Gender Differences in Emotion.

Do you agree that certain emotions are expressed differently between the genders? Explain your answer with examples. How would you rate the quality of the research presented in this section?

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9.1: Explaining Motivation
Activation is the component of motivation in which an individual takes the first steps toward a goal. Persistence is the component of motivation that enables a person to continue to work toward the goal even when he or she encounters obstacles. The intensity component of motivation refers to the energy and attention a person must employ to reach a goal. Primary drives are unlearned biological motives, such as thirst and hunger. Social motives are learned from experience and interactions with others. With intrinsic motivation, an act is performed because it is satisfying or pleasurable. With extrinsic motivation, an act is performed to gain a reward or avert an undesirable consequence.

Drive-reduction theory suggests that a biological need creates an unpleasant state of emotional arousal that compels the organism to engage in behavior that will reduce the arousal level. Arousal theory suggests that the aim of motivation is to maintain an optimal level of arousal.

Behavioral techniques such as reinforcement and goal setting are used by industrial-organizational psychologists to enhance workers’ motivation. Expectancy theory is a social-cognitive theory that focuses on workers’ beliefs about the effectiveness and value of their efforts. Two other social-cognitive theories need for achievement theory and goal orientation theory, help to explain achievement motivation.

According to Maslow, higher needs cannot be addressed until lower needs are met. Lower needs include both physiological needs (e.g., for food) and the need for safety. Once these are satisfied, behavior can be motivated by higher needs, such as the need for belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

9.2: Hunger
The brain’s pleasure system influences eating behavior. The lateral hypothalamus (LH) signals us to eat when we are hungry, and the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH) motivates us to stop eating when we are full. Other internal hunger signals are low blood glucose levels and high insulin levels. Some satiety signals are high blood glucose levels and the presence in the blood of other satiety substances (such as CCK) that are secreted by the gastrointestinal tract during digestion. External hunger cues, such as the taste, smell, and appearance of food; eating with other people; and the time of day can cause people to eat more food than they actually need.

Variations in body weight are influenced by genes, hormones, metabolic rate, activity level, number of fat cells, and eating habits. Fat-cell theory claims that individuals who are overweight have more fat cells in their bodies. Setpoint theory suggests that an internal homeostatic system functions to maintain body weight by adjusting appetite and metabolic rate.

Some people who are obese cannot lose weight and must undergo gastric bypass surgery to attain healthy body weight. Weight-loss programs for such individuals and those for children must be carefully supervised by health professionals. To be effective, a weight-loss strategy must include both calorie reduction and exercise.

The symptoms of anorexia nervosa are an overwhelming, irrational fear of being fat, compulsive dieting to the point of self-starvation, and excessive weight loss. It damages the heart and other organs and can be fatal. The symptoms of bulimia nervosa are repeated and uncontrolled episodes of binge eating, usually followed by purging. Intentional vomiting can cause dental and digestive problems for people who have bulimia nervosa. Both anorexia and Nervosa are more common in females than in males, are difficult to treat, and often occur along with other psychiatric disorders.

9.3: Sexual Motivation
Men are more likely than women to think of sex in purely physical terms and to have more permissive attitudes toward sex. The frequency of sexual activity varies across cultures. During ovulation, women have the strongest desire for sex, and men are likely to be most rapidly aroused by ovulating female partners. Evolutionary psychologists say that differences in parental investment explain gender differences in attitudes and behavior, but others argue that social factors are responsible.

The sexual response cycle consists of four phases: the excitement phase, the plateau phase, orgasm, and the resolution phase. Hormones influence the cycle in both men and women.

Two general patterns in the prevalence of homosexuality are that males are more likely to identify with an exclusive homosexual orientation than women are, and same-sex attraction is more common than homosexual behavior. The biological factors suggested as possible causes of a gay or lesbian sexual orientation are (1) androgens, (2) structural differences in an area of the hypothalamus of gay men, and (3) genetic factors.

Prior to 1973, homosexuality was considered to be a disorder by mental health professionals. Today most people are opposed to discrimination based on homosexuality. Homosexual relationships are similar to those involving heterosexuals. Gay men are more tolerant of sexual infidelity than heterosexual and lesbian couples. Like heterosexual women, lesbians place more emphasis on mutual emotional support than they do on sexual intimacy.

9.4: Emotion
The three components of emotions are the physiological arousal that accompanies the emotion, the cognitive appraisal of the stimulus or situation, and the outward behavioral expression of the emotion. According to the James–Lange theory of emotion, environmental stimuli produce a physiological response, and then awareness of this response causes the emotion to be experienced. The Cannon-Bard theory suggests that emotion-provoking stimuli received by the senses are relayed simultaneously to the cerebral cortex, providing the mental experience of the emotion, and to the sympathetic nervous system, producing physiological arousal. The Schachter–Singer theory states that for an emotion to occur, (1) there must be physiological arousal, and (2) the person must perceive some reason for the arousal to label the emotion. According to the Lazarus theory, an emotion-provoking stimulus triggers a cognitive appraisal, which is followed by the emotion and the physiological arousal.

Affective neuroscientists have identified associations between emotions and different areas of the brain, and most believe a distinct neurological system underlies each emotion. The amygdala contributes to fear-based learning. The cortex monitors physiological cues associated with emotion and relates them to past experiences to help us make decisions. The anterior cingulate cortex suppresses emotional cues to help us control impulsivity.

Men and women appear to manage emotions differently. Women are more likely to feel hurt or disappointed after a betrayal or harsh criticism from another person, whereas men are more likely to feel angry. Men and women also differ in their likeliness to express anger publicly.

The basic emotions (happiness, sadness, disgust, and so on) are those that are unlearned and universal and that emerge in children according to their biological timetable of development. Studies also show that there is variation across cultures in the ways emotions are elicited and regulated and how they are shared socially. The customs of an individual’s culture determine when, where, and under what circumstances various emotions are exhibited. Children learn these rules as they mature so that, as adults, they will be able to suppress and exhibit emotions in accordance with the rules of their cultures. Violating a culture’s display rules can cause a person’s behavior to be interpreted as rude or offensive. The facial feedback hypothesis suggests that the muscular movements involved in certain facial expressions trigger corresponding emotions (for example, smiling triggers happiness). Positive psychologists study the impact of positive emotional states on other aspects of functioning.

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