In our final week together in class we will be covering emotion, motivation and stress. We will focus a lot on the idea of work/life/school balance and the mind body connection. As we learn more about how physical and psychological health interact, we understand better the importance of holistic health. You will gain some helpful insights this week on how to successfully mitigate stress and how to effectively channel emotions into healthy outlets.
As you progress through your lesson this week, take full advantage of all of the features of this adapted learning lesson – complete the exercises, honestly assess your understanding of the material using the slider bars at the bottom of each screen, and review the support material suggested based on your progress. Be sure to ask your instructor if you have any questions over any of the concepts introduced this week.
complete all the others before it. Emotion and Motivation
What makes us behave as we do? What drives us to eat? What drives us toward sex? Is there a biological basis to explain the feelings we experience? How universal are emotions?
In this module, we will explore issues relating to both motivation and emotion. We will begin with a discussion of several theories that have been proposed to explain motivation and why we engage in a given behavior. You will learn about the physiological needs that drive some human behaviors, as well as the importance of our social experiences in influencing our actions.
Next, we will consider both eating and having sex as examples of motivated behaviors. What are the physiological mechanisms of hunger and satiety? What understanding do scientists have of why obesity occurs, and what treatments exist for obesity and eating disorders? How has research into human sex and sexuality evolved over the past century? How do psychologists understand and study the human experience of sexual orientation and gender identity? These questions—and more—will be explored.
This module will close with a discussion of emotion. You will learn about several theories that have been proposed to explain how emotion occurs, the biological underpinnings of emotion, and the universality of emotions.
Stress, Lifestyle, and Health
Few would deny that today’s college students are under a lot of pressure. In addition to many usual stresses and strains incidental to the college experience (e.g., exams, term papers, and the dreaded freshman 15), students today are faced with increased college tuitions, burdensome debt, and difficulty finding employment after graduation. A significant population of non-traditional college students may face additional stressors, such as raising children or holding down a full-time job while working toward a degree.
Of course, life is filled with many additional challenges beyond those incurred in college or the workplace. We might have concerns with financial security, difficulties with friends or neighbors, family responsibilities, and we may not have enough time to do the things we want to do. Even minor hassles—losing things, traffic jams, and loss of internet service—all involve pressure and demands that can make life seem like a struggle and that can compromise our sense of well-being. That is, all can be stressful in some way.
Scientific interest in stress, including how we adapt and cope, has been longstanding in psychology; indeed, after nearly a century of research on the topic, much has been learned and many insights have been developed. This module examines stress and highlights our current understanding of the phenomenon, including its psychological and physiological nature, its causes and consequences, and the steps we can take to master stress rather than become its victim.