflective processes in human adaptation and change.
People are viewed as self-organizing, proactive, self-reflecting and self-regulating rather than as reactive organisms shaped and shepherded by environmental forces or driven by concealed inner impulses. From this theoretical perspective, human functioning is viewed as the product of a dynamic interplay of personal, behavioural, and environmental influences.
For example, how people interpret the results of their own behaviour informs and alters their environments and the personal factors they possess which, in turn, inform and alter subsequent behaviour. This is the foundation of Bandura’s (1986) conception of reciprocal determinism, the view that personal factors in the form of cognition, affect, and biological events, behaviour, and environmental influences create interactions that result in a triadic reciprocality.
Bandura altered the label of his theory from social learning to social “cognitive” both to distance it from prevalent social learning theories of the day and to emphasize that cognition plays a critical role in people’s capability to construct reality, self-regulate, encode information, and perform behaviour. The cognitive approach to motivation suggests basically that people are mentally aware of how situations around them appeal to their needs.
At the same time, people recognize the consequences and effects of their own personal actions as those actions results in either rewards or penalties. The key to motivation is the fact that the performer senses or comprehends what is taking place. As the power- oriented individual can be expected to respond to the opportunity to gain more power, so may the friendship-starved individual be appealed to by the opportunity for socializing- all these means to the attainment of one’s urgent need or to accomplish needs as perceived or construe them to be.

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